When season 6 of Are You the One? debuts on MTV Wednesday night, a new one will be standing front and center. Former 106 & Park host Terrence J will be helping to guide the 22 singles — 11 sets of unknown perfect matches — toward finding one another and, thus, their pieces of the $1 million prize.
To prepare us for a new round of spit-swapping, hair-pulling, and inappropriate trips to the boom-boom room, Terrence J filled us in on what he’s bringing to the game and which personalities to look out for.
What made you want to host AYTO?
I’ve kind of just been the go-to guy for MTV. I did a show called Safe Word that I executive produced that did really well and the VMAs and other stuff. I was looking through the portfolio and this show just caught my eye. I watched one episode and then I watched 20 episodes. I wanted to do something different; this show was out of the box, and it’s so much fun.
How are you going to put your own spin on the hosting gig compared to Ryan Devlin, who hosted the first five seasons?
I’ve just got flavor for days. As soon as I walk in the building, it just means all this extra flavor that I bring to the table. I just had fun, man. I didn’t try to do anything different or not.
Devlin had that kind of choreographed movement he did as he counted the light beams. Are you going to do a version of that?
I’ve got my own little stuff. I’m not doing fingers like that. I’ve got my own stuff.
How are you handling dealing with some of the inevitable bickerings that happen at the beam ceremonies?
I’m 35, so I’ve kind of seen it all, from my friends going through relationship fights to being on the set of Think Like a Man and watching relationship scenes and fights play out. So I have a lot of experience being around it and I hope I added some maturity. I’m just a guy who’s been there, I’ve done it, I’ve fought in relationships and had my own problems, and I just bring that experience and that flavor to the table.
Assuming the group has some rough weeks finding matches, what advice are you giving them?
We all think we know what we want, right? We’ll say, “Oh, I want a guy who’s gonna treat me like this or treat me like that, and if I could have that, that’s what I want.” But that’s wrong. We all say we want to look great and eat healthily, but then as soon as ice cream and cookies and pizza come out, we go for the wrong meal. So that’s kind of what we watch play out. My advice would be for people to stay true to themselves and follow their heart, but also follow your mind and be smart and be mindful of the things they know are good for them.
So you do really believe love is possible from this show?
Yes! Look, I live in L.A. If you meet a girl on a Friday night, it might be a week before you can take her on a date. Say you take her on a date on Wednesday — you go to the movies, you go to dinner, you listen to music in the car, you’re on Instagram while she’s talking. It takes a long time before you can get to a point where you can have a deep conversation with a girl. You’ve got to go on multiple dates with all these distractions to make that connection. In this type of environment, you’re stuck. You’ve got to talk to a person and get to know them. There ain’t no Snapchat in between. Having that intimate, one-on-one time week after week and day after day really leads to some intimate bonds. I think you can find the perfect person when you really get to know people. I think, for a lot of them, it was an experience for them to get to know people on this level, and for them to get to know themselves.
And we have a track record. Are You the One? has a history of couples that have lasted and people that are married, people that have had kids, from this show.
How is the show’s move to New Orleans going to change the vibe?
Every date is curated to be unlike any date you’ve seen over the course of this show. So instead of watching a spider monkey jump from a tree, that has nothing to do with the show, you get to watch [the singles] go on a date to a haunted mansion and see how they react being around ghosts. You get to see alligators. It really plays into the show different ways. It’s a completely different texture from what you’ve seen before.
Are there certain personalities we should keep an eye on?
In the first episode, you get to see [a love triangle between] Malcolm and Diandra and Nurys. Ethan is our resident rapper — he’s so much fun to watch. Keith is our resident genius. … They’re really just a fun group of people.
AYTO? has become something of a farm team for The Challenge. Are there any players you think would perform particularly well on that series?
Absolutely. We have stars on this show. We have castmates this season that burst off the screen. We have people that are Fun. To. Watch, with a lot of energy, a lot of personality. There’s drama, there are fights, there’s sex. There’s everything you want in an Are You the One? plus, you get me. Now you’ve got your cake and you get to eat it, too.
Are You the One? season 6 premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. on MTV.