Grab your tropical cocktail, because these FBOY Island stars are spilling all the tea.
The hit HBO Max reality dating series broke streaming records—and also a few hearts. Following that shocking finale on Aug. 12, fans are still scratching their heads as to who found real love and who was just in it just for the cash.
Leads Nakia Renee, CJ Franco and Sarah Emig exclusively shared with E! News how they really felt watching themselves back onscreen, plus which male contestants are still trying to play games with them IRL. And do all of these women agree with their reality TV portrayals? The answer may surprise you.
Spoiler: Host Nikki Glaser chose not to reward Sarah's chosen winner Garrett Morosky's FBoy ways, and instead donated the $100,000 to charity. While audiences' jaws may have dropped, Sarah assured E! News that she fully knew who Garrett was throughout filming.
"Obviously it's a reality show, they're going to make some things seem they're more dramatic than they actually are," Sarah explained. "For example, I knew Garrett was an FBoy from the start...This was about me exploring my more fun side and my more spontaneous side and leaning into that."
However, Sarah still kept Garrett until the end, even after fellow contestant Matt Chamberlain alleged Garrett had a girlfriend back home. Sarah confronted Garrett in a tense moment...that Garrett only re-posted on social media. "I got bodied BUT the truth always prevails," he captioned the E! News coverage on Aug. 6.
Compared to other "over-produced" dating shows, Sarah added that FBOY Island was "completely unscripted" and designed to mimic the real-world dating scene. "In real life, you don't get all these completely eligible bachelors," she stated. "You'll get some FBoys, you'll get some nice guys, and you have to figure out who is who, so I think it was a really interesting take on the modern dating scene."
As co-lead CJ acknowledged, FBOY Island was a "social experiment" that forced her to grow in ways she didn't even know she needed to.
"I didn't know I had walls up, I didn't know I was closed off to certain things, and I feel super bonded to the cast," CJ said. "We thought that we were signing up for a fun dating show. We didn't know exactly what we were getting ourselves into, so seeing the FBoys and seeing how split everything was and how extreme everything was, I was nervous that it would not be flattering. I was nervous it wouldn't be feminist, and now looking back on it, I'm really happy with how everything came across."
However, she's not too keen on one part of her edit. "I look like a hard-ass," she joked. "I mean, I'm not going to lie, a part of me was like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm not that mean. I'm not that harsh on people.' But then a big part of me knows I am."
Nakia agreed. "How can I say this without getting myself in trouble? What's crazy is, I think I'm a lot more assertive when it comes to men than how I am portrayed on the show. That's just my take on it," she stated. "There's a lot of things that in the show, I wouldn't have put up in my real life, but maybe in that experience I let certain things slide. I'm not sure, but I definitely feel like there's a lot of things I wouldn't have let slide in my real life."
Now, about those other questionable men....
"Being an FBoy isn't all it's chalked up to be," Sarah pointed out. "You might actually be super insecure if you're a FBoy. It might relate to your childhood issues, or childhood traumas, so I think that's a really interesting aspect that they brought into things."
But, some FBOY Island alums are still surprising these leads even after the show wrapped. "It's like their FBoy ways have turned up since the show," Nakia said. "You think they would have changed, a lot of them, but I'm not naming any names. Some of these FBoys are still FBoy-ing, that's for sure."
And yes, there is somehow more drama online. "Like, two days ago, my ex-boyfriend DM'd Sarah," CJ opened up on Aug. 10. "Like that's how much experience I have with FBoys. She sent me the screenshot, I'm like, 'Why, why is this happening? This is terrible.' So yeah, you can say I've had quite a bit of experience with FBoys."
Thankfully, none of the other FBOY Island stars threatened to affect the women's friendship. "I think we did a really good job of navigating that," Sarah noted. "I think the cameras made it look like we were fighting over the guys, but it was more so fun."
Nakia concluded, "We all have unique personalities and we are women so there were moments we didn't agree on everything, but for the most part, we supported each other on the journey so that's what matters the most."
Amen to that!
FBOY Island is available to stream on HBO Max.