In the world of dating competition shows, there’s always that one couple that stands out from the rest. Benita and Hayford from season two of Date Rush are one of the most memorable contestants in show history because of how much they hate each other. And now we’re about to find out why. The couple is back for another round in this exclusive interview with VENDETTA Publication. The chemistry between them was so bad it was almost comical to watch as Hayford made some cringe-worthy jokes and struggled to crack a smile in response from Benita. But here is their story from start to finish…
How did you and Hayford meet?
Hayford: We met on an app called Bumble. I was on a business trip in Atlanta, Georgia and I was getting tired of the scene and wanted to try a new venue. I picked Bumble because I wouldn’t have to put in a lot of effort; I just needed to swipe left or right. Benita: I was in Atlanta for a conference and as a single girl, I was looking to meet new people. I’ve always been a big Bumble fan and I’ve never had any trouble with it. I had been on Bumble for about a month and hadn’t met anyone. The week before I met Hayford, I actually changed my picture. Benita: I can’t remember if it was the next day or a week later but I got a notification on Bumble that Hayford had liked my picture and wanted to meet me.
What made you want to go on a dating show?
Hayford: I was actually on a different dating show called First Dates. I was one of the main characters, but I didn’t get a date. It was a very interesting experience, but I was a little bit jaded because I didn’t get the results I was looking for. I was looking for a woman to settle down with, but I didn’t get any bites on the show. Benita: I was dating a guy for about two years and it had just fizzled out. I was ready to date and I was on Bumble, but I couldn’t find anyone I connected with. I had been on the dating show, Date Rush, and it was a great experience. I met a lot of great people, but the thing I loved most was that the producers would let me meet all the guys. They wanted me to pick the one that I wanted to go on a date with.
How did the producers decide who your date would be?
Hayford: I remember talking to a producer and saying, “Man, I really want to be on this show.” I knew that Benita was on the show, so I was trying to get to know her. Benita: I had been on Date Rush before and they asked me to come back, but I had a lot going on. Hayford and I were dating, we were living together, and he had just gotten a new job. I was commuting to New York twice a week for work and going on a show would’ve been a lot of travel. Benita: The producers asked if I could find somebody who would be a good fit for the show. Hayford is a very outgoing and confident guy, so I thought he would be a good fit.
Your date with Omar was one of the most memorable in show history. What happened?
Hayford: Omar was a professional hockey player and he was an amazing guy. The chemistry between us was amazing. I would’ve loved to have gone on a second date with him, but I really wanted to be with Benita. When they said she was my match, I was like, “Oh, no. No, no, no.” Benita: He told me that he really wanted to be with Omar. I remember being a little hurt, but I was super friendly with his date. I even had a moment where I was thinking, “This is a really nice girl.” I wanted to be her as well.
After your match, you became friends…and then you got back together. How did that happen?
Hayford: We were still friends, but I was still trying to win her over. I was like, “Look, I was honest with you from the beginning. I just want to go on a date with you.” I was just trying to get her attention and I was in it for the long haul. Benita: We were friends, but we weren’t very close. We would talk every once in a while, but we weren’t hanging out. I was actually dating somebody else while we were still friends. Benita: After we were done filming, we stopped talking. I didn’t even know that he was dating someone else. Hayford: We just fell out of contact. We weren’t really talking, so I wasn’t really sure what was going on. I just wanted to go on a date with her and I wanted to take it from there.
Did you ever think you’d end up with Benita?
Hayford: No. Not at all. Benita: No. I didn’t even think we were going to be friends. I was excited to be friends with him. I thought it was going to be great because I could be friends with somebody who was on the show with me. He’s a really nice guy and I thought it was going to be great. Benita: I was actually dating somebody else when I started talking to him again. I hadn’t heard from Hayford in a while and out of the blue he texted me. I hadn’t heard from him since our episode aired. I was actually dating somebody else and I remember thinking, “Oh, he texted me. Okay. This is going to be awkward.
”Benita: Did you ever think you’d end up with Hayford?
Benita: I always had a feeling that if I ever got back with him it would be for the long haul. I don’t know why I had that feeling, but I did.
Hayford: Did you ever think you’d end up with Benita?
Hayford: When I first met her, I did, but then when I first saw her on the show, I didn’t at all. She was very aggressive and forward, which I’m not used to. I like a woman who is a little bit more demure, but when I got to know her, I fell in love with everything about her.
Dating Advice for anyone going on a dating show…or just looking for love.
Hayford: This is the age of social media and you have to be careful with what you put out there. You have to have a specific strategy and know what you’re looking for. Don’t just throw a bunch of stuff out there, but you also have to be yourself. Benita: Be yourself, be open and be honest. Be confident in who you are.
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