The shining light of Finding Prince Charming has dimmed. Robby LaRivere, guiding star of the Gay Bachelor Show, was eliminated on Thursday night’s episode, leaving the house a little less tan and a lot less charming. Vulture got on the phone with the 26-year-old beauty expert from the Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family to discuss his time on the show, and he dished on everything from the hookups that happened between the bachelors in the house to an unaired fight during which Robert started screaming at him. Baby dolls, you’re going to want to sit down for this.
I think I speak on behalf of the internet when I say that I'm so sad that you're gone, and now I've lost my reason for watching the show.
Oh my god. That seems to be what everyone is saying. That means a lot. It was a really, really fun experience but alas all good things must come to an end.
How long were you in the house, exactly?
We were there for a long time, babe. I want to say four and a half weeks. That's without a cell phone. We weren't allowed to leave the house. We couldn't even step out the front door without getting in trouble. It was so on. And you see that we rarely left the house to go on dates. It was so funny: Lance Bass came in and he's like, 'We're having a masquerade.' And we're like, 'Woooo!' Then he's like, ‘But you're hosting it here.’ We never left this house. It was a nightmare.
Watching the episode, you didn’t seem surprised that you were leaving.
Yes, that was very much the case. And what they did cut out, for whatever reason, was me taking Robert into the bathroom where I set us a bubble bath full of bubbles and I was in my robe. I then calmly disrobed, hopped in the bath with a glass of champagne and I told Robert, 'I know you have a very difficult decision to make tonight but the truth of the matter is the boys in this house live and die for you. You're the first thing they think of when they wake up and the last thing they think of when they go to bed, and Robert, I am not one of those boys. You need to send someone home tonight, I'm more than happy and willing to put my head on the line for you.' He gave me a kiss on the lips, said, 'Thank you so much, Robby, this means a lot.' And lo and behold, that night he asked for his tie back. I was going to give it back to him anyways, even if he asked me to keep it, because love wasn't there. When someone asks you to be a different version of yourself, that's not a person I want to be with.
Right — it just sounds like he was also just not the guy for you.
Definitely not. No way, no how. But that's not to discredit him in any way, shape or form. Robert is an amazing man. Just not the man for me.
What kind of guy would you want to be with?
Well, it's funny. I don't know if this is a spoiler, but I did just post it on my Instagram that since leaving the show, I've fallen madly in love with the sweetest boy in the whole entire world, Gavin, and we've just been having this whirlwind romance. We're just madly head over heels in love with each other, so.
Can you tell me a little about Gavin?
Well, he's younger than I am but he's just the sweetest, kindest boy in the world. He's a Libra, which goes very well with my astrological sign being a Sagittarius. He's handsome. He's thoughtful. He gets my humor. And he appreciates the Robby show, for lack of a better word. He cracks up at everything I say and he likes it, and he gives it back to me. He can ground me and put me in line. He's honestly everything I need in a partner. I'm just very blessed and happy about that. And he's gorgeous to boot!
That's really wonderful. Congratulations. Robert definitely does not seem to be very funny.
No, he’s not funny. He laughs though. He would laugh at every single thing I said, which was fun. But for whatever reason, he wants a more serious lover. I'm just not that person. I had the best time ever cracking him up though. They cut that a lot, but like, he had tears coming down his face from crying of laughter the whole entire time.
Who do you think is the best match for Robert?
That's hard. I think either Brandon or Eric would be a really nice match. Brandon, because I had a dream when I was in the house that Brandon won, and so I always thought Brandon was going to win. And then, after Eric came out about his HIV status — which was a very beautiful moment — Robert reacted in such a diplomatic, princely way, that I thought that they made a very beautiful couple. When they went on their one-on-one date and the five of us were remaining at the house, honey, we started packing our bags.
What do you think of the remaining guys?
Dillon’s very aggressive. He seems like he's in it to win it, not necessarily in it for love. Justin is more concerned with making friends than falling in love. Chad's a nice boy, though he's crazy. I mean, coo-coo. But he's the most in love with Robert out everyone in the house. Chad's smitten with Robert. And Robert's smitten with him for whatever reason. That perplexed a lot of the boys in the house because Chad, while he comes across attractive on camera, in person I fail to see the appeal. He's a sweet boy but seeing them together: big, tall Robert with a long face and then little Chad. Chad's really, really short in person. He's a miniature person. He's proportional: the face, the abs, the chest, everything, but he's five feet tall. And then when he stands next to Robert, it's just weird. No one could understand the appeal or why Chad was even still in the house but you see Robert. He's like head over heels.
What do you think Robert’s type is?
It seems like someone who is a little more demure and slightly aloof. I mean, I don't think Eric and Robert had a conversation up until that moment when he came out as HIV positive. It seems as if they just stared at each other. Eric would look into his eyes, and Robert would be like, 'I really like you. I want to get to know you more.' It was just such a joke the whole time. Robert is attracted to people just like him: Dry.
The whole thing is a bit of a strange conceit, honestly, so I'm curious about what your motivation was to go on the show.
It's interesting because the boy I'm dating now, I met him two weeks before we started filming the show. And I was like, 'Fuck.' Here I am, connected with a boy who's just so sweet, so cute but now I have to go on this show. And I honestly did say no. The casting director was like, 'Robby, we think you'd be brilliant on the show. You make great TV.' And I said, 'Well, you know, I'm kind of falling in love with someone already.' He's like, 'No, no, no, no. You know, it's not about that. Go there. You'll make friends that you'll have for the rest of your life. And if you were to fall in love with this bachelor character, Prince Charming, then so be it.' So I went into it with that attitude: That there was no lack of love in my life. If destiny came in and Robert and I were meant to be, then that's what would happen. So, I was neutral: I was open to falling in love with Robert, but I wasn't thirsty.
That's a good attitude to have.
It was and, you know, I could've had a one-up on everyone else, because people there were thirsty, girl. Like they wanted Robert. But I wasn't like that. I was open to it and if there was an undeniable connection, I would obviously go for it. There wasn't, so I just had fun.
What do you think prevents the other guys from hooking up with each other? I found it strange that there was this presumption that everyone would just be going after Robert.
Two of the suitors did hook up with each other, although it never made the air because we didn't know about it until after we were eliminated.
I think Sam and Chad hooked up on the first night. So, that's what happened on night number one. And then night number two, remember Chad had his hands in his pants and he was making the move on Eric. So there was definitely some canoodling, but for the most part, everyone was very ladylike — and I think it was a house full of bottoms too, Mary.
Honestly, that's probably what was going on.
That's sort of what I assumed from the remaining guys.
Everyone's sisters. No one's going to do anything. And the deprivation is what kept us lusting after Robert as well. No cell phones, couldn't go on an app or anything like that. You had no other source of entertainment besides one another and you became annoyed with each other. So when Robert came in the house, it was flies on shit.
Right before the show premiered, there was a scandal involving Robert — it was revealed that he used to be a sex worker. Was that ever a point of discussion in the house with the other guys?
Hindsight, is always 20/20, but it was never talked about in the house. If anything, I feel like I was the only one who picked up on something because I recognized Robert right away from his Instagram. I'd been following this guy for six months prior to even know he was going to be on the show. I had been following him on Instagram because I saw him on Marc Jacobs' Instagram in a cheeky little photo of them in bed together. I was like, 'Huh. Isn't that interesting? You know, what's going on here ... Marc Jacobs in bed with this guy?'
And I asked Robert, 'I knew about you because I saw a picture of you in bed with Marc Jacobs. What was that about?' He got all flustered, blushed, was tripping over his words. He's like, 'Oh. Oh... Uhhh, Ummm. It's just a friend.' I'm like, 'Really? Are those the types of friends you have?' He's like, 'Oh. Yeah, yeah.' Then he wears the Cartier love bracelet. You don't buy that for yourself. Someone buys that for you, and it's not cheap. So, I figured he was kept boy in the past. We always asked about his past relationships, and he said he dated someone that looks exactly like him but I mean, obviously, he used to hustle for dollars. And there's nothing wrong with that. One thing the show has done is prove that he has moved on from that and he's not a slut, or a prostitute, or whatever.
It didn't really feel like Robert was very forthcoming about what was going on with his life or his past, or anything in general.
Yeah, he was very mysterious. It was all very surface level that he was from Puerto Rico or Miami. He went to college, studied in New York, interior design. I'm trying to ask him these questions and he said he did the window displays for Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren and everything like that. But has anyone vetted this guy? Is that what he has done? I asked about his design style, he said his design was a juxtaposition between classic and modern and he's coming out with a candle line. Have yet to smell a freaking candle. I don't really know what's going on. Everything went back to the candle line. 'As you know, I'm a big fan of history and I incorporate that in my candle line.'
As a viewer, I don't even care about the past stuff. In some ways, that makes it more interesting than he seems to be.
Yeah, you're absolutely right. If anything, let's talk about that, Robert. Give us the dirty details. That’s what I want to know. Enough of this wooden facade. Instead of burying this under the rug with, 'Oh, oh. Past is in the past. Don't judge me for my past.' Sex work is a very real job. This is what people do to put a roof over their head, to pay for their cars, whatever it may be. Let's shine some light on the subject and talk about it. It's still very real in this day and age. This is something that needs to be talked about. Robert could really be an advocate for this. Own it. That's what pains me about Robert. Instead of pretending like you're Mister Perfect, which you aren't, because no one is, let's talk about what was going on in your life.
Were there any important moments that we didn’t get to see?
Robert and I did get in a big fight at the masquerade ball — which was awful, by the way. Imagine six people standing in a room with masks on their faces. We weren't allowed to take our masks off and then Robert would take someone out of the room. So then there was just five of us with our masks on. It was this weird party. The music they played had to be like non-royalty free, so it was a song no one knew. They had it on repeat. It was the worst party ever.
Anyway, I was trying to be serious, and Robert came and sat on me, and he was very heavy, his bony butt. I was like, 'Get off of me.' I just wasn’t into him. Then I stepped into the kitchen just to have a breather and talk to some of the producers and Robert storms into the kitchen, starts yelling in my face, pointing in my face, saying 'I sent Paul home for you!', and that I should cut the shit. He was screaming and yelling in my face. That's why he came over at the pool party the next day to apologize. And then I was ready to give my tie. Was over the whole thing. Producers told me, 'Robby, do not. Keep your tie because we're about to do the revealing of the mask.' So that's when I had the conversation with him. After Robert had screamed in my face, I had to stand in front of him and reveal the meaning behind my mask, which was serious. But then I did make it funny at the end, when I said I had been there for 87 days. It was nice to even break down Robert's walls and little bit more and see a little chuckle out of him.
That's crazy that they edited all of that out.
The show is trying to portray Robert in this prince perfect thing. But viewers can see through that. Viewers want reality. That's why it's a reality show. They want to see the real deal. I think maybe, logistics-wise, there were producers in the room, so I don't know if the cameras were shooting in there. It was a very real argument. It wasn't for show. It wasn't for cameras. He can flip the switch, that boy.
What do you want to do next?
I mean, America has jumped on the Robby train and I think we need to keep it going some way, somehow. I know they aren't going to tune into Hallmark to watch me so I think we need to do some sort of spin-off. That's what everyone is saying. I'm so humbled and overwhelmed by all the tweets and messages, and Instagram, Facebook, this and that thing. I need a show. I just don't know what it would be.