FBoy Island Season 2 Just Delivered One of the Funniest Moments in Reality TV History: Here's Why

FBoy Island executive producer Elan Gale breaks down the hilarious decision to not air an entire date on the HBO Max reality dating series in favor of showing contestants' abs instead.

By Tierney Bricker Aug 02, 2022 6:08 PMTags

After more than a decade in the reality TV business, Elan Gale is proving there's still a first time for everything.

In FBoy Island season two's fifth episode, viewers were surprised when the show opted not to air an entire date between one of its three leads, Tamaris Sepulveda, and one of her suitors, Aaron Spady. Why, you may be asking, would a reality dating competition series not show a romantic outing?

"Unfortunately, it was incredibly boring," a title card explained. "So here are 10 seconds of abs instead." After delivering on the promise to display an array of six-packs, a message then read, "Thank you for watching FBoy Island. Now back to our show."

It was shocking. It was unbelievable. And it was also f--king hilarious.

But Gale, who created FBoy Island after spending years as one of the most notable executive producers in the Bachelor franchise (you can basically thank him for Bachelor in Paradise!), said he was "really nervous" to actually pull it off, despite the series' absurd tone.   

Renewed and Canceled TV Shows 2022 Guide

"I felt really strongly about that," Gale explained to E! News. "Not because I don't think Aaron is a great guy or that Tamaris isn't wonderful. They had a good time, don't get me wrong. But sometimes you go on a date with someone and it doesn't go anywhere and that's okay!"

Gale continued, "It's not that it wasn't a good date, it was just not good TV. And when you make bad TV, that's on you and I don't think we should punish the audience." 

Storm Santos

On other shows, the footage would have likely made it to air, with producers trying to salvage it with the use of deliberate music choices and clever editing. But Gale is done playing by the genre's rules.

"Obviously, we would try a million different ways to make it work, but at the end of the day, it would be dishonest to play the date as either really amazing or really bad," he said. "So why don't we just focus on things that are more interesting and not waste anyone's time?"

Nikki Glaser Says FBoy Island Season Two Will Be "Very Different" for This Reason

It's the show's playful nature and willingness to adapt that has allured audiences who've become accustomed to the standard format after years watching people hand out roses. 

"When we all started this, we were like, 'We just want to do things differently,'" Gale explained. "So whenever we feel ourselves strapped in by the rules of television, we try really hard to go, 'F--k it.'"

Hassen Salum/HBO Max

And the key to FBoy Island's success might just be that romance isn't the top priority. 

"At the end of the day, we're not presenting as a dating show that's a comedy," Gale said, "we're presenting as a comedy that's a dating show."

It helps that the contestants are also in on the joke, even if they are often the butt of it. Sad trombone music plays whenever Tom Carnifax—an emotional nice guy who loves to journal and has a tendency to cry—appears, while host Nikki Glaser valiantly attempts to school the F-Boys by just making fun of them to their clueless-yet-game faces.

TV's Most Unconventional Dating Shows

"The people that are on the show know that it's all in good fun," Gale said, adding that he hopes viewers approach the series the same way the cast members do.

"This is a whacky spectacle that happens once a year. It's FBoy Purim and you just take it as it is," he continued. "It's not a reflection of who these men or who these women are in the real world either. We're saying, 'This is what this experience was, so just get aboard and enjoy it. Don't take it too seriously. The show is called f--king FBoy Island, we couldn't be more ridiculous if we tried."



And trust him, they don't have to try hard to court outlandish antics from the cast, with Gale admitting he's often "completely baffled" by some of the moments he's witnessed while making FBoy Island, including multiple men this season happily revealing they have girlfriends back at home. 

"Listen, I've been making dating shows for a long time and I have never heard someone just say, 'Yes, I have a girlfriend,'" Gale, who left The Bachelor franchise in 2018 after nine years, explained. "The rule is you say you don't! I'm sure many people have lied over the years, but I have never heard someone go, I do and it's awesome!'"

Here's How FBOY Island Changed Host Nikki Glaser's Life

But the format of FBoy Island lends itself to contestants coming in and treating it like a sport, which is something Gale noticed while casting the second season. 

"They knew the game and they wanted to play the game," he said. "I like using the word game because I am reading a lot of articles where people are breaking it down in a fully strategic sense, in the way that people talk about Big Brother and Survivor. That's a really interesting wrinkle as the show evolves and it will probably take a lot of turns left and right."

Translation: Put on your f--king seatbelt because it's always going to be a wild ride on FBoy Island.

FBoy Island is streaming on HBO Max.