OWN’s Put A Ring On It follows three couples as they put their relationship through the ultimate test to see if they are meant to get married. With help from relationship coach Dr. Nicole LaBeach, each longtime couple attends therapy sessions while also dating other people at the same time. Each week, everyone has the option to go on a date with a new person and to continue to date the same person. The only person who has chosen to go on a date with the same person every week since the season’s start was Darion Crawford, who is appearing on the show with his on-and-off girlfriend of 14 years Alexia Crawford.
On last week’s episode, things took a turn for the worst for couple when Crawford was trying to tell the woman he was dating, Kai, that he didn’t want to continue dating her. In a moment of frustration, Kai revealed that they slept together.
MadameNoire caught up with Adams to discuss how she felt about these allegations, why she was so disappointed and why she feels Crawford became a different person in front of the cameras.
MN: On the last episode, there was a major plot twist when Kai claimed she and Darion slept together. How did you feel watching that scene?
AA: Annoyed. It was frustrating watching that whole transaction because I felt from day one that their dates were inappropriate based on what I was watching on television. When he would come home there would be no conversation. He would downplay it [their dates]. I feel like when those cameras came on, Darion turned into somebody else. I feel that he hadn’t been in front of the camera for a long time and when they came on he showed his tail. I feel like he did a lot of stuff for the cameras. I’ve been frustrated during this whole process because it was disappointing at the end of the day.
There were a lot of things I sacrificed. There is a misinterpretation that I retired for him and that’s not why I retired. He did play a part in it.
No one wants to come on national television and be embarrassed. I didn’t know he was holding hands [with Kai] until I saw the show. There’s a scene where they are riding in a white truck. That’s my F150. I didn’t even know she was in my truck. I’m frustrated every week. There’s not a week that goes by where I want to see the show. Of course I want to see what’s going but I know there’s some mess every week. We were supposed to be friends first and I don’t know who this person is. It’s hurtful.
MN: How do you prepare to watch each episode every week?
AA: I’m around some good people. Even after filming they would call and check up on me everyday to make sure I was in a good space.
To see that I did my part and he was really showing his ass, it’s embarrassing. No one can imagine how embarrassed I am everyday. When I go up the street someone will recognize me and tell me to run. I get paragraphs every day. There’s a lot of support.
MN: Considering everything that happened, do you still want to marry him?
AA: I didn’t start talking about marriage until about a year or two ago. [Darion] was the one talking about kids this whole time and he also makes comments like I want a dog and the ring. He was saying he wants to get married when he wants to do it. But the way it’s portrayed is as if he doesn’t want to do it at all and that wasn’t the case. I don’t want kids if it’s not within two years. He is the one pressuring me for kids but I don’t want any kids unless I have the ring first.
[His other two kids were born from the same woman while Alexia was overseas playing basketball and they were separated. First child had already been born when they met.]
MN: What did you learn about yourself while on the show?
AA: Honestly, to stop giving people the benefit of the doubt. I’ve lost friends because I was trying to give them the benefit of the doubt and they don’t do their part and keep their word. When things would happen I would always give Darion the benefit of the doubt because I would literally witness when people would harass him, try to get with him and [direct message] him because he would show me. When [Kai said she slept with Darion] it was like when did you have time to do this? If this is true, why would you, of all times, do it while we are on national television? He gave her power from day one. He’s telling her I’m intimidated by her when I’m not intimidated by that girl!
Another thing I learned is that I don’t give myself enough credit. I really cut off some relationships to focus on me and him. Prime example, the other half of Field Mob is Sean Jay. Darion don’t even like me being okay with him. I cut that friendship off because of him. He didn’t do anything to me. We all met in [Albany, Georgia]. I played basketball and ran track for Albany State University and I was also a bartender and waitress at a club. They lived in Albany and at the time this was towards the end of their career. So they would come to the club [where I worked] but they never came together. I obviously met Darion first.
It really took for this show to happen for me to see what I really needed to see.
He made me look crazy.
MN: What was hard about filming the show?
AA: After the third group session, I was just nervous about going into the group session because I never knew what was going to happen. When I walked out that time and told him “do what you wanna do,” [it was because] right before the group session, we were in the truck having casual conversation and he said out of nowhere that he wasn’t going on any more dates with Kai and that he wasn’t on that anymore. So when we go into the group session he [talks about the great time he had with her], I’m like he’s lying! I didn’t even ask about the date. He was saying something different to me in the car. That’s why I was so pissed. I didn’t ask him not to go out with Kai. So if you’re not going on a date with her don’t say it had anything to do with me.
MN: Which one of your castmates are you the closest with?
AA: I feel like Eric is my doppleganger because we connected through sports. They all have a different part of me. When I need a serious conversation I talk to LaRhonda. When I need a girl’s talk it’s LaRhonda and Jess. When I need a man’s point of view I talk to Eric. Me and Eric do a sports show called “The Ball’s In Your Court.” I don’t talk to Shon on the phone but he’ll text me and check on me. We all just clicked.
I met some genuine people. When I tell you they were the first people to answer their phones when I needed someone to talk to. I met some real people. That’s my family.
MN: Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently on the show?
AA: I really didn’t give that first date a chance. Even though we were going on first dates with other people, I knew my dude was at home and I wasn’t really trying to hear what [my date] was talking about. I didn’t give that man a chance.
MN: So looking back you would’ve been more engaged with him?
AA: A little. Maybe that part.
Put A Ring On It airs on OWN every Friday at 10 p.m EST.