If you love the drama as much as we do, we’ve got some good news: MTV‘s Are You The One is back and bigger than ever in Season 7. With a new cast of hopeless singles all vying to find their perfect match — and, you know, win a million bucks — there’s always plenty of messiness to go around in the AYTO house. But meet the new crew and you’ll realize that things are about to get crazier than ever. Take for example Bria, who is “literally obsessed” when she falls in love. Or Zak, a “toxic relationship addict.” When they get together, things can only be explosive. Check out our exclusive extended look at Are You The One‘s Season 7 in the video above.
See what we mean? S–t is about to get real this season, premiering Wednesday, August 15th at 10pm, as the castmates jet off to meet up in Hawaii. And this year, it’s not just that everyone sucks at love. It’s that they are legit dysfunctional even when they find it. And that even includes Kayla, the “hopeless romantic” we met in the clip who’s sure she’s going to find the “love of her life” with the matchmakers’ help — and the help of the “Fate Button.” Which is, uh, what exactly? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers to all your burning questions about the new season of Are You The One.
So what TF is the “Fate Button”?
“The Fate Button was a trip!” new cast member Kwasi told us exclusively before the season started. He and a few other cast members explained that, instead of going on challenges and winning dates, dates are now assigned via the “Fate Button.” Terrence J invites cast members up to push the button, and fate decides which two girls and which two guys will be sent out on one big group date. That means that the housemates can’t game the system anymore to try and get certain couples out on a date or in the Truth Booth. And the new process definitely complicated Season 7’s strategy.
“First of all, some of us didn’t believe in fate, so when that came out, it was like random as hell,” Kwasi said, with fellow cast member Brett adding, “I think we had it harder. I think we had to rely on just fate. We couldn’t fix anything, we couldn’t say, ‘Listen, these two are vibing, let’s try to get them to win this challenge so we can send them out today on a date, lock them down.’ We didn’t have that option… We had this big red button staring us down, deciding who’s going to go on a date and who we can throw into the Truth Booth. It was a big twist we were not expecting. When Terrence dropped that, you see all of our jaws drop. ‘Wait, what? What do we gotta do this season?'”
The “Fate Button” does have some advantages, though. “It kind of forces you to make connections with new people,” Brett continued. “You can’t stick with people the whole time because you might be going on a date with someone you haven’t even looked at. So this was a big twist, but, you know, we did what we could with it. We definitely worked the fate into it.” Castmate Jasmine agreed. “In the house, people were so coupled off that you were scared to talk to other people or scared to try and make connections. When fate chose you to go on a date, it gave you time outside of the house without fear to get to know somebody that you might not have thought that was like a perfect match.”
Wait, so there are no more challenges on Are You The One?
Nope, that’s all gone. And eliminating them didn’t just mean finding love was left up to fate, it also added another obstacle as the housemates all tried to get to know each other. “I felt like [with] the challenges, you got to know quirky things about each other that most people wouldn’t sit in the house and tell each other,” Jasmine said. “That was a big way in past seasons to get to know one another, so it forced us to try a lot harder to make our own games and get to know each other in the house… With the challenges, not everyone is athletic and you weren’t [always] getting the person you wanted to go on a date with anyway, so with having more time being in the house, all you had was your mouth. All you had to get to know each other, to talk to each other, to bond with one another.”
For the cast mates who were athletic, like Kenya, it was a bit of a disappointment, though. “A bit” might be an understatement. “I was livid!” Kenya said. “I am super athletic, and I’ve been playing sports my whole life. I literally packed more athletic clothes than match ceremony clothes. Like I was on all my athletic clothes, I was ready, I had my sneakers. I was super disappointed, honestly. I was looking forward to it so much.”
What does the Fate Button mean for the Truth Booth?
Well, for one, that the housemates might have a harder time voting on a couple to send in. Because two girls and two guys are sent on a group date, they might not even know who ends up making connections before they vote. “That 100% complicated things,” said Kenya. “Like, there are the most random people out on dates, and we just have to throw two of them in. And, you know, just decide on what? We never saw them talk, or we just tried to connect two people that more likely could be connected rather than the others. Sometimes we wouldn’t feel strong about a couple that we were sending into the Truth Booth… It was completely random and that definitely made it a lot harder for us.”
How can you possibly find your perfect match?
“I’ve watched all the seasons, but when you’re in the house, it’s not as easy as it looks when you’re sitting on your bed or your couch,” Jasmine said. “You’re like, ‘If I was there, I would do this,’ but in the house, there’s so many other obstacles that you have to come across, that it’s just not easy at all, especially with the new twists this time. We had to come as a house and really work at trying to win this million dollars.” And you have to be aware of the mistakes you’ve made in the past, too.
“My main problem is trust,” Brett said. “I don’t let anyone get too deep with me. I let no one get past the surface level. So I definitely brought that into the house, I was like, ‘You know what, physical attraction, physical attraction.’ I brought my own problems from outside inside, and went for what I like physically right off the rip. And that’s something I definitely tried to work on as we got to know each other, as we progressed throughout the house.” You have to let the experience teach you and guide you.
“This season, being in the house and having to find your person, I think it definitely opened our eyes if anything,” Kenya added. “We all left with just a whole different view of ourselves when it comes to relationships and other people. We definitely had a lot of time to self reflect while we were there. We realized that sometimes we are the problem, and there’s stuff that we need to work on, you know. More than anything, it totally opened our eyes, like completely.” Another suggestion? Keep your eyes on your own connection and don’t get caught up in someone else’s. “You never know the insides of people’s actual relationships… If it’s glorified, you don’t actually know what’s going on, so I just know what I want and, you know, what I’m into. And to stay real with myself, I just don’t look at other people and get like all swoon about things. I don’t.”
Kwasi also had his own little awakening. “I always think it’s the females that I’m dating’s problem, but it’s kind of Kwasi’s problem, too,” he laughed. “I remember every morning like in the beginning of the weeks, I used to sit outside and really like think about what I’m doing wrong or how I should approach some of the females in the crib and talk to them. So it was refreshing. It lets you really know what you’re doing wrong and what you can fix.” But another tip is just to remember what you talked about with the match makers.
What kinds of questions do the matchmakers ask?
The show might be fun and pretty-light hearted, but there have been plenty of couples who’ve found love on Are You The One. Sure, maybe only one of them was a perfect match, but that doesn’t mean the matchmakers aren’t taking things into serious consideration. “I remember that they asked kind of about our morals, like what we wanted in life,” shared Jasmine. “Like they asked me what I wanted in life, like if I wanted to be a mom, if I wanted to be family oriented, if I work a lot. That does come into play with a relationship.”
And don’t think politics won’t come up just because this is a sexy dating show on MTV. “They definitely also asked about our religious beliefs, political views,” Kenay added. “Things that, you know, in a real relationship — definitely if you’re with somebody forever, hopefully — will be a problem if you’re not on the same page. Some people feel very strongly. Some people don’t really care. A lot of things that in serious relationships would make or break.”
And “make or break” was kind of the name of the game when it came to finding a perfect match. “They also asked for, and I think this helped me when I entered the house, like one thing that you absolutely can’t deal with in a relationship with someone else,” said Brett. “And that kind of made me realize what is my one thing and what do I want to avoid when I get in there and meet all these girls.”
Where there any immediate connections? Did anyone call dibs on day one?
Because it always happens — and drags into infinity when confirmed no match couples just can’t call it quits. Kenya found herself falling into that trap. “I definitely had an immediate connection,” she admitted. “I immediately connected with Tevin on day one, and we just had the same personalities. He’s just a great person, but there was a lot going on during the rest of the season, so it gets drama filled and super confusing and, you know. But day one, I was like, ‘Snagged him! Mine!'” Zak and Bria also paired up from the word go, which ’cause problems for Kwasi, who was also interested. “Zak definitely stopped me from attacking Bria,” he joked. “Like I caught eyes on her, but, I mean, throughout the season, we see what happens, you know what I mean.
What was the house like in Hawaii for Season 7?
Season 6’s perfect matches found love and won the money in New Orleans, but this time around saw the singles sent back to an island paradise. Well, maybe “paradise” is a strong word. “The dates was poppin’, the dates was amazing,” Kwasi said. “The dates was mind-blowing. But living in the house was very dirty, muggy. A lot of flies visited us! There was roaches. I remember one time Cam was sleeping and he thought someone was tickling him and it was a big, like, lizard or something out of there.”
Jasmine had her creepy-crawly scares — but decided to embrace it instead of freaking out. “I took a shower with a cucaracha,” she admitted, laughing. “We were in there like doing the salsa, me in one corner, him in the other. I was like, ‘Well, I’m not gonna get out and not finish this shower, so you might as well just stay in here with me…'” There was one perk at the new house, though.
Why was the Boom Boom Room suddenly classy AF?
“Saucy Season 7!” explained Kwasi. “Lucky number 7, of course they had to do it with a boom!” We still don’t know that we’d want to spend much time in the same room where our fellow cast members were constantly hooking up, but hey, you have to admit it at least looked nice.
Meet the cast from Season 7 of Are You The One.
You can follow 24-year-old Andrew from Reading, Mass. on Instagram at @andrewcouture.
You can follow 22-year-old Asia from Corona, Calif. on Instagram at @kaylonilovee.
You can follow 26-year-old Brett from Burnt Hills, N.Y. on Instagram at @brettferri.
You can follow 21-year-old Bria from Vacaville, Calif. on Instagram at @briakristaaal.
You can follow 24-year-ol Cali from Chicago, Ill. on Instagram at @caliraeofficial.
You can follow 24-year-old Cam from Washington, D.C. on Instagram at @cam_viney.
You can follow 22-year-old Daniel from Brooklyn, N.Y. on Instagram at @danielvilk.
You can follow 21-year-old Jasmine from Williamstown, N.J. on Instagram at @jasmineerodriguez.
You can follow 22-year-old Kayla from Seattle, Wash. on Instagram at @KayCamUmagat.
You can follow 22-year-old Kenya from Queens, N.Y. on Instagram at @_kenyascott.
You can follow 24-year-old Kwasi from Woodbridge, N.J. on Instagram at @Urge2Pose.
You can follow 23-year-old Lauren from Mason, W.Va. on Instagram at @lroush95.
You can follow 23-year-old Lewis from Oakland, Calif. on Instagram at @lewdo2much.
You can follow 21-year-old Maria from West New York, N.J. on Instagram at @_maria_elizondo.
You can follow 22-year-old Moe from Houston, Texas on Instagram at @moelkhalill.
You can follow 21-year-old Morgan from Silver Spring, Md. on Instagram at @moefletch.
You can follow 21-year-old Nutsa from Tomas River, N.J. on Instagram at @nutsioo.
You can follow 22-year-old Samantha from Chicago, Ill. on Instagram at @rambamsam18.
You can follow 23-year-old Shamoy from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands on Instagram at @shamoyy.
You can follow 22-year-old Tevin from Scottsdale, Ariz. on Instagram at @TevG27.
You can follow 22-year-old Tomas from Miami, Fla. on Instagram at @tombuenos.
You can follow 21-year-old Zak from Dallas, Texas on Instagram at @zakmarkjones.