Marist Alum Finding Love on ‘Temptation Island’

Four couples, 24 singles looking to break them up and two villas in Maui, Hawaii. This is “Temptation Island.” 

The USA Network reality show follows four couples as they test the strength of their relationship against the temptation of a dozen eligible singles hoping to find love. For the couples, the goal is to stay together. For the singles, it’s finding a connection with someone already in a committed relationship. Marist College alumnus Rachel Hamel, Class of 2015, is one of the singles on season two of “Temptation Island, which premieres Thursday, Oct. 10. 

Since graduating from Marist with a degree in Fashion Design, she’s been working for a licensing company designing swimwear. But she took a break to try her hand at finding her “ride or die.” Below, she shares what it’s like to spend a month finding love the most untraditional way possible.

Why did you decide to go on “Temptation Island?”

Well, I always thought I was going to end up on “The Bachelor,” but that didn’t happen. I actually have a friend who was on season one, so kind of as a joke I applied when I saw the application online. About two hours later, I got a phone call. Then it was a Skype interview, they flew me out to LA, and then many rounds later I got picked out of thousands of people to be one of the 12 girls.

You’re completely disconnected on the island, without any cell phones, TV or music. How difficult was that?

In the beginning I think it truly was an adjustment. You keep thinking you feel your phone vibrating in your pocket, but you don’t even have your phone on you. But that’s how people fall in love in like two months on TV because there’s literally nothing else for you to do but talk to each other and get to know each other. 

How hard was it to live in a house with 12 girls?.

I actually lived in a build-up in Marian my freshman year, so I was used to having a lot of people in my room. For some girls, it was a really big adjustment, but I was in a sorority, so I was used to being around girls all the time. But the only alone time we had was in the shower. We were getting ready together, we were doing our makeup together, eating together—we all truly bonded. We have a group chat and we text every day. There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by without it. It’s kind of like a sisterhood. 

But there must have been some tensions if you were all going after the same four guys.

There were definitely some love triangles—or some love-less triangles. People aren’t always interested back, especially guys that have girlfriends. I can’t give away any spoilers, but it definitely was an experience trying to date guys that were in relationships. That’s something that I’m not used to. I’m used to having attention on me and me choosing which guy I want to go after, not really me pursuing someone who really doesn’t want anything to do with me. At least at first.

There was definitely animosity and emotions were very high with twelve girls and four guys. But I can only imagine how that would be on some of these other shows like “The Bachelor” where there’s thirty-something girls and one guy. 

How would you describe the show in order to get someone to tune in?

This is definitely a social experiment; this isn’t a normal love story type of show. So if you’re in it for drama and seeing people in a very uncomfortable position, it’s definitely something to tune in. It’s not a girly love story type of show.

Is it hard to keep everything a secret from your family and friends before the show airs?

Yes. It’s definitely hard. I just keep pushing that I signed an NDA, and if I get sued for a million dollars, then they’ll have to help me pay for it.

I hope everyone watches it. It’ll be fun to have someone from Marist on TV. I loved my college experience and I definitely talked about it – I’m not sure what they edited it to. But the guy I was close with also loved talking about his college experience, so it was really fun to reminisce about those times.

Makena GeraComment