FBoy Island producers explain what was going on behind the scenes of that season 2 finale shocker

·7 min read

Warning: This article contains spoilers from the FBoy Island season 2 finale.

Sam Dean, a co-showrunner on FBoy Island, remembers the screams and cheers that erupted in the control room among the other producers during the season 2 finale, which wasn't actually a good thing. They needed to keep quiet on the Cayman Islands set. The cameras were still rolling, after all. But the crew couldn't help themselves.

The reaction was all thanks to Tamaris Sepulveda, the pink-haired siren who made a startling revelation in the final minutes of season 2 that just thrilled the show's makers. "I came here as a... FGirl," she revealed.

Bill Dixon, the other FBoy Island co-showrunner, emphasizes the response that erupted from the crew at that moment: "Those guys never get excited."

"I'll say that we knew that we wanted to do the twist. That being said, we did not cast Tamaris specifically for the twist," Dixon tells EW. "You have an idea for the format of the show and go, 'This would be great if we could do this,' but we don't know before we get to the finale if the thing is gonna happen. It just so happened that by the time we got there it was like, 'Wow! This might make a lot of sense.' And Tamaris was like, 'Oh yeah. Let's do that.'"

unveiling the season 2 cast of HBO Max's dating show FBoy Island
unveiling the season 2 cast of HBO Max's dating show FBoy Island

HBO Max Tamaris Sepulveda brought a major twist to 'FBoy Island' in season 2.

On FBoy Island, three women — this season it was Sepulveda, Mia Emani Jones, and Louise Barnard — arrive on an island getaway with 26 men, 13 of which are self-proclaimed Nice Guys looking for a relationship and 13 of which are self-proclaimed FBoys looking for a good time. If one of the ladies gets to the end of the show and chooses a Nice Guy, she splits $100,000 with her new man. If she chooses an FBoy, then it's up to the guy to decide whether he stays in the relationship and splits the money or he goes off solo with the entire $100,000.

But the producers introduced a twist in season 2. Dean and Dixon assure EW none of the women were previously aware of this option until the finale elimination came about. Host Nikki Glaser told the women about the secret third option: they can decide to leave their men and go off solo with all the cash.

"We knew we couldn't do the same twist as last year," Dean explains, referring to what happened with Sarah Emig and Garrett Morosky. (Emig had chosen Morosky in the season 1 finale only to see him choose the money over her. Glaser then surprised him by saying the money will instead go to a charity of Emig's choosing.)

"We wanted this to happen, but it was hope on our part," she continues. "We thought there was a good chance it could happen, but it gets to the finale and people start to realize that there's another human involved. Tamaris, for example, was the person we thought was most likely to do that. But she also had two Nice Guys, so she was gonna get money, regardless."

The fact that Sepulveda declared that she came to the show as an FGirl was a surprise to the producers, despite all the hints as recapped in a finale montage of her soundbites. Dean confirms those teases were something the producers paid attention to, but it wasn't something they wanted to influence. She notes, "We wanted all of the women to still feel that all the choices were ultimately theirs."

unveiling the season 2 cast of HBO Max's dating show FBoy Island
unveiling the season 2 cast of HBO Max's dating show FBoy Island

HBO Max Tamaris Sepulveda on 'FBoy Island' season 2.

Only a "tight circle" of people knew the finale rule change was coming, according to Dixon. That circle included network executives at HBO Max, some of the heads at the production companies, and, of course, he and Dean. "We were very cloak and dagger about it 'cause people would talk and people can hear from a balcony," Dean adds. She remembers filming the penultimate episode and some of her crew were asking if there was anything else they needed to know heading into the finale. Again, she kept mum.

"It's to protect them, too," Dean says of her fellow producers. "People need to know what they need to know in order to produce, but it's so important with everybody on this show, more than many other shows, to believe they're in charge of their own decisions. There's a real fine line when you produce it, and we were very protective over them being in control."

So, does this new twist change the course of the show moving forward? Will there now be a secret FGirl among the female suitors that the 13 Nice Guys have to suss out? Well, first of all, there's a lot that needs to be sorted with the WarnerMedia and Discovery merger that has left multiple shows and movie projects unceremoniously canceled with the formation of Warner Bros. Discovery. That said, should FBoy Island season 3 move forward at HBO Max, Dixon feels they could go anywhere.

"It's a real choose-your-own adventure of bizarro, cluster f---y, messy greatness," he says.

"We really try to do our research, really study the response of the audience: the good and the bad," Dean adds. "Then the casting process is really illuminating for us because many times we're meeting potential people and they give us ideas that we may not have thought of. It's really having that continual conversation. We now have FGirls and it would be great to do FGirl Island, but we are getting that information and ideas so much from the social observance, which has been really enjoyable. We can't just be arrogant producers that think we have it 'cause we don't have it. We have to keep pushing and we really rely on the cast and audience with those ideas."

That's partly how the FGirl twist came about. Dean recalls the auditions for season 2. Season 1 had already dropped on HBO Max in its entirety by that point and prospective contestants already had an idea of what the gameplay was. The women, in particular, came in with ideas for strategy the producers hand't heard of before.

"Many women were having that conversation naturally about, 'I've seen myself as an FGirl. Life's changed. I love the term. I think it's empowering. We wanna claim it,'" Dean recalls. "It was a really interesting social twist for us, really observing what was happening. And people wanted it. Women wanted to come in and tell us that they saw themselves that way and that they had these strategic ideas of how to do it."

unveiling the season 2 cast of HBO Max's dating show FBoy Island
unveiling the season 2 cast of HBO Max's dating show FBoy Island

HBO Max Niko Pilalis returns from elimination in the 'FBoy Island' season 2 penultimate episode.

The Sepulveda twist, however, was not like the twist with Niko Pilalis.

Pilalis, a self-proclaimed Nice Guy, had previously been eliminated in episode 5 before he made a surprise return to the races in episode 9. During the Mansplain, an event where all the eliminated guys get together and tell the women what they really think about their suitors, Pilalis confessed that he's still falling for Sepulveda. She, in turn, revealed that she was still into him. So, Glaser announced Sepulveda could bring Pilalis back into the game if she got rid of one of her final two guys. She chose to eliminate Tom Carnifax (and his diary).

According to Dean, Pilalis spoke about Sepulveda a lot off camera in the Good Guy Grotto, where all the eliminated Nice Guys go to stay. They also saw how much Sepulveda brought up Pilalis in passing. She even asked the producers multiple times if she could bring him back some way. Neither knew the Mansplain would afford both of them that opportunity. Pilalis just knew that the Mansplain was his final chance to tell her how he feels.

Dixon confirms they were speaking with Glaser in her earpiece in that moment, walking her through what to do next. "Nikki's an EP on this show. So, I think that Nikki is particularly empowered with those moments to just swing for the fences," he says. "She felt that moment, too. She's like, 'I hear her going down the road. We can roll, baby. Help with the official language. Remind them what the rule is if she chooses Niko, it does mean she has to...' We just make sure we are covered more for the specific language and the legal language."

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