The reality star talks dating double standards, social media auditing, and 'healing in the hot seat'
Patti Stanger is known for two things: her brutal honesty and her elite matchmaking business. The latter has resulted in two hit reality series, Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker, which ended after an impressive eight-season run, and WE tv’s Million Dollar Matchmaker.
EW caught up with Stanger, and she dished on the biggest change we’ll see this season, the double standards women still face in the dating world, and the origin of her most memorable isms.
Season 2 of Million Dollar Matchmaker premieres Aug. 4 on WE tv at 10 p.m. ET.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How is season 2 going to differ from the first of this newest series?
PATTI STANGER: We still do the screaming at the millionaire, we still do a party — you know, like a mingle and all that stuff — but you’re gonna get a healing, which means a healing in the hot seat. We really break you of your bad dating habits and relationship problems. And so, it’s not about getting the guy and the girl in the end. It’s about like, let’s never create that scenario again. Some dark s—t comes out. Most things stem from childhood. When it came to Claudia Jordan, she had a serious problem that happened to her at 18, and Kelly [Bensimon] blames Bethenny [Frankel] for ruining her life. So we make decisions based on trauma that happens in our life, and then we create a road that we take in love that never, ever works. And we have to break them of that. Clean it out.
So it’s more therapeutic than last season.
It’s Intervention meets Matchmaker.
Are there any other new matchmaking methods or technology?
We do a love lesson, and it’s really me breaking everyone in the hot seat. It’s like, you sit in the hot seat, I’m Barbara Walters [and] Dr. Phil turned into one. And then I [use] my intuition, I’m psychically reading them. That’s my favorite part of the show. And then, you know, you get your party, we coach you into doing what we have to do. [Maxwell is] a new psychic this season. He gets into it with Candace, they have a little brother-sister spat. But overall it’s really a tight show. It has really good moments of highs and lows, and what happens in the end — who ends up with somebody, and who doesn’t listen, and who does listen — and then we have crazy millionaires that… that’s what made Matchmaker history. So these millionaires we find with anger management issues, and people that are just crazy, you know? Like really crazy.
Last season you introduced the hotel and sort of spying on people before they come and meet you. Is there any other technology this season?
We do The Luxe Hotel, which is a very exclusive hotel in Beverly Hills — up in the hills of Bel Air, actually — and we use iPads, and we use Roku on the screen, and we do sometimes spy on people, but that’s pretty much it. There’s no apps connection or anything like that, or social media. We do talk about social media, we do follow them on social media, and we do follow them and see what are they showing to the public, as far as their love life goes, and how they’re acting because that behavior has to change. A lot of people make a lot of mistakes on social media.
Is there any dating advice that you would never give again, or that you now look at differently?
Well, I think there’s a lot of ageism in America going on, and I feel bad for the women that are getting into their 50s and 60 and 70s. I mean, look at Christie Brinkley, and she says no one will ask her out ’cause of her age, and it’s like, Jesus Christ, I’ve seen 26-year-olds [who] don’t look as good as her. So the men are becoming pricks. They’re a–holes right now. It’s a man’s game. It’s horrible. Women have to go to Europe and other countries to find men who will treat them better. It’s some weird thing going on in the water. Men are not available — we have 20,000 more men than women in L.A. and you don’t see men anywhere. Women are calling me, like A-listers calling me, Academy Award-winning actresses, and saying, “Where the f–k are the men?” and we’re doing research on it right now. It’s a horrible, horrible thing. I mean, they’re not available.
Do you believe in soulmates?
I believe you have mates, who come into your life for a reason. But there’s more than one. I don’t believe the Beshert [Hebrew for “soulmate”] Jewish theory that “There’s only one.” Oh, my God, I’d be out of business, okay?
In the Millionaire Matchmaker opening sequence, you said you come from a family of matchmakers. Does your method differ at all from your family’s methods?
They didn’t take money. It wasn’t a business, it was more to get people married, because it was in the ’60s. You know, like, I’ll give you an example: I have a new product coming out called Pat Emoji, which just came out on the App Store. And it’s emojis, and the emojis are my sayings and my isms. And a lot of my isms [laughs] come from my grandmother, believe it or not. Even though they’re a little bit — they’re a little bit cleaner. I made ’em a little dirtier. “The penis does the picking” was mine. Because I believe that men have types, and they don’t — they can deviate [between] blonde hair and dark hair, but the innate qualities, the types are the same. So “the penis does the picking” was that.
What’s your favorite ism from your grandmother?
Okay, well this is a terrible ism, and I don’t use this — you’ve never heard me say this — she’ll say, [in a thick New York accent] “One hole is just like any other hole, Patti. Okay? Just be careful who gets into your hole.” In other words, when men stick it in, they don’t care who they’re stickin’ it into. That’s what the expression meant, so be careful before he sticks it in that he’s a real keeper and not a loser.
For successful, independent women like yourself, are there any qualities you advise similar women seek out and avoid when they’re looking for a match?
Men are intimidated by our success, our fame. I have a matchmaker that wanted to fix me up yesterday, and he was close to my age, and he was a good fit, everything was great, and then he said, “I don’t want anyone on TV,” because he thinks I’m the character on TV. And she said to him, “Listen, she’s not like that. She’s beta at home. She’s alpha at work.” You know, we have to do certain things to get ratings. We’re trained. It’s like we’re improvisation, and scripted gets the words, but we’re still actresses at the end of the f–kin’ day any way you look at it. So he said, well, he didn’t like the person he saw on camera. And she wrote me back and said, “It’s better if people did not follow your career.” I said, “So what’re you gonna do? Tell Julia Roberts and Angelina Jolie that it’d be better if men didn’t follow their careers?” Like, why am I being punished for being successful? And that’s the part I can’t get, because if a man was successful and he was a d–k like Mel Gibson, he would still get women at the end of the day.
It’s a double standard.
We get punished, and men get praised. That is unfair at the end of the day. We don’t know what to do about it. As you age, like Cher said, “It’s s–t.” Because you’re being judged by your age. You’re not a fine wine. We don’t revere age in this country. We toss them away.
So what projects do you have in the works right now?
Well, I have another [reality show] coming on August 24, with WE tv, called Love Blows, which I actually am in, and I executive-produce, and it’s about a family of matchmakers in Chicago. I’ll lead them that night. I’ll be the 9 o’clock, and they’ll be the 10 o’clock.