Finding “the one” isn’t always easy, but does dating in front of millions in a house of nearly two dozen strangers make it any easier?
“You can’t fake who you are for weeks, so you have to be yourself from day one,” says contestant Kenya Scott, of Jamaica, Queens. “You start to get really comfortable. When you’re in it, you’re not thinking about the cameras or anything else.”
Scott is one of three New Yorkers, and 22 singles, who’ve decided to put their trust in MTV’s reality TV matchmaking process for the seventh season of the game/dating show, “Are You The One?”
The series, hosted by Queens-born actor Terrence J (“Think Like a Man”), places romantically challenged 20-somethings in a Hawaii house with a breathtaking view and challenges them to figure out which castmate has been targeted as their “perfect match.” If they all pair up correctly by the end of the 11-week season, they split a one million dollar prize.
As with any beefy reality series, “Are You The One?” is equal parts romance and drama.
This season, three contestants find solace — and spunk — in their New York roots.
“New Yorkers are one of a kind. You just know when you have another New Yorker around,” Scott says. “I’m a tough girl; I have a mouth on me and that’s just New York: ruthless. But when it comes down to it for sure, the inner New York came out.”
“We definitely let our New York out, our Cardi B out,” her Harlem-based housemate Brett Ferri adds.
Get to know the three New Yorkers who may (or may not) return to the city $45,000 richer. “Are You The One?” airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. on MTV.
Brett Ferri, “The hard shell to crack”
Location: East Harlem
Relationship rough patch: “I’m a player. I use people so they can’t use me.”
After a three-year relationship that unraveled by way of social media infidelity “shattered me, ripped my heart and threw it in the garbage can,” Ferri figured he’d try his luck at reality TV dating. “I was like you know what, if I can’t figure out how to do it in the real world, maybe these matchmakers can get it right,” he says. Ferri, a personal trainer, is originally from upstate New York and moved to the city two years ago. He’s bounced around the boroughs and called almost all of them home: “Nobody stays in the same place in New York.”
Kenya Scott, “The no-bull dater”
Location: Jamaica, Queens
Relationship rough patch: “I have zero trust in anybody.”
Scott’s doomed relationship motto: “I’m going to play somebody before they play me.” Wandering eyes on social media became the biggest issue in her previous relationships. She decided to throw herself into the “Are You The One?” house as a therapy session of sorts to work past her inability to trust others. Born in Chelsea, Manhattan, she moved to Long Island with her family in high school and returned to the city one year ago to pursue her career as a private makeup artist.
Daniel Vilk, “The partier, with a sweet side”
Relationship rough patch: “I have a problem with commitment.”
Vilk needs his space. “It’s tough to balance out me enjoying my life and being with a girlfriend,” he says. The 23-year-old was contacted by way of an MTV scouter to appear on the series. “In the beginning, I was a little worried,” to join the cast, he says. “But I’m an adaptive person. I went in with a good mindset and hoped for the best.” Vilk went to Brooklyn College, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He looked to turn his degree into a career in physical therapy, but recently decided to follow his passion of becoming a personal trainer instead. He also works as a Coney Island lifeguard.