Kate Gosselin is gearing up to get back into the reality TV world with her new TLC show titled Kate Plus Date.
On stage with her 18-year old twins Mady and Cara at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, Kate explained that they will be helping her navigate through her blind-dating experience in search of the man of her dreams.
Kate, who has been divorced from Jon Gosselin since late 2009, first introduced the world to her family and sextuplets Alexis, Hannah, Aaden, Collin, Leah and Joel in 2007.
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12 years after Jon & Kate Plus 8 first aired on TV — followed by Kate Plus 8 later on — Kate said she found it hard to date after 10 years of being single.
“Everything was different. The question that seems easy was very hard for me from the matchmaker in terms of, ‘What are you looking for?’” she explained.
Kate continued: “I knew what I wasn’t looking for, but I couldn’t easily articulate what I was looking for, so their job is difficult. I’ve gotta say, in terms of qualities and all of those things, it was difficult to articulate, but they were strictly blind dates – so when it came to who they matched me with, I didn’t even know their names until minutes before.”
Mady and Cara said they support their mom’s decision to start a new chapter in her life.
“We’ve been nudging her to date for years,” Mady said. “We’re all, all eight of us, are so glad that she finally is.”
“She deserves to be happy. Everyone deserves to be happy,” Mady added.
“I’m not a teenager, clearly,” Kate said. “I’m 40-something and there’s no other mom dating show out there.”
Kate said that the most difficult part was going with the flow of the dates regardless of the “awkwardness, uncomfortable and terrified” reactions she had during the show’s filming.
“They were kind of hit or miss,” she said. “It’s very difficult. It’s a very difficult concept and this is a very real show and I am really looking for someone — and you really have to split hair in terms of what didn’t work.”
The mother of eight continued: “Sometimes, there really isn’t a word even for me to come up with to describe what exactly didn’t work, so this was a journey and it’s really neat because in coming up with this, saying, ‘I’d love to date on TV, and the safety it provides — I feel comfortable on television.’
“The whole thing was I didn’t realize how awkward I feel on this whole journey. I’ve learned so much about myself and so much about how I react. It’s painful at times — I’m hard to watch.”
The president and general manager of TLC, Howard Lee said: “Almost 10 years after her divorce and with diapers, bottles, and sleepless nights a thing of the past, Kate Gosselin is ready to find love or, at least, like,” Lee told the crowd. “With the help of professional matchmakers and her college-bound daughters Mady and Cara, Kate dives back into the dating pool. She puts it all out there, the good, the bad, and the super awkward.”
Kate defended her decision to allow her children to take part in a long-running reality series, which could potentially lead to spin-offs for her kids.
“This is ten years and counting — and judging based on my kids and how well-adjusted and intelligent and how well they’re doing in school and overall life, I feel like, more than anything, it has enriched their lives,” she said of them all being on TV. “It has made them world-wise and taught them a lot about people’s intentions I think more so than other kids their age.”
She continued: “I don’t worry about that because we started this when they were very young and obviously as a parent, you always want to do what’s best for your kids, and I did it in a way where we live our real lives and that’s filmed and anyone who has worked with us knows that we don’t do three takes, we do not have scripted lines.”
“I am a very protective parent, as you probably know,” she said. “It comes from a place of love, I do think that I care so deeply that I have been at times, overzealous — but as far as Mady and Cara and all my kids, I think that they’re such good girls that I don’t have to keep after them.”
“They’re self-driven, you know they have goals and dreams,” she added. “They’re just good kids and it is scary with all the things you have to worry about on social media. I am worried, but particularly with them turning 18 and going off to college, I don’t have to worry. They’re very wise, good decision-makers — I don’t know what I did to deserve such amazing kids, but they blow me away every day.”
Kate Plus Date premieres in June.