As reality TV has shown, watching attractive singles flirt, hook up, and try to find love is always interesting, but Netflix's new realty dating show Too Hot To Handle really upped the ante. Putting a group of horny commitment-phobes together at a beautiful resort, the show challenged its contestants to form meaningful relationships by implementing a ban on kissing and sex — and rewarding them with money if they're able to keep it in their pants. Of course, viewers got to see a lot go down on the series, but with only eight episodes of lusty content, there are tons of behind-the-scenes facts about Too Hot To Handle that didn't make the cut.
Since the show debuted on April 17 on Netflix, both the series' creators and contestants have done their fair share of press to reveal some unseen details from the series. There have also been a lot of internet sleuths out there who have uncovered hidden information about contestants' pasts that might totally surprise you. Basically, if you thought what you saw on-screen was surprising, what you're about to read will blow you away.
Behold, 14 conversation starters to make you the most in-the-know person in your squad's group chat.
1. Thousands Applied To Be On 'Too Hot To Handle'
Though the team behind the reality series reviewed over 3,000 applications during casting, creator Louise Peet said it was easy to spot who would be a fit for the show. "When their casting tapes came to us, they sang. They were perfect. They fit the bill in terms of their habits, in terms of their love lives and their commitment phobia," she told Oprah magazine about the cast members chosen.
Bonus: While some contestants applied to be on the series, others were scouted by producers. For example, both Nicole and Chloe reveal to Elite Daily they were approached directly about joining the series.
2. The Show Was Filmed In Mexico
Not everyone was 21 during filming, but they all appeared to be drinking alcohol on the show, so viewers knew the series couldn't have taken place in the U.S. It turns out, the show was filmed in Punta Mita, Mexico, at Casa Tau's private villa. Want to stay there yourself? The sprawling compound is a mere $15,660 per night.
3. Chloe Almost Wasn't Cast
"I got contacted by someone on Instagram that I already knew through another TV show, and I was actually in a relationship at the time when I first met the caster," Chloe tells Elite Daily.
By the time the producer messaged Chloe a second time — to ask if she had any single friends who could audition — the bubbly Brit was single again and ready to join the show. "The reason why I decided to go ahead with the whole process and go on the show is because I thought it would be a great way to finally meet someone, and to kind of challenge myself," Chloe explains.
4. Cast Members Wanted To Leave After The No-Sex Ban
Not everyone was thrilled to be at the retreat when Lana, the robot that watched their every move, instituted the rule against sexual touching. Nicole tells Elite Daily, “When Lana dropped our bombshell, I mean, you can see it even on camera, all of our faces, we were just so shocked. I'll never forget everyone's hearts just dropped and people wanted to leave. But then everyone then decided, 'Okay, we're here for a reason. Lana is going to help us overcome these issues that we all have.'"
5. The Series Was Inspired By A 'Seinfeld' Episode
The concept for Too Hot To Handle might seem a bit out-there, but it turns out, the producers were inspired by something else they saw on television. Show developer Laura Gibson revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that Seinfeld's 1992 episode "The Contest" sparked the idea for the series. "They all had to not masturbate for money, and they all cave," she said, remembering at the time, she thought, "there's gotta be a show in there."
6. Matt Was On 'New Girl' & 'America's Next Top Model'
Too Hot To Handle wasn't Matt's first time on television. In 2012, he landed a role on New Girl, where he played Gino, Cece's model co-star. In his main scene, Schmidt was jealous of Cece and Gino's sexy photoshoot on a rocket, and tried to shut the photoshoot down, leaving Cece embarrassed.
Two years later, Matt joined Cycle 21 of America's Next Top Model, sporting a much shorter haircut at the time. He excelled in the first few episodes (he even won the second challenge), but placed 10th out of 13 contestants.
7. This Was Harry's Second Reality Show
Harry previously appeared on New Zealand's Heartbreak Island, which he won with his then-girlfriend Georgia Bryers. They took home a $100,000 cash prize from the show, but the relationship didn't last. Harry and Georgia announced their split shortly after the show hit the air.
8. Sharron Has Also Been On TV Before
Sharron appeared in an episode of the MTV series Undressed in 2017, on which people — you guessed it — undressed each other.
9. The Cast Ate Super-Well
Nicole told Collider: "We had these personal chefs who cooked us whatever we wanted for breakfast, lunch, dinner. So for breakfast, we would have huge fry-ups, french toast, pancakes," she said. "And then lunch would be just steak. We had steak all the time. Same with dinner — lovely chicken. It was amazing."
Although they ate like royalty, their drink options were a bit more limited. Rhonda told Oprah magazine that alcohol was limited. "We only got served in moderation," she explained.
10. Cameras Were Everywhere — Even The Bathrooms
As fans know, there were some pretty tight restrictions on all sorts of sexual contact. But could Lana really see everything they were doing? Apparently yes. Bryce told Hollywood Raw there were cameras everywhere, even in the bathrooms. Fans familiar with the show may have seen a shower scene or two, so this fact might not come as a shock.
However, producers insist there were no cameras in the toilet area (to provide a certain level of privacy), but "if there was anything suspicious going on in the middle of the night, they would have to be listened to by our transcribers, or our producers," Peet explained, adding they "had to start deciphering what different levels of breathing meant" to determine exactly what was going on in behind closed doors.
11. Francesca & Harry Got Creative During Their Private Suite Time
Francesca and Harry might've broken quite a few of the rules during their stay on Too Hot To Handle, but when Lana told them they could win back the prize money they lost by simply not touching each other during a private overnight stay in the villa's retreat, they redeemed themselves a bit.
“We kind of just decided for both of us that we were going to make it a fun night, kind of make it a joke and play some games and not take it too seriously because we agreed that if we were to get into nitty gritty conversations and start talking about our emotions, the emotions would take over and we would start losing money and breaking some rules," Francesca tells Elite Daily. "We were going to prove ourselves ... that we didn't need to get physical to express the way we feel toward each other."
12. Lana Is Basically A Super Nanny
Apparently there are two celeb inspirations for Lana. ""We think of Lana as Mary Poppins meets Ellen DeGeneres. She's also a bit of a super nanny as well," creator Louise Peet explained to Oprah.
13. Producers Made Up Rules As The Show Progressed
While the concept of the show (aka the sex ban) was set in stone before filming, a lot of what unfolded on screens can be attributed to some on-the-spot decisions by the producers.
For example, the cost of each violation (i.e. $3,000 for a kiss, $10,000 for sex) wasn't established until the rules were actually broken. They also didn't decide how they were going to allocate the prize money until the end. The decisions "evolved very organically while filming," creator Peet explained to People. "We realized quite early on that everyone was learning, and if they weren’t learning — for example, Haley — then they would naturally be asked to leave because they weren’t progressing in the retreat."
When to bring in new contestants was also a fluid discussion. "Depending on the group dynamic, and depending on the story that was happening at the time, we would bring people in as a way to bring a bit more energy to the retreat. It also added a little bit of temptation, which was great for us," Peet said.
14. The Contestants Are Still In Touch
Harry told Cosmopolitan that they have a group chat going to stay connected. Although his Too Hot To Handle bae might be a little less active in those chats. "I think Francesca stepped away from them a little bit, because I don't think they were too fond of her," he explained.
"You can't put 15 people together and expect everyone to see eye-to-eye." Francesca explained, adding: "Overall, we're definitely all still relatively tight."
Too Hot To Handle is on Netflix now.