TV One’s Next :15 is a new hit show following the lives of former reality stars and what truly happens after the cameras stop rolling. Already interviewed last year, the gorgeous TV Host & Model Karamo Brown is back with Radio Personality and Actress Claudia Jordan for a punchy joint interview with Examiner Leny Navarro.
Examiner Leny Navarro: Guys, how were you introduced to the project, and what first got you interested?
Claudia Jordan: Producer Carlos King told me “if you don’t go back to Real Housewives of Atlanta, something else will come up I promise.” And I believe the rest is history!
Karamo Brown: Carlos King is also a good friend of mine. He has been following my career steps and offered to take me to the next level, which he has done with The Next :15.
LN: What can we expect from both of you on the show and how is it different from your previous experiences?
CJ: I get the chance to showcase more of my talents, a wiser side of me. However, you will see that my patience has improved but I still don’t have time for stupidity, ignorance or jealousy. On a positive note, I felt more prepared to deal with reality television this time around. With Real Housewives of Atlanta, I was just thrown into it, but now I have gained confidence with The Next :15.
KB I was only 23 when I appeared on MTV’s Real World. With time comes maturity, I am a 35 year old Entrepreneur and a father so you will get to see my growth. Honestly, I am not the one for games and business remains my priority. On a funny note, Claudia and I can get really shady together!
LN: I love the chemistry you two have. On a serious note, do you think that The Next :15 will truly give a new edge in reality television?
CJ: Absolutely, you have reality stars of several shows coming together. It is almost like an All-Stars TV show. It offers a second chance for some, as it brings a stagnant career back to life.
KB: Definitely as you get to see what truly happens behind the scenes. You are witnessing the real phases of a show being made, and that has never been seen before.
LN: Do you ever watch other shows? What are your favorite ones?
CJ: I look at Love and Hip-hop, I love how certain situations can derail, a bit of a train wreck! I still watch Housewives and one of my favorite shows to watch is ‘My 600 lb Life’ on TLC.
KB: Like claudia, I love the Love & Hip Hop franchise and the Housewives franchise. Plus, I adore the reality shows on TVOne.
LN: Who have been your influences in the industry?
CJ: I’ve always been a fan of Jayne Kennedy Overton as I respect how she paved the way by kicking down doors for those who came after. I’m also very found of Oprah and Angela Bassett.
KB: My main influences have been RuPaul, Television Personality Montel Williams, Dr. Drew and the men that stand beside me like Jussie Smollett, Lloyd Boston.
LN: Karamo, with your production skills, would you ever consider producing a similar format?
KB: Yes Leny, I have just sold my first network show, which you will be hearing about soon and I am in the process of selling non-scripted reality shows. So stay tuned, let’s talk about it in our third interview!
LN: Claudia, what is your most memorable experience working in television?
CJ: I would have to say standing onstage cohosting the Miss Universe pageant knowing that it was viewed by over half a billion viewers. It was close to my heart as I started my career in pageantry, so I feel like I’ve come full circle.
LN: I wonder what question have you always wanted to ask each other?
Claudia to Karamo: Were you scared to come out as the first gay African-American star on reality television?
Karamo: I wasn’t scared but I wanted to make sure I did it the right way. I put a lot of stress on myself. With being the first openly gay African American to be cast on reality tv, you have to make sure you don’t embarrass yourself and your community. I still pray every single day that I am making them proud.
Karamo to Claudia: what’s your biggest fear?
Claudia: I would say failure as I am always so scared to fail.
Karamo to Claudia: Do you ever feel like you will have children?
Claudia: To become a mom now would be great, but I just feel that it will happen when it’s supposed to.
LN: Finally, tell us one thing readers will be surprised to learn about you?
CJ: People think that I mean or bitchy, and it was heavy on mind as the people I know always tell me that I’m too nice , so I don’t know if I have a ‘resting b&%#@ face’ but I just consider myself to be a person who fights for what’s right. I guess this can come across as mean but I am far from it.
KB: I am ready to get married and have more kids. My career is taking off and things are going great on the professional level. I want to take that next step whenever the time is right.
Catch an all-new episode of The Next :15 here.