Ex On The Beach Stars Dish About Drama, Authenticity, And Shocking Distribution - Exclusive Interview

Set the scene — you're on a gorgeous beach, enjoying an amazing getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life — then, bam! Your ex shows up, ready to hash it out for good. Is the romance still there? Did you break up for a small reason that — in the grand scheme of life — should be a blimp on your story together? Or was there cheating, infidelity, lying, and other instances in a relationship that we all dread? This might sound like a nightmare to some, but that was the premise that Da'Vonne Rogers, Bryce Hirschberg, David Barta, and Arisce Wanzer signed up for when they joined the Season 5 cast of MTV's "Ex On the Beach." 

"Ex On the Beach" is not like your other dating shows. This is not "Bachelor in Paradise" or "Too Hot to Handle," which bring people together who by and large don't know each other (although "Bachelor in Paradise" is blurring the lines on this front a little). MTV's romantic reality show places exes together, who very clearly have a past, to see if the spark is alive or if it's truly time to move on with their lives. When other singles come into play and flames set alight between newcomers, things are bound to get complicated. 

Ahead of the Season 5 premiere, we sat down with Rogers, Hirschberg, Barta, and Wanzer for an exclusive interview, where the four stars dished about the show, its authenticity and production, and despite their own involvement with the show, they were shocked to learn that "Ex On the Beach" will be available to watch in 180 countries. 

What set Ex On the Beach apart from other reality dating shows?

First thing I want to know from all of you — so many of you have done "Love is Blind," "Too Hot to Handle," "Love Island." What really stood out about this experience for all of you? And we can start with Da'Vonne.

Da'Vonne Rogers: I'm used to doing competition shows. All of my previous shows are competition shows. We're fighting for money, so it gets a little ugly sometimes. This time, I was like, "Oh, okay! I get to sit on the beach with a fine man, sip some margaritas, give great confessionals. Let's go! I can shine. Great time." Little did I know that I was in for the longest and hardest summer that I've ever experienced. We weren't competing for money, but when your heart is on the line, that's a completely different type of ... I can't even explain it. This was definitely the hardest show I've ever done. Absolutely.

Bryce, what about you?

Bryce Hirschberg: "Too Hot to Handle" is a bit of a different show where you've removed the physical aspect of dating from the relationship, and I'm a very physical touch type of person. The overall difference is I had almost no PDA on "Too Hot to Handle" and probably lots of PDA on this show, without giving away too much. It was much more [of a] free-for-all, real, true reality interaction between everybody, and you can really be yourself and go through the motions.

And then David, what about you?

David Barta: I come from two dating shows before. I like to think of myself as a dating show veteran. In those shows before, pretty much you had to stay in the same heterosexual couple to survive and stay on the show. "Ex On the Beach" was more of a free-for-all, really the first dating show I was on where there was multiple and actually many members of the LGBTQ community, so that's what I think about is the beauty of "Ex On the Beach." It's such a free-for-all. You don't have to be in a couple. You can be in a thruple if you want to. We've all seen the promos of Mike, Arisce, and I.

Even [compared to] other dating shows, the creator of "Love Island" UK or Australia said that having members of the LGBTQ community on the show makes it statistically unpredictable. Well, on a beach, it's a free-for-all. At the end of the day, we really get to see true dynamics of queer relationships to one degree or another.

Definitely. And last but certainly not least, Arisce?

My first show wasn't a dating show. It was a show about models. I got a boyfriend on the show, but we broke up thereafter and so he became an ex. You don't know what's going to happen when you enter here and you don't know what ex is going to wash up, and I thought that was pretty exciting, but turns out, it is a lesson that she maybe wanted to learn in private.

Ex On the Beach brings a new level of authenticity to the screen, according to the stars

Reality dating shows [are a] dime a dozen; "Bachelor," "Bachelor in Paradise," "Love Island." What do you think about "Ex On the Beach's" authenticity? Do you think it's putting an authentic face forward? Is it some magical production? Where in the line do you think that the show falls?

Rogers: I can only speak about my journey, and I will say, just from viewing [other seasons of the show], this was the most therapeutic, non-produced show, season that I believe I've seen. This one right here is different, and the viewers are going to have so much fun and they're going to learn some things about themselves, because not only were we on this journey of discovery with our exes and ourselves, there's a lot of gems, a lot of nuggets that get dropped this season. Just as we were blessed with them, we'll be able to bless other people with them, so this is different.

Anyone else want to weigh in on the authenticity front?

Arisce Wanzer: It was not my first show — produce, produce, produce the house down. We knew exactly what we were doing tomorrow. We knew exactly what beats to hit, almost. This one, none of that. We had no idea what was going on, ever, and whatever feelings you got in the moment were the feelings you had and it's what it is. It's hard to watch yourself that way, because it's very honest, but there are no distractions, no phones, no TVs. You're forced to deal with yourself and your problem in front of you, which is your ex.

This is being aired on MTV internationally, 180 countries starting April 14th. What does it feel like, knowing that these really authentic and deep experiences are just going to be shared all over the place?

Wanzer: I didn't know that.

Hirschberg: I thought we were just in the United States.

Wanzer: Me too.

I'm breaking news to you guys.

Hirschberg: Wow.

Barta: Wow. 180 countries are about to see my butt cheeks. That's all I have to think about.

Hirschberg: They're about to see a whole rollercoaster of an experience that they didn't get to see on the last show.

Barta: "Whole" is right.

Rogers: I'm excited for people to get to see me in a different light. I feel like on "Big Brother" and "The Challenge," I'm very [competitive] because we're competing for money. On this show, you're going to see a completely different side of me and I'm so excited for people to see it internationally. Get to know all this chocolate, okay?

Here's what the cast is hoping viewers will take away from the show

Well, drama aside, because obviously viewers will take that entertainment aspect of it, what are you hoping viewers will take from watching these experiences?

Wanzer: Hopefully, they learn from our mistakes.

Hirschberg: David's mentioned it as well in things that he said, that you'll see a lot of us in themselves, or however that makes sense. We will relate to the masses, I'm sure. If it's me, if it's David, if it's Da, if it's Arisce, we're all such a nice family since the show and during the show. This is my favorite cast I've ever worked with. It's nice. I hope that you guys get to see the camaraderie of us, because we're fun. We're a fun group.

What has the after show been like? Are you enemies? Are you friends? Is there indifference? What does that dynamic look like?

Hirschberg: I like everybody. I had a good time. I had a great time.

Barta: Honestly, there was one specific person who I thought I was really not going to like, and I was talking some smack when they came in, but I actually ended up looking like a total douche because they were so nice to me. They're on this interview right now and I feel so bad, and they're such a sweet, genuine person. Really, I came in, and as much as I was supposed to be the last person to judge a book by its cover, you'll see my story and everything, I feel like I still made some mistakes but learned from that. For my first shows, I don't feel like I walked away with genuine friends, and after this show, I feel like there are people who genuinely care about me and I care about them. As much as we'll see them every once in a while, I really made some really lifelong and really important connections to me.

"Ex On The Beach" Season 5 premieres on Thursday, March 31 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on MTV. The show will begin airing on MTV in 180 countries beginning April 14th.