Red Carpet ‘WE TV Chicago’
SarahsBackstagePass on the Red carpet, Wednesday, August 16 at 6:00 pm at the Flamingo Rum Club in Chicago, some of the most recognizable and philanthropic singles were being honored at a Red Carpet event for the latest WE tv reality series, Love Blows, which premieres on Friday, August 25 at 10:00 ET/PT.
The evening was co-hosted by WE tv, Patti Stanger of Million Dollar Matchmaker, and Michigan Ave. Magazine. The show follows the daily lives of the Chicago matchmaking family of LuvBizChicago and their quest to find love for others. Lisa Galos and Jim Antonsen, who are divorced run the business along side the staff of their two adult single children Jamie and Annie Antonsen, and Jim’s ex-mistress Nikki Jones. This quirky, fiery family may seem a little unconventional and dysfunctional, but they open their lives to let us witness how their unique dynamics make their family work in business and love. However, this colorful combination of relationships creates the perfect storm for drama and chaos.
In attendance were the stars of the show, Lisa Galos and her ex-husband Jim, adult children, Annie and Jamie, and Jim’s ex-mistress Nikki, along with fellow matchmaker Rusty Bazarek. They were beaming with excitement for the launch of Love Blows and were one big happy family. When the queen of matchmaking and executive producer, Patti Stanger, arrived, heads turned, bystanders stopped, and the energy went off the charts. She commands the carpet with her poise and confidence. Patti is also celebrating with WE tv season two of her show Million Dollar Matchmaker, which premiered on Friday Aug.4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The two shows will air back to back and will be a blockbuster evening for WE tv.
Patti and Lisa are long time friends and colleagues. They definitely showed each other the love as they posed for the camera. It is a match in business and friendship!
The power of love magnified exponentially as the evening progressed with an additional appearance by Vicki Gunvalson and Kelly Dodd of Real Housewives of Orange County. They are no strangers at working the carpet and reunited with their long time friend Patti Stanger. Their presence was undeniable while laughing and catching up on the latest. The vibe was infectious, and the friendship and camaraderie were amazing! These women have a history from their early days at Bravo. They currently may be with different networks, but their bond is strong. They certainly showed their support for each other and are a class act.
Recognizable Chicago singles known for their charitable works made their appearance on the carpet. First to arrive was Andre Bellos, a local actor from Empire and Chicago Justice. Soon to follow was a dynamic foursome, Anthony Battle, Amber James, “Diggy” Moreland, and Iggy Rodriguez from The Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise. Radio and TV broadcasters Brady Broski of KISS FM, Michelle Menaker from B96, and Brooke Weisbrod of ESPN graced the carpet along with lifestyle specialist Maisha Wynn, America’s Next Top Model winner Jaslene Gonzalez, Florence Ann Romano of Original Six Media, Cheyenne Parker, a Chicago Sky/WNBA pro player, Jenne Myers, Chicago Cares CEO, Kenneth Olsen, a Chicago Symphony Orchestra Cellist, Greg Reintjes, The Windy City Ball Co-founder, and Jon and Andrew Landan of Chicago Gateway Green Board. All of these beautiful people work hard at making a difference in the city by giving back.
While on the carpet, I was able to speak with many of the attendees:
Lisa Galos: Are you ready for America to see into your life?
LG: I am open to it. I am open to anyone to see inside my life. I like putting things out there because it is so relatable. I think that everybody wants love and everybody should realize the differences in family and even though you get divorced, you can still be open with your ex-husband or ex-wife. I think Chicago needs a show that is kind of fun and shows the different cultures. It is amazing to work with Patti. You can’t get a better producer and a better team with WE.
Sarah’s Backstage Pass: Do you have a great relationship with Patti?
LG: We are like sisters, soul sisters; we go back a long time.
Question for Patti Stanger: Has your move from Bravo to WE tv been a good match?
Patti Stanger: Yes, I still love them (Bravo). We wanted to go in a different direction and go a little deeper, but it’s all good. It all worked out.
SBP: What’s the difference between dating in Chicago and LA.?
PS: The men in Chicago are taller, and men are more chivalrous. I don’t know what the problem is. LA has a lot of problems. Chicago doesn’t have any.
SBP: What is it like working with your best friend?
PS: Lisa and I have a great relationship. We are like sisters. We fight and yell, but at the end of the day, we love each other.
SBP: Between you and Lisa, who is the best matchmaker?
PS: Me! I trained that bitch!!
Question for Jim Antonsen: How long have you been a matchmaker?
JA: Since 1983!
SBP: Was it different doing your job in front of the cameras? Did it bring on the pressure or change the dynamics?
JA: It’s kind of the same. It might have changed things a little bit, but is kind of the same, which makes it easy. With the show, you just do what you do every day.
SBP: What should we expect from the season?
JA: I am not sure. It’s all a mystery to me. I don’t really know. It’s all a surprise. Actually, I was surprised at some of the things!
Question for Jaime Antonsen: Was it more difficult to do your job in front of the cameras?
JA: It is difficult to recruit. People are already on guard when you ask if they are single. Put them in front of a camera and ask them if they are single and it’s like “why?” It’s almost offensive. People automatically have their antenna up.
SBP: Who is the best matchmaker in the family?
JA: It’s a tie between the women in my life; my mother and my sister. I am very humble and objective about the whole thing.
SPB: Does being objective make for a good matchmaker?
JA: The number one thing to being a good matchmaker is following and making sure you have their best interest at heart. You have to know what they are looking for and what their experiences have been in the past and lining them up with what they need.
SBP: After talking with some of the Galos family, I had the opportunity to speak with some of the honorees.
Question for Brady Broski – KISS FM: I understand you are involved in many charities in the city.
BB: It is a great place to do charity work. Chicago has so many great organizations; it’s a great way to stay busy and give back. There are so many different opportunities. It depends on what your passions are. You can help out every day if you want to.
Tell me about “Back on Your Feet.”
BB: Back on Your Feet is a great organization that helps people who are struggling with homelessness. It gives them an opportunity for a second chance. They help you gain confidence at the same time by replenishing your normal day- to-day lifestyle by getting you to run. Chicago is a great city to be single but a great city to run.
Brady went on to tell about his work with PAWS and Salvation Army. He explained that being “on-air” is a great platform to talk about these things. The microphone is a gift to spread the word about the needs in the city.
Question for Maisha Wynn – Live to Wynn Creator: As a lifestyle coach, how do you help people rebuild their lives?
MW: The first key to change is knowing your purpose. What is your purpose in life? So once you find your purpose and your voice, you cannot only be a blessing to yourself but to others. Our philosophy is, if you truly want to stand out in life, it’s not about being different, but it is about being outstanding from the way that you think, the way that you talk and the way that you carry yourself. People are attracted to people that are confident.
Maisha gave me a bookmark with inspirational bullet points to start each day. Visit her website at www.livetowynn.com
Her motto: “You must be great to yourself first in order to be good to the universe!”
Iggy Rodriguez– Season 13 of The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise.
Iggy talked about his experience on The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, and how it gives you an opportunity to learn a lot about yourself, interact with other people, and connect with your feelings. It also gives you an opportunity to meet a lot of amazing people that you would not have had the chance to meet otherwise. You become tight with these people, and the Bachelor family is a very real thing.
SBP:I understand that here in Chicago, you give back to your community?
IR: I work with the anti-cruelty society in downtown. Some of the other contestants from the Bachelor family, Diggy, Peter, Anthony, and Alex were up in Madison at a fitness event for Peter’s fitness business and raised $25,000 for the Boys and Girls Club in Madison. A lot of us (from the Bachelor shows) are trying to figure out how to “do good,” from all of the popularity we received from the shows.
Question for Florence Ann Romano – Original Six Media CEO/ Owner and Windy City Nanny: From what I read, you seem to have a heart of gold and other’s interests at heart.
FR: My life has two sides; I have a video production company here in Chicago called “Original Six Media,” where I do video content for businesses from digital content to commercial. I am also known as the Windy City Nanny in Chicago. I was a nanny for 15 years and wrote my first children’s book two years ago called Nanny and Me to help children understand why they have a nanny or a babysitter. I am now known as the childcare expert for the new millennium. The other side is philanthropy. My brother is autistic, and I started a board five years ago to help with autism awareness. I retired from that board and am now on the board of Laurie’s Children’s Hospital, and it’s called Children’s Research Fund.
These are just a few of the incredible interviews from these successful yet selfless honorees. When the photography was wrapped outside on the carpet, the festivities continued inside the club. The beat was heavy, the place was hopping, and the Latin dancers and servers turned up the heat beyond a sizzle. The rhythm of the night made you feel like you were in a world where love was the only emotion.
Patty Babin© August 23, 2017