The premise of Netflix’s Too Hot to Handle is simple: Round up a group of hot, horny single people, tell them they’re going to be on a dating reality show on an island, and then inform them that they’re not allowed—yikes!—to engage in any sexual contact while they’re participating. The most recent season debuted last month, and one of the non-fornicators in question, Elle Mona’e, hails from the DC area. We called her up to find out what it’s like to not get it on on national TV.
Mona’e, who grew up in Fort Washington and lives in Southeast DC, says she’s still “in shock” about making it onto the show. She was an addition to the season halfway through (the show’s format involves some contestants being eliminated and new ones coming aboard). “From the start, I kept telling them, like, save some good ones for me!” she says. “If I’m going to be coming in late, make sure there’s some hot guys for me. I was, like, really happy to make it to the villa and everyone was really sweet, but I did feel like I was at a disadvantage because I didn’t have the time to bond with everyone.” Still, she managed to connect with hot guy Nathan Webb, a relationship that served as her main story arc. Mona’e managed to survive to the end of the season, though she didn’t end up winning any prize money.
Initially, Mona’e dealt with a good deal of hate from fans who didn’t like her relationship with Webb (he had been wooing a different contestant before she arrived) or just didn’t think she added much to the show. But as time went on, she says she gradually began noticing more positivity on social media. “Some people love you,” she says, and “some people don’t.”
Now that her work on Too Hot to Handle is done, Mona’e hopes to expand her company, Star X Crossed, which sells astrological products such as hoodies with zodiac signs airbrushed on them. She also wants to do more TV appearances. “I plan on doing as much as I can, like, while I’m young and hot,” she says.
In the end, Mona’e failed to find love on THTH. “I really felt at a disadvantage coming [on the show] so late. I just feel like Cupid hates me,” says Mona’e, a vegan who likes to eat at local spots such as Sweetgreen, Veggie Grill, and Busboys & Poets. “Hopefully someone who sees this will ask me out on a date or something. They don’t have to be vegan! But I do like them to be tall and have good manners. Stuff like that.”