Since 2010, Jerry Springer has hosted the hit dating show, Baggage, on the Game Show Network — and with 2015 comes an all-new season, except this year, Springer and his team hit the road. In Baggage on the Road, Springer — who has been married to his wife Micki Velton since 1973 — travels across the country meeting daters and helping them to find their perfect mate.
OK! got the chance to catch up with Springer and chat all about Baggage on the Road.
OK!: Why do you like working on Baggage on the Road?
Springer: “It’s a great, fun show to do. Truthfully I wish that I had the idea for the show since it’s such a great concept because if you think about it, everyone’s got baggage and normally you don’t find out about your partner’s baggage until you’re six months into a relationship, or even six years! But here we hear it right away, and you still make a judgment. It’s a great fun show.”
OK!: What are some of the differences between Baggage on the Road and a regular season of Baggage?
Springer: “You get a greater mix of contestants. When we were doing the show in Los Angeles, basically everyone was from LA and 90% of the contestants wanted to get into showbiz. There’s nothing wrong with that but you kind of get bored with that because it was the only kind we were getting. Now, when we travel the country, we really get a total cross-section of America, which makes the show more exciting and fun.”
OK!: How do men act when they are they daters on the show?
Springer: "Here’s a thing that I’ve found: When a guy is the dater, when he has to choose from three women, you can almost guess within 12 seconds which one he’s going to go for. He goes for the one who he think is the one that is most physically attractive and it almost doesn’t matter what her baggage is. She could be a serial killer and, he’ll say, ‘Well, she’s over it now.’ He just doesn’t care!"
OK!: How do women view the baggage of their male suitors when they are the dater?
Springer: “When the woman is the dater, she really cares about the baggage. So even if there’s some really good-looking guy, if the baggage is too much to handle, she won’t touch him.”
OK!: What has been the worst baggage that you’ve heard this season?
Springer: “One was a guy who had sex with 50 women without protection. That one was the worst because that was not just a joke. That’s dangerous. No one was on his side. No one could justify it.”
OK!: Were you surprised that suitor didn’t have 50 children?
Springer: “Yeah, and of course the danger of disease. How unfair is that to do that to all those women? You’re putting them at risk and there’s no excuse for that.”
OK!: What’s your favorite part about the show?
Springer: “What I like best is the daters’ justifications for the baggage. In other words, they’ll open the baggage and it’s something kind of weird and then you see the person trying to justify it and their justifications are worse than the baggage itself! It’s like, “What?” When you’re just telling one person, it doesn’t seem too bad, but when you get the crowd reaction to it…”
OK!: Where was your favorite location to film this season?
Springer: “Tampa was great because we were on the beach there. It was just beautiful, and we couldn’t have picked a better day. You’re on the beach and you’ve got all these young people being happy and free and it was just perfect. It was just such a great vibe, so I’d have to say that was the most enjoyable.”
OK!: Can people play the Baggage game at home?>Springer: “Oh, yeah! It’s a show that anyone could play at any party. You’re with your significant other sitting on the couch watching the show and all of a sudden you start discussing, “Well, would you accept that if that was my baggage?” It invites conversation and laughter.”
Don’t miss a brand-new episode of Baggage on the Road, Wed., Jan. 7, at 9 PM ET on GSN.