Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

Hosting ‘Love Island USA’ Feels Effortless for Superfan Ariana Madix

During Season 10 of Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules,” before the scandal known as Scandoval surfaced, there was a telling scene between Ariana Madix and her then-boyfriend, Tom Sandoval. The couple acknowledged they weren’t spending enough quality time together. Sandoval preferred living the party life, while Madix wished for more cozy nights in, watching her favorite show, “Love Island USA,” with friends.

Sandoval’s response was blunt, “I don’t have time to watch 50 (expletive) episodes of ‘Love Island.’ No, I don’t.”

Madix, undeterred, retorted, “That’s literally all we talk about so…” with a tone that implied it was non-negotiable.

Fast forward about a year and a half. Madix and Sandoval’s relationship is over, shattered by the revelation that Sandoval had been cheating on Madix for over six months with a co-star from “Vanderpump Rules.” Now, Madix hosts “Love Island USA” on Peacock, succeeding the previous host, Sarah Hyland.

This new role is particularly fitting for Madix, whose almost-decade-long relationship disintegrated publicly. Since then, she’s competed on “Dancing with the Stars” and performed on Broadway as Roxie Hart in “Chicago.” Her Broadway stint was so well-received that it was extended and she’s expected to return for another round next month. Additionally, Madix, a former bartender, released a bestselling cocktail recipe book and launched a sandwich shop in Los Angeles called “Something About Her” with her “Vanderpump” co-star Katie Maloney.

For the past month, Madix has been filming “Love Island USA” in Fiji. As a self-proclaimed superfan, she describes the job as a dream come true.

“I love watching how this show is made,” Madix shared in a recent Zoom interview. “There’s a crew of maybe 400 people or so working to make this happen and to turn these episodes around almost in real-time. It is so impressive.”

“Love Island USA” centers around a group of single men and women who move into a remote villa to find love. Couples form based on first impressions, and these relationships are then tested to reveal if they have lasting chemistry. Contestants are free to explore connections with new singles who arrive over time. Viewers can vote for their favorite couples, and eliminations occur at various points, culminating in a public vote for the winning couple who wins a cash prize.

Madix spoke candidly about her experience with “Love Island USA” and her future aspirations during a Q&A session. Here are some highlights:

“I love it,” she said about seeing the behind-the-scenes workings of the show. “There are cameras everywhere, but they’re fly-on-the-wall cameras, so there’s no one walking around with a camera on their shoulder.” This, she noted, is a stark contrast to other reality shows.

“It feels to me like a study in sociology,” Madix remarked. “I am fascinated by both the big dramatic moments and the day-to-day conversations and small interactions. It’s like watching a cultural study in a fishbowl.”

Madix also revealed that while she couldn’t vote during the UK version of the show, she has voted for past seasons of the U.S. version, starting with Season 4, which was filmed in California.

When asked if she keeps up with the show as a viewer when not on set, Madix confirmed, “I am constantly texting people who are working in the villa on my off days to get the tea on what’s going on.”

Though her interactions with contestants are limited, Madix shared, “I get to say hi to them when I come in, but it depends on what I’m there to do. Sometimes they can tell from my poker face that I’m there to deliver bad news.”

Reflecting on her recent 39th birthday, Madix was optimistic about the future. “I hope this year is just as great. I’m hoping to really blow it out and make it something super fun as a last hurrah to my 30s.”

On the subject of her post-Scandoval opportunities, Madix expressed gratitude for her team. “I’m proud of myself and my team. We’ve worked so hard for many years, and it’s amazing to see our hard work pay off. I try to focus on our accomplishments and push out any self-doubt.”

Madix’s journey has been nothing short of eventful, and her current role in “Love Island USA” seems like a perfect match for someone who has always loved the show.

Source: AP News