‘Joe Millionaire’: Steven & Calah on Their ‘For Richer or Poorer’ Journey & Life Post-Finale
The truth is out! The leading men of Fox‘s Joe Millionaire revival For Richer or Poorer have each found “the one,” revealing their true identities to their new partners during the Season 1 finale on March 10.
Millionaire Steven McBee was searching for someone who would love him for his heart, not his bank account. Lucky for him, he found that partner in his now-girlfriend, Calah Jackson, who, after being torn between him and fellow “Joe” Kurt Sowers happily accepted his promise ring.
Now living together in Steven’s hometown of Gallatin, Missouri, the happy couple dished about their Joe Millionaire journey in a chat with TV Insider, looking back at their ups and downs, off-camera moments, and how they each knew the other was the right one.
First and foremost, congratulations! How has life post-show been treating you so far? Are you excited to be moving in together?
Steven McBee: Life’s been really good so far. I mean, we’ve kept the relationship under wraps for four months now, which is pretty tough. Not being able to post each other or go out in public has made it difficult, but our relationship’s grown stronger ever since the show ended. We are both people that take things slow and we really don’t jump the gun when it comes to relationships. And so, coming off the show, we knew that we had a great connection and we wanted to see how that worked in the real world, and it worked better than we could’ve imagined, to the point that Calah’s living with me now. She’s a Missourian and we’re doing this interview from my farm office in Gallatin, Missouri.
When did you each start to realize the other was “the one” for you?
Calah Jackson: You know, the whole time, I was debating between both men. It’s hard because you’re competing with 18 other women. I’m just not the assertive type in general, in the real world and dating. And so, obviously, being in this show, you need to be more assertive to get your time in with the men. I started opening up more and I finally realized Steven was “the one” after Hometown visits. Meeting his family really reminded me of my own family and just felt very natural and normal.
McBee: I’d say the same thing. Calah and I had a connection from the very beginning. A lot of that didn’t make the show, obviously, just out of building suspense for the viewers. But I’d say the Hometown visit really solidified things for me, seeing how well she got along with my brothers and my mom and my dad. I kinda knew right then and there that she was a girl that would fit right in at the farm—not that we’re gonna be at the farm full-time, but the farm is a big part of my life, so I could not be with anyone that didn’t fit in on the farm at least part of the time, and Calah has. She grew up with horses, grew up around a farm. Even though she’s from Dallas, she still knows her way around a farm very well.
What were your thoughts going into the season finale? Were you worried what the other was going to say or decide?
Jackson: I mean, it was very nerve-racking. Obviously, it was down to Annie and me, and at that point, my connection with Steven had grown very strong, but I know he and Annie had a very strong connection the whole time. So, it was very [stressful]. I didn’t know which way he was going to lean, but it all worked out, I think, the way it should’ve.
McBee: I was nervous, as well. Well, first and foremost, I knew I’d be giving her a promise ring, and I had it in my pocket, and I know who Calah is. We had talked on the show—I don’t think it made the episode—about how we liked to take things slow in a relationship, and I’m like, ‘Man, if I pull out this ring and she sees it, she might freak out and run away!’
Jackson: I would have freaked out!
McBee: Yeah, so before I even pulled out the ring, I’m like, ‘Don’t worry! Just so you know, this is not an engagement ring,’ and then I went ahead and pulled it out. But yeah, I was nervous about that aspect of it.
Jackson: Yeah. I think my reaction whenever he pulled out the ring was, ‘Oh, thank God,’ like, ‘This is just a promise ring.’
Calah, up until you set your sights solely on Steven in Episode 9, you were each questioning if your relationship was going to work out. How much of that was true and how much can be attributed to the show’s editing?
Jackson: You know, I was definitely feeling out both men. As Steven said, just in real life and in general—especially being on a show—it’s such a different, weird atmosphere, so, I was definitely open to both men. I knew that Steven and I had a lot more in common and we were definitely sort of hitting it off more towards the end.
McBee: For the most part, you’re in this weird experience together and you want to make sure you give everyone the time of day because you never know where your best connection may be. And so, for me, I wanted to make sure that, for lack of a better word, I was ‘playing the field’ and made sure that I was getting to know everyone as much as possible, and it’s difficult whenever there’s 18 women to start off with. And so, really, it took until we got down to the top six or eight women before I could really see where the connection was; from there, it built even more.
Granted, all of the women were on the show to form connections with Kurt and Steven, but a lot of you formed strong friendships and rooted for each other’s successes. Calah, was it hard to balance those relationships without burning bridges?
Jackson: I think the casting department did a great job in choosing the women that they did. Honestly, there was not too much drama in the house, surprisingly. For the most part, we all got along really well and we were all pretty supportive of each other. I know when it came down to the last few women, obviously, we were all still friendly and, you know, the competition aspect of it all got a little tough. But for the most part, we were all very supportive of each other.
Calah, now that you know Steven is the millionaire, has that revelation changed your viewpoint of him in any way, or did the show’s experiment work out how it was supposed to?
Jackson: I think it worked out how it was supposed to. I mean, we didn’t know what the show concept was until, I think, day three of filming, and so, that was never really on the forefront of my mind. For me, personally, I was going into it and I wanted to get to know both men, who they were as individuals and what they were all about. And, you know, I take things very slow anyway, and so, I think the show, how they have it set up, worked out really well.
Were there any special moments you shared that didn’t made the cut?
McBee: Yeah, there was one. The last episode that we had where we had the cornfield date—whenever I’m telling Calah that “This country boy’s falling head over boots for you”—what you don’t see is that she had worn—were you wearing heels originally?
Jackson: Yes, I was.
McBee: Yeah, she had worn heels to the cornfield. Well, I’d gotten her a little black pair of cowboy boots, and so I handed her the pair of boots whenever I told her that, and she actually put them on and it worked out perfectly because it was a really muddy cornfield. And then, the next scene, we were dancing in front of Easton Corbin and she’s wearing those boots. And so, it was kind of like a cute little moment, and it didn’t make TV, so I was a little disappointed! Just a real quick shoe swap was all you see. You don’t even see her getting the boots. You just notice one scene she’s wearing heels, the next scene, she’s wearing boots.
What are your plans going forward together?
Jackson: Well, we actually just moved in together last night, so I am an official Missourian now. And so, we’re just going to continue our relationship, take things at our own pace, and, you know, see what happens.
McBee: Yeah, we’re gonna take things slow. We’re not anyone to jump the gun, but we’ve got some cool business ventures. Obviously, I’m a builder, commercial and residential construction. She has her real estate license in Texas and is getting it in Missouri now. So, looking at some joint ventures where I build the projects and she sells them for me, so some neat things coming down the horizon.