MTV‘s Ex on the Beach is back, and this season, two reality TV mainstays that face their execs are Big Brother and The Challenge legend Da’Vonne Rogers and Love Island and The Amazing Race alum Ray Gannt.
Both are on the show, and though their scenarios are very different, a lot of what they are going through and a lot of the realizations they had are the same and in line with each other. Both Rogers and Gantt spoke to Shadow and Act Unscripted ahead of this week’s episode to talk about this season, dealing with their exes on the show and major lessons that they have taken away from this experience.
For Rogers, this is the first time she has been on a reality television series that isn’t a competition series.
“It was something different,” she says of choosing to do the show. “I feel like I’ve been doing competition shows since 2015. And at this point in my life, I wanted my supporters to see a different side of me. I wanted them to see something new and something refreshing. Little did I know, competing for your heart is a lot more difficult. But they do get to see a different side of me. Like in the first episode, we saw a level of vulnerability that I’ve never shown before. And so you know, it’s peeling layers back of Da’Vonne and so I’m really excited for that.
Speaking of that vulnerability, Rogers it was important for her to share her experiences in being in a long-term relationship and how that impacts her today so she could help others. She deals with that as well as having her ex, Big Brother Canada‘s Jamar Lee, on Ex on the Beach.
She explained, “I’m a firm believer that your testimony could be attached to somebody else’s deliverance. There are a lot of things that I tend to keep to myself, whether it’s embarrassment or I just don’t want to share, I’m very private about that. But at the same time, I had to realize you may never know who this might help. This might help somebody else. And it did. Like, I can’t even explain how many messages I got from people saying, ‘I’m in that same situation,’ ‘Thank you because now I know how to handle it, now what to do and I’m right there with you.’ It was a strong support system. So you never know. Moving forward, I tell everybody to speak up. Get it off your chest because you never know who you may be helping.”
As for Gannt, who is on the show with Caro Viehweg from his last reality stints, though he is different from Rogers in that he is being put in the hot seat himself, the lessons that he’s learned from the season include vulnerability as well.
“For me honestly, when it came to like relationships, to keep it 100, not that I was blind…but I was scared to always, like, be 100% with somebody, even if I was kind of over them, because I just always felt like I didn’t want to hurt that person’s feelings,” he said. “But in the end, I always ended up hurting that person anyway. So I feel like in this season, I became a lot more vulnerable to like my close friends like Dav’Vonne and Arisce [Wanzer] and [the] people that I was really open to. They made it more comfortable [for] me to be myself to let me know about these things. You know, we have close friends that tell you about yourself straight up. Those are your best friends, those are your close friends [and] they’re not going to steer you the wrong way. That made me feel good. So I know like moving forward after the season, I’m able to just like pinpoint the things that I gotta work on when it comes to relationships, being scarred a little bit and growing as a man.”
Watch the full interview above in which the two talk more about the season, the fight that Gantt orchestrated that takes place in tonight’s episode, the history The Cookout made on Big Brother and more.