While the former was a 'wholesome' show the latter is uh, wild!
In this reality, dating show ten singles from around the world are shipped off to a tropical paradise for the summer of their lives. But there's a twist. They are all commitment-phobes who like casual hook-ups. They will be put to the test to abstain from any sexual activity to win the grand prize of $100 000. The goal here is for contestants to form a deeper emotional connection.
From the sitcom that inspired the show, to a contestant being on a similar dating show, to contestants who wanted to leave, we discovered some fascinating behind-the-scenes facts about Too Hot To Handle.
1. AN UNLIKELY INSPIRATION
Believe it or not, the series was inspired by an episode of, wait for it, Seinfeld. In an interview with Oprah Magazine creative director and show developer, Laura Gibson shared that the idea came to her when she was re-watching the popular sitcom. In the episode, The Contest, the characters tried to resist masturbating to win a cash prize.
"I thought, there's a TV format in that. Why don't we get some of the hottest people on the planet to try and see if they can hold themselves back for cash?"
2. YOU WON'T BELIEVE HOW MANY PEOPLE AUDITIONED
Over 3 000 people auditioned for the show and, get this, they didn't really know what the show was about.
In an interview with Oprah Magazine creator Louise Peet said the contestants that made the cut were perfect.
"They fit the bill in terms of their habits, in terms of their love lives and their commitment phobia."
26-year-old Francesca Farago told ET Online that she didn't know what she was getting into.
"Right before we left for filming, we found a note that it was called 'untitled dating show' so then I was like, 'Perfect, this is great.'"
3. YOU CAN RENT THE VILLA THE CAST STAYED AT
The cast lived in the villa Casa Tau in Mexico which you can rent for $15 660 (R294 684) a night! It was filmed in Punta Mita, a private peninsula on Riviera Nayarit on Mexico's Southwest Coast, according to Oprah Magazine.
Filming took place in March 2019 for one month.
Chloe Veitch told ET Online that the cast was sworn to secrecy and that they couldn't share anything about their adventure until the show premiered.
"We filmed for around a month, and it was the most amazing month of my life. I'm just full of excitement right now," said the 22-year-old.
4. NOT THEIR FIRST REALITY SHOW
For some of the cast members, this wasn't their first reality show.
According to Buzzfeed, Matthew Smith was a contestant in season 21 of America's Next Top Model and Sharron Townsend was on the MTV Show, Undressed.
Sharron is really into these experiment shows.
5. FROM HEARTBREAK ISLAND TO ABSTINENCE ISLAND
Australian Harry Jowsey took part in a New Zealand dating show Heartbreak Island in 2018.
In this show a group of single guys and girls hook up and compete in a series of challenges to win $100 000.
The 23-year-old fell for Georgia Byers and the pair went on to win the series and split the winnings. However, the two broke up six months after they filmed the show, reports The Sun.
6. ALL YOU CAN EAT
We're talking about the food! The cast had a personal chef who cooked their meals and snacks to order.
Harry told Oprah Magazine that he has dreams about the food and that it was the best food he ever ate in his life.
He further shared that they would have a group dinner every night that was not recorded.
7. BUT DRINKS IN MODERATION
Unlike other reality shows where they ply the contestants with alcohol (we're looking at you The Bachelor) the cast could have drinks in moderation.
"We only got served in moderation. It wasn't like we were wilding out," Rhonda Paul said in an interview with Oprah Magazine.
8. LANA SEES EVERYTHING
Just like Big Brother sees everything so too does Lana, the AI robot who was their taskmaster. There were cameras everywhere, even in the shower.
In an interview with Yahoo! Life David Birtwistle said they were aware that Lana was everywhere.
"You don't have any real alone time — you're with people all the time. It's pretty much only when you're showering in the bathroom that you have alone time, but the showers have cameras in them as well."
(FORGET BIG BROTHER: Meet Lana, the love guru. Photo: Netflix)
9. TWO CONTESTANTS CONSIDERED LEAVING
After discovering what the show really was about two contestants considered leaving the show.
Francesca and Sharron both admitted to Oprah Magazine that they were shocked and upset about the twist. After thinking things through they decided to stay and participate in the social experiment.
"After a day of thinking about it, I realised it was for the best," said Francesca.
10. THE NARRATOR USED TO BE A DOMINATRIX
Who else to narrate a saucy show like Too Hot To Handle than a former dominatrix who worked in a New York sex dungeon?
Desiree Burch is the voice behind all the witty and playful commentary on the show.
The comedian was recently in South Africa where she performed at the Cape Town International Comedy Festival.