'Temptation Island' Star Gavin Admits He Was 'Taken Off-Guard' by Esonica's Relationship With Kareem (Exclusive)

Gavin Rocker had no idea he'd have to fight so hard for girlfriend Esonica Viera's heart as her friendship with Kareem Thomas grew into something much more romantic during their last few days on Temptation Island. Ahead of Thursday's finale which kicks off at 9 p.m. ET and airs right before the reunion special on USA, Gavin opened up to PopCulture.com about how shocked he was to see his girlfriend fall into the arms of another man.

Going into his final bonfire, where he would be able to see and talk to Esonica after a month on either side of Temptation Island, Gavin admitted he didn't have an exact script of what he wanted to say, more a few major points he wanted her to hear from him directly.

"I think the biggest thing I wanted to get across was that I kind of see her point of view on things," he explained of Esonica's complaints that he didn't listen to her concerns in their relationship prior to the island. "Being around different people allows you to see different perspective on things."

He also needed to know the truth about her relationship with Kareem. "I didn't know how I was going to respond to that," he admitted. "I was taken off-guard, because I felt like left turn came out of me doing nothing [with other women]. ...I could see if something happened, but it didn't. ...I sucked the toes, but that's so small."

Watching the show back, he can now see how seriously the women were taking the clips of their boyfriends during their bonfire sessions, which Gavin told PopCulture.com he felt led them to overreact.

"I think [the men] understood that bonfires were moments in time," he continued. "We're not going to jump to conclusions until we talk to [our girlfriends]."

Knowing he wanted to leave with Esonica the whole time, Gavin also brushed off any misconception that he wanted to bring single Mia Metcalf on the overnight dates with him to make a move, saying of him asking her, "There is no point, we just have to pick a date. It came off way more dramatic on TV."

While Gavin can't spoil just yet how he left Temptation Island, he did tease plenty of drama coming at the reunion special.

"The reunion had so much drama, I felt like I was in high school — it was bad," he explained. "It was the perfect blend of Maury and Jerry Springer."

Temptation Island's season finale, followed immediately by the reunion special, kicks off Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on USA.


Photo credit: Richie Knapp/USA Network