'Labor of Love' premiere recap: Kristy Katzmann ousts Tali Rephaely and Phillip Michael Jacques from her pool of hopeful dads
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/22/2020
Labor of Love premiered with the show's star, 41-year-old Kristy Katzmann, meeting her 15 hopeful dads and eliminating Tali Rephaely and Phillip Michael Jacques during Thursday night's episode on Fox.
Kristy sent Tali, a 46-year-old attorney from Miami, FL, and Phillip, a 38-year-old medical technician at a children's hospital from Los Angeles, CA, packing after she determined she couldn't envision a future and starting a family with them.
"The connection just wasn't there and you can't force that kind of thing. I still want to settle down and have a family. I am 46 years young, and I am ready to go!" Tali said in his final words.
Kristin planned "a southern soiree" for the men as they'd be arriving.
Viewers were then introduced to Marcus Lehman, a 39-year-old anesthesiologist from Cincinnati, OH who previously appeared on Survivor: Gabon, and Jason Christopher Smith, a 38-year-old flooring business owner from Charlotte, NC, who both said they'd love to have kids.
Matt Kaye, a 44-year-old former professional wrestler from West Hempstead, NY, said he lost his father, who was his best friend, and that's the type of father he'd like to be.
Alan Santini, a 39-year-old writer from South Africa, said he doesn't believe in the philosophy of having a woman complete him but he'd like to meet a woman who could go meet him "toe to toe."
Marcus joked about how Alan looked like a South African god and had the looks of Sylvester Stallone with a ripped body.
Trent Broach, a 36-year-old tennis instructor from Denver, CO, called himself "The Woman Whisperer" since he has three sisters, and he admitted he really wants to have a boy to carry on his family name.
Stewart Gill, a 40-year-old wealth management CEO from Los Angeles, CA, explained he worked extremely hard to provide for his family -- but he didn't have a family. Stewart said there's no point in making a lot of money if you have no one to share it with.
Angelo Castricone, a 39-year-old firefighter from Miami, FL, revealed he had grown up in a tough neighborhood but his father had always taught him to put family first. Angelo intended to carry those values into his marriage.
Phillip noted he loves working with kids more than anything in the world, and Tali insisted he couldn't wait to have children and had a 2020 resolution to make that happen this year.
Keith Reams, a 38-year-old gym owner from Los Angeles, CA, told the cameras he recently helped his friend co-parent for a year and it reinforced how much he wants kids of his own.
"I can be explosive, I can be hot sometimes. But I'm quick to every emotion. The women who like me like me because I'm intense," Keith said in a confessional.
Gary Malec, a 38-year-old baseball bat manufacturer from San Francisco, CA, started his business in his garage and was ready to master being a father after mastering many other things in his life.
Walker Posey, a 41-year-old funeral director from North Augusta, SC, said he's watched people die surrounded by friends and family but also people who have died alone.
"I 100 percent have a fear of dying alone. It's probably why I want to have a family," Walker noted.
Kyle Klinger, a 38-year-old director of sales and marketing from Austin, TX, is 6'8" and had served five years in the Air Force. He said the clock was ticking for him to start a family because he didn't want to be a much older first-time dad.
Mario Calderon, a 40-year-old optician from New York, NY, said his dream was to be married with two kids, and then the last person to arrive was Budge Collinson, a 44-year-old creative director from Edgewater, MD.
Budge explained he's a conservative man with morals and wants to find the love of his life. While most of the other men drank alcohol -- and drank heavily -- Budge just sat back and sipped on water.
The men then met the mother-to-be, and the guys thought she was beautiful.
"She walks down the steps very gracefully and has a huge beautiful smile, obviously amazing. And the whole time, I'm thinking to myself, 'Are you ready to make a lot of babies with me?" Tali joked in a confessional.
Stewart kicked off his game right off the bat by getting Kristy a glass of champagne, and Trent admitted he wished he had made the move first.
Kristy then mingled with her eligible suitors, and the guys made it known they were there for love and truly wanted children. Kristy quickly came to believe the love of her life and the future father of her children was at that soiree.
While the episode aired, the men's families occasionally chimed in to share a few words about the guys competing for Kristy's heart and how sincere they were.
Suddenly, waiters came outside and passed around specimen cups on trays, prompting Stewart to say, "This makes it real."
A mobile collection center arrived on wheels, and each man was asked to provide a semen sample.
"We're not messing around!" Kristy yelled out.
Kristy asked each man to discover whether he's actually capable of having a child. Alan acknowledged this was "a necessary step," but the event clearly freaked several of the guys out.
The fact all the men participated in this activity made Kristy think they were all on the show for the right reasons, but Kristy admitted if anyone didn't pass the test, it would be hard for her to move on with him.
Dr. Kaplan was then brought in from Chicago to reveal the test results. He shared how they had looked at the volume of sperm, the concentration -- meaning how much is there -- and the appearance of the sperm. Dr. Kaplan revealed men have a biological clock as well.
Gary told the cameras he was nervous because at age 38, he had never looked into this before.
Dr. Kaplan explained in the sperm counts, there was tremendous variation between the men, from an extreme of 300 million sperm all the way down to seven million sperm.
The men got to read their test results privately, and Gary revealed he had "173 million active swimmers." And Alan won the activity with 317 million active swimmers.
Alan received a trophy for winning.
"Maybe I'm a little jealous, but as a doctor, it takes a lot to have a kid, more than just your sperm count," Marcus said in a confessional.
That night, the men moved into the house, which was exactly next door to Kristy's house. The guys joked she was "the girl next door," and Kyle made an extra effort to yell "goodnight" to her through her window.
The men then started to party and play pool, and Kyle said Jason got drunk and was saying "some obnoxious things." Kyle asked if Jason was on the show "for the right reasons" and noted Kristy probably wouldn't like or appreciate the behavior he was seeing.
It appeared Jason even got sick and threw up by the end of the night.
The next day, Jason admitted to Stewart he didn't like not being in control of herself.
"Hell, I don't know, maybe I'm not comfortable with who I am. Coming from a small town, there is a lot of pressure for me. But I've got to be a good father and turn this thing around," Jason, a country boy, told the cameras.
Jason's mother said her son has always been "a little bit of heaven and a little bit of hell."
The men then got to enjoy a barbecue outside, and Alan was caught calling Kristy "Cindy." The guys all laughed at Alan and noted he needed to pay attention and focus.
The 25 hopeful dads started chanting Kristy's name so she would come over, and Kristy did just that and planned to use her time wisely to get to know each guy in particular.
Trent poured Kristy a glass of champagne and had hope he could be the first to "work [his] magic."
Trent shared with Kristy he was carefree but didn't want her to think he wasn't serious. Trent said he could envision Kristy being the mother of his children and he was really excited about her.
Stewart insisted to Kristy he was on the show for her and the possibility of having children. Kristy liked him a lot, saying he's a gentleman and would probably be a great dad too.
And then Marcus revealed to Kristy he had switched to working part-time in order to make time for his future children. Kristy said she felt the same exactly way, and she told the cameras Marcus was "totally cute" and a doctor.
"Big time crush happening right now, but I still have a lot of guys I need to talk to," Kristy said in a confessional.
Alan admitted to Kristy dating had been hard for her, and then Jason stole her away and gave her a bouquet of flowers. Kristy's father ran a flooring company with her brothers, so the pair connected over his profession.
"I'm feeling really conflicted because Jason was really drunk at the party, and he definitely didn't give off the best first impression, but the Jason I'm talking to tonight, I could see him being father material," Kristy explained.
Kristy then talked to Tali about why he hadn't tried to start a family yet given he's 46.
Kristy asked Tali what made him want to go on the show, but he kept turning the questions around on Kristy. Every time she asked him to open up about himself, he'd say something like, "I want to learn more about you."
Kristy acknowledged Tali had been "deflecting" her questions.
"He's one of those guys you can't get a straight answer out of," Kristy said in a confessional.
"I can't tell if he's just disinterested or if he's hiding something, and neither of those scenarios are okay with me... I don't have time to figure out who Tali is if he won't let me in."
Since Kristy said she was being vulnerable with the men, she expected them to do the same for her.
Kyle told Kristy that his brother just had a son and watching him be a dad has made him want that kind of life for himself. Kyle said that really changed his motivation to wanting to start a family.
Phillip came across really nervous, but Kristy thought he was cute. Since Phillip grew up by the ocean, he brought Kristy some moon rocks from home and gave them to her. Kristy was worried about Phillip because he came across pretty shy, and she was also concerned they weren't on the same timeline.
Phillip's father even told the cameras Phillip was not in a rush to have children, but his cousin disagreed that Phillip was "chomping at the bit" to settle down.
Kristy shared that Stewart, Trent and Matt had all impressed her at the barbecue.
That night, it became time for the very first elimination.
Kristy sat down on the couch in her temporary home with Kristin and the girls discussed all of the options. Kristy, using an iPad, was asked to move men she liked and wanted to keep around for another week in the "Let's Keep Dating" category.
"If you leave a man in the 'We Need to Talk' box, you'll have the chance to let them know how they impressed you this week or explain the reason you'll be sending them home," Kristin explained.
As Kristy moved the guys from "It's Decision Time" to "Let's Keep Dating," the men watched her decisions and progress from a television screen in their own home.
Kristy told Kristin that she was concerned about Jason's behavior at the first meeting and so she wasn't sure about him. As men advanced, they cheered and congratulated each other.
Phillip told the cameras his heart was in the process and he definitely wasn't leaving yet, but Phillip was one of the men Kristy wanted to talk to, in addition to Stewart, Jason and Tali.
The four men therefore met with Kristy alone, and Kristin explained to the guys it wasn't necessarily a bad thing they had been chosen to talk.
Kristy told Tali that they had a great time together but she had a hard time getting him to open up. Since he was also "evasive" in their conversations, Kristy asked him to leave and wished him the best.
"It's unfortunate of course that we couldn't communicate better, but I still had a phenomenal experience," Tali told Kristy on his way out.
Kristy told Stewart that he had made her feel "seen, appreciated and like a lady." She therefore thanked him for his effort and noted she'd like to keep dating him.
Stewart therefore joined the other "Fathers-to-be" in the basement.
"I appreciate you for appreciating me!" Stewart joked, before Jason acknowledged, "He deserves to stay."
Kristy then told Phillip that she really been looking forward to getting to know him because he's "so attractive and so positive." But because she didn't feel they were on the same timeline, Kristy admitted, "I don't see us starting a family together, I'm sorry."
Phillip told Kristy that he had enjoyed their interactions together, and Kristy hated to see him go. However, Kristy felt Phillip just wasn't ready to have a child in the near future.
And finally, Kristy told Jason that he's really charming and she liked how he and her father shared the same line of work. However, Kristy asked Jason to explain his drinking, and Jason said he came on the show from a small town and struggled to feel comfortable.
"I let my nerves get the best of me and had too much to drink, but that's all it was, and I haven't drank since. And I'm really not planning on it [again]," Jason said.
Kristy therefore decided to keep Jason on the show, and the pair hugged. Kristy could understand this situation might be overwhelming for some of the men, and she noted Jason had a side to him that was "worth exploring."
When the guys reunited in the basement, they popped a bottle of champagne and Jason did have a glass. Budge said Jason was the life of the party on Night 1, and he predicted, "Uh-oh, here we go again."