A former standout quarterback for Clemson University and Charleston University, Reese [Tribble is his middle name and his mom’s maiden name] spent two seasons looking for love on the popular series, and now focuses his energies on his Atlanta-based event management company, Team America Promotions.
It’s his life as a businessman, self described “serial networker,” and big-city kind of guy that Reese is most looking forward to showcasing in Bravo’s explosive new docusoap — but he admits that, even with past reality TV experience, he wasn’t so sure about putting his entire existence in front of the cameras.
“I actually had to think about whether The New Atlanta was something I wanted to do, because with Sweet Home Alabama, they take just one aspect of your life,” Reese explains. “I went to a different state and I didn’t take any of my life down to Mobile — I took myself and my personality. I couldn’t have a cellphone. I couldn’t have email. I was pretty much shut off from the world. With The New Atlanta, it’s every aspect of my life. The family, the friends, the business, the romance, the drama — you really get to see everything. So it was something that I had to think about — whether I wanted to open up to the world. But in the end, I have nothing to hide. I’m a lover of life and I love my life and I have no problems showing people what goes on in my life. It ended up working out great.”
Here’s what else Reese told us about The New Atlanta, his new and old friendships, and why being a true Southern gentleman sometimes means being willing to throw down to stand up for what you believe in.
Channel Guide Magazine: I also spoke with your costar Emily Lipman and she said that the two of you were friends before Bravo even came calling. Did you know anyone else before filming began?
Tribble Reese: We’re movers and shakers in the industry we’re in and in our own respective verticals — we’re all doing the damn thing! — so when we’re out, I mean, Vawn and I have probably been by each other at the same table at the same club. Who knows? And Emily and I were friends prior to the show, so having her to go through this with has just been awesome experience — as well as getting to know the rest of the cast. Because this is just an all-star cast. Bravo couldn’t have done a better job putting together the kind of people we have to showcase and that Atlanta has to offer.
CGM: It’s nice to see a reality show that’s actually about young movers and shakers instead of slackers and coasters …
TR: That’s what I like to tell people — none of us have quote-unquote made it yet. We haven’t reached the kind of success that we want to be at. And we’re all so ambitious that I don’t know that we’ll ever be completely satisfied, if that make sense. We’re all on the “come up,” as I like to say. There’s still the struggle and we’re not living in mansions and driving Maseratis around — yet. We will be someday. But right now, we’re all living the dream by ascending towards our dream, so there’s just a different dynamic for a reality show.
CGM: How does your background as an athlete factor into what you do you now?
TR: I’ve always been competitive and I think that’s what athletics taught me, growing up — it gives me that truly competitive edge. That drive. Now I’m focused on the partnership that I have going now, which is called Team America Promotions. It’s a really competitive environment down here in Atlanta and there are a lot of people who do what we do — throwing parties and getting people to come out. So my athletic background has given the drive to be the best that I can possibly be in whatever I’m doing.
CGM: You’re in the middle of all sorts of dramas just in the previews that I’ve seen for the series. Tell me what else we see you do as the show progresses.
TR: My role in the show is I bring people together. I throw a couple parties for the cast, and I throw a couple parties that we’re doing on our own and I’m always kind of networking. I’m a serial networker. But you also see me go on dates and you’re going to see me in business dealings and meetings and helping other castmates out with drama they have going on.
You see Tribble. And that’s fine by me, because I have nothing to hide.
CGM: You mentioned your family earlier — do we get to meet them?
TR: You’ll see my family shine through me, because there are a lot of things on the show that are character issues that run deeper than just what’s going on now and I have to bring [them] up for certain situations. So you’ll see my true nature and my true family values through me.
CGM: I’m guessing those situations involve the, uh, laying of hands on other cast members? And it’s not just you and Vawn — the ladies get into it, too!
TR: You know, I’m a lover, not a fighter, but I’m also a guy who stands up for what I believe in. So there are times that come up on the show — whether it’s me with somebody else, or Vawn and me — where I can’t just sit back and let stuff be said and let people be disrespected. I have to stand up for what I believe in.
But for the most part, I’m not proud of that and it’s just something that kind of happened. We all got heated in the moment, and I’m sure with the girls as well, we’re all just very passionate individuals. When you get us together, most of the time it’s all OK, but a lot of times, with all of us being Type A personalities, it creates a little problem. It’ll be entertaining to watch, but I think the alcohol and some of the other things involved make it something that we’re not proud of.
CGM: What are you most looking forward to your Sweet Home Alabama fans — and new fans, too — discovering about you on The New Atlanta?
TR: I think that people are going to see a fun-loving, happy-go-lucky guy that’s always positive and just lives life to the fullest. With Sweet Home Alabama, fans got a glimpse of that because they saw who I was and they saw my Southern upbringing — but a lot of times, it got misconstrued as me being [adopts an exaggerated drawl] a real country boy, livin’ on the farm and milkin’ the cows and drivin’ a truck. And while I am a Southern-born, Southern-bred, Southern gentleman, I’m not so much country. So I think you’ll get to see really how I live my life in the city, in a big city like Atlanta, as opposed to how I dealt with situations down in Mobile.
The New Atlanta airs Tuesday nights at 10/9CT on Bravo.
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• Jevon Sims on life and love in The New Atlanta
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