As FOX’s Labor of Love continues, TV viewers are getting to know more about Keith Reams, but there’s still more to learn about him, too.
The Los Angeles native is one of the remaining contestants still eligible to win former The Bachelor contestant Kristy Katzmann’s heart. And while the first episode painted him as being intense, Keith explained that there are many more facets of his personality that the show just hasn’t gotten around to revealing yet. Get to know more about him in our interview before the next Labor of Love episode airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. on FOX.
And if you’re a fan of the show, don’t forget to check out my interview with Keith’s fellow contestant Walker Posey.
Brittany Frederick: Putting your life, particularly your search for a partner, on TV is a big decision. What motivated you to say yes to Labor of Love?
Keith Reams: The biggest thing when it initially came to me was this is an actual dating show. And yes, it’s an opportunity, but am I dating? Am I looking for love? Do I want to pursue love? Do I want to pursue this kind of opportunity? And the answer was absolutely, yes. I’ve been dating with a certain intent for some time now, and this fit in genuinely with that intention to find a life partner and just start a family.
And then it’s not every day you get a call from big-time producers to be on television and to just have an opportunity to do something like this. So it was kind of like, this is a once in a lifetime thing. What’s going to happen is what’s happened and maybe the idea of finding love on TV is a little bit farfetched. That’s the way I felt about it, but I didn’t see any good reasons for me not to step up to the plate.
BF: So once you made the decision to participate in the show, what was your mindset going into it? Did you prepare or can you prepare for something like this?
KR: I didn’t prepare at all…My biggest thing was I wanted to go and see if I could be as genuine a version of myself as possible. If I could go on TV and express who I am and how I am, and actually date in a genuine fashion with 24/7 mics and cameras. That was my number one personal challenge going into it. There was no preparation for that. It was more like, okay, are you prepared to be you? And that was the guiding light to my entire experience from the moment I got asked to do it until the end.
BF: You made a comment in the Labor of Love premiere about being an emotional guy. Certainly dating is an emotional experience, so how was just going through the filming process and dealing with those ups and downs?
KR: To be honest with you, they showed very little of me in that episode and what they did show was me like tossing a tumbler and me breaking through a door and me saying that I’m an intense guy. If we’re talking about an extra-large pizza, that’s a pretty small sliver slice of who I am as a person. That’s probably going to be how I’m portrayed on the show. People who know me, know me as a bunch of different things.
I’m a person who doesn’t take the bullshit. I’m a person who, when he sees injustice, when he sees nonsense happening, I’ll call it out every single time. Whether it’s on my behalf or whether it’s on someone else’s behalf. And there were many times during this experience on the show where I was very much speaking and advocating on behalf of other people. I doubt that’s going to get shown.
The process of finding love is very emotional, but honestly, what I found is that as I’ve gotten older and dating, it’s really more about being practical with my dating choices. A wife is a practical decision. Of course, it’s an emotional decision, but I don’t date with fireworks like that. I just don’t. The fireworks came out of me due to the heat of competition…The fiery side [of me] is a slice and we’ll see what other slices are on the menu in the show.
BF: So are there other aspects of Keith Reams that you want Labor of Love fans to know about?
KR: There are a million things or infinite things. I made an analogy about the show, the guys in the house were the vehicle and the destination was Kristy. I named each all 15 men as a different part of the car…I named myself as the steering wheel, because there was a lot of me directing the conversation toward a direction that, to me, was for Kristy or was looking out for the entire operation. And what I am is a person who likes to seek the truth and cut the bullshit and not be political.
[Labor of Love] taught me how a reality TV show gets edited, and [a show] that’s about dating, you’re going to have a lot of bullshit. It’s just how people are, myself included. But what I really was in the house was a steerer of the conversation in a direction that actually had a positive purpose for Kristy’s potential match and for the conversation in general. Mybe I’ll be known as the firecracker or the hothead; really what I was, was the advocate and the steering wheel and the nonsense-caller.
I think the most difficult thing is just the idea that each episode is like 40, 45 minutes, and in that they encapsulate hours and hours of what went on. I encourage people to interact with the actual people that were in the show, from Kristy on down to all 15 of us men. If you like the show, if you’re interested, there is an ocean more of information and context available in the specific feeds of all of us. If you’re interested, come talk to us, come ask questions, come get more.
BF: Walker had mentioned in our interview that the cast got along very well. Did you also find that to be true? Did you learn anything from your fellow bachelors?
KR: One thousand percent. This is a really diverse group of people, and guys were nothing like me. Some of them [were] guys that I probably wouldn’t come across in my normal life. I don’t know anybody like Walker, but what I see in him is a level of command in what he’s about. He has a certain charm. He has a certain salesmanship that I thought was really interesting, that I felt like I could learn from.
What I learned from Stuart is a sense of having a command and mastery over the moment. He’s a guy who has his shit together, in terms of understanding what’s going on at the moment and how to direct a situation in his favor. He’s really good at that.
I consider Gary the engine of the show. He’s very genuine and pure in heart and soul type of energy. And he’s just super honest and transparent. And when you see people like that, just doing their thing and living their lives, it’s inspired. I think Jason is the same way. I called Jason as the windshield. He’s the most transparent guy of all. Super-honest and really, there’s no bullshit with Jason.
Every conversation was a learning experience, and that was as important or more important to me than any aspect of the experience.
Labor of Love airs Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.
Article content is (c)2020 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr.