Tribble Reese, the handsome and friendly runner-up on CMT’s Sweet Home Alabama, is looking for another chance at love. As the star of the second season of the popular dating show, Reese will choose among 11 city women and 11 country women trying to catch his eye.
Before filming got underway in Alabama, the likable bachelor dropped by CMT’s offices in Nashville to talk about the persistent cameras, the approach he’ll take to eliminations and the biggest lesson he’s learned.
CMT: Why did you decide to do the new season of Sweet Home Alabama?
Reese: Well, to tell you the truth, from what happened in the first season with Devin, I obviously felt a little broken-hearted, but unsatisfied. I had this great experience and in the end, it really wasn’t in my control. I was susceptible to the whole situation. So having the chance to do it all over again and experience it with 11 different city girls and 11 different country girls — it’s a whole other opportunity to really find that connection and meet my soul mate in that sense.
Can you describe having cameras follow you around on dates? Is that surreal?
I’d say it’s awkward for the first few days because it’s getting used to it. It’s something that you’ve just got to realize is going to be there. You have to be yourself. I think that I’ll obviously have more knowledge than these girls will, because I’ve been through a whole season of it. So I’ll definitely do my due justice of making them feel comfortable because I know they’ll be a little more nervous with the camera there. I’m pretty good at that — making connections, making people feel comfortable where they’re at, so I’ll make them feel comfortable. I think that after the first couple of days everybody really gets used to it and knows that it’s going to be a part of the process and it is what it is.
Have you mostly dated country girls or city girls in the past?
I haven’t really had a style. I’ve dated these free-spirit girls. I’ve dated nice Southern belles. And I’ve dated city businesswomen. So I haven’t had one exact style. I’ve been across the board. And that’s why I’m really excited to get down there and see because everyone’s going to get a fair shot. I’m not going to judge anybody from the onset about anything — what they look like, what they’re wearing, anything like that. So I’m excited for the whole opportunity.
What qualities do you usually look for in a woman?
Someone that’s genuine and trusting. I think that’s really important. I’ve been burned in the past where trust was not the foundation. It’s tough because you start to build a connection with somebody. And if trust isn’t there, you have this emotional connection where you can’t let it go. At the same time, your head’s telling you something’s not right. So I think what I learned from that is trust is going to have to be the bottom line, most important thing for any serious relationship I get into from now on.
Devin had some emotional eliminations on the first season. Do you think it’s going to be difficult for you eliminating the women?
Getting eliminated at the end by Devin, I felt like an emotional basket case. I feel like I’m a man’s man and I don’t really like to show my emotions, but I couldn’t really hold back then. I think that I’ll make similar connections with girls down there, being around them, being on dates and really getting to know them. I will have these emotional ties to these girls, so I think it will get emotional. I’m not going to hold back anything. I’m going to put it all out there because I want them to know that I care. Even if they’re getting eliminated, I want them to see that there was something there and it just couldn’t happen.
Can you talk about what you learned from the city boys during the first season?
(Smiles) What did I learn from the city boys? How not to take over a Southern man’s grill for one! (laughs) I really learned, and this kind of ties into everything, that you really can’t judge a book by its cover. I know that’s an old adage and so cliché, but that first day when all the guys were walking in, they were all being loud and obnoxious, and we Southern guys were all taken aback and didn’t know what was going on. But I’d say some of the coolest guys that I didn’t think I’d get along with at all I still talk to today, like Pete and Cheekz. They dress outlandish and they have their own style, which is fine, but I think that I’ve really seen who they were as people.
What do you think you learned about yourself during this whole process?
I’ll tell you one thing I did learn is that I need time to myself in these whole things. I think that’s very important. Whether you call it prayer, whether you call it your quiet time, I need it. And that really came to the forefront down there because it’s intense in the house. You have all these emotions running. You don’t know what’s going on. A lot of stuff is kept secret. All these different personalities …
So every morning I would wake up and I’d go out to the beach and I’d have an hour of time to myself. That really helped me out, whether I’d go in my head back home and do stuff or go throw the football, all in my head. If I could just visualize that and get away, I’d feel much more refreshed for the day and I’d have a better outlook on everything.