Q: What are the differences between this USA Network incarnation and the Fox 2001-03 version?
A: Truthfully, the format is very much like it was when it originally came out. So for those viewers who are excited about it being rebooted and watched it the first time around, they’re going to get everything that they remember from “Temptation Island.” The difference that’s sort of added to it is that on this version we lean really on everybody involved for their stories. So instead of just having tempters come to tempt them, we have singles who are also looking for love. So the love story kind of gets folded out a little bit bigger. It’s more about everyone searching for love this time than just seeing if people will stray or not.
Q: So the singles are looking for love, too?
A: Well, everyone is there for their own story. You have the couples who are at the crossroads in their relationship and they’re hoping to find some answers, but then you have the singles who have chosen to come – and that’s important to note, that everyone chose to come. And they have had ups and downs in relationships, too, so what they’re really looking for is to find what we’re all searching for, which is to find that person, your person.
Q: One might consider this a grad school course in human nature, no?
A: You know, without getting too heavy, it is. It’s very much about the gap between what we think we want and what we find out we really want. And a lot of times I think young couples have a list or an agenda or a timeline or a schedule of how they want their lives to go, and that’s not how love works. And so the reason for saying yes to doing the show may be manifold but ultimately they get down to business because the experience forces them to legitimately ask those questions.
George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.