'Summer House': Kyle Cooke, Amanda Batula talk life after proposal: 'It doesn't erase everything' (Exclusive)
She said yes!
On Monday night's season 3 finale of Bravo's "Summer House," Kyle Cooke proposed to his girlfriend of three years, Amanda Batula, after weathering a cheating scandal, skepticism from their house mates, cheating rumors and more than a few drunken tears all in the span of one summer.
In a gorgeous sunset proposal, Kyle got down on one knee while on a picturesque sailboat in the Hamptons as a shell-shocked Amanda started to cry and ultimately said, "Yes!" When the couple got back to the house, they celebrated with their summer roommates the only way they knew how -- a traditional ole "Summer House" skinny-dip.
Though getting engaged ended their summer on a high note, what happened next -- both immediately and over the subsequent several months -- wasn't what you'd expect. Ahead of the season finale, Kyle Cooke and Amanda Batula sat down with AOL's Gibson Johns to talk about the third season of "Summer House."
Read part one of their interview here, and check out part two -- all about their engagement -- below:
Somebody said on the second-to-last episode that gearing up to propose was causing all of Kyle's emotions to spill out, and he was freaking out. Amanda, does knowing in retrospect that he was gearing up to propose explain some of Kyle's unusual behavior?
Amanda Batula: Kyle had so much going on and then planning this proposal was the cherry on top of it all. He was grinding away with Loverboy, and he was very stressed out with that, talking about the cheating stuff again, the cheating rumors…
Kyle: Apartment hunting in the city is a full-time job. Finding a ring…
Amanda: Hold up! Apartment hunting, cheating stuff set us back and, with the stress from work, I could see how he was so emotional without having any idea that he was planning on proposing, so now watching it back, it totally makes sense. If just one of those things were going on, he wouldn’t have gotten so emotional, but because it was everything… if it was just proposing, it wouldn’t have been like that. But that on top of the cheating rumors and me questioning things, it became a lot.
Kyle: I was like, "How am I going to make it through this?" I was trying to power through, but it was eating me away. When we were on that lawn chair and Amanda literally asked me why I was so emotional, it was killing me.
Amanda: I could read his emotions on his face. When the whole cheating rumor happened, he found out and then he sat down by the pool, I saw his face and I was like, "What’s wrong?" I knew he was holding something back, but I was being respectful that maybe he just didn’t want to get into it. But I always know when Cookie has something in the oven. [Laughs]
Kyle: I broke down into a violent fever when we wrapped the final night. We came back after the proposal, celebrated for an hour skinny-dipping, then my body broke down. I don’t get sick that often. You’ll see in the episode that I end up catching a fever before my proposal, broke the fever to propose and then my body broke down from all that stress. It was like, "We made it, and now we’re shutting down."
How relieved are you two to just be on the other side of all of this and have it all out in the open? Has this whole experience made you stronger as a couple?
Amanda: I wouldn’t say that we were on the other side of it immediately. What might be hard for viewers to see is that there’s all this stuff, I’m questioning a lot, Kyle and I aren’t at one hundred percent, but then I say yes. People might be upset about it, but I’ve always known that I wanted to marry Kyle at the end of the day. Kyle was always the person that I wanted to be with and, for him to get down on one knee ... there was never a world where I would’ve been able to say no, because I know that one day I want to stand up there in front of all of our friends and family and commit our lives to one another. That doesn’t mean that I was ready to get married tomorrow, though. We had a lot to work on, so even though we are engaged and I know that we’re going to get married, there was stuff that still needed to be figured out and we were still working on building our relationship back up. It doesn’t erase everything.
Kyle: Nothing went as I thought it would, and something that added to the stress was that I was worried it would look like I was trying to put a band-aid on our relationship and that I was using the ring as my get out of jail free card.
Amanda: Even now, there are some people that do know we’re engaged and some people who are just finding out who are so confused by it and think we’ve swept everything under the rug, but all the months after we wrapped it’s been a work in progress, our relationship. We’ve been building it back up, and it’s not like we’re acting like it’s all butterflies and rainbows and nothing happened. It’s been like, "Okay, it’s time to really prove yourself, or I’m going to keep this ring and you’re out $22,000."
Kyle: It was 25 [thousand dollars]! [Laughs]
I wouldn't say, though, that you guys are pretending on the show that nothing is wrong.
Kyle: Certain people will assume that and say that, particularly our old friends [cast mates]. I will say, though, the final episode allows us to … every time we go through one of these fights on camera or these moments of when sh-t hits the fan, we then talk about it in our testimonials, then it airs and the band-aid keeps getting ripped off and ripped off, so once this final episode airs, we will officially be in the clear. Everyone will know we’re engaged and it’s like a new chapter, a new book.
Is there wedding planning happening? What can you tell me about where things stand?
Amanda: There was. When you’re engaged, you’re supposed to start planning right away and look for venues, and we started. I was just kind of overwhelmed by it and part of it was the fact that I wasn’t ready yet. I knew I wanted to marry him, but I wasn’t like, "Let’s get this show on the road," because there were still things that needed to get worked on. Everything has happened as it was supposed to, and it was just slow getting started. Our wedding venue fell through, so now we’re back to square one.
Kyle: We started looking in January, and then we did a full-blown search, we locked something down by March and then there were a number of red flags and we had the opportunity to get our deposit back about a month ago, and we chose to do that.
Amanda: For me, I was excited about this venue, but I wasn’t thrilled about it. My head wasn’t totally in it because there was so much between him and I that we were working on.
Kyle: It was overwhelming, and we won’t have friends poking holes in our relationships anymore. Well, fewer probes.
Who from the "Summer House" cast do you think you're going to invite to your wedding?
Amanda: Not everyone. Not everyone. I will say definitely Paige, Hannah and Carl are 100 percent on my wedding list. That doesn’t mean that everybody else won’t be, but it's TBD… for me. Kyle might have other feelings.
Kyle: I have more friends. I’m cool, and my guest list is already really screwy.
This is the second part of a two-part interview with Kyle Cooke and Amanda Batula. Read part one here.