Changes are coming to Temptation Island — and host Mark L. Walberg teased how those twists will stir up drama on season 5 of the reality dating series.
“We have four couples who are really, fully expressed and really rolling up their sleeves and getting into it,” Walberg, 60, exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, June 13. “There are some twists and turns in the format that spice things up — things that I didn’t realize would pay off the way that they did.”
Another group of couples will head to Hawaii on the show’s fifth season — which premieres on Wednesday, June 14 — to figure out whether their relationships can withstand the temptation of the show’s attractive single contestants. Season 5 will see the introduction of the Temptation Light, which will illuminate every time a contestant gives into temptation.
“It doesn’t really tell you anything, who’s doing what or what they’re doing,” Walberg told Us. “But what goes on in their minds makes things a little crazy.”
The former Antiques Roadshow host — who shares two kids with his wife, Robbi Morgan — admitted that he was unsure of the format changes at first, but changed his mind once he saw them put into action. “That Temptation Light popping on reminds them while they’re at their villa that there’s something else going on to be constantly aware of and that staying off your center actually can inform you,” he shared. “It can give you answers, actual legitimate, authentic answers.”
The Light, in particular, changes the mood “every time” it goes off, Walberg explained. “I think a couple of the people are like, laying on the couch to watch if the lights going on or off all night long,” the game show host teased. “And then, at some point, it’s like, ‘If their light’s on, let’s get our light on,’ kind of vibe. It’s really interesting.”
The singles will also play a bigger part this season as they will have the ability to send their desired partners letters — something only couples could do in the past. “We’re also empowering the singles a little bit more this season,” the South Carolina native revealed. “In [the] past, it’s been about the four couples and the singles are sort of there for them, but we didn’t really get into their story as deeply as we are this season. So, we get to give them a chance to actually be part of this process a little bit.”
While some of the single contestants will continue to be as “seductive” as ever, most of the new additions are there for genuine reasons. “I think anybody who’s on the show — I mean, the ultimate goal is to find a real love, something real,” he told Us. “And even the biggest players — when you really get beneath the surface — are vulnerable and unsure and want the same things.”
Despite the show’s new changes, one thing will remain the same: sexy bachelors and bachelorettes. “These guys have it together, they’re gorgeous,” Walberg joked, adding that the number of abs in season 5 is “daunting.”
He continued: “They’re players. They [have], you know, ‘Nothing’s gonna get to me’ kind of vibe. Well, when you talk to them, that’s not the truth at all. We’re all a scared kid inside to some degree.”
Season 5 of Temptation Island premieres Wednesday, June 14, on USA Network at 9 p.m. ET. Episodes will be available to stream next day on Peacock.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi