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Steve Ward & JoAnn Ward dish out Tough Love Season 2 on VH1

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Before it was trendy to get a little help in the love department, JoAnn Ward  was hard at work matchmaking in Philadelphia. With over 20 years JoAnn Ward. Photo: singledad.comexperience in connecting single men and women, it was only natural for JoAnn’s company, Master Matchmakers to branch out into television. “We have a very successful business and we have people that contact us all the time because of word of mouth. So even the excitement through that is fun,” she tells Philly2Philly, “We knew that someday something would explode—we didn’t quite know it was going to be this—but we knew something was going to come out of our business.” And so far that something has been a hit reality TV show: Tough Love on VH1 and a brand new book: Crash Course In Love, two projects in which JoAnn shares the spotlight with her son Steve Ward, who also has a knack for matchmaking.

Steve Ward. Photo: http://4.bp.blogspot.com“My mom is solely responsible for the success of the show, this book and my life.” Steve shared before welcoming family, friends and fans who came out to watch the national premiere of the second season of Tough Love at Union Trust in Philadelphia on Sunday night. During our interview, Steve spoke about his role in his business and in his family, “I feel that I’m just sort of her torch that’s being passed on and I feel in many respects that it’s my responsibility to honor my family and do the right thing so that I can carry our name on to the next generation and hopefully start cementing the future for everyone around us that we love and care about.”

JoAnn credits Steve with implementing technological improvements for the company, a continual contribution she couldn’t be more happy about, “We just love what we do, we’re so passionate about what we do and Steve is really awesome at being a matchmaker, he really cares, he genuinely cares even though this is a reality TV show it’s like no other, it’s so real and so passionate because we care. It’s our business, it’s what we do.”

The mother-son duo promises even more excitement this season. “A lot of energy, a lot of drama, a lot of crying, a lot of emotions running through the room,” explains JoAnn, “However, the girls knew what they were coming into, but still we had to keep them on their toes and there was a lot of surprises that were different than last year. A lot of different test that we did that they weren’t expecting, so I just think people are going to be floored by it!”

Also, this season, Steve says the women are more relatable and the show tackles some key issues, “We extended the show by an additional three episodes to make room to target certain issues that we thought weren’t given enough attention in season one like ‘Daddy Issues’ for example we make a whole episode out of addressing the relationships with the father-figures in their life or for some the lack there of.”

Even when Steve and JoAnn aren’t dishing out Tough Love on TV, you can get a dose of their brutally honest, no-nonsense dating and relationship advice in their new book Crash Course In Love. According to JoAnn the pair literally sat down together to collaborate. “Every night we would go outside, take the time together just converse back and forth and try to put all the knowledge that we have to helping women and men with our expertise in dating the dos and don’ts and all that and we really enjoyed writing it together. It’s a pretty powerful book.”

Steve and JoAnn’s message has been so powerful that more than 20,000 women applied to be on the second season of the show. Unfortunately, Steve says they couldn’t take them all, “After we reduced it to just eight, we were really hopeful that the other women that applied to the show would get something meaningful from the book if they were to really pay attention to it and take it at face value and try to understand the principals that we’re preaching then I think everyone would be more successful in their love life.”

Despite building a successful business with her son, having a hit reality TV show and a new book, JoAnn continues to set her sights even higher, now aspiring to make a movie. “You know, Drew Barrymore  is one of the producers of the show and she did that movie He’s Just Not That Into You so it would be awesome! We have a couple other things coming up; we have another show coming out that’s in the works—can’t talk about it but we’re always kind of thinking and moving forward looking for the next opportunity and fun, you just got to have fun, this is so much fun and at the same time we’re helping women out which is really awesome.”

As for a man’s perspective, Steve mirrors his mother’s feelings and says he truly enjoys having a positive impact on others, “It’s extremely rewarding to me personally, I feel like that’s the only way people can truly memorialize themselves, I guess once I’m done my time here is over, I’d like to be remembered for doing good deeds and helping people along the way, so as long as I’m making a difference in a positive way, I’m very happy.”

Of course we couldn’t end without getting a little advice from the Matchmaker, so Steve shared some tips for locals. “I’m a Philadelphia original, I’m a Philadelphia native, I love Philadelphia, it’s my home it will always be my home. I think Philadelphia is one of the most amazing cities in the country and there’s something for everyone whether you’re looking for high society and culture or if you’re looking for getting down and dirty and a local watering hole. So I think if you’re really trying to meet new people and socialize and try to expand your social network a lot of the downtown restaurants are becoming far more sociable such as Union Trust, Del Frisco’s, G-Lounge I’m a big fan of, you know these are certain places that I feel like the staff and the scene is really Philadelphia-like and really fun and original.”

Whether you’re in need of some Tough Love, or just looking for some helpful hints, remember you can always tune in to get honest advice from JoAnn and Steve or pick up their book for a boost in your love life.