Warning: This post contains spoilers for the finale of Are You the One? Come One, Come All. Read at your own risk!
Season 8 of Are You the One? has broken many barriers with its sexually fluid cast, and with the number of pairings the contestants could make in the search for all eight perfect matches, the season went right now to the wire.
Here is another spoiler alert if you did not watch the heart-pounding finale, but EW talked to two of the remaining stragglers who ended up being the perfect match, winning all $750,000 for everyone.
Amber Martinez and Remy Duran!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Congratulations on winning! So first off, what was the final matching ceremony like? The perfect matches went right down to the wire.
AMBER MARTINEZ: Oh my God, that was super intense because at that moment it was 50 percent Remy, 50 percent Justin, and I’ve had this physical attraction towards Justin for some weeks now, and that made me think it was him, but talking to Remy, and seeing all these qualities, and learning more about him, that’s when I knew like “Oh my God, this is my match.”
REMY DURAN: Yeah for me, I had no idea who it was. I was just letting everybody place me somewhere, I was just like “Whatever guys. Y’all figure it out because I have no idea.” And then when we all sat down to talk, everyone’s just like “Wait, you and Amber kind of say the exact same things, you speak the same way, you have the same attitude.” And I was like, “Oh yeah, yo it’s us! It’s us for sure.” And I was so confident in the fact that I saw what Amber was wearing, and I didn’t know Amber was like still 50/50, I was like oh s— we’re on the same page, it’s 100/100, and so I like dressed matching Amber.
And then I just saw her face on the way there and the whole time and I was like, “Did I just make a mistake matching Amber because she’s not even going to pick me?” I was a nervous wreck the whole time when I realized how nervous she was and still unsure even though she kind of like knew. But you can’t ignore this attraction you’ve had to someone for weeks because that’s what they tell us not to do.
Did that conversation you two had by the pool the final morning seal the deal for you?
MARTINEZ: The night before that conversation I had known that it was Remy, but having that conversation by the pool it just confirmed it for me even more and seeing that he was all in it because Remy and I were close friends on the show. Unfortunately, they didn’t show that, and so this is going to be a shock for people because they’re gonna be like, “They haven’t even had a conversation.”
DURAN: Yeah, one of the things that Amber constantly said throughout the entire show was, “I could walk all over this person, I can walk all over this person,” and Amber with me, it was never even a power clash, we just meshed and melded. We would talk all the time, we would hug each other every day like, “Hey honeybun.” I got into a lot of fights in the house, but I didn’t get into a fight with Amber the entire time I was in the house. I got into an argument with every single other housemate except for Amber.
MARTINEZ: And every time he would get into an argument with someone, I’d be like, “Hey, let’s go to the side and talk it out next to me,” all the time.
DURAN: Yeah even from the beginning I was like, “Amber let’s go in the confessional, like let’s talk, like what’s the tea, what’s good, how are you feeling about this?” And it was just our cute little moments that no one really got to see.
This season starts with a bang and ends with a bang, and we have you two to thank for that. What do you think was the wilder Boom Boom Room moment, Remy and Kai in the premiere or Amber and Justin in the finale?
MARTINEZ: I wish they showed our ending.
DURAN: I think it was crazier to see Amber and Justin because Kai and I were just that initial like, “Oh hi, I don’t know you at all. Let’s just do this.” And then Kai and I ended up — like I don’t even have Kai’s number saved my phone. We haven’t said one word outside of the group chat to each other. But Amber and Justin, it’s this culmination of literally an entire 10 weeks worth of this primal lust between these two people, this forbidden love that just happened to explode at the end. I definitely feel like that one’s a bit more of a shocker.
MARTINEZ: I think it’s funny how the first episode you hook up with someone, and the last episode I hook up with someone. We’re the perfect match.
Exactly, but it goes with sort of the motto of the show to keep everyone’s options open because you never actually know who your match is.
DURAN: Right, and that’s the thing, throughout the whole time, every time I chose someone I was nervous. But at the end, when I chose Amber I was sure. There was no nervousness. I didn’t have the shakes, the jitters. I was like, “Oh we got this, we won.” I was so calm until I saw Amber’s little face looking away from me. I was like, “Is she about to pick Justin?” But otherwise, I knew if Amber would pick me, we would win.
MARTINEZ: I felt the same. I was super confident when I called Remy’s name up. I knew there was no way we were going to lose because being Remy’s friend, like it doesn’t always have to start off on a romantic level, and sometimes I forget that you can be friends with someone and it can blossom into something romantic. It’s so funny because one time I remember Remy and I were talking about how we’re the realest people, and imagine we’re each other’s match, like joking around, and it really was [true].
Living through it, do you two feel like you are the most surprising match in the house? What do you all think is the biggest surprise in terms of perfect matches?
DURAN: Living through it, it wasn’t that surprising at the end of it all. Watching it, it definitely would be the most surprising match because I read the comments, I search my name and everything to see what everybody is saying about me, and no one — I think I’ve literally seen one or two out of hundreds and hundreds of tweets and comments and threads — put Amber and me together. So I think no one’s going to expect it, but when it really like clicks, it’s going to be like, “Oh s—, Okay.” I think the more surprising perfect matches are Danny and Kai.
MARTINEZ: Or Nour and Jasmine.
DURAN: Or Justin and Kylie.
MARTINEZ: Kylie and Justin are definitely a curveball. We didn’t see Justin and Kylie talk on TV. It was really like that in real life.
DURAN: Yeah they literally didn’t have a conversation the entire time, which is why until we had that those final conversations with Amber and me, I was like, “Yeah okay, I guess me and Kylie, whatever.” And then, when we really sat down, I was like “No it’s not Kylie, it’s me and Amber.” And I guess Justin and Kylie…well maybe y’all would’ve found something if y’all had a conversation but…
It was funny watching everyone try to put Remy and Max together while doing the math because that is so clearly not a match.
DURAN: It was very clearly not, and I’m so happy they didn’t put in my confessionals talking about it because I was so frustrated. I was like, “What are they thinking?!” I love Max, Max is one of my best friends from the house, but I was just like, “These matchmakers are on crack, what are you smoking.” But I realized that they’re not on crack. They put me with Amber for a reason. It makes more sense, I was just frustrated with the whole process. I’m so glad they didn’t air my confessionals about that situation.
Has the show been reflective of your experiences in the house? It seemed like everyone was attracted to Amber but had their walls up with Remy.
DURAN: I can only speak for my part. Obviously, I feel like that that mirrors real life. I’m just a person who lays it all out there. I am who I am, and I feel like the only person really who never — well, I never heard it if she did – passed judgment. She was just like, “Okay cool, you know? Because again, she’s from New York City. She meets freaky crazy people like me all the time. She probably knows a few of me in New York, whereas all these other people are from small towns or whatever, so they never grew up around, or experienced people like me. So Amber was just like “Cool, he is who he is,” and then we just became close from there.
MARTINEZ: Yeah I feel like a lot of people in that house really weren’t connecting with Remy because Remy was just so blunt and real about things, and some people just didn’t know how to handle the truth. I don’t want to say New Yorkers are just the realest people in the world or whatever…
DURAN: I mean we are.
MARTINEZ: Yeah we are. We’re just very blunt about things and we kind of don’t think before we speak, we just say it, and it may come off rude, and some people couldn’t handle that. That’s why I connected with Remy because yes, he came at me a little rude sometimes, but I knew he didn’t mean it. I knew it was in the moment because I do the same thing.
Having gone through the whole process now, is there anything that you would do differently either strategy-wise or even following your heart?
MARTINEZ: I think I was playing with both strategy and heart, so I think I would go back into that process doing the same thing all over again.
DURAN: Because I have a way of going about things — I create my own world in real life, I only surround myself with people that I want to — I feel like I was closed off to how everyone else was doing things because I can be selfish sometimes. I would have opened up and just been a little bit more like it doesn’t have to go to Remy’s way every time, and I would have had even more fun. But I think I think I got a lot out of it.
Is there a moment that you guys will remember the most, either living through it or watching it back?
MARTINEZ: All the moments I think of weren’t aired.
DURAN: Definitely winning, and really just being up there with Amber was a highlight. And then my relationship with Paige … that’s the highlight really. It’s just a shame our Boom Boom moment didn’t make the cut. It made the previews, so I can talk about it technically, but my relationship with Paige is really the highlight, and then my friendship with Amber, and her ending up being my perfect match, those are the two highlights of my experience really.
MARTINEZ: I love you.
DURAN: I love you too.
MARTINEZ: I would say the same. Winning for sure was definitely the best feeling. Remy being my match because he was one of my close friends in the house, so I wasn’t even mad at that, because there are some people who are mad about who their matches are. Also, all the other connections I made and learning so much, because I don’t want to say that I went into this process closed-minded, but I just didn’t know a lot of things that I know now.
So what are the moments that didn’t air that you remember?
DURAN: Definitely the party scene where we’re all in the hot tub making out with everybody, it’s like a big stew of bisexual fluids. Then me and Paige in the Boom Boom Room, and there’s a little clip with Justin, Amber, and a mystery person — and I end up being the mystery person that I guess didn’t really make it.
MARTINEZ: Yeah that’s how I knew who my match was because I had to take both Justin and Remy into the Boom Boom Room to see who it is, you know? That’s why I was like, “Yeah, it’s Remy.”
Do you guys feel like a perfect match? Does this feel like there may be a romantic connection, or is this a lifelong friendship?
DURAN: I definitely see why Amber is my perfect match, and I couldn’t be happier, but as of today I’m in a monogamous, serious relationship with Paige. We’ve lived together ever since we moved out of the house. She moved into my house and we’ve been together ever since. That’s not taking anything away from Amber, Paige and I just have that spark that we decided to [explore], and we live in the same city, so it just made perfect sense.
MARTINEZ: Yeah we are definitely lifelong friends forever.
Is the cast all as cool with each other as you two are?
MARTINEZ: They’re really not.
DURAN: There’s definitely some tension between certain people.
MARTINEZ: With Justin and Max. We have Max and Kari. Remy and Kai. Nour and Paige.
DURAN: Me and Kari sometimes when she acts fake, which is like a good 65 percent of the time.
MARTINEZ: I think 80 percent.
DURAN: I think Basit and Paige don’t really get along.
Are the watch parties you, Paige, and Basit host in NYC separate?
DURAN: No, no we’re all at the same watch parties just because I don’t really care about this beef. At the end of the day listen, I love who I love from the show, I really do. I’ve made some lifelong friends and some other people are just co-workers. We did a job in Hawaii for 10 weeks, you know what I mean? So that’s just how I look at the situation, and I’m not about to mess up whatever situation or let the fans suffer because I want to take things too personally, and can’t just get along at a viewing party. It’s silly, there’s no beef, there’s not beef. Amber and I know what beef is. We used to scrap, we used to fight. This is not beef, you know?
Finally, MTV has a way of keeping everyone within the family. Would you guys be interested at all in going on Ex on the Beach or The Challenge, or is this your first and last season of reality TV?
MARTINEZ: I’ll definitely go on a Challenge, for sure.
DURAN: Yeah I’m open to anything. I know America needs more Rembrandt Duran, so hit me up. If the price is right baby, I’m there.
This interview has been edited and condensed.