Stephanie Johnson wasn't quite sure what she was getting into when she first locked eyes with Michael Stewart — and a goat — at the start of her journey on Love at First Flight.
"I'm not familiar with farm life," the 30-year-old Singles & The City CEO told PopCulture.com exclusively about meeting up with the man she would be partnered with for at least the next 30 days — and possibly for life — on Lifetime's new reality show, which premiered March 20.
Using a matchmaker, the show paired up four couples from singles across the country for love, and sent them traveling together, completing challenges and testing their connection.
Fortunately for Johnson, the goat accompanying her partner was just a part of their first challenge, which included transporting the farm animal through New York City and mucking out stalls at Goat Anarchy. And once she and Stewart got past that initial goat shock, they wasted no time at all creating a playful bond with one another.
"It was instant chemistry and attraction," Johnson told PopCulture.com, "...and we've been vibing since day one!"
While Johnson obviously can't spoil the season for fans as to whether she and Stewart find a love connection after filming in October, she did speak highly of the 30-year-old travel club entrepreneur.
"Fans can look forward to Michael and I having the most transparent, raw, real and I would say ideal, situation," she told PopCulture.com. "Hopefully it's all on screen, and hopefully everyone who is single has their popcorn and is sitting on the edge of their seat."
Part of what surprised fans in the premiere episode of the new dating show was how quickly Stewart and Johnson were able to open up about what was important to them in a relationship and where they typically have fallen short in their past romances, which for Johnson is in clear communication.
For the Plano, Texas resident, self-awareness and transparency is a major part of her business, which helps connect singles in the same city with a less daunting form of therapy and group work to help them be their best selves.
"I'm not gonna say that I am [a good communicator], when 800 people know that I suck," she said of being open and honest on national TV.
Appearing on the reality show was actually never in the plan for Johnson, who applied on a whim, thinking she would never be cast on the series, and if she was, it would be a nice "social experiment" tying into her business.
When she first got the call from Lifetime producers, she was "freaking out," she said, but her family eventually convinced her to agree to film.
"We were on our entire family YOLO," she joked to PopCulture.com.
As for jumping into life as a reality TV cast member, Johnson has nothing negative to say about the experience. "Filming was incredible," she gushed. "I know people have had horror stories with reality production, and obviously I don't know what will be shown ... but I would do it again."0comments
Will she and Stewart turn their initial spark into an engagement? Find out by watching Love at First Flight Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Lifetime.
Photo credit: Lifetime