Film and TV

Phoenix Stockbroker Joey Huskins Discusses Starring on CMT Reality Show Sweet Home Alabama

When it comes to love (or being on television), people will do almost anything. Case in point: Joey Huskins, a licensed stockbroker from Phoenix, found himself knee-deep in cow patties to try and win the love of a Southern belle named Devin Grissom, on the CMT reality show Sweet Home Alabama.

Huskins is one of 20 men (10 "cowboys" and 10 "city slickers") selected to compete for Grissom on the show, which airs on CMT Thursday nights. We recently caught up with Huskins via phone to discuss his former life as a professional baseball player, his impressions of Grissom, and what it's like to be on a reality show.

How did you end up on Sweet Home Alabama

Well, I moved to Phoenix for work [at Charles Schwab], and lo and behold, a reality show landed in my lap. My buddy actually gave me an alert on Facebook. He knew the casting director, and they'd put out feelers, asking if anybody knew someone who'd be a good candidate for the show. And so he told me, and I got in touch with them, and we started messaging and e-mailing back and forth. I didn't have to do an audition.

How did a baseball player turned stock broker end up in Phoenix? 
In high school, I was drafted, but I decided to go to Auburn University in Alabama. In college, I was drafted again, by the Cleveland Indians, so I spent some time playing in the minor leagues and farm systems. Eventually, I decided I needed to put my degree to work and moved to Phoenix for a job. I had family in Scottsdale as a child, so I was familiar with the place and comfortable with it.

What's life like on the set in Fairhope, Alabama? 
It's kind of like Smallville. When the cameras weren't there, I'd go out and exercise on the sand on Mobile Bay, and every time I saw someone, everybody would say, 'Hi! How are you today?' And I thought, 'That's weird. People don't do that.' I think they did know we were filming for the show, but they were very welcoming.

The thing about [Fairhope] is, it was hotter than hell. It was 97 degrees and 48 percent humidity. The last episode, I went on a date and had to ask for a towel. It was ridiculous.

What's your take on Devin Grissom (the woman up for competition)?
Devin's Southern-born, Southern-bred, and will a Southern girl 'til she's dead. Any eligible bachelor in his right mind would want to be with a Southern girl. She's not like women on some other reality shows, all blonde and ditzy. She's beautiful, intelligent, and down-to-earth. She goes to [University of Alabama at] Tuscaloosa, which is rivals to Auburn, where I went, so we had a bit of fun back-and-forth about that.

How's life on a reality show?
You have to get used to being on the spot and be ready to pour your heart out. There's three to five cameras on you, there's lights everywhere, and I'm just thinking, 'I've got to make myself known. I've got to make an impression, or I'm on my way home.' It's nerve-wracking. I choose my words very carefully.

Any challenges or hints you can spill about the show?
They left us in the dark. We didn't know what we were doing, or even who the girl was, when we first showed up. We didn't know what the day-to-day was going to be. They said, 'Be ready for this,' and the next thing you know, we're out with shotguns shooting skeet...then it was cow dung. [When we did cattle roping] we were knee-deep in cow dung. There's no other way to say it.

Are you getting stopped on the street by anyone who's seen you on the show?
Not out here [West coast]. But if I stepped foot east of the Mississippi, people would recognize me. CMT's really big there.

I will say, my social media is just blowing up. I'm at the point on Facebook now where I'm like, 'Do I need to make my profile private?' I thought I'd get a couple hundred new friends, and it's been more than a thousand. People who add me as friends send me messages of support, like 'I think you're the right guy for her,' and 'You're in it for the right reasons.' So that's been cool.

The third episode of Sweet Home Alabama airs Thursday, July 28, at 7 p.m. MST on CMT. Visit for more information.

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea

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