The Dish: What was your favorite moment of the pilot episode?
Blair Late: I loved seeing all the things that Jeff said solo to the camera that I wasn’t privy to previously. And, I think Jeff certainly loved the things that I said that he wasn’t privy to. Because, throughout the year doing all those interviews without the other person, usually they had us leave the home or wherever we were shooting those one-on-ones because they really wanted each of us to be really candid and not hold anything back or be scared with the other person listening in the other room. So, it was really sweet to hear some of the things he said about me, and I certainly know he was flattered as well as laughing out loud with some of the things I said in general and about him. So, that was really fun to watch.
It was also just fun to see how of all four couples -- gay, straight, black, white, from the East Coast to the West Coast --clearly every couple has a more powerful slash diva, bitchy, in control half, and then there’s the less powerful, perhaps more reserved half. It’s like everyone couple has the ying and the yang. And it was interesting to see how everyone was kind of similar in that sense.
TD: Which of the other couples on Newlyweds do you think you relate to most?
BL: To be totally honest, I think each one has a piece of us. When you talk about John, I am just like him when it comes to the list. I am extremely organized and I write everything down, so I know how he feels and how that type of brain works.
When it comes to Kim and Alaska, I definitely consider myself extremely spiritual and I try to follow my life as much as I possibly can by the church’s teachings that I was raised on. So, I definitely see that in them, as well as the fact that they’re in the music and styling business. That’s the same businesses that I’ve obviously worked in.
TD: What does being the only gay couple on the show mean to you?
BL: It means a couple things. For Jeff and me, we were just so honored to be asked to do the show. Really since the Will & Grace days, there’s really only in my opinion been really fabulous characters on TV that are sitcom, fictionalized actors portraying gay characters on television. And, I haven’t really seen up until Newlyweds a full-on married couple that was a reality couple or a docu-couple. So, Jeff and I were extremely excited and pleased to be a part of this because I consider it a bit groundbreaking for pop culture, and in general. So, it’s just an honor and we’re happy to be a part of it. And, then I think as the only gay couple, again it shows that our issues are just like everyone else’s. And I think that’s very relevant and evident when watching the show that everyone has the same issues no matter what your sexuality, or race, or age is. So, it just shows human beings are really not as complicated as we all think we are; we’re all quite pretty simple.
TD: What’s the reaction been like from friends and family?
BL: Oh my gosh! The reaction from friends and family has been impeccably amazing! It’s just been awesome! Everyone is so excited and rooting for Jeff and me, and thinks we pretty much came off to the tee of who we are. A lot of my friends and family say, “Now Jeff’s not that reserved.” So, I look forward to the audience seeing Jeff’s other side as well. Although it comes off as reserved in the first episode, in real life, yes he can be reserved, but there’s a different side to him as well. But in general, everyone’s given amazing, amazing feedback.
TD: In the first episode, you expose that you’re a former pop star. How is it different being back in the spotlight this time around?
BL: Well, the biggest difference is when I was in a boy band I was closeted. Not only was I closeted, but I even at one point had a fake girlfriend who was a German idol, like the Kelly Clarkson of Germany. The biggest difference is now I can completely let it all hang out and be myself, whereas when I was a boy bander, I was completely closeted. And so that’s what makes this experience so exciting for me. I’m actually getting positive feedback for being me, versus for being someone who I really wasn’t.
TD: You’ve said Jeff was a little more reluctant to do the show than you. Has his tune changed at all now that everything has come to fruition?
BL: Good question. Yes, Jeff is extremely excited about where the show has taken it so far. He is proud of it, he loves it, he’s proud of himself. I think as a little kid growing up in Valencia, California, extremely shy, even bullied, not really comfortable in his own boots, and to now be 46 and in front of the whole world telling his story, I don’t think he ever imagined that would happen in his life. And so I think for him this is a completely bittersweet and amazing roller coaster that we’re on together.
TD: Obviously having cameras around can change the dynamic of situations. How did having cameras around for the first year of marriage affect you and Jeff?
BL: Really positively to be honest, for a couple of reasons. Having the cameras around, you’re forced to reveal a lot of things and a lot of issues on the surface that perhaps without cameras you would have swept under the rug, i.e. finances, mortgage discussions, will discussions. So, the cameras really forced us to deal with things that maybe we wouldn’t have dealt with so quickly before. And the one-on-one camera time and the couples’ interviews were kind of like therapy sessions. So it was really like having marriage counseling for a year!
TD: What can viewers expect from this season of Newlyweds: The First Year?
BL: Expect a long and exciting bumpy ride full of the ins and outs of marriage. If everyone who is married looks into themselves and thinks about what they would be like filming their show, it would really be no different! Meaning, everyone goes through struggles and no one is perfect. So, this show is not trying to show the perfect side of marriage, it’s trying to show the good, the bad, the exciting, the ups the downs, and the ugly! I think that’s what we achieved in showing. I can’t really speak for the other couples because I don’t really know their stories, but I do know that you have a bit of a taste of everything in a very diverse cast. I think it’s exciting because there’s something for everyone!
Catch an all-new episode of Newlyweds tonight at 10/9c, when Blair and Jeff argue about -- what else -- Whitney Houston!