The cast of All Star Shore compare their reality show experiences – exclusive interview
The new Paramount+ series “All Star Shore” features your favorite reality TV personalities from shows like †Jersey Shore”, “Love Is Blind”, “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, “Bachelor in Paradise”, “Geordie Shore”, “Love Island” and “Rio Shore” party-style competition series where the stars compete in games like ‘Party Pong’ ‘ and ‘Shots and Found’.
Prior to the series’ release on June 29, cast members sat down for an exclusive interview with The List. Giannina Gibelli of ‘Love is Blind’, Blake Horstman of ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (or Vanjie) of “Rupaul’s Drag Race” all discussed their experience coming to the new show. The reality stars shared how different “All Star Shore” was from previous shows they’ve been on and why they wanted to get back on reality TV. They also shared some of the show’s most challenging elements and what they learned from the rest of the cast in the series.
How All Star Shore Was Different From Their Past Shows
Blake, when you went to this show, you had a different mindset than you had on “Bachelor in Paradise?”
blake: Yes. One of the coolest things about this show, at least for me, was: [the fact that] it was a competition show. I told myself I would never do a dating show again, so this was something completely different. I went in with a very different strategy, so it was really exciting to prepare for this compared to Paradise or any other show like that.
Do you feel that that mentality has stayed the same the whole time or maybe there have been changes?
blake: No. I did meet someone very special, and you have to tune in to see it, but it was an environment where I could be more wary than ever on reality television. It was something special for me, and it worked very well. It wasn’t what I necessarily expected, but I really enjoyed it.
Vanjie, you came out of “Drag Race” on this one, so you’ve been in a very competitive environment before. Do you feel that this gives you an edge over the competition?
vanjie: A bit, because I’m already competitive by nature. I’d love to participate, but when I signed up to do the show, I thought, “I’m going to party.” I didn’t really think I’d be running up and down the beach, wearing things and doing all these athletic things. I think, “If they invite me, I don’t think it’s going to be that much of a challenge.” What did I know?
Giannina, this is a very different show from Love is Blind. What was that change like for you that came up?
Gianna: It was so refreshing. Let me tell you, I was like, “You know what? I’m not even going to think about it. It’s not a dating show, so I don’t have to put my heart into it.” That was what really drew me to the show. I’m going to have fun and party. I would do something else after that, and that would be a little more intense. I was like, “This is it; here I can let go of my hair and let it go.” With ‘Love is Blind’ it felt the same because it was the first of its kind, that first social experiment. I was really attracted to [“All Star Shore”] and also because it is the very first party competition show. I like being the first. I’m just as competitive, so I want to be the first of everything. That got me really excited to do it.
Why did they feel ready to move on to another reality show?
For all of you, why did you decide you wanted to go back to a reality TV show?
blake: Honestly, I never thought I’d do another show. I really didn’t. I didn’t think I’d do another reality TV show; that was part of my life [in] Past. When I was approached by this show, it was very different [from] what I’ve ever done, and I wanted, almost in a weird way, that I challenge myself if I could… being in that environment again, an environment like this, I’m very competitive. I loved the challenge of competing against each other.
I really liked the idea of all the different cultures and all the different reality stars from around the world, the different shows and how that was going to work. There was a lot that intrigued me about this show. So in the end I decided to sign up.
vanjie: I decided to sign up because I wanted to do something outside of ‘Drag Race’. I didn’t want to go to “All-Stars” just yet… it was a great opportunity. We would be all the way to the motherland in Africa. I’d pretty much be on vacation, running around, meeting all these people from different shows, and opening my horizons beyond “Drag Race”. This is a blessing, and… to drink and then get paid for it? I’m not going to let that pass.
Gianna: I didn’t know that… I love being in front of the camera. It’s my happy place. I’ve always wanted to do TV, but I didn’t expect this. I was supposed to live in Europe then, but I didn’t. Last minute things got in the way, and I got a call like, “Hey, do you want to go to the coast of Africa to party and meet people from all over the world?” I thought, “How did I somehow manifest this?” It sounds perfect – exactly what I wanted to do. I really wanted to meet like minded people and get from so many different shows in one, I thought that would be way better than not seeing anyone from the other side of the wall for 10 days. It’s like, “Oh my God, I can deal with people.” I was really excited.
All Star Shore brings together many great personalities
Like you said, people come from all these different shows. It was definitely a lot of great personalities coming together. What was it like meeting and merging everyone like this?
blake: I was a little shocked. At first it was a little shock. I remember there was a time when I was doing an interview and I was like, “Well, I’m not on ABC anymore. Where am I?” I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I loved meeting everyone and great personalities and good people. Everyone was usually really good souls and stuff. They loved to have fun, and it was a light-hearted environment. I really enjoyed it, based on what I’ve done in the past, it was very serious. It was amazing. I enjoy meeting everyone, and it’s something I would do again in a heartbeat. I can’t say that about all the shows I’ve done.
vanjie: Not only do we come from all kinds of different shows, but also culturally everyone is so different, so it’s a lot of different people. It was a lot to take in, and it was fun. We were all well known, and everyone was pretty successful… to put us all in one house, it’s like putting 12 Beyonces in their heads in one house, and everyone wants to get that prima donna treatment. It was a lot, and it was fun. It made me – I often laughed a lot, and it was great to see everyone and complain about the same shit and then have to run up and down the beach. You see some of the people you love on TV doing all these crazy activities. It’s a kiki.
Gianna: We also started to absorb each other’s personalities. First I’m going to say it was curiosity, like puppies getting to know each other, like, “Where are you from? You look familiar” and then you see us all at ease and start looking for each other a little bit. . You see us forming one big family. We all have different sayings from around the world and from our own shows, and towards the end we were all yelling these random things at each other. Not to spoil anything, but it was really amazing to see how such great personalities could all come together to become even greater, honestly, because we were one together.
blake: I had a British accent when I left.
Gianna: At the end we all said this random shit but yeah it was awesome.
What were the biggest challenges they faced during the show?
Were there elements of the show that were more challenging than you expected?
blake: I don’t know all we can say…
Gianna: Yes. What can I say?
Vanjie: Probably because we were still filming, and [in the middle of the] pandemic. I feel like that was a bit of a challenge because we still had to be safe. We were tested every day, and the test there was nothing like that one [they do here]† They put it in your brain, tickle it, and I don’t have much to work with, so they took what I had left. I feel like it was a minor hurdle to do that. They tried to keep the cast and crew and everyone safe. They wanted us to do everything, but at the same time we have to be really safe.
Gianna: The weather was the worst for me.
vanjie: Oh yeah.
Gianna: You think it’s going – “I’m in a bikini all day. It’s going to be so much fun.” It’s either, you literally burn to death, or you freeze. It was really hard to do that in the morning, then party in the evening, and then do it all over again and run up and down. It was very hard on your body, to be honest. The weather didn’t make it easy at all. I did not expect that. I thought I was going on vacation.
vanjie: Yes, we were supposed to stay until four o’clock and get up at seven o’clock or something. It was wild.
blake: Yes, it was a lot.
Gianna: I thought, “I’ll be the first in the bathroom, because there’s seven girls here. I’ll be the first.”
vanjie: Right, no hot water if you wait until 8:00.
Gianna: It’s like one big student house.
What they learned about themselves during the competition
Do you feel like you learned something from performing on the show?
blake: One of the coolest things was… when it comes to the culture, there [were] certain traditions or ways that people would say certain things or something. One of the coolest things I learned was how the different cultures can affect the competition in general and the sayings, what Gi was talking about, or things like that. When I walked away, there was a better understanding of all these different cultures, and that was really exciting. I liked that very much.
vanjie: [It] was the same [for me] with the culture, learning from everyone’s backgrounds and all the different lingos. Also when you are pushed to do something you are always amazed at yourself and what you can actually do athletically and even hangover drinking and partying and you could get up and run around and I was really surprised with myself a lot of the time . I was like, “I don’t know if I’ll be able to do this.”
Gianna: I wanted to say that a lot of people didn’t know what they were capable of until they did it. For me personally, that’s saying a lot too, but it was so great to be around people and not feel… I felt very connected, and I didn’t know I could do that again after going through “Love Is Blind” and everything. I was like, “Wow, I get along well with all these wonderful people, and I’m very comfortable, and I can push myself to the limit and feel really good mentally.” After my experience mentally [on “Love Is Blind”], it was really tough. After this I thought, “Wow, I’m stronger. I’m mentally stronger.” I personally took that out.
“All Star Shore” premieres on Paramount+ on Wednesday, June 29.
This interview has been edited for clarity.
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