How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
What happens when you put 22 gorgeous single men and women on a beautiful island with no phones and lots of smoking hot sex appeal? For fitness influencer Clinton Moxam and Wilhelmina model Uche Nwosu, it resulted in a nearly three-year relationship and a fur baby named Rue. The post-MTV's Are You the One?season six power couple still flourished in their love and addiction for one another despite their confirmed "no match" midway through the season. Now, we can all watch their YouTube videos together in jubilee and root for them as they post cute #RelationshipGoals photos that bless our Explore pages.
Though Uche is originally from East Grand Rapids, Michigan and Clinton is originally from Palm Bay, Florida, the two lovebirds have made Hollywood their home. Unfortunately, this wasn't always the case and the two had to adjust to living apart for nearly half a year. "We had to do long-distance for about five months last year and we definitely had to work on our communication––but we made it through and came out on the other side stronger," said the certified personal fitness trainer. With growth comes growing pains, but even with their fights and disagreements, Clinton and Uche still managed to come out swinging. Three years to the date they met, Clinton popped the question and made his three-year girlfriend his fiancee and life partner.
"We have different communication styles which was something that we have had to work on throughout our relationship," says the lifestyle influencer. "Also - what to watch on TV. Clinton always caves though, we're finishing up Real Housewives of New Jersey: Season 10." Clinton chimes in that their disagreements are typically caused by miscommunication regarding things that are happening in their individual lives and not communicating it to one another effectively. "This can lead to one of us being offended about how the other is seeming to act, not realizing that the issue isn't even really between the two of us," adds Clinton.
In this installment of How We Met, we caught up with the reality television alumni and newly engaged couple about meeting on MTV, the importance of effective communication to avoid arguments, and their appreciation for each other's sense of humor.
*This interview was conducted prior to Clinton's proposal or knowledge of the proposal.
How They Met:
Uche: I got a scouting call right after New Years' 2017 for an MTV show. I had just moved from Chicago to Los Angeles at the time where I was interning for a stylist and I didn't think much of it. I went through the first round of interviews and before I knew it, it was the middle of May and I was being flown into Los Angeles for final casting. Long story short, I ended up going on a reality show in New Orleans purely for the experience. We were both going through different situations at the time and neither of us were looking for love on the show whatsoever. I always laughed when the whole premise of the show was centered around "winning love and money" when that's exactly what ended up happening for me.
Clinton: I moved to NY right after graduating college in August 2016. From there, I was doing a bit of modeling and trying to grow my social media platforms. I was contacted by MTV about a show they were casting called Are You the One?. I went through the whole casting process and was picked to be on the show. I met Uche on a big green stage with 20 other people as we started filming for the show.
Uche: The day we met was also the day we met the rest of the cast (22 of us). That day is still a huge blur to me! The cameras, the mics, the house, everything was so new. I remember I didn't even end up talking to Clinton until the very end of the night. We ended up sitting by the pool and talking for a few hours. Like I said, my intention coming on this show was just to have an experience and possibly win money––I had gone through a lot of not great situations prior, and at the moment I wasn't looking to get into a relationship. I remember on day four (mind you, these TV days are unlike real days! Whereas when you meet someone in the "real world" you spend maybe a few hours a day with them––we were spending 24 hours, all day, every day with each other––with no phones or contact with the outside world. Every three days marks a "TV week"), talking to my friend Nicole and telling her that I really think I was starting to like Clinton, but I wasn't sure what to do about it. I was definitely being cautious, I didn't know what was going to come from it and didn't want to start getting attached! All I know is we just gravitate towards each other, always.
Clinton: Similar to Uche, I was in a prior situation before going on to the show. It was a situation where myself and the person involved were not 100% sure what direction we were going. When the show started, I wasn't actually interested in getting to know anyone. I was hoping it would possibly create other opportunities for me and I would win the money in the end. The entire first day was hectic. I didn't have a conversation with Uche until later that night as we were both trying to have different conversations with different people, not exactly thinking that any of the conversations would lead anywhere, but that's just what we were there to do. From my initial conversation with her, I knew she would be the only person I could even hold a conversation with. She was so effortlessly funny and charismatic, but I don't think either of us thought much of it. It wasn't until day three or four that I was just watching her as she walked through the house and I got this feeling inside of me like a little light bulb turned on and I said to myself, '"Hold up! you really like her." From that moment on, she hasn't gotten rid of me!
Courtesy of Uche & Clinton
"From my initial conversation with her, I knew she would be the only person I could even hold a conversation with. She was so effortlessly funny and charismatic, but I don't think either of us thought much of it. It wasn't until day three or four that I was just watching her as she walked through the house and I got this feeling inside of me like a little light bulb turned on and I said to myself, 'Hold up! you really like her.' From that moment on, she hasn't gotten rid of me!"
Clinton: Our technical first date was on the show. The whole house wanted us to win a date so we could go into the "truth booth" to see if we were a match (spoiler alert: we were not). We finally won a date on week five. We went on a ferry in New Orleans, had a caricature artist draw us, and it was really fun. Later that night, we had to go into the truth booth and find out we weren't a match so the day… didn't end quite well. Our first date outside of 'the house' was mini-golfing and a movie! It's like we were waiting to see if the spark we had on the show would still be there in the outside world and it without a doubt was.
Making It Official:
Uche: Well, before the show I was kind of in flux as to where I wanted to be and what exactly I wanted to do. It just so happened that earlier that year, my mom took a job at a hospital in Florida where she would work two weeks out of the month in Urgent Care. The show stopped filming at the end of July and I decided to go see my mom before making my next steps. It just so happened that out of all the places in Florida she could have relocated to, it was exactly 49 minutes away from where Clinton's mom lived.
Clinton: Before the show started, I decided it was time for me to move back home to Florida, so I packed my car and planned to drive down to Florida after the show finished. It just so happened that we ended up being there at the same time which allowed us to spend a lot of time together. I would go to her mom's place Thursday through Sunday every week and we would just hang out and spend time together. We went on dates and we went out, but the majority of our time was just spent getting to know one another and laughing. We did this for about 5-6 months and in November of 2017 while filming the "Reunion" episode of the show that we were on, I officially asked Uche to be my girlfriend.
Uche: I honestly wasn't trying to get humiliated on national TV so I was leaving it all up to him to take the next step. I don't know, it was like I was looking for some big red flag. Everything just seemed too good to be true––I've never met anyone like him.
Clinton: Uche never pushed me to make it official. Even though we were very exclusive and open with one another, we were taking our time trying to really get an understanding of one another. We learned so much about each other and developed such a strong foundation of love in this time that the night I asked her to be my girlfriend. I also told her I loved her because I knew what we had was going to last.
Courtesy of Uche & Clinton
"Uche never pushed me to make it official. Even though we were very exclusive and open with one another, we were taking our time trying to really get an understanding of one another. We learned so much about each other and developed such a strong foundation of love in this time that the night I asked her to be my girlfriend. I also told her I loved her because I knew what we had was going to last."
The Sweetest Thing:
Uche: His sense of humor and his heart! No one loves me better or makes me laugh harder. We will literally spend the whole day making each other laugh. I don't know if anyone else thinks we're funny? But, I don't know… Saturday Night Live should probably give us a call.
Clinton: Definitely her sense of humor and her smile. From the moment we met, we've naturally bounced off of one another and our relationship is filled with jokes and laughter. I say her smile because I think it's the cutest thing in the world. I love seeing her smile because it's the physical representation of how she is actually feeling. Seeing my woman happy makes me happy, and that's why I love that smile.
Uche: It definitely happened over time. When he first told me, the night of the show reunion––I was surprised he said it, but I felt the exact same. I had thought I had been in love before, but I realize now that's not what that was. I kept saying I felt "different", that I had a "different feeling". I still don't even know how to describe it but he really is my other half. It just feels right and I feel the most me when I'm with him. I HATE to be cheesy, I'm so sorry, but honestly––every single day I am reminded that it really is love.
Clinton: I knew it was love because of how Uche and I were with one another. I had experienced love, commitment, and the challenges that come along with it. I saw it in both of us that we had the capacity and the willingness to be selfless, understanding, genuine and truthful with one another because Uche showed me all of those characteristics from the time we met. Love is a feeling but it also takes a lot of work and we were both ready for that.
Courtesy of Uche & Clinton
"I had experienced love, commitment, and the challenges that come along with it. I saw it in both of us that we had the capacity and the willingness to be selfless, understanding, genuine and truthful with one another because Uche showed me all of those characteristics from the time we met. Love is a feeling but it also takes a lot of work and we were both ready for that."
Uche: I had to learn that every argument doesn't mean it's the end all be all. It sounds so silly now, but I was so used to being in tumultuous relationships where I always had to have my guard up and be ready for the next curveball. This relationship has matured me so much and I am so happy we met in the time we did, Lord knows I had to go through the things that I did to fully appreciate and recognize a blessing when it's presented to me. We've also had to work on our communication. I've always thought that being outgoing meant that I was a good communicator––so wrong. I've had to be honest with myself and realize that I actually kind of suck at communicating when it comes to talking about the not fun and uncomfortable elements of life. We've really grown!
Clinton: We had to learn how to talk to one another about our past and the things we struggle with as individuals. We navigated those conversations by proving to one another over time that we can be trusted with knowing the hard things that neither of us wants to tell people we cannot 100% trust. As time passed and we continued to prove ourselves to one another, we opened up more and became even closer. I also had to unlearn the kind of "tit for tat" mindset. We're one, we're in this relationship together and we both bring different things to the table that are valuable in different ways.
Talk To Me Nice
Uche: I would say that my love languages on the giving end are: gift-giving and words of affirmation. On the receiving end, it would be acts of service and gift-giving, but by gift I mean ANYTHING. If someone ever gives me anything that lets me know they're thinking of me, honestly anything, it means a lot to me I don't know why. Oh, especially cards! I keep all of my cards. If you've ever written me a card, literally ever, I guarantee you I still have it!
Clinton: My love language is words of affirmation. I'm pretty simple––I don't need much but I do need my woman to tell me that she's proud of me and that she sees me. I'll do anything for her and I just want to know that she appreciates me.
Courtesy of Uche & Clinton
"I had to learn that every argument doesn't mean it's the end all be all. It sounds so silly now, but I was so used to being in tumultuous relationships where I always had to have my guard up and be ready for the next curveball. This relationship has matured me so much and I am so happy we met in the time we did, Lord knows I had to go through the things that I did to fully appreciate and recognize a blessing when it's presented to me."
Uche: I've been through my fair share of frogs. I'm not saying I'm perfect, I've definitely had to grow up a lot and learn from past relationships. But never have I ever been fully appreciated and encouraged to be who I am, SO authentically. I've always been a confident person but going on such a widely publicized show opens you up to so much scrutiny. There was so much positivity and love coming my way but you are always going to have your online trolls and negative people that want to bring you down.
It's so easy to focus on the negative and I did fall into that trap many times, especially right after the show when things were still fresh. Clinton has never left my side and has always lifted me up, had my back, and encourages me ALWAYS to be exactly the person I am. Never too much!
Loving Your Partner:
Clinton: I've learned that love requires a lot of patience. We met at 21 and 23 years old, I don't think people understand how much there is to figure out individually and together at this point in life. I definitely didn't realize that, now that we've known each other for three years and we've gone through different things together, I'm seeing how important patience is.
I'm becoming my own person, she's becoming her own person and we are also coming together as one. Growing up, we are conditioned to think that you are supposed to find this perfect person and then they complete you, which isn't true at all. What really happens is you find an amazing person and you guys love and commit to one another and then there's a lot of work to be done. It's all worth it because the love and relationship you build is unbreakable!
For more Uche & Clinton, follow them on Instagram!
Featured image courtesy of Uche and Clinton.
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Nelly And Ashanti Are Giving It Another Shot? Here's What You Should Know About 'Ex Reconciliation'
Okay, so if you’ve read any of my pop culture think pieces on this platform before (like here or here), you already know that I don’t tend to spend a lot of time talking like I know people who I actually…don’t. As someone who grew up in an entertainment industry home and then got my (official) start in journalism in the entertainment realm as well — let me just tell you from very up close and personal experience that nothing is a smoke-and-mirrors game quite like the celebrity world. That’s why it’s wise to not invest too deeply into it/them.
At the same time, since, for better or for worse, we do live in a culture that seems to be constantly consumed with what famous folks are doing. What I prefer to do is use certain news stories (even if they are basically nothing more than tabloid gossip, depending on the day) as personal teachable moments — and since the word on the street is saying that Nelly and Ashanti are giving it another go, I thought that topic would be a great one to tackle.
My personal recollection of them being together consists of my finding Ashanti’s visual for her single “Good Good” (damn, was that 2008?!) to be cute enough. Plus, I liked how they mostly kept everything off the grid — unlike the other relatively reunited (and does it feel so good? I can’t tell because Ben always looks so irritated) couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, chile). Anyway, beyond that, and then reading some timeline pieces on Nelly and Ashanti (a recent one is located here), there’s not much more that I can say as far as their coupledom goes.
Ashanti and Nelly during Sean Diddy Combs First Fragrance Launch for Unforgivable - After PartyJohnny Nunez/WireImage
However, when I did happen to catch a roughly hour-long Instagram post (here) on Ashanti’s page a few months ago talking about how (among other things) she used to want six kids, and now she’ll “settle for” two or three, I took that to be a subtext that she’s ready to get into something serious/substantial — and sometimes that can mean reconciling with someone from your past.
It’s kind of like a point that was made by Alec Baldwin’s character in the movieIt’s Complicated (paraphrased): “Some people should get back together 10 years after a divorce because the time apart can help each person to grow. And since you already know your ex so well, reuniting later could be the best decision ever.”
Nelly and Ashanti reportedly broke up ten years ago, so maybe they are life-imitating art. Either way, before you use them as inspiration (or ammo — LOL) to get back with someone from your own past, please ask yourself the following questions. Then be serious about the answers. Then run them by a trusted friend (or your therapist). And then, if it all checks out, proceed with extreme wisdom and logic. Because getting back with an ex is a bit like a crap shoot — it can be a real blessing or a HUGE mistake. That’s why factoring as much as possible beforehand is such a wise thing to do.
Why Did the Two of You Break-Up?Giphy
I recently got certified (and soon to be credentialed) to be a professional certified coach (a holistic one). It’s interesting because, when you’re actually learning from an ICF-accredited school, a question that actually isn’t asked in life coaching is “Why?” Why is that? Because while therapy/counseling tends to focus on the past quite a bit, life coaching specializes in asking questions that will empower you to decide what is best for your future.
In this case, though, you definitely need to take your past into account because if you don’t factor in why you broke up with your ex in the first place, it could result in you just repeating the same ish that you did before — and if that ish is centered around things like abuse (neglect is abuse, by the way), constant lying or being taken for granted, you really need to do some serious vetting to see if those things are still a present-day issue.
And yes, this is a critical point to consider because, while some people live by the motto “forward ever, backward never” or my personal favorite, “getting back with an ex is like getting out of the shower and putting the same underwear on,” not every break-up is horrific or even devastating. Sometimes it really is a matter of meeting the right person at the wrong time or the two of you really liking each other, but something just doesn’t quite “click.”
You know, it is Benjamin Franklin who once said, “All highly competent people continually search for ways to keep learning, growing, and improving. They do that by asking WHY.” And since, hopefully, you’ve been learning, growing, and improving as an individual, ever since you ended things with your ex, asking yourself why you broke up and being really honest about the answer, that can help you to see WHY you should consider trying again or WHY the past should totally be left there.
What Lessons Did You Learn? During and Since Ending the Relationship?Giphy
Everyone is a lesson. That is, if you’re humble enough to know how to be taught anything (some of y’all will catch that later). And just so we’re all on the same page when it comes to this particular point, a lesson is a practical piece of wisdom, and wisdom is something that offers insight and heightens your sense of discernment. In other words, if it’s truly a lesson — and you apply it — there will be no reason to repeat it; your insight and discernment won’t let you.
So, when it comes to your ex, what lessons did they teach you? One of mine taught me to not convince myself to be with someone just because they are a good person. Another taught me to not "be a wife" to someone who is not my literal husband (check out "Why You're Always The One Who Prepares A Man For His Wife"). Still, another taught me to stop mistaking nostalgia for actual love (more on that in just a bit). The first and second lessons I learned during the relationship. The last I learned after. And because the lessons were so profound, they totally altered my way of thinking — which makes getting back together with any of those guys basically an impossibility. Wisdom won't let me.
On the other hand, I have a friend who is kinda-sorta back with one of her exes because the lesson that she learned during the relationship was because she had never been in love before, she kept playing the exhausting game of come-close-go-away. Now that she's had some therapy (and matured a bit), she and her ex are in a far better place which makes it easier to interact with one another on another level. Is it just like it was before? No. In many ways, it's better because, since my friend has less anxiety, there is less stress on the relational dynamic, which makes them able to see where things could go a lot easier for both of them.
I am a firm believer that life is one big school. Thing is, when it comes to the lessons that you need to learn, you can stay in the same class for 20 years, if need be. So yeah, when it comes to pondering about getting back with your ex, did the lessons that you already learn reveal to you that it would be a smart move or a really dumb decision?
Who Reached Back Out First? (Yes, It Is Valid)Giphy
Typically, the "Who did it first?" question leans on the side of silly and/or petty and/or entitled to me. Oh, but not in this case. And although words cannot express how disgusted I am with how Brian McKnight is displaying extremely poor (fellow) Gemini energy, he is a great songwriter, and his song with the hook, "Do I ever cross your mind? Anytime?" — let me just say that an ex who says they never think about their exes from time to time they are a bold-faced liar.
HOWEVER, that doesn't mean that they care enough to reach out or that it's a good idea, even if they're tempted to do so. So, when someone actually does step out and send an email, get in the DMs, or leave a voicemail (your ex still has your phone number? Interesting), that's quite telling — although you do need to take into serious account what it all actually means.
For instance, back when my first book came out, a few of the characters (pun intended and not intended) hit me up. One was my first love. All he really did was send me an email to tell me that he read the book and that he was sorry for the role that he played in the pain of the relationship. And that he would always love me.
Now guess what part I focused on? You can check out "Why Every Woman Should Go On A 'Get Your Heart Pieces Back' Tour" to get the gist of that. As a result, for several more years, off and on, that continued to be all that my heart (the Bible says the heart is deceitful; always remember that — Jeremiah 17:9-10) honed in on. That man didn't say that he wanted to rekindle anything. He said that he wanted to apologize. Lawd, how much we can spare ourselves if we'd just learn to listen to what is being said instead of editing conversations into what we want to hear.
So, did he reach out first? Yep. Did he want anything? Not really. And from personal experience, that’s why “who reached out first and why” is something else that needs to be given some serious thought. After all, the two of you broke up for a reason…so, if they do reach back out, now more than ever, it’s important to take their words literally. If he only wants to see if you’re well, let him know that you are and leave it there. If he wants to apologize, accept this apology and tell him to take care. If he asks to see you — now that’s when trying to figure out if reconnecting, on any level, is actually a good idea.
Bottom line here don’t make something be what it’s not. Oh, and if you are the one who reaches out first…let me just say that I know a woman who got ghosted by an ex back in college, she decided to reach back out to him some 20 years later, and all they’ve been doing is dating for over ten years now (even though she wants to be married). I mean…he didn’t come looking for her; she went out looking for him — which kind of translates to me that he was fine whether they spoke again or not.
See what I mean? *Elmo shrug*
Is It Love? Or Nostalgia?Giphy
Please, please, PLEASE — if you don't get anything else from this article, get this: just like fleeting passion can be mistaken for lasting love, so can nostalgia; the definition of the word explains a lot of the reason why, too: "a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations."
You know, the mind is a funny thing. "Funny" in the sense that, if you lean into nostalgia, it typically will edit out all of the crappy stuff while encouraging you to focus solely on the good times. For instance, I know a woman right now who got back into something with an ex who was sending her all kinds of expensive shoes and random flowers for the first few months…just like before. Now? Now he's calling her when he's tipsy to vent about his ex-wife.
How did she get caught up in this pattern? Good ole' nostalgia, chile. Initially, reconnecting included discussing fun dates and good sex. Yet, nostalgia is kind of like a drug — it gets you really high, yet sooner or later, you're gonna crash…and that can have you feeling super low.
You know, there's not one ex who I don't have a myriad of good memories of. Yet when I bring logic, common sense, and facts into the dynamic, they all needed to be exes — and honestly should stay just that way. Just because I "love" certain things about them, that doesn't mean that I'm actually still in love with them…and why let the former cause me to overlook the latter?
Pleasant thoughts are fine. They aren't enough to go off of to rekindle a relationship, though. You are far too precious. So is your time. This brings me to the next point.
Time Is Precious: How Would Reconciling Make the Most of Yours?Giphy
It actually wasn't too long ago that I penned the piece, "Let's Finally 'Spring Clean' ALL Of Our Exes Out Of Our Lives, Shall We?" for the site. One of the things that I mentioned in it is there is something known as recycling (making something new without changing its original form), and then there's something known as upcycling (taking an original thing and changing it into something totally different; typically something better). That said, if you are thinking about getting back with an ex, I recommend that you determine if it's going to be an UPCYCLE for you. Otherwise, really…why do it?
Something that I oftentimes tell people in their 20s is it really is time out for acting like that decade is nothing more than being in the 2.0 version of your teens. In other words, if you don't make wise decisions, then, you can end up wasting a lot of time. And then you'll need even more time trying to heal and recover from it all.
Personally, that's one of the things that I mourn about a lot of the moves that I made back then; I had to spend a significant amount of my 30s healing so that, should I ever decide to marry a man, I will be the helpmate that he truly deserves. And that's another reason why I'm good on my exes — I don't have another decade to throw away.
And for those of you who may struggle with taking personal accountability and so you like to romanticize your poor choices by saying things like, "Nothing is a waste of time," — no offense, but that is a damn lie. Waste literally means "to consume, spend, or employ uselessly or without adequate return; use to no avail or profit; squander," and yes — it is quite possible (and easier than most people think) to involve yourself in something (or with someone) without getting an adequate return…in return.
When one of my surrogate mothers passed away of cancer in her late 50s several years ago, one of the last things that she said to me on her hospice bed was, "It goes by sooner than you think," and I have always kept that in the forefront of my mind. As I get older, I find myself saying, "Where does the time go?" more and more.
An ex coming back into your life could potentially be an awesome thing. "Awesome" if the two of you aren't going to be a waste of each other's time. Again, use the definition of the word as a barometer. Be honest with yourself as you do.
This Time, Be Friends First (or Again)Giphy
I've been in the couples counseling game for a long time now. And if there's one thing that a lot of married and divorced people have told me, it's that they wish they had spent more time trying to cultivate a friendship with their spouse than a relationship — because when the foundation of something is unstable, the house will eventually crumble on some level.
And this brings us back to Nelly and Ashanti — they seemed to last for a good amount of time by keeping things private the first go around, so if they are indeed reconciling, I'm not sure why they would switch up the formula now. Either way, I hope that they and you will make friendship the top priority. Why? Because the best things come out of friendships. The healthiest relationships are included.
When it comes to you and your journey, please check out articles I've penned, like "10 Things You Should Absolutely Expect From Your Friendships," "7 Signs Your Friendship...Actually Isn't One," "10 Signs You've Got A Close (TOXIC) Friend," "Ever Wonder If A Friend Is Just...Not That Into You?" and definitely "Self BFF: 7 Signs You're Your Own Best Friend." Because if you are thinking about getting back with an ex, the least that the two of you need to be towards each other is hella loyal, honest with each other, and respectful of each other's feelings, needs, and even a few wants. No relationship can thrive without those things intact and every healthy friendship consists of those "ingredients."
And you won't (fully) know if any of this is the case if you're quick to jump into bed or rush into a relationship without seeing how you are as friends…first.
You know, reconcile is a really interesting word. On the one hand, it can mean "to cause (a person) to accept or be resigned to something not desired." On the other hand, it can mean things like "to win over to friendliness; cause to become amicable" and "to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent." And with those definitions in mind, that's what you should focus on most of all.
- Is your ex willing to "win you over" by how they (now) treat you? Are you willing to do the same?
- Would being with them bring more or less harmony into your life?
- How compatible were you before, and how compatible do you seem to be now (sans the nostalgia)?
I will never say that getting back with an ex is a good or bad idea, full stop. I'll just say that if you're going back to your past, make sure it benefits your future. Otherwise, leave it right where it's at: nothing that your present needs beyond a scroll and a click…if that much, sis.
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Featured image by Rick Diamond/Getty Images