Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Millionaire Matchmaker Takes Manhattan

Photo by: Myles Aronowitz/Bravo

If you’re single and in search of a nice, filthy rich soul mate then Patti Stanger is your girl. The star of The Millionaire Matchmaker, was hooking rich guys up with hot L.A. babes long before her TV series debuted in 2007.  And her success rate is pretty darn good.

But be warned. Stanger is not a soft and coddling love guru. She’s all about the tough love and doesn’t shy away from a little constructive criticism about her client’s personal or emotional makeover needs.

This season the show is going on the road to match up Manhattan millionaires. In a recent conference call Patti talked about the difference between the East and West coast dating pools, her success rate, and her own personal life.

The fourth season of The Millionaire Matchmaker starts tonight at 10:00 PM PST/9:00 PM Central on Bravo.

Q: There’s been some big changes in your life since we last saw you on the show third season. How is that reflected in the new season?

PATTI: It’s not. Because the changes didn’t happen when the season was - you know I was still dating Andy at the time. If you’re talking about my breakup it won’t be reflected. The only thing that’ll be reflected which is really weird is my best friend is pretty much the top astrologer in the world, Terry Nazon at terrynazon.com and she’s a life and style astrologer. She predicted last season I’d break up. At the end of this season she predicted I break up which I was like poo-pooing her and it was during the Judith Reagan dinner that I have for Judith Reagan that you’ll see on the show.

I’m writing a cookbook called Man Catch Your Meals. And I made this big dinner with Jill Zarin and Slate from the Housewives of Orange County and Judith Reagan. And she makes this announcement that I’m going to break up. And I was not broken up then. I was not broken up then. So she saw it coming so.

Q: How do you feel about this kind of attention and do you think being in or out of a relationship has anything to do with being a successful matchmaker?

PATTI: Well, I think it sucks being in the public eye as I saw today with Courtney Cox and Christina Aguilera. And Venus is in retrograde so lots of people are going to be breaking up for the next two months. You’re in a fishbowl. Although I’m not A-List I don’t walk the red carpet every week. And I only do it when I work or for a friend like Jenny McCarthy. I just wrote a chapter in her book.

So I do it for friends. So I’m not this go out seven times a week girl. And in that case I’m more of a homebody. And it’s really hard to date in my own little turf because I don’t date my clients because that could become a sexual harassment lawsuit. Okay, at the same time I can’t go on match.com like I used to in the old days and find a nice guy.

So I’m in a quandary. I need help right now to be fixed up, too. So it is pretty rough right now even though I’m dating sporadically, a lot of ex-boyfriends are coming back… I start to look better to them because I’m a famous person.

But I’m still trying to find the right guy to be honest with you. And it’s harder I think more when a woman has money than when she has fame.

Q: You just mentioned Courtney Cox and Christina Aguilera. How do you think they can bounce back from divorce?

PATTI: Well, Courtney I never felt was a match. I mean a Virgo and a Gemini is pretty much a rare commodity. They always hit the wall at certain points. I kind of got the impression she had a crush on Brian [Van Holt, her Cougar Town co-star].

So I think she’s bouncing back but we just don’t know it yet and we’ll start seeing them around Venice Beach.

But as far as Christina goes, really weird, how many times did she say that he was the love of her life even though he wasn’t very attractive, right? She could do better physically. So maybe she’s doing this to launch [her upcoming film] Burlesque. I don’t know. I don’t feel that’s clean. I don’t feel that one’s clean. I feel Courtney’s has been coming and Jennifer wants a playmate.

Q: Why did the show decide to make the move to New York?

PATTI: I had been begging for three years to do other cities. And we’re probably going to do Miami next.

So I said you can’t type cast the L.A. Millionaire as the same type in the rest of the country because every city has a different type of millionaire.

And they wouldn’t spend the money. And then eventually I was in negotiations for another show that was going to take place in New York and we just swapped it out for MM in New York. So I think it was a long time coming.

And then Bravo is there, that’s their headquarters at NBC Rock. So I think that they wanted that.

And you have to remember there are five women to every one guy in New York. It’s completely different than any other city in the United States. So we needed to show the millionairess in a light that was true to her form because nobody was getting that concept in L.A. Whenever we had a millionairess it really didn’t work in L.A. It worked better, way better in New York.

Q: And what is it that makes New York millionaires different from L.A. millionaires?

PATTI: Millionaire and millionairess' are different because not only do they expect you to go to Harvard, look halfway decent, put on a Brooks Brothers suit if it’s a man, they expect you to cure cancer. They’re kind of snobs in the education and pedigree department where in L.A. all they give a crap about is… what does she look like, how big are her boobs. They’re very shallow in L.A.

New York is tough though. I don’t know if I could live up to their standard of education and IQ even though I went to good schools. Did anybody see Social Network? In the beginning scene she’s getting pissed off at Mark Zuckerberg and she says to him, “I’ve had enough. I’m going home. I have to study.”

And he says, “Well you don’t study. You go to BU.” That’s the way it was in New York. Where did you go to school? What have you accomplished? They’ll take less looks for more pedigree and education.

Q: We went to BU so that line stuck out to us.

PATTI: And I went to Miami so right on to us, right?

Q: Yeah.

PATTI: Look at where we’re at, right? Those Harvard people don’t even have jobs. I fired five of them in the ten years I’ve opened my company. They can’t get around the block.

Q: You talk about having a high matchmaking success rate—could you give us a percentage?

PATTI: Okay, well I don’t give statistics out because an old rabbi once told me once you start throwing that out at people, that’s considered bragging and God will take your gift away. So I’ve really been superstitious about this. But I have a 99% success rate in my business.

Now the show, I don’t have that kind of success rate because I don’t cast the show. Those are not my clients, okay. So when I meet them, I’m meeting them for the first time like you. And in 24 hours I have to fix the guy and the girl up. And like in the case of Heidi and Bill, Season 2, they had sex on the first date.

Now what you didn’t see on the editing room floor is I scream my head off. But because Bravo has the fluff concept, we’re not really considered housewives in a catfight. So they have their road that they’re on to get you X to A to Y to Z. Had you seen the editing room floor, that’s the best stuff that lands on the floor by the way, you would have known that Bill and Heidi went out for two years. Yeah, after the show. So and I’m the one that brought her to him because she was an ageist.

So that gives you an example. Will we see a marriage? We were close on Season 1… But I don’t know. I would really need to be more involved in the casting process to see a marriage because I have to do it from the inception matchmaking.

Q: Are there was any gay match-ups this season?

PATTI: Yes, actually there are two. And one of them is the worst. I mean there’s a moment I have where the guy who’s gay is Dr. Siegel’s Cookie Diet’s son who runs the company. He is a homophobe and he’s gay.

I don’t know if you can believe that but you’ve got to watch the episode. And I take him down. I take him down GLAAD-style. Let’s put it this way. He mocks his date, who I happen to think is adorable. And I go crazy on him. I mean I was so angry.

I’m against Proposition 8. I’m for gay marriage. I’m wearing, probably, my bracelet on Wendy Williams... I’m just so angry at the back and forth, the passive aggressiveness. And the government should not be involved in the process.

I actually registered myself as a Reverend, a non-denominational Order of Unity Church about 20 years ago and I’m thinking about paying my dues again so I can marry people off.

Q: Did you do the Adam Bouska thing yet?

PATTI: Yes. I did No Hate. I already did No Hate. Well we did it on the show. We did it on Season 3. Yeah. You look back in the archives and you’ll look at it. It’s maybe in bravotv.com. We did it on Season 3, yeah.

Q: Caroline Manzo’s sons [from The Real Housewives of New Jersey] appear in your show this season. Could you talk about how it was working with them?

PATTI: Yeah. Caroline is like one of my buds, so is Deena. And we’re all from Jersey so I was really excited to go back to my hometown. I went to Short Hills so for those who know New York, the mall. Wa wa wa.

And we headed onto Franklin Lakes. And we shot the episode of the Brownstone. And it’s a different kind of twist so you’ve got to tune into Episode 2 to see it because I’m not giving away the whole enchilada but Chris and Albie have to be the most adorable two kids on the planet… I wouldn’t want to let them out of my house and send them on their merry way.

And Chris is not what you think he is and neither is Albie. They’re completely different than what their show shows them. We show the real true inner side of them.

Q: And how do you date differently when you have kids?

PATTI: Well, dating differently with kids there’s always the one rule. You don’t bring them home to your children unless you’re in an exclusive monogamous relationship. And that should be… a little bit longer than regular relationships… anywhere from three to five months. Because if you start putting in the new guy… every five months, the kids start to think that mommy has a revolving door and that she has no stability. And… eventually those children will grow up doing the same thing. So what you set is precedent.

And the other thing is don’t have them pick you up at your home until you know you’re safe. And this is someone you want to see on a regular basis.

Most people were parents without partners like women especially. They meet them at the restaurant as opposed to having the guy pick them up. Now that’s okay even though that seems non-chivalrous. You’re protecting your children first.

Q: And what’s your advice for them to do differently in their next relationship?

PATTI: Well, I mean it would depend. You know it’s not a “one-size-fits-all” relationships. It would depend on what they’re doing. People grow and evolve over time. Marriages collapse 25 years and poof it’s done. It’s over. So there’s nothing wrong with it. I don’t understand why everybody thinks you get married. You get divorced. You’re a failure. You’re not a failure. You’re a different person now. At least you can commit.

As the conference call wrapped up, Patti wanted to give us all a couple of updates.

PATTI: A couple things on the show that you need to remind yourself is that we have Judith Reagan who’s the ultimate millionairess. I think you can’t get a bigger millionairess than that.

Freddie Mitchell, the wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles who lost his contract two years ago because his girlfriend who is aka gold digger girlfriend left him the minute he lost his money. But she didn’t know that he had a lot of Internet investments. Never underestimate the athlete’s money.

And then you’re also going to see our first, I want to call her the plumpty dumpty. She’s like a big and beautiful girl, and who does she go for, the chubby chaser or the hot guy? You’ll see that on the final episode.

Couple things happening in my life. Yes, I’m dating. I’m willing to pay for anyone to fix me up. Hello? Hello? Hello?

But the other thing is that I am also releasing a DVD in January called How to Get Married in One Year and it’s through Lionsgate. You won’t see it on the show but you’ll see it in January.

My book is majorly highlighted through the season. We actually give the tip of the week. This is Andy Cohen’s suggestion. You’ll see a little mini seminar on every episode so stay tuned for your tip of the week. And it’s based on my book, Become Your Own Matchmaker.

And then I’m losing weight daily on Sensa and I’m down to 4 going down to size 2. I’m going for a Shape cover so we’ll see if I can get that.

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