Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers for the first Season 2 episode of Too Hot to Handle on Netflix.
Too Hot to Handle is back, with the first four episodes now available from the second season of Netflix's popular show, where over-sexed singles unknowingly agree to abstain from kissing, sex and even masturbation for the chance to win $100,000. After the massive success of the first season, it was predictably a little more difficult to get new contestants to sign up for Too Hot to Handle Season 2, so how did the producers make it happen without the new cast members knowing?
It turns out Too Hot to Handle indeed went to some extreme lengths to cast a new group of wild sex-hungry contestants for Season 2, initially by telling everyone they were part of a reality different show altogether. The young singles thought they were auditioning for a down-and-dirty series called Parties in Paradise, rather than one where any sexual contact would result in a decrease in prize money. (More like No Parties, No Paradise, amirite?) Stand-up comedian and TV personality Jeff Dye was even hired to temporarily serve as the fake host.
As one might imagine, the big reveal came as quite a shock to everyone expecting to hook up with other castmates. Season 2 newbie Emily Miller, a model from London who had an instant connection with fellow castmate Cam, talked to Express about how the group was completely unaware that they were promising to remain sexless for the summer.
No, they played us so well. You know, they're all wearing Parties in Paradise T-shirts, the hats. And they had a fake host. So yeah, I genuinely had no idea.
Season 1 of Too Hot to Handle didn’t include a host - just the all-seeing, all-knowing cone device named Lana - so seeing a real person there to welcome them was definitely one way to throw everyone off track. As well, Jeff Dye welcomed the contestants to Parties in Paradise and encouraged them to “go wild” at an animal-themed party that night, with Lana kept hidden from the contestants until a dramatic reveal at the party. (In Season 1, Lana was kept in plain view before the show’s chastity reveal, leaving the first season's cast to wonder if she was an air freshener or a lava lamp.)
After 12 hours of the Season 2 contestants getting to know each other, Jeff Dye teased an “internationally renowned VIP guest” was in attendance in paradise. The excitement overflowed, with the singles fantasizing about Beyoncé, Ariana Grande and Harry Styles stepping out. After an overdramatic countdown, though, the center of the bar opened and Lana ascended into sight with her signature “beep boop.” Subtlety is clearly not a virtue this group is familiar with, as the girls started screaming upon seeing Lana, while all the guys’ jaws hit the ground. As fooled as they all were, it didn’t take the group long at all to realize that Parties in Paradise was just a front for Too Hot to Handle's second season.
Sexy nerd Cam Holmes also spoke to Express about why he felt he had no reason to doubt the validity of Parties in Paradise.
Like when I was picked up to go to the villa, the driver’s wearing a hat that said Parties in Paradise backwards. I was looking at it the whole time thinking, ‘Okay, that must be Parties in Paradise.’ Like why would they buy fake hats? Like who goes to that length? But they did. They bought fake hats.
Indeed, Netflix bought and presumably designed those fake hats and all the other attire. And now the fun begins…or ends, depending on how you’re looking at it. And you'd better keep your hands to yourself while you're looking at it.