As life under lockdown keeps people indoors, binge-worthy TV is key to staying sane.
It’s no wonder that Too Hot to Handle, a new dating show from Netflix, has quickly become one of the most talked about programmes on TV as viewers indulge in the somewhat bizarre action.
This is everything you need to know about the cast of Too Hot to Handle and what it’s about.
What is Too Hot to Handle about?
The new dating show follows on from the success of Love is Blind, and has become one of the most talked about programmes of the year.
The concept will be familiar for fans of programmes like Love Island. It starts with ten good looking singletons holed up in a beautiful house, where they are all looking to find love and win $100,000 (circa £80,700).
For the first 12 hours, it’s like any other dating show - the contestants get to know each other and connections are made. But then the twist is dropped on the unsuspecting cast.
Lana, the virtual host and Alexa-type robot, tells housemates they cannot do anything sexual, which means no kissing, no sex and no masturbation.
If they’re caught doing anything of a sexual nature, money is deducted from their prize fund. Kissing can cost the group $3,000 (£2,400) and having sex costs $20,000 (£16,000).
The aim of the show is to encourage the contestants to form deeper connections with one another beyond physical attraction.
The group are involved in various workshops and activities throughout the series, from group therapy sessions exploring why they find it difficult to maintain relationships, to silly exercises like shibari as well as dates with one another.
New people are brought into the house over the course of the show, and those seemingly not progressing with personal growth are eliminated.
Where is it filmed?
The show is filmed on Punta Mita, a peninsula found on Mexico’s Southwest Coast.
The house itself is on a private estate called Casa Tau, which is actually made up of five separate villas and can usually sleep up to 26 guests.
Who is in the cast?
The cast will see new people enter the house and others leave over the course of the show, but these are the stars from the original lineup:
Francesca Farago is a 25-year-old model from Canada who splits her time between Vancouver and LA.
She also has a clothing line called Farago the Label, which is described as “ethical, sustainable and biodegradable”.
Her Instagram account states that she’s plant based, which means that she follows a vegan diet.
Chloe Veitch is a 20-year-old model from Essex who describes herself as “quite ditzy” on the show.
She announced that she was going to be on the Netflix show by writing on her Instagram: “The secret is out! I have been filming with Netflix, catch me on the new dating show on the 17th of April!
“I am so nervous and excited to be able to share something that I went through with you all, it was an emotional rollercoaster… you will see my highs and lows. But i hope you love it as much as I enjoyed filming it.”
Haley Cureton is a 20-year-old student from Florida who is attending the University of North Florida.
She is in a sorority at her college, and on the show, she says to be in one, you need to be “fun and outgoing”.
She says: “I do mostly, like, go for guys, but if a girl looks just like me, I’m so into that.”
David Birtwistle is a 28-year-old from London with a whole lot under his belt.
He is a former semi-professional rugby player at Wasps rugby club before studying Strength and Conditioning at St Mary’s University in London.
He has a number of different sports qualifications and is now a fitness and nutrition coach, as well as being an ambassador for Nike Training.
He regularly posts at home workouts on his Instagram account (@david.birtwistle).
Harry Jowsey is a 21-year-old YouTuber from Australia who already boasts some reality TV experience.
He is actually the winner of New Zealand’s Heartbreak Island, a dating show similar to Love Island which took place in Fiji.
On Harry’s YouTube channel, he has 2.35k subscribers and you’ll find video Q&As and lifestyle vlogs.
Matthew Smith is a 29-year-old creative from Colorado, who also has some TV experience.
He was once in the running for America’s Next Top Model, as well as having a role in comedy show New Girl.
He is the COO of Dream Katchers Enterprise, which focuses on content creation and event planning.
Rhonda Paul is a 27-year-old from Atlanta, who owns a jewellery brand called Pure Luxx, which sells necklaces, bracelets, watches and more.
On her introduction in the show, Rhonda said she considers herself a 10 out of 10, and said that she’s always trying to look her best.
“I’m not just going [out] in flip-flops and jeans. I’m looking my best because you never know who you’re going to bump into,” she says.
Nicole O’Brien is a 23-year-old marketing consultant from Ireland, and is now based in London.
She spent two years working on yachts in Chicago, where she played host to A-listers like Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Jay-Z.
In her introduction to the show, she says: “The lads that I’ve been dating, within three dates they tell me that they’re falling for me and then I’m like ‘ew, no’ and give them the nip.”
Kelechi ‘Kelz’ Dyke
Kelechi Dyke is known as Kelz on the show, and is a 27-year-old senior recruitment consultant from London.
At age 13, he moved to the UK from Austria and, as well as having a regular office job, Kelz also plays American Football for the London Warriors.
He describes himself as “an alpha male who is used to getting what he wants.”
Sharron Townsend is a 25-year-old personal trainer from New Jersey, and works as a professional kids’ wrestling coach too.
In 2018, Sharron was crowned as Mr Pennsylvania and in 2017, he actually appeared on a different reality TV show.
He starred in an episode of Undressed, a show from MTV which saw strangers going on blind dates before getting undressed.
How can I watch it?
The entire first season of Too Hot to Handle is available to watch on Netflix.
Each episode is about 45 minutes long and there are eight episodes in total.
As of yet, Netflix has not announced whether there will be a second season of the reality show.