When season two of Too Hot To Handle dropped in June, no one could have anticipated the level of pure chaos that would ensue at Lana’s second celibacy retreat. For ten episodes, we watched the sex-deprived singles break rule after rule on the island until the prize fund, at one point, dipped to a record low of $32,000. Things worked out, as they do, but the shenanigans didn’t end when the group returned to their respective homes. If anything, there’s more drama — and it’s even wilder than the sneaky links and crab grabs.
The second installment of Netflix’s viral dating show Too Hot to Handle was well-received thanks to the unique personalities of its new cast as well as their sheer determination to break Lana the A.I.’s heart and her rules. Up until the final days of the retreat, the group of hot-blooded singles were copping feels and sneaking kisses, but there was also what appeared to be real personal growth. Whether that growth was permanent and sustainable away from Lana's watchful eye would be another thing, specifically for season two winner Marvin Anthony. Just days after the exciting finale aired on Netflix, new details about Marvin's turbulent romance with fan favourite Melinda Melrose have come to light, exposing a too-good-to-be-true love story and possibly a track record of clout chasing.
When the show ended, the world was cautiously optimistic about Marvin and Melinda's relationship, and for good reason. Though they were located on opposite ends of the world, the pair had fought tooth and nail to make things work at the retreat, and they had electric chemistry when they were on good terms — surely Marvin could spare a few hundred dollars of his prize winnings to buy his new girlfriend a ticket to visit him in Paris. Unfortunately, these two more were like ships passing in the night than soulmates; recent interviews and social media posts revealed that they just couldn't keep the good vibes going from continents away, and they are no longer together. The official end of the relationship resulted from Marvin flaking on the former couple's plans to reunite in Tulum, Mexico on the very day that they were supposed to arrive, Melinda revealed during the season two virtual reunion. (Marvin did end up going to Tulum a month later...with his best friend from the show Chase DeMoor.)
"I booked the Airbnb, I had things planned, but of course Marvin and I did get into an argument," said Melinda. "He could have put his big boy pants on and still come, but he decided to cancel his whole flight."
"The day that I was supposed to come, he was ignoring my texts," she continued. "I was texting Chase as well, and he ignored me too. I was left in the dark."
The plot thickened as amateur social media detectives began looking into the circumstances of the breakup, and the investigation unearthed some details about Marvin that no one (outside of France) saw coming. In addition to essentially playing Melinda to the left once the retreat was over, we also learned that Too Hot to Handle wasn't the French hottie's first reality show — or his second or third, at that. Over the span of the last few years, Marvin has been on four different dating shows: Les Marseillais vs Le Reste Du Monde, Les Princes et Les Princesses de l'Amour, Love Island France, and now Too Hot to Handle. Clearly, "falling in love" on TV is kind of his thing.
According to one Reddit post, Les Princes et Les Princesses de l'Amour was his most recent reality TV endeavor, and its eighth season wrapped in October 2020, just one month before Too Hot To Handle started filming in Turks and Caicos. Here's where the timeline gets murky: the subreddit claims that even though Marvin left the show with woman named Neverly, he still went on Too Hot to Handle with the intention of meeting someone at the retreat. The source alleges that Marvin resumed his relationship with Neverly as soon as he touched down in France after production on the Netflix production wrapped; the French lovers kept things going until March 2021 when they shocked fans and French media alike by announcing their breakup. Making things even worse is the fact that neither Neverly nor Melinda reportedly knew what was going on the whole time.
Is this the biggest dating show upset we've ever seen? Probably not, but it does cement season two of Too Hot to Handle as one of the most chaotic series we've seen during the pandemic. However, this startling reveal shouldn't put you off the effectiveness of Lana's celibacy retreat — its unique setup actually worked out for some couples. Despite dealing with their own struggles in the villa, Emily Faye Miller and Cam Holmes are still going strong and are currently living together in the UK, and even unexpected pairing Christina Carmela and Robert Van Tromp have been in a long distance relationship for seven months. As for Melinda, a happy ending from the show might still be possible for our girl; recently, she's been kicking it with fellow New Yorker and living TikTok thirst trap Peter Vigilante, who famously was the unofficial president of the Melinda Melrose fan club before being unceremoniously dumped from the island. (And yeah, there's definitely a vibe.)
It's hard to predict where Marvin and Melinda will go from here, especially in light of the information that has been brought to light following the season finale of the show. But no matter what happens, I think it's fair to say that Melinda is the real winner this season, even without the $55,000 in her pocket.