Between the pressure of fame, scrutiny from the media, and the constant temptation of infidelity, celebrity couples might have it harder than most. Enter: Couples Therapy. Like Celebrity Rehab before it, VH1's newest reality show successfully capitalizes on the struggles of celebrities* — but rather than battling drug addiction, these patients are battling their significant others.
Cast members include rapper DMX and his ex-wife Tashera Simmons, Linda Hogan (Hogan Knows Best) and boyfriend Charlie Hill, Angelina Pivarnick (Jersey Shore) and boyfriend Chris Nirschel (The Next Food Network Star), Bachelor Pad contestants Kasey Kahl and Vienna Girardi and The A-List New York's Reichen Lehmkuhl and Rodiney Santiago.
VH1 Benches Celebrity Rehab and Sober House
The show, which premieres Wednesday (9/8c on VH1), enlists the help of psychotherapist and relationship expert Dr. Jenn Berman, who coaches the couples through intensive relationship therapy for 21 days. At the end of the program, the individuals will either continue life as a couple or go their separate ways.
Below, Berman gives us the inside scoop on who was the most intimidating, which couple was the hardest to work with, and the moment she considers the season's greatest emotional breakthrough.
1. Berman had no idea who most of the couples were. "I had not heard of many of them. I hadn't seen any of their shows, or seen them on what they're known for, or their music or anything. I've never seen Jersey Shore, I didn't see those seasons of The Bachelor. I don't listen to a lot of rap music."
2. ...and she preferred it that way. "In a certain way I think that was really good. It was nice that I didn't have any preconceived notions about them."
3. DMX was the most intimidating cast member in the group. "I was really nervous about meeting DMX because all I knew was that he was a rapper and he was arrested a lot of times. I was worried about how open he would be to the therapy process and how open he would be to me."
4. ...but he surprised her the most. "From the moment he walked into the room, I just knew that I could help him and I was really excited to work with him. You'll see the evolution. He resisted me a lot in the beginning, but he really came around. At the end of our work together, he said to me 'no one has ever fought me so hard to help me.'"
5. Despite their 29-year age difference, Linda Hogan and Charlie Hill's relationship isn't that weird. "While I hadn't seen her reality show, I absolutely came in with a bias about their age difference. And it was amazing to me when I saw they have a really incredible relationship. It made me rethink a lot of my biases."
6. Angelina and Christopher were the most difficult to work with. "Angelina and Christopher were particularly challenging because they are both very intense, very volatile, very strong opinions. And they're not used to people telling them what to do."
7. Not everyone actually wanted to be in couples therapy. "I think that there were a lot of people that were initially motivated by a paycheck or by camera time, but once they got into the facility and saw what was going on, and got to know me and trust me, they really opened up."
8. Berman's most emotional memory of the show involved The Bachelorette's Kasey. "He had a huge breakthrough with me and this one childhood experience that completely changed the way he saw himself and the way he behaved in his relationships and everything about him. It was so emotional for him, and it was emotional for me. I even teared up and got quite emotional in the session with him, which I don't usually do. It was incredibly intense."
9. The biggest challenge celebrity couples face? The media. "It's a challenge in terms of living in a fishbowl and having people observe you in your relationship. Also, there's the trust factor: Are you going to sell the story to TMZ? Is something I said to you in an intimate moment going to be revealed on twitter to your thousands of followers? That adds a whole other element into the mix."
Couples Therapy premieres Wednesday, March 21 at 9/8c on VH1.
*Please note this is a very loose interpretation of "celebrity"