'Summer House' star Paige DeSorbo talks all things season 3: Carl hookups, her friendship with Hannah and more (Exclusive)
"Summer House" newcomer Paige DeSorbo may have come into season 3 "reserved," but that doesn't mean that she hasn't made her mark on the Bravo hit.
One of three new housemates this year, DeSorbo found herself at the center of the summer's most prominent in-house hookup with one of the show's veterans, Carl Radke. Things appeared to be all fun between them, but when he failed to put in an effort to get to know her outside of the Hamptons, things definitely took a turn.
"I can’t make that decision to be with you if I don’t hear from you Monday to Friday. I know I’m a lot of work to date, and I can fully admit that, so that’s why I had to tell him that," DeSorbo told AOL's Gibson Johns during a sit-down interview this week. "Is it really a lot of work, though, if I want to talk to you Monday to Friday? I didn’t say you had to take me out to five-star dinners every night, but maybe you could FaceTime me after you go to the gym?"
Outside of her summer fling with Carl, Paige saw her friendships with Hannah Berner and Amanda Batula grow on camera, which made supporting Amanda through cheating claims against her boyfriend, Kyle, that much more important for her.
Check out our conversation with "Summer House" star Paige DeSorbo below, where we talk about her romance with Carl, her friendships with Hannah and Amanda, what she thinks of Jordan's experience on the show and whether or not she'd return for another season.
We're about halfway through your first season on "Summer House" -- how would you say it's going overall for you?
Watching it is amazing! If we’re not watching it together, our group chat is, like ... you can’t even put your phone down. It’s been really fun. Obviously, there are some cringeworthy moments like mannerisms that you see, though...
Is there something you've noticed that you do when watching the show back?
I’ve noticed that my posture is horrible! I’ve been trying to work on that. [Laughs] But other than that, nothing. I don’t have any regrets. I would react the same way now than I did then.
What was your approach to joining the show as a new cast member? I'm sure it's an intimidating experience at first.
No matter what, making friends is weird, and it’s especially weird in your late 20s. So, I was nervous -- that’s a lot of new personalities, and I didn’t really know anyone that super well, so my approach was just to be reserved and I didn’t want to take anyone’s word without experiencing it for myself. So, if someone was like, "I don’t get along with her," or something, I was going to wait and see how my experience was with that person.
Did you have impressions of the existing cast members? Did you already watch the show?
I did watch the show. My first impression was that if I ever met Amanda, we’d be best friends, and I was spot-on. That was good, but I thought I would get along with everyone. It’s a very different experience watching someone than meeting them and actually having a relationship with them.
You, Hannah and Jordan came in as co-workers -- not necessarily as a group, but you knew each other. How do you think that hurt or helped you?
I think it definitely helped me, because I knew Hannah was in the exact same situation that I was in, so if I really wanted to talk to someone, I knew she felt the same way. I don’t think it hurt me at all, because even though we knew each other before, we all kind of branched out and made different bonds with different people. Carl and I especially. But I always like to say that I think the greatest love story of the summer was Hannah and I. Like, now I can’t live without her. I talk to her every single day.
What's the key to your friendship with Hannah? It really did blossom on camera this season.
We are similar in ways that really matter -- the ways we treat friends, how much we love family -- and we’re different in ways that really matter -- we have different types in guys. [Laughs] But, we balance each other out really well. She’s the best athlete I’ve met in my whole life, and I don’t really know how to hold a tennis racket. She doesn’t know how to pick out an outfit, and I tell her what to wear. We’re a happy married couple!
Totally, and I also think that you two becoming kind of a duo this season highlights the very different experience that Jordan has had, with a lot of his comments and actions being slammed on social media. What do you make of his path on the show?
His was definitely different than ours. I think that Jordan, at the end of the day, means well. He’s not a malicious person, but his delivery -- which all men should work on -- and the things that he says ... he speaks before he thinks, basically. He says some things that you’re like, "Eh, you probably shouldn’t have said that." But he makes up for it and you see a little more of his personality. He realizes some of the things that he’s done wrong, and he really tries to make up for it.
You and Hannah have both had your own separate situations with Lindsay, and there's probably a territorial aspect to those disagreements, but how would you describe your relationship with Lindsay?
Lindsay has a very strong personality, and I think that’s great. She runs her own company, and she’s very much a boss babe. I hate confrontation -- even thinking about it, I’m sweating it a little bit. That whole thing where I overheard [her and Carl] talking, my first instinct is to never go to the person. I need to think about it first and tell me best two girlfriends. We have very different personalities, so it takes a lot to realize how to deal with that. I think Lindsay is a great person, but we definitely butt heads more than I would with Hannah, Amanda and Danielle.
It’s been great for Amanda to have you guys around, it seems. Have you noticed that she's been able to show more sides of herself having more people she sees eye-to-eye with around?
I think it was hard for Amanda last summer because she was in a house with girls that weren’t initially her girlfriends. With her and I, I was her friend first, so you feel an extra comfort when you have your best girlfriend with you, even if you don’t totally notice it. That definitely helped both of us.
We know now that Kyle and Amanda are engaged, which makes what’s happening on the show with the cheating allegations a bit hard to watch. What did it feel like during filming? As Amanda’s friend, how were you there for her as these cheating claims were coming to light?
The filming has nothing to do with it, because this is my real friend going through this real thing, so you totally forget that someone is watching you have this conversation. If you have your best girlfriend in front of you crying, that’s the only thing that matters in that moment. Anything to help her feel better in that moment and then figure out what she wants to do and back her up with whatever she decides, I just tried to be a good friend in whatever situation Kyle threw at us.
Obviously, you and Carl were the big in-house hookup this year. Talk to me about the situation that that created in the house and how it all unfolded.
Once you start hooking up in any shared house, there’s definitely a boundary where you don’t want to make them mad and flirt with someone else, but it’s also like, "I want to enjoy my summer, too, so if I’m talking to another guy, you’re going to need to calm down." Because, if he was talking to another girl and I said something, I would immediately be called crazy. It’s definitely hard to keep a balance of friendship and hooking up, but it takes a turn. It gets weird, and a lot happens.
The whole disconnect seemed to come because on the weekends, you guys would hook up and flirt, but there was essentially radio silence between you two during the weeks. Was dating him ever in the cards? Was that something you truly considered?
I couldn’t make that decision without seeing what it was like. After one date, I’m not going to know if I want to date you. Unless you’re Brad Pitt and said, "I’m going on one date and only going to call you on Saturday," to which I’d be like, "Great, give me a ring." [Laughs] But this is my normal life, so I can’t make that decision to be with you if I don’t hear from you Monday to Friday. I know I’m a lot of work to date, and I can fully admit that, so that’s why I had to tell him that. Is it really a lot of work, though, if I want to talk to you Monday to Friday? I didn’t say you had to take me out to five-star dinners every night, but maybe you could FaceTime me after you go to the gym? There was really no communication.
What did you learn from that part of your experience last summer? What did you take away from it?
If you are seeing someone in the house, the house is also seeing that person. Everyone is invested, everyone has an opinion and that is why I tried to keep it as light as I could unless he was trying to take the next step, because if we’re just making out in the pantry, I don’t think that everyone needs to be involved.
Was there anything said about you or something that happened in a scene you weren't in that you found out about for the first time while watching the show?
I thought about that a lot when I started to watch, like, "I wonder if anyone is going to say something really mean about me and we’re going to get into a fight," but, no, everyone acted the same way during the summer and in their confessionals. I knew how they felt then, and we dealt with it at the time.
Bravo is this sort of this little universe, where viewers are very passionate about the shows and they're aware of everything that's going on, even if they don't watch your show. What has it been like joining that world?
I feel like I have a S.W.A.T. team on my Instagram at all times. A comment doesn’t even have to be that mean, but if someone says something rude, I have like ten people who are like, "How dare you?!" I’m like, "Thank you so much, Jessica from Iowa!" [Laughs] It’s been really good. I’ve always been obsessed with Bravo, so it was a really easy transition.
Not everyone comes across as well as you did in their first season as a newcomer...
I don’t want to say that I played it smart, because I really didn’t. I almost played it dumb because I was like, "I’m just going to be myself." Some people on reality shows want to come across as a certain person, and it’s obvious it’s not who they really are. I’m sure I did say some things that sounded rude or gave Carl a hard time, but I’m not perfect.
How has the show amplified your brand outside of the show. I know you do Looks for Less, Front Paige News on your Instagram account -- how has it lifted those other aspects of your profession?
It’s definitely given me another step in pursuing my career. When I used to reach out to people asking to write for them, they’d be like, "Who are you?" And now they’re like, "Oh, my god, we love that!" It really has helped me. My end goal is to be an entertainment news reporter.
I put a lot of my stuff on Instagram, because that's where people go anyway. I always used to make fun of fashion bloggers, but I guess I am one now. [Laughs] It is entrepreneurial, though, because you have to have a routine, be scheduled out and be proactive. Sometimes you’re still in bed at noon, but you’re still sending 87 emails as you roll over.
So, would you do another season of "Summer House" if it were an option?
I’m obsessed with all of these psychopaths, so yes, I would love to live with them again, because now we’re that much closer with each other, so I couldn’t even imagine the fights. It would be like a brother/sister kind of thing, and maybe there would even be a murder.
What can you tease for me about the rest of the season?
Whatever you think is probably going to happen, it’s the opposite.
There hasn't been one announced, but if you guys got a reunion...
Do I have my outfit picked out? Yes.
That, and what is the one thing you'd want to bring up with the rest of the cast?
I would probably want Carl and whoever else thought that I was leading him on, that I wasn’t. That wasn’t my intention, and I almost feel like I made it super clear during the summer, but maybe I need to remind them one more time. I also want people to know it’s okay not to sleep with someone because they took you out for pancakes or you see them every weekend. You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to.
This interview has been edited and condensed. "Summer House" airs on Bravo on Mondays at 10 p.m. EST.