Too Hot To Handle Cast Member Has Thoughts About Netflix's Twist Ending

too hot to handle netflix season 1 rhonda paul

Many spoilers ahead for Season 1 of Too Hot to Handle on Netflix.

Netflix jumped back into the reality dating game with a competition series unlike anything else on the streamer. In Too Hot to Handle, a group of scantily-clad singles headed to paradise, but not to hook up with each other. In fact, every time they did something intimate with another contestant, they lost their shot at maximum prize money. The first season of Too Hot to Handle ended on a twist that not everybody was happy about, and contestant Rhonda Paul has weighed in.

Rhonda Paul finished in the top ten, but she wasn't the overall winner. In fact, there was no overall winner, as the twist at the end of the season was that since everybody had learned from their experience, everybody deserved a chunk of the prize money. So, the remaining ten got to split $75,000 between them, meaning the contestants gave up their privacy and went through a lot of self-deprivation for less than $8,000. Paul shared her feelings on how the ending went down with TVLine, saying this:

I thought I had a good shot at winning, but I didn’t know how it was going to go down. When Lana started making the announcement, and it was just me, Sharron, Harry and Francesca standing up, I was like, ‘OK!’ I know other people developed in different types of ways, so it was hard to sit there and think, ‘Who deserves this more than the others?’ The competitive voice in the back of my mind was like, ‘I want it all! Me and Sharron deserve it. He put me through the wringer!’ I was definitely rooting to at least be in the top four.

Yes, Lana -- a.k.a. the robot cone narrator that interacted with the contestants on Too Hot to Handle -- was seemingly on the verge of announcing the Top 4 finalists of the remaining ten before the bombshell reveal that they were all winners. To Rhonda Paul's credit, she didn't think the rest of the contestants weren't totally undeserving of credit, but she still wanted to at least come out on top of six of the Top 10.

Rhonda Paul connected with fellow contestant Sharron Townsend, who was also part of what seemed like the Top 4 before Lana explained the situation. Now that filming has completed and the show has released, Paul says that Townsend should have been the winner, if there had indeed been one winner, because he "took the biggest leap of faith," especially with her.

Does Rhonda Paul have any regrets about Too Hot to Handle, especially after the reveal that there was no winner to take home the lump sum of remaining cash? She explained how she views the Too Hot to Handle experience:

The lessons that we learned wouldn’t have been learned if we just did whatever we wanted. It opened my eyes and Sharron’s eyes to different things. We were almost went there quite a few times, and for a guy to turn that down with a woman is huge. When he said, ‘You’re more than just sex to me,’ that was a big deal.

Despite the fact that she never had a shot at taking home all the prize money, Rhonda Paul seems to have taken the twist ending better than a lot of viewers. Personally, that twist ending leads me to wonder if Too Hot to Handle was intended as a one-and-done series. After all, the show -- which is the #1 show on Netflix at the time of writing -- can't pull the same twist twice.

Still, it's possible that other hopefuls would be willing to give up everything for the Too Hot to Handle experience, so it should be interesting to see if the show has a future. Too Hot to Handle is a hot enough commodity that Tiger King already feels like a thing of the distant past; I wouldn't be surprised if Netflix wants more.

For now, you can find the full first season of Too Hot to Handle streaming on Netflix, along with plenty of other options.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).