Netflix Star Francesca Farago Hasnt Watched ‘Perfect Match’ Yet. And Yes, Shes Aware She Might Be the Villain
Francesca Farago broke out into reality superstardom during the pandemic when Netflix launched the first season of “Too Hot Too Handle” in 2020. Inarguably the biggest star to come from that show, Farago blew up on social media after becoming known for owning her sexuality, her shameless personality and one-liners that would not fly on broadcast television. Love her or hate her, she is reality TV gold.
Farago is now back on “Perfect Match,” Netflix’s new reality dating show mega-mashup, which brings together all-star alums from the streaming service’s portfolio of series such as “Too Hot To Handle,” “Love Is Blind” and “The Circle” to frolic around in their bikinis and crop-tops at a tropical locale. There, they all live at a luxurious villa under one roof — and mayhem ensues. Cocktails are flowing, the drama is high and contestants are put to the test in raunchy “Double Dare”-like challenges on the beach, all in an effort to — of course — find their perfect matches.
The series made its debut this week, just in time for Valentine’s Day, with new episodes launching every Tuesday in February, leaving viewers with cliffhangers week-to-week until one couple is crowned the “perfect match” at the end of the season.
What happens when you take reality stars with millions of followers, and put them back on television? The drama doesn’t just exist on the screen; it also exists across social media. Those who follow Farago know there’s been a big update in her personal life since she wrapped filming “Perfect Match.” And she’s not the only contestant who’s shared dating life updates, keeping fans constantly on their toes, wondering who’s really dating who.
Without giving away any spoilers, one thing is certain: Farago will be a lightning rod at the center of many of the season’s juicy storylines, as well as in social media conversations surrounding the show.
In an interview conducted a few days before the premiere of “Perfect Match,” Farago spoke with Variety about the season — and weighs in on some real-life cast member drama.
Have you watched the show yet?
I actually haven’t seen it yet, so I have no idea what to expect — I’m a little nervous. I usually thrive in the more savage role, but I hope I don’t come across as a mean girl or anything like that. Because there were mean people on the show, and it wasn’t me. So, I’m just praying that they don’t make me look, like, mean.
Who was mean?
Savannah was mean. Shane was mean. Nick was mean. Other than that, I feel like everyone else was pretty nice.
So, it was a good vibe in the house?
Surprisingly, the vibes were pretty good. Everyone was getting along. I definitely gravitated towards Kariselle. Her and I both being in the queer community, we just kind of bonded automatically. I loved having her there, and if she wasn’t there, I probably would have left on day three or something. Having that bond with her made it a lot easier.
Are you given the opportunity to watch the season before it comes out?
No, we’re not given the opportunity. I think they don’t want us to leak any information, and there probably are some members of the cast that wouldn’t be able to keep a secret. So we watch it when everyone else watches it.
I know you haven’t watched, but do you recall making the tampon comment? In the first challenge, you’re asked if you’ve ever have a “sexident,” and you say, “I was going down on someone and she had a tampon in, so I pulled it out with my teeth.”
Yeah, I do. I wasn’t sure if they were going to show that. That’s a pretty R-rated comment. I’m shocked that they’re including that. But yeah, that’s fun for me. Hopefully, my mom doesn’t see that.
It’s Netflix, so I guess they can show what they want. There are no broadcast restrictions.
Also, it wasn’t like “Too Hot to Handle” — like, there wasn’t people having sex everywhere, and doing crazy things. It was pretty PG on the physical aspect. So, I think maybe they were like, “Oh, let’s include that. Why not? Let’s make it spicy.”
Is there anything you regret doing on reality TV, whether it’s this show or “Too Hot To Handle?”
I do kind of regret some nights that I did drink a little bit too much tequila. There were moments of fill-in-the-blanks when you wake up, and you’re like, “Oh my god. What did I say? What did I do?” There was a lot of drinking going on. It was unlimited alcohol, and I’m there to have a good time. So, I would say I regret consuming as much alcohol as I did because I’m not sure what I said — and I could have said something really mean and not meant it. But other than that, I don’t really regret anything, because I stand by what I said. I wish more people during filming were more authentic with how they actually are, and what they actually feel. A lot of people give light, fluffy, don’t-want-to-cause-drama answers, and I’m not afraid to give answers.
Well, I think your following and popularity is a good indication that your authenticity is coming across.
You’re now in a serious relationship with trans TikTok star, Jesse Sullivan. What’s it like watching a show where you are dating other people?
My boyfriend isn’t watching. I wasn’t planning on watching. I’m so in love with him. It’s crazy how good we are all the time, 24/7, so I was like I don’t want to watch it just because it doesn’t interest me. But now, after hearing that I’m the villain, I need to be able to defend myself and defend my actions. Obviously, I feel like I just need to be aware of what was shown and what wasn’t shown. It is a little uncomfortable for both of us, but at the end of the day, I was single during filming, and he’s very aware of that — and he’s very supportive. The trailer got released, I thought he was a little bit upset, and he left the house and I was like, “Oh, damn, he’s upset,” but then he comes back with roses and a little note that saying he was so proud of me. He’s just so supportive. He’s not going to watch it, but he’s very supportive.
Now that you are in a happy relationship, are you done with reality TV?
I’m definitely done with dating shows. That’s a given. But I am planning to get more into the hosting realm. I would do a “Challenge” show or something that didn’t involve dating.
What were your thoughts on Georgia dating your ex Harry after the show wrapped?
I just thought she was going to learn the hard way, to be honest. I went through it. And I think they’re back together. I’ve seen interviews of her talking about things that he had done to her, and I was like, it’s what exactly what happened to me. I’m not going to say she’s disingenuous, but it’s just, like, sketchy, to me. And his intentions are sketchy to me. It’s just convenient that they’re back together a week before our premiere. I don’t really trust either of them.
It sounds like you haven’t talked to either of them?
I definitely don’t talk to him, and haven’t in years. Her, I had to do interviews with yesterday, so we were cordial. But every time she spoke, I was biting my tongue, to be honest.
We are going to have to talk after the season after you’ve seen it, and if there’s anything that you didn’t think came across fair, you can defend it.
I was telling my boyfriend that if there’s something that does me dirty in an edit, and if there’s a context missing from a situation that makes me look better, I’m going to give context. With “Too Hot To Handle,” I wasn’t able to give context. I want to be able to give context to things where I look like the bad guy, if it’s needed and if it’s necessary.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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