Host Mark L. Walberg Talks Rebooting 'Temptation Island' in the Age of Dating Apps

Temptation Island host Mark L. Walberg has one piece of advice for most couples who think their love could survive an island full of sexy singles—don't do it!

Prior to the reboot of the 2000s Fox reality show, premiering Tuesday on USA Network, Walberg opened up to exclusively about why he would never switch places with the couples who take on the ultimate relationship test, and why Temptation Island is just as relevant today as it was 18 years ago, when he first hosted.

It was "surreal" to return to Temptation Island almost two decades later, Walberg admitted, but the themes of the original are "as old as time and still relevant," especially in the age of dating apps, where "temptation is at every swipe of the finger."

"It's not an experiment maybe I would sign up for," he joked when asked as to the couples' motivations when it comes to putting their loyalty to the test on the reality dating show. "The reasons people come on the show may make sense to them at the beginning, and it could be a mixture … but I'm not so naive to say people don't think, 'I'll breeze through this and we'll be on TV and have a vacation.' Regardless of what your previous notions, what I will tell you is it will be very real very quickly."

Mark Walberg
(Photo: Caitlin Galo/NBCUniversal)

Regardless of if couples are looking for their 15 minutes of fame or hope to shake things loose in their longterm relationship, Walberg said it becomes abundantly clear throughout their time on Temptation Island what the future holds.

"It's easier to be comfortable than it is to be honest," Walberg said of the truths the island reveals. "At the end of the day I truly believe that everyone really is better off for it."

At the end of the Temptation Island reboot's first season, the host teased that out of the four couples, all three of the possibly outcomes—leaving alone, leaving together or leaving with a new partner—play out "in one way or another."

And while it might make for entertaining television, Walberg reminds that these people are really going through a lot during the show, which is a lot let glamorous than it looks.

"First thing I would say to most couples is don't go," he said candidly. "It's extreme. It's that gap between fantasy and reality where, in reality, it's a lot of pain you didn't imagine."

For the couples determined to make the big leap, however, he had some advice as to how to survive on Temptation Island: "I say, as far as this goes, there's really no wrong move to make. You're gonna react the way you're gonna react, and that's indicative of why they're there in the first place."


Temptation Island premieres Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 10 p.m. ET on USA.

Photo credit: Mario Perez/USA Network