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Confessions of a “Millionaire Matchmaker” Millionaire

Thu, Mar 4, 2010

Pop Culture, TV

One of our Wise Guys, Tyler Barnett, recently went on Bravo’s reality show, “The Millionaire Matchmaker” (his episode re-airs next Tuesday, March 16th at 5pm — set your TiVos; you can watch a clip above). So we just had to give him the third degree:

Why, oh why, would you ever go on this show? Call us cynics, but we’re convinced it was all a marketing ploy for your new company, Tyler Barnett PR (they did give you pretty good in-office in-action coverage). Plus, you got your friend’s restaurant some nice play when you took your date there, too.

A PR firm owner doing his own PR? That’s outrageous. And it’s not like anyone watches the show, they only got a million viewers the first episode. Besides, if anyone wanted to find out about my new PR firm, Tyler Barnett PR, they can simply visit Tylerbarnettpr.com or Google Tyler Barnett PR.

Ha! So, how do you think you came off on the show? Was it a fairly accurate portrayal of you or do you think they made a caricature of you?

I came off as myself. I obviously didn’t have any control over the editing, but everything I said was real. I think it was a pretty accurate portrayal of who I am, built up of course by lights and cameras and Hollywood B.S.

We loved how you refused to shave your scruff and get a spray tan (seemed very un-L.A. of you, which is always a plus in our book), but then you caved! You shaved and, if that wasn’t a spray tan, it was a lot of foundation make-up. What happened?

I was pretty gung ho about not shaving. And I would never get a spray tan. She tried to convince me to for some time and my end answer was still no thank you, I like my face. The she called my mom. They didn’t air it, but she called my mom on camera and my mom agreed I should shave. She’s always hated facial hair so I figured what the hell, it will grow back. I was wearing makeup during the shoot as everyone else on camera is. I did not get a spray tan though, no thanks.

The other millionaire client featured on your episode (that once-child actor from “Picket Fences” with a Napoleonic complex and a bad case of name dropping): big douchebag or biggest douchebag ever?

In all fairness I only met him for a few hours, so I don’t know how much of that bullshit was for the camera. He was a douchebag without a doubt though. He stank of douchebagginess.

On your episode, how many of the women that are featured as potential dates are actually there to find love with guys who happen to be millionaires, and how many are actresses cast to fill the room? (No way was that woman in the red dress with the excruciating baby voice and the lobotomy for real!)

They all claimed to have jobs, but I have a hunch some of them were full of it. And as for the squeaky chick, I thought she was joking at first. But after talking to her for a while, I sweat, that was not an act! Creepy…

We like that you admit to the camera that the kiss at the end of your set-up date was awkward — do the producers push you to make-out if you seem to like each other? Would you kiss someone over dinner in a restaurant like that on a “real” first date?

The kiss was awkward for sure, but so is having dinner surrounded by lights and cameras. You have to remember they are making a TV show. It might be “reality” but you feel like you are in this fantasy world. I probably wouldn’t have kissed her if it was a different circumstance, but we did really hit it off and I did want to kiss her at the table. Once we got outside and were off camera, I kissed her again. That one wasn’t awkward.

At the end of the episode, it says that you and the woman you went on the date with are now “officially boyfriend and girlfriend.” Define “boyfriend and girlfriend” and tell us how long that lasted (again, we’re cynics).

Believe it or not, I did fall in love. We dated for a little over three months and it was wonderful. I could count the number of times I’ve fallen in love on one hand, so I knew it was the real deal.

Even though she’ll occasionally have female client millionaires, we get the sense that you have to have fairly traditional views of relationships with old-school gender-role expectations to appreciate Patti’s approach and believe that it can work. Are we wrong to think that anyone, male or female, who considers themselves feminists would never go on this show?

I think you would be wrong here. There are lots of reasons to go on a show like this aside from trying to find love and promote your business. It was a great experience and kind of liberating. It isn’t everyday these opportunities arise, and for me it was more about why not? Could be fun. I know women who have gone on who are very successful and confident and could be considered feminists.

We think Patti seems like a pretty ugly (on the inside), hateful person — it makes for good TV but what about real life. Is that really her? And do people really find it appealing or helpful with love? Should love be so formulaic, calculated and narrow-minded?

Patti is a successful businesswoman, and very good at what she does. She is rude, harsh, abrasive, traditional, stereotypes, yells, can be rude and arrogant and generally displeasing to be around. But she does have a good heart and believes in what she is doing. And yes, she makes great Television. So can you fault someone for doing what they love and being good at it? I went into the show with zero expectation of finding love or anything close. As it usually happens, you find things when you least expect them, and while this was a very unusual circumstance, it was the right place and right time. I wouldn’t change a thing.

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One Response to “Confessions of a “Millionaire Matchmaker” Millionaire”

  1. Rachel B Says:

    I saw this episode! My husband and I watch this show, it truly is a trainwreck most of the time. But I definitely did things the old fashioned way I waited until I got married to have sex, I never lived with my husband before we were married, and we have a very happy, healthy, compatible ;) marriage. I think patti’s methods totally work, though, I do believe she can be super harsh.


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