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Friday, January 30, 2009

'90s soap hunk and "Celebrity Circus" champ Antonio Sabato Jr. on his reality TV love search

Exclusive extras from my January 2009 Muscle & Body cover story interview with Antonio Sabato Jr., whose matchmaking VH1 reality show is set to premiere in late spring or early summer:

What can you tell us about your upcoming VH1 reality show?
It’s an opportunity for me to go out there and hopefully find the right person and really see what people are all about. You never know who you’re gonna meet in Hollywood. Sometimes you meet the wrong people who seem to change overnight and become someone completely different. I know it’s a TV show and a lot of people just want to be on camera, but I’m gonna use this (show) to be real on a real show, and make it something that might work for me rather than against me. It’s gonna test me and test these girls to see who they are. I’m gonna say,
“Look, I’m a real dude who wants an opportunity to find someone to be with and be in love with and be a better person with.”
I want to test the waters and find out if that can happen. Obviously, the possibilities are probably slim, but I’m gonna go along with it and have great fun. The scenery will be beautiful to look at—we’re going to Hawaii or Miami.

Does true love exist?
In my opinion, I think love does exist. I want to really psychologically get into the heads of these girls in the show. That will be a challenge.

When can we expect to see your reality show?
Filming was pushed to January. We’ll do 10 episodes and go from there. We’re looking to release it before the summer.

You said doing Celebrity Circus was a challenge both physically and mentally—and was like “holding up a mirror” to yourself.
It was a challenge. And the show was different. There was nothing like that on TV. It was a contest of endurance, physically and mentally. I thought it was cool the NBC was backing it up and putting a lot of money into it to make it classy and not trashy. It didn’t exploit any of the celebrities. They’d done something like that (Circus of the Stars) back in the Eighties, but it wasn’t a contest; it was more of a showcase. But this was a showcase on a weekly basis. I was attracted to it from the beginning.

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