In the new one Hulu dating series Back in the Groove (new episodes air December 5-8), three 40-something women meet men their better half. The series is hosted by Tay Diggs, who played the young man who meets Angela Bassett in the big screen movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back.
“I had a few concerns,” Atlantada says beauty entrepreneur, Sparkle Hyche, 43, spoke to The Post about her time on the show.
“I thought maybe they were underage. Or, I thought maybe some guys were looking for sugar mommas,” she said. “But a lot of the guys there were ambitious in their own way. The conversations weren’t that different from the ones I had with men my age. I think they’re more open than guys my age.”
As an added twist, one of the other ladies is a Miami-based singer Stephanie MichaelsThe 41-year-old has a 22-year-old son, Stephen, who she secretly brought with her while filming the show – hiding him among the male contestants so she could spy on them.
“I was a little nervous, so I thought he was going to be there as my backup,” Michaels, 41, told The Post. She is currently cancer-free, but five months before the show, she had a double mastectomy following a breast cancer scare.
“He wanted me to rest because he saw me suffer a lot before the show,” she said of her son. “Steven is like my little brother and my best friend. I was hoping he would tell me what the guys were saying [behind my back]. I was still dealing with some physical issues because I was sensitive about my image. [after the cancer scare]”.
In addition to Michaels and Hyche, the third woman is Brooke Mora, a 42-year-old personal trainer from Los Angeles. “Back in the Groove” follows the trio’s visit to The Groove Hotel in the Dominican Republic, where they flirt with two dozen men in their 20s and early 30s. Each evening they choose males to pack until they have one choice left for each female.
“Meeting my age is normal for me. “This is the first time I’m dating a much younger person,” Hyche said. She’s also the mother of a 21-year-old son (from whom she’s been divorced for 15 years), and that helps.
“As hard as it sounds, I think I’m an amazing mom,” she said. “So I knew all the languages. To be honest, I didn’t feel any disconnection [talking to younger guys]. I think I’m high energy and lively. And the guys were mostly mature. At least they were on their best behavior when we were with them.
Mora is used to being a part of couples from May to December, so she had no doubts about the show, she said. “Most men my age and older are already married and have families and don’t want to anymore,” she said. “I am single and still want to start a family. So I’m leaning towards the younger athletic cool guy. They are starting this stage in their life and I am at the same stage. Guys my age and older want to have fun and don’t want the pressure of commitment.
However, “There were a few kids who were normal kids,” Mora said. “It was clear I wasn’t going to waste my time getting to know them.”
As Xiche put it, all the ladies were “flabbergasted” when one of the men revealed that he was secretly Michael’s son.
“I was in contact with him [her son] Steven,” she said. “Even though he was really young, he was sweet and brave and a lot of fun. When Stephanie told me, it felt a little weird and a little awkward. But more [Steven and I] the more comfortable it is when it hangs.”
For his part, Mora did not believe it at first. “Stephanie’s funny,” he said. “So when he told me, I was like, ‘Shut up!'” I never in my wildest dreams thought this would be a plot twist.