Ex On The Beach's Kyra Green On Her Past, TV Dating, And More - Exclusive Interview

For many of us, tuning into reality dating shows became the ultimate form of escapism television during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the world around us seemed incredibly unpredictable, there was something about watching people fall in love — albeit in a dramatic, unique environment — that was equally captivating, second-hand embarrassing, and inspiring. Perhaps no other show captured romantic intentions more than "Love Island," as contestants came to the show positively determined to find the person for them.


Kyra Green was one such romantic hopeful that came to "Love Island" to stir things up and connect with that special someone. After establishing a bond with Cashel Barnett, Kyra's time on "Love Island" became a bit complicated, and she ended up leaving the island after 24 days. While her relationship with Cashel had its ups and downs, the two ultimately did not walk away together. Could Kyra's romantic life once again be up to the reality television gods?

The short answer is yes! Kyra is now snatching attention once again on the hit reality dating show, "Ex On the Beach," and ahead of some serious drama that's destined to hit the screen, we sat down with the "Love Island" alum to pick her brain about all things reality dating, her second time on the reality dating circuit, her early career, and more.


Ex On the Beach presented a new opportunity to Kyra Green

Before we jump into the details of the show, what initially attracted you to the opportunities that "Ex On the Beach" presented?

As far as "Ex On the Beach" and any show where you're stuck with people in a house and talking and interacting, it's always such a fun opportunity to get to experience that because you never know what's going to happen there. Coming from "Love Island" and that being my background and my first show, even though there are ups and downs, I genuinely learned so much about myself and also made long term friends out of it. No matter what, I was like, "Okay, this is a cool experience." I put myself back out there, especially after everything that's been going on and being trapped in my home and not really interacting with people, I was like, "Oh my God, people, humans." I can talk to them.


COVID  presented us with such a socially isolating couple of years. Talk a little bit about what it was like jumping back into such a social scene.

It was crazy being put back into an experience, similar to "Love Island," but also coming from the pandemic and being in your home. I lived with my siblings at the time. I was with family and not dating or really interacting with anyone in general. It was insane and jolting to be put back into that. Nerves were at a high, but at the same time, it was beyond exciting to get to interact with people and flirt and talk to people. That was something that I hadn't experienced in so long and my body and my soul needed it.

We've all been relying on dating apps even more than normal, because if you work from home, how are you supposed to meet someone?


Exactly, and at that time, everyone was working from home. It's still not the same as being in person with someone and interacting with them or an ex or someone that you haven't seen in a while. It was such an amazing opportunity.

Kyra Green did not anticipate getting involved with a new person on MTV's dating show

I've had the chance to interview David Barta, along with other "Ex On the Beach" cast members, a couple weeks ago. I know you've been exploring things with him. I'd love to know what your impression of the show's format was, and what you anticipated getting into before things started.


I really went into it with zero clue. I definitely thought it was going to be a little bit slower paced or you would have more time to talk to someone or interact with people before your ex came in. Someone that you're talking to has an ex, then you're chilling, then your ex comes and it was like left and right. Everyone was being hit with bombs. The second that you felt you could chill and everything was drama free, it's like, "Nope, right around the corner..." In an hour or the next day, something was going to happen, whether it was your ex or your friend's ex and more drama.

I am trying to put myself in that situation of being on a beach with a cocktail, getting a tan, and then all of a sudden seeing my ex walk up. It's actually quite anxiety inducing.


It's terrible, honestly. At the same time, it's dependent on the ex and who comes in. There were several people that, initially, once people's exes were being dropped in, I was like, "Oh, if this person showed up for me, I'm out." At the same time, there might be someone that you weren't able to tie things up with or you weren't able to fully see if you really did work or there was something in the future for each other. It's exciting too to have that open end of what if.

There's really two opportunities, right? There's either realizing that you broke up for some silly, trivial reason, or, if it was for something really serious, it presents an opportunity for closure, which is something that not a lot of people get.

Yeah. Not a lot of people are like, "Hey, let me call up my ex and meet them on this vacation or at this bar, and let's hash it out. Let's talk about it." One of the people in that duo was going to be like, "No, I don't want to do that." Then, you don't really get that closure. It is a fun opportunity. You can't escape each other. You got to either talk it out or maybe rekindle, you just don't know.

Either way, the options leave you better off than you arrived, which is a huge bonus.


I think so, but if you're not handling it right or not getting that closure or avoiding it even while there, then some people were left still in that place. In these shows you always learn about yourself, especially watching it back on TV, watching "Love Island" for me back, I was like, "Oh, okay, Kyra." You don't have a mirror to follow you around.

Kyra Green held out hope that one particular ex of her's would show up

I know that you have an ex that's going to show up. I know you can't reveal that much, but speaking of that self-reflection, in what ways were you prepared and also not prepared to take on this challenge? Because it's a big ask.


I was prepared, honestly, if my ex showed up — a certain one — that, in a way, I wanted to give it my all and really hope and cross my fingers and toes that it was going to work out because with this person, there was a lot of stuff that we hadn't really gotten down to the bottom of. I was unprepared in a way ... On the show, you've already seen where I do start to talk to David and we start to have somewhat of a connection and I never expected to have that, and also possibly have someone coming in that I also know that I had unfinished business with. That was scary and stressful, and "uncomfortable" is the best word to put with it.

I know you can't reveal that much, but how would you categorize your relationship status now?


I don't know. I can't reveal anything.

Let me rephrase. Do you feel as though you're in a better place now either as a single person, as a person in a relationship, now versus when you first went on the show?

I'm definitely, 100% — and my family can even vouch for it — I am in a much better place, in my love life, in whatever way that means. I'm very happy with the situation, and once the show comes to an end, I'm so excited for people to see how it ends and then to see how that flourishes on the outside.

Kyra reveals the biggest difference between Love Island and Ex On the Beach

I'd love to do a little compare and contrast. What would you say were the biggest differences between "Love Island" and "Ex On the Beach," both from an experience perspective, and then a production experience.


I would say with "Love Island" and then going to "Ex On the Beach," the best way I can say it is almost like ... "Love Island" was like high school where everyone's a little bit more timid. We're being ourselves, but it's also so new, this experience of being on a show, and you are trying to be something maybe that you're not fully because you're trying to fit in. It was very high school in that way. To me, "Ex On the Beach" was like college. It was so inclusive of me being on the spectrum and being bi and into everything. For the first time, there were so many people there that were ... in the community and super supportive. It was a very inclusive cast.

It was like college where you could be yourself and be open about who you are and speak about what you want and what you don't want. I definitely had a very good experience on "Ex On the Beach," feeling like, "Okay, it's my people. I can fully be myself here."


When I talked to David, I also got to chat with Arisce [Wanzer] and we talked a lot about the LGBTQIA+ community and having that fluidity and that freedom on screen, which is still such a rarity in reality television dating or that scene in general.

Being bi and whatnot, it's been a journey for myself. Even with me starting to talk to David, some of my friends — I grew up in New York city where it's very inclusive — some of my friends hit me up and they were like, "Oh, did you see? How did you feel when you saw that he kissed that other guy on the show and was it a turn off for you? Were you still into it?" I was like, "No, it wasn't a turn off for me." There's still that stigma of that, it's way harder on guys even ... it was a good situation to be in and to see that on TV. When he brought that to me on the show and was telling me about his sexuality, I was like, "I don't care. That's cool."

At the end of the day, we all just want to put our authentic selves out there. So that's really cool.

No, it was great. It was super inclusive and a very good thing for people to see on TV for everyone to be super open and like, "We all exist here."

Kyra dishes on what viewers can expect to see from her this time around

This is your second go round on the reality television dating circuit. You mentioned it a little bit. I love the high school to college analogy, but what are you hoping viewers will learn about you or take away from watching your experience this time around?


This time around, I'm way more myself and super chill. On "Love Island," it was very much my first show. There was a lot of energy and excitement, but also a lot of nerves and not fully being myself. There's [definitely] a lot more drama for me on "Ex On the Beach," but instead of not fully speaking about my emotions or how I'm feeling, I definitely — at least while I was there — was super open with everyone. I would always go to the source of whatever the drama was happening instead of keeping my words to myself or not saying anything. I definitely speak my mind a whole lot more on this [show], and I'm hoping that people are like, "Oh, okay. She's being herself. She's being chill and doing her thing".


Viewers will surely resonate with that. Because we've talked so much about — in the business, talking about authenticity on reality dating and how that arena is shifting a little bit more from the very scripted version — there's the villain, there's the virgin, there's the cookie cutter format, whereas now people are coming together and seeing what happens. People will relate to [this newer format] a lot more in general.

"Love Island" is very much about finding someone and you try to go to the end or whatnot. I definitely didn't do that in the most generic way. I made my own decisions, but had these really high highs and low lows. On "Ex On the Beach," you can choose to either move on or rekindle with your ex. There's way more space to genuinely do what you want to do, and what feels right and not try to go with the structure of a show or what is expected.

Kyra reflects on her early career singing for KIDZ BOP

This is a niche thing to ask you, but I know that you started a big part of your professional career on KIDZ BOP. I'd love to know what that experience was like, and if there's a particular artist or song that stands out to you from that time.


KIDZ BOP is literally the start of me being in this business. It was so cool because at a very young age, I always say, "Zendaya was a KIDZ BOP kid," [along with] all these different people. It was so much fun because we were these little kids. I definitely got super made fun of for it because I grew up in New York City, and New York City kids are not listening to KIDZ BOP, honestly. I was still popping up on Disney and the commercials and all that different stuff. It was an insane experience for me and working with adults at a very young age, people were always like, "You're an old soul." I'm like, "I've always chilled more with older people from working as a kid in this business." It was so much fun.


They worked us hard. There was one music video — it was "Telephone" by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé — and I was the middle, the star of it, because at that point I'm really tall. I was ... choreography wise, you put the tallest person in the middle. I had all that pressure, and then we get there on set that day and they decide to glue these disco balls on the side of our heads for different scenes throughout it. It was ripping out our little hairs, but it was still — you had to come, you had to be a professional, and you had to pick choreography and get the music video done.

I know when I found that out, I was like, "I've got to ask her about it," because it's such a nostalgic thing now. I know KIDZ BOP is still around, but I feel like for our late '90s, early-2000 kids, that was such a defining feature of our foray into music, which I think is great.

It's hilarious. I look back because all the videos are still on YouTube, but I'm like, "This is so funny." [It's] me looking like a little chipmunk, some teeth missing at different points, throughout my KIDZ BOP career and that's going to live on the internet for everyone to see.

"Ex On The Beach" Season 5 airs Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.


This interview was edited for clarity.