Tonight Saturday, May 31st at 10 p.m. ET/PT OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network premieres a new primetime special “Flex & Shanice.” The one-hour special will give viewers an exclusive look into the lives of married couple, actor Flex Alexander and 90s pop singer Shanice, and their outrageous family members living under one roof.
Most people know 90s pop sensation Shanice for her Grammy-nominated hit song, “I Love Your Smile” and actor Flex Alexander from his hit TV show, “One to One,” but few people know this fairytale couple both faced career stumbling blocks and quickly hit financial rock bottom. Flex and Shanice realized that they needed to take their wedding vow “for richer or poorer” to heart, so with their two adorable kids, 12-year-old Imani and 10-year-old Elijah, in tow, they moved into a rental home and brought their hilarious extended family into the mix to help cover the cost. A total of nine people, including Shanice’s “momager” Crystal, make this truly a full house where anyone’s business becomes everyone’s business.
Financially things are starting to look up for Flex and Shanice. Flex has booked some gigs and confides with fellow comedian, actress and OWN star Kym Whitley on career next steps. Shanice is getting back in the recording studio, but when new gossip surfaces that her mom might have been the reason for her career troubles, Shanice turns to her former producer Babyface for advice and is forced to take a hard look at their relationship. Meanwhile Flex is faced with a major parental crisis as his daughter transitions to womanhood. “Flex & Shanice” is executive produced by Jeff Dyson and Vernon Lynch for Lynch-Dyson Entertainment. The special is also executive produced by Julie Pizzi and Patty Ivins.
This week while doing press for the shows premiere tonight, Flex and Shanice spoke with Aries from UrbanBridgez.com The adorable couple talked about filming the reality show “Flex & Shanice: All In The Family,” why they decided to do a reality show now, being open and honest about past financial issues, living under one roof with family, the loss of Maya Angelou, what’s coming up for them both and much more!
UrbanBridgez.com: You guys are use to doing promotion and press for individual projects, but never together for one project. How is it doing the promo grind together?
Shanice: It’s fun!
Flex Alexander: Yeah, it’s really fun.
Shanice: I’m naturally a shy person. Flex is a comedian, so when I’m having my little shy moments..I’ll say Flex you talk (laughs). But we feed off of each other, so it’s really fun.
UrbanBridgez.com: Congratulations once again on the show, I was so excited when I got the trailer I texted you Shanice. I’m so happy and so proud of you guys!
Shanice & Flex Alexander: Thank you!
Shanice: Thank you very much! I’ve been asking Flex to do this for years and now is the time. So I’m very excited.
UrbanBridgez.com: That leads into my next question actually, what made you two decide to do the reality show now? Like you mentioned Shanice you have been talking about it for awhile. What made this the right time and what made OWN the right network?
Flex Alexander: There is a story to tell and we thought now was the time. So to tell a story of what we’ve gone through, the ups and downs to let people know we’re human. And we endure the same things as they do as well and they can get through it. On OWN being the right network, they just do everything with class. Oprah is about class and upliftment and spirituality. Peace and love and all of those things are abundant up in the show.
UrbanBridgez.com: With it being the right time, were you two ever hesitant about being so honest about your life and finances?
Flex Alexander: I think once we decided to do it, it was no hesitancy. We were just like let’s tell our story. And again that was a period of time. We’re not where we completely want to be but we’re definitely not where we sue to be. So it’s better and again this is the right time and if we’re going to do it, no need to be hesitant. We just said let’s go ahead and tell it, so we can be in control of telling our story.
Shanice: Yeah and we know that there are other people out there going through that exact same thing. Who may be embarrassed to talk about it, that maybe through our story we can inspire others to not be ashamed and keep trying.
UrbanBridgez.com: So in a nutshell tell us what we can expect when we tune in Saturday, May 31st at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN?
Shanice: Lots of tears, lots of laughter.
Flex Alexander: Inspiration and love.
Shanice: There’s 9 of us living under the same roof, so you can imagine there is a lot going on (laughs).
Flex Alexander: Oh yeah, there is a lot going on (laughs).
Shanice: We got my kids, we got my mom, my step-dad, my uncle, Flex’s cousin Ed, my cousin Ruba and our dogs.
UrbanBridgez.com: And the dogs (laughs).
Flex Alexander: Yeah it’s a lot (laughs).
Shanice: So we’re going to take you on an emotional roller coaster ride. But hopefully it will be inspiring.
Flex Alexander: And the whole family can sit down and watch it together.
UrbanBridgez.com: With this being a preview, can we expect a full season? Any information on that as of yet?
Flex Alexander: We’re hoping, we’re believing that will happen. But all we can control is what we’ve done so far and everything else is already written.
Shanice: It’s all in Gods hands.
UrbanBridgez.com: Was actually filming a reality show easier than you guys thought it would be or harder?
Shanice: It was fun because our crew was amazing. I mean we had the best crew, our producers were amazing, the camera guys, just everybody who was involved. We all clicked immediately, it felt like family almost. Having people in your house that you don’t know, you’re kind of hesitant at first like oh god. You never know how it’s going to be, but everyone was so wonderful to work with which made it a lot easier. The only thing that was difficult was the hours. They’ll like get to your house at like 7 in the morning and they don’t really wrap till about 7 at night.
Flex Alexander: It’s definitely a lot. I’m use to shooting, 12, 14 to 15 hours. The good thing is you can just roll right out of bed and get ready.
Shanice: Exactly, we didn’t have to drive anywhere hardly.
Flex Alexander: Unless we have specific locations that we had to go to but other than that we’re at the house and I like that!
Shanice: Me too!
UrbanBridgez.com: Did you guys learn anything about each other or the family you didn’t know before?
Flex Alexander: Umm
Shanice: One thing, I always knew our family was funny. But until I sat back and watched it, I didn’t realize how funny some of them are (laughs).
Flex Alexander: Yeah, everybody was pretty funny.
Shanice: And the kids loved it, oh my god they are so excited. They want to do press, they’re like when are we doing our interviews (all laugh)? No for real, I got our kids up this morning and I said to my son Gammy, they call my mom Gammy. Gammy is going to take you to school today because we have to do interviews. And my son was like when is it going to be our turn to do interviews? I’m like what (laughs). They can’t wait for it to air, they’re just super excited.
UrbanBridgez.com: We all just loss the incomparable Maya Angelou this week, what kind of impact did she have on you two?
Flex Alexander: As for me, just watching her as an amazing, strong woman and strong figure of wisdom. She was educated, she was eloquent…
Shanice: She was a phenomenal woman!
Flex Alexander: She was transcendent, she was all of those things. It’s a definite loss for the world and but her legacy will definitely live on!
Shanice: And I want our daughter to read some of her poetry, so we’re definitely going to educate our daughter on Maya Angelou.
UrbanBridgez.com: A lot of people like myself want to know how do you get that forever kind of love like Flex and Shanice and how you two have managed to have a successful marriage for so long and specially in this industry?
Flex Alexander: Just prayer..
Shanice: Lots of prayer.
Flex Alexander: You know knowing that no matter what you’re down for each other. You’re there to support through the good times and the bad times for everything. Some people get married and think its just going to be a piece of cake.
Shanice: Some people don’t want to put in the work.
Flex Alexander: Yeah the roses and all of that stuff, the pink clouds it’s not that. There are going to be ups and downs all the time. There are going to be disagreements, there are going to be all of those things. But at the end of the day you have to be like this is what we’re doing and that’s it.
Shanice: When we got married, we said divorce was not an option. Trust me, we’ve had our ups and we’ve had our downs. Through the down times we just had to push through it. It actually brought us closer, going through the hard times.
Flex Alexander: Yeah, definitely.
Shanice: Because all we had was each other to hold on to and get through it.
UrbanBridgez.com: So great to hear! What do you both have coming up outside of the reality show?
Flex Alexander: Hopefully, not 100% sure but hopefully I’ll be returning to the Masters of Sex (Showtime). I’ve written another sitcom and I’m actively pushing that. I have a foundation that we started together, my mother was diagnosed with mildly schizophrenic. It’s a foundation based on the mental illness and lack of communication in the community. The black community especially it’s something we don’t concentrate on, we just kind of push it to the side. I really want to get to the forefront of that and push that so we can get more educated about it. So they can have different options and don’t have to take all of this medication that causes some side effects and all of that. So really working a lot on bringing that to the forefront.
Shanice: For me, you know I’m working on my new music with B.SLADE. So I’m just trying to really get that together and just really making sure that this time around I have the right team and everything is ready before I release my new music. So working on the new music and very excited about the show and take care of my babies (laughs).