Slowly but surely, Kamie Crawford has quietly become the face of MTV. The former 2010 Miss Teen is currently hosting three shows on the network. Crawford was introduced to the MTV audience in 2019 as a guest host on the hit show, Catfish. She became the permanent co-host in 2020 and has held the role ever since.
At the top of February, MTV introduced her as the host of relationship reality shows Ex on the Beach Couples: Now or Never and Are You the One, which also streams on Paramount +.
Shadow and Act Unscripted caught up with the host and talked about relationship drama, red flags and staying “booked any busy.”
“It’s a dream come true for me,” she told us in a recent interview. “I’ve been working as a host for 11 years, I’m 30 now, and I’ve been trying to break into the business since I was 19. So I think this is an accumulation of all my work over the years. It feels like a pinch-me moment, but it definitely feels like I earned this position. I am really honored and blessed.”
Crawford says her “Oh my God” moment came over the summer when Paramount approached her for an overall hosting deal. The deal would include her hosting all three of the reality shows for MTV.
The host admitted this was the “busiest season of her life,” but she’s sure the “19-year-old Kamie would be so proud.”
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“My first thought was, HOW? I thought there was no way that was even possible, but apparently, it is,” she said. “I was so excited because I am such a huge fan of all three shows. So to be approached to host the shows is one thing, but for it to be [shows] that I am a fan of, that made it even better.
Catfish is in its eighth season and has had a global impact on how we digitally date.
The term “catfish” even made it into Merriam Webster dictionary. The U.S. version of Are You The One is in its 9th season and Crawford is taking over season 6 of Ex on the Beach.
The common theme of all her hosting gigs is relationships. Whether hiding behind the screen on Catfish or behind a palm tree on Ex On The Beach, Crawford says it all comes down to people wanting love.
“Everyone just wants love,” she said. “It doesn’t even matter what it looks like sometimes. Love is weird! As Rihanna said, ‘you can find love in a hopeless place,’ and that can even be on a reality tv show in front of millions of people.”
She continued by breaking down the dynamics of each show.
She explained, “I always say with Catfish, life is a catfish. Everyone is susceptible to it, even if you are with that person in real life. That leads to Are You The One, where people break out of their regular dating patterns to interact and meet new people and find the right person for them. With Ex On The Beach, people are trying to make everything look a certain way when that’s not the case. Their relationship has been rocky for a while, and now, it’s time to face the music. All of them are about removing a mask. Across all three shows, a distorted reality is going on, and they all are about who these people truly want to become.”
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With a birdseye view of other’s relationship drama, Crawford has constructed a list of universal red flags.
“Anytime someone has multiple excuses that have them not taking accountability is a red flag,” she said. “The ‘my ex is crazy’ narrative is usually a red flag.”
She added one specifically from Ex On The Beach, “when people listen to respond rather than listening to hear their partner. There is a lot of that going on this season.”
And the ultimate Catfish red flag is “when they aren’t willing to face time with you or even meet up within a couple of days. Or if their picture is of Morris Chestnut! That’s a huge red flag!”
With her knowledge of all things “relationship,” she revealed she approaches her hosting duties on the shows differently but with compassion and understanding.
However, the guests on Catfish can be a little the rowdiest of the three.
“I think it’s because on the others [Are You The One and Ex On The Beach], the anger isn’t so much directed at me,” she said. “But on Catfish, when someone comes on and they’ve been lying, and now the world knows they are lying, my compassion or understanding doesn’t always land well.”
She laughs as she admits, “Nev always says it’s me. He says it’s my fault. That’s fine, he can be the good guy.”
Although her co-host jokes about her approaching things differently, Crawford knows that being a Black woman on television requires some finesse.
“I always say there needs to be a Black woman in every room,” Crawford added. “We just have this certain level of nurturing, tough love that people need and crave. We know how to get our point across to say, ‘Hey, come get this hug, but when you get done, go out there and stand up for yourself.'”
She continued, “I think Black women have a certain level of resiliency that we can sprinkle into the world. And that strength has been welcomed in every space I have been in.”
And while she’s okay with playing the “big sister” role, Crawford is aware that her “don’t play with me face” is consistent among all three shows.