Things You Didn’t Know About The Original Temptation Island

When Temptation Island first aired in January 2001, it was a huge hit with more than 16 million people tuning in for the series premiere. The show was incredibly controversial as it sent unmarried couples to a Caribbean island to be tempted by attractive singles who were picked specifically to tempt them. For the show’s first season, there were four couples – Andy Lukei and Shannon Roghair, Kaya Wittenberg and Valerie Penso, Taheed Watson and Ytossie Patterson, and Billy Cleary and Mandy Lauderdale – all of whom stayed together in the end. Since the show has been revamped and will be airing shortly, reminisce on the original series with the 12 things you didn’t know about Temptation Island:

12. Producers Knew About Ytossie and Taheed’s Child

After the show aired in 2001, Ytossie and Taheed, the show’s most quarrelsome couple who were removed to a different part of the island after it was revealed that they had a young son together, claimed that producers knew that the couple had a child and were coached by producers to not discuss it. According to Ytossie, she brought along a photo album of their child to Belize and showed it some of her dates.

11. Ytossie and Taheed Sued Fox

In April 2001, Ytossie and Taheed sued Fox and Temptation Island producers, claiming that they were coerced into lying about their infant son and then made to look like villains on the show. Ytossie alleged that producers were in a rush to find a fourth couple for the show and hadn’t had any luck. “We were rushed through the process…they wanted an attractive black couple,” she said. “They told us not to mention the fact that we had a child.”

10. Shannon and Andy Are No Longer Married

Shannon and Andy were married in November 2001 in a televised ceremony on Fox. They have two children together, but they are no longer married. It’s unclear when they chose to go their separate ways; however, what is clear is that Shannon is with a different man now and the two have an adorable son together. This is a picture of her with her new man.

9. The Temptation Cast and Singles Became Friends

Andy told the Daily Bruin that members of the Temptation Island cast stayed in touch after taping the show in September 2000. “I would say at least a dozen people from the cast live in the L.A. area. We probably talk with at least half a dozen people every week,” Andy said. “We go get drinks, we’ve gone to Vegas, we all watch Carla’s band play. We’re actually all pretty tight now.”

8. Mandy Was Reportedly Offered $1.5 Million to Appear in Playboy

Mandy told Howard Stern in March 2001 that she was offered $1.5 million to appear in Playboy, but chose not to do it because she didn’t want to be associated with the men’s magazine and she wanted to focus on her music career; however, according to Playboy, while they expressed interest in Mandy, the company has never offered that much money.

©Lisa Rose/JPI

7. Mandy Was Offered a Contract with Capitol Records

Mandy was an aspiring singer when she appeared on Temptation Island and, according to her, she was offered a recording contract with Capitol but turned it down because she didn’t want to become a Britney Spears-style act. “It’s one of those things when they say you have all creative control and you find out your music’s all changed around and it’s ‘pop-y,’” she said.

6. Billy Lived with Shannon and Andy

Following Temptation Island, Billy packed up and left Atlanta, Georgia, and moved to Malibu where he stayed with Shannon and Andy. “Billy’s actually living with Shannon and I at Malibu,” Andy said. “So Billy and I are going to do some kayaking stuff together over the summer and then we’re going to throw other people from the cast into the mix.”

5. Mandy Appeared in Road Trip before Temptation Island

Mandy wasn’t just an aspiring singer – she was also looking to break into acting. A year before she appeared on Temptation Island, she was in an extra in the 2000 film Road Trip; however, she hasn’t appeared in anything since.

©Lisa Rose/JPI

4. The Couples and the Singles Weren’t Paid Much for the Show

The couples and the singles didn’t get paid a whole lot to appear on Temptation Island. The couples were reportedly paid $5,000 while the singles were paid just $1,500 apiece. For many of the singles, the reason they signed up was for the adventure.

©Jill Johnson/

3. Everyone Was Tested for STIs

Fox insisted that Temptation Island wasn’t about sex and was instead about exploring the dynamics of a serious relationship. However, one of the background checks that they did on the cast was a test for sexually transmitted diseases.

2. Most of the Couples Were Aspiring Actors

With the exception of Shannon and Andy, as well as Kaya and Valerie, all of the other couples were aspiring actors. Billy had been working in production at Turner Sports, but had quit the summer before he appeared on Temptation Island to pursue an acting career. Mandy was an aspiring actress and so were Taheed and Ytossie. Following the show, Billy, Kaya and Valerie all moved to Los Angeles. Billy was going to pursue an acting career while Kaya wanted to pursue a music career.

1. Andy Tried to Rile Everyone Up on the Show

In an interview with Alison Dietrich, the single that went on the dream date with Kaya, she said that no one knew what was going on with Andy and that he was always trying to rile everyone up and get them to do scandalous things. “We never knew what was up with Andy. He wanted people to say or do scandalous things, trying to get us riled up. I never got him,” she told Entertainment Weekly.



Cate has a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature and has been the Managing Editor of Fame10 for more than 6 years. Despite having a love for the works of Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy and Lord Byron, she also has an intense fascination with pop culture. When she isn’t writing for Fame10, she’s planning her next big adventure in Southeast Asia.