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Safaree and Erica Mena

When two reality TV stars proclaim their love, one can be forgiven for an automatic rolling of the eyes. These things can and should elicit a healthy dose of skepticism: After all, the blurring of actual reality and made-for-TV narratives is a cottage industry, particularly in the romance department. You know, like how every season of the Bachelorette had four or five guys who were there for the “wrong reasons” fame. Even reality TV personalities get a little confused. Here’s an example: On the VH1 house-sharing show Scared Famous, airing in 2017, Safaree Samuels professes his love for co-reality star Erica Mena repeatedly as he woos her from one episode to the next. In a testimonial, she says, “I don’t even know if this whole thing with Safaree being in love is real or not? All I know is that I’m here to win the game for my charity.”

Whether you love her or hate her character, Erica Mena gives good story. Raised in the Bronx, the 31-year-old has published two books including Underneath It All, in which she describes rougher moments from her childhood. After getting her first big break by winning an MTV JLo look-alike contest in her teens, she earned a spot on another MTV show, “Say What Karaoke.” High fashion came calling with gigs for Tommy Hilfiger and Baby Phat. The model went on to become that sexy girl on the cover of XXL,then the love interest in music videos by Chris Brown and 50 Cent. The Kardashians offered a new level of reality TV exposure in 2009 with a job at the boutique Dash in Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami. She worked with Viacom again for VH1’s Love & Hip Hop series, first in New York for three seasons, adding another season in Atlanta in 2018.

Brooklyn-born Safaree Samuels, 37, started out as a rapper in HoodStars with Nicki Minaj. He helped her with her solo career, doing promotions and writing songs, as the two dated on and off for 11 years. He began his reality TV career in 2016 after releasing two mixtapes in 2015. He now has five Love & Hip Hop seasons under his belt, first Hollywood then New York.

The wedding planning is underway. It will be soon. And Safaree is heavily involved, despite what Erica keeps hearing about men’s lack of interest in the big day details. And the scope? “You got a bride who’s Latin, you got a groom that’s Jamaican. So the festivities in itself as far as how big the wedding and over-the-top and dramatic it’s going to be, is, like, literally an understatement…I definitely think this is going to be a wedding that definitely would be the talk of the town.”

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