Strange Love (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Strange Love is a reality series featuring Brigitte Nielsen and Flavor Flav that aired on VH1. Sparked by their on-screen romance in the third season of VH1's The Surreal Life, it is a spin-off that focused solely on Brigitte and Flav. The series premièred on January 9, 2005 and ended its run on April 24, 2005.
Due to mutual jealousy, the couple was constantly fighting and yelling, and they went their separate ways in the end, with Nielsen choosing instead to live with her Italian boyfriend, Mattia Dessi.
Flavor Flav would go on to have his own reality show, Flavor of Love, where he continued to search for love.
"The Flavor of Love"
First aired: January 9, 2005 (1.8M viewers)
"See how the "strange love" began, with this encore presentation of the one-hour season premiere."
"The Smack is Back"
First aired: January 16, 2005
"Flav and Brigitte receive an invite to a Gala at lake Como. Flav bends over backwards to become "proper" for the occasion, but he's only willing to go so far (he reluctantly takes an etiquette lesson and he buys a tailored suit, but a pimp suit). Mattia falls out of favor with Brig when he sends her clothes in a paper bag. Flav encourages the end of their relationship. Brigitte admits that when Mattia is bad, he has to sleep in the closet. Flavor says that he would never be like Mattia. They go clubbing, Flav raps. Brigitte kisses another guy AND another girl. Flav kisses another girl. Brigitte slaps him and he slaps her right back. Brigitte realizes she's with a real man ... and likes it."
"Balls Well That Ends Well"
First aired: January 23, 2005
"They travel to Lake Como with Brigitte's manager, Luigi, and his wife. They have an awkward lunch, and a clumsy ballroom dance lesson. Flav's pimp suit is finally revealed as they go to the Gala. Immediately Flav and Brigitte are not accepted by the horrified snobs. Brigitte realizes her friends are a bunch of pretentious jerks. She apologizes to Flav for the way he was judged. They make love for the first time since their reunion."
"The Wine, The Romance, and The Truth"
First aired: January 30, 2005
"The lovebirds wake up in Como. Brigitte is feeling guilty about her tryst the previous night. Flav feels her unease and coaxes her to take a bubble bath. Flav tries to be romantic, but blows it when he kicks over a glass of wine then goes ballistic on the chambermaid when she tries to clean up after him. They tour a vineyard and stomp grapes, and take a ferry to Bellagio where they go to dinner. They have a long conversation in which they open their hearts. Brigitte agrees to go to New York because she needs to see if she and Flav really still have something."
"Flav's Fried Chicken"
First aired: February 13, 2005
"It's the final push for New York. After cooking a "bonding dinner" for her kids, Flav lets Brigitte go home to face her fiancé" and stresses that she might not come back. She surprises him and us by showing up with her bags packed. The couple departs for the Big Apple."
"Public Enemy Number 1"
First aired: February 20, 2005
"In preparation for his upcoming Public Enemy show, Flav takes Brigitte shopping to "pimp out" his girl. Now in NYC, Brigitte finds that Flav's attentions are scattered and they have a fight about him making phone calls during lunch. That night, they go to the Russell Simons PE show. Brigitte makes a fool of herself and Flav destroys his dressing room. They fight and sleep apart. NY might not be all Brigitte thought it would be."
First aired: March 6, 2005
"Flav takes Brigitte to the Bronx and she's warmly accepted by Beverly Johnson (his ex) and her family. They get her fitted for gold teeth and an adoring mob forms outside the jewelry/teeth store. They have dinner with Luigi and talk about their relationship, and Brigitte still has concerns. Flav straightens things out with Public Enemy and takes Brigitte to the next PE concert that night, giving her silver and gold with rubys teeth as a token of his love. She comes onstage and flashes the crowd a silver smile. The fans go wild."
"The Family That Flav's Together, Stays Together"
First aired: March 27, 2005
"Flav takes Brigitte to church in his hometown of Freeport. They are enjoying the service until Flav's daughters show up wearing deadbeat dad t-shirts. A big ugly fight on the church steps ensues. The family has a barbecue at Flav's mother's house afterwards. Brigitte meets the family and is overwhelmed. Flav's angry daughters and their mother glare from across the street. Brigitte meets Flav's baby mama and gives her their phone numbers. Flav freaks out. Brigitte is at a loss; she is not sure how to deal with Flav and his baggage. Back at the hotel, Flav tells her they need to get out of New York. He has too much baggage here. He asks her to go to Vegas and she agrees."
"Flav Can't Lose"
First aired: April 3, 2005
"Vegas. Brig & Flav arrive at the Hard Rock and discover a suite full of gifts. They go gambling and to a strip club, but they bicker over each other flirting with other people. Brigitte gives a guy chips. Flavor gets a lap dance. The next morning, they have breakfast in the room and then a couple's massage. They have a conversation about their relationship where Flav tells her that Mattia is only after her for her money. At dinner, Flav tells Brigitte to move to Vegas. He wants to have a child with her. They go gambling; Flav snaps at Brigitte (he doesn't like to be touched while gambling) and she goes to bed alone. He stays up and loses all his money."
"You May Now Flav the Bride"
First aired: April 10, 2005
"Brigitte receives her ticket home. She's leaving tomorrow. Her impending departure brings out the desperate side of Flav. He tells Brigitte that if she moves to America he will help her raise her kids. He tells her not to marry Mattia. If she has to go home, he wants her to at least stay single so they have a chance together. It's hard to tell where Brigitte's heart lies. She loves her Flav, but this whole experience has left her emotionally exhausted. She's confused about what to do ... and that's BEFORE they get to the wedding chapel."
First aired: April 24, 2005
"This special episode of Strange Love reunites Flavor Flav and Brigitte Nielsen for a weekend press tour in New York City. Since their last meeting, in Los Angeles at the VH1 Big In '04 awards, Brigitte and Flav have not been on speaking terms. The first night in New York, their relationship devolves into a bitter argument that leaves Brigitte alone in the hotel suite and Flav storming off into the night. The next day they have to do a radio tour and several TV appearances together. They are also given the opportunity to watch the first cut of the final episode of Strange Love. Will seeing their old romance on the big screen bring back old feelings for the two lovers or is their love truly too strange to last?"
North Carolina's Reverend Paul Scott labeled Flav's performance "a coon act on a modern-day minstrel show."
Flav's friend and fellow Public Enemy member Chuck D accused VH1 of "Flavsploitation" in a journal entry regarding the March 27 episode which showed a tense conflict between Flav, three of his children and their mother.
"Peeps will let the Bridgette thing perhaps slide, but not the wild statements and what seems like a disrespect conflict on camera with his children and their mother. Last week, it was that same part of his family who went on Wendy Williams' program and launched the worst on-air diatribe ever directed at a father by his children."
Flav responded by saying,
"I want Strange Love to be a mirror for them. I want them to see themselves, because they did disrespect me also. But that's their mother. When children grow up without both parents, there's an imbalance " and what you see on the show with my kids is an imbalance"But I love my kids."
A petition was set up in conjunction with Chuck D's criticisms in hopes of convincing VH1 to pull the show off the air, yet VH1 continued to broadcast the program for its entire run.
Impact on VH-1
Flavor Flav's failed romance with Brigitte on Strange Love has directly and indirectly influenced over a dozen other VH1 Reality shows, including Flavor of Love, I Love New York, New York Goes to Hollywood, New York Goes to Work, Rock of Love, Charm School, and I Love Money.