When Paige DeSorbo arrived in the Hamptons for Bravo’s Summer House in 2019, the reality series desperately needed some rejuvenation.
Two seasons in, the Vanderpump Rules spinoff failed to stick out among the network’s more popular programming. Drama between several of the original cast members had already worn thin. Even Andy Cohen looked like he had better things to do when he hosted the show’s first reunion. But if anyone knows how to give a great makeover, it’s the always-chic DeSorbo.
It didn’t take long for the 29-year-old fashion influencer to win over viewers with her impeccable, budget-friendly sense of style and her accurate radar for fuckboys. In season three, she entered the vacation house with comedian Hannah Berner, with whom she hosts the podcast Giggly Squad, but DeSorbo soon proved she was hardly anyone’s straight person. Over the past three years, as Summer House has found its footing, the New York native has become reality TV’s Carrie Bradshaw by tackling the challenges of modern dating and female friendship with her signature wit and a healthy dose of self-deprecation.
Tonight, she’ll be making us chuckle again when Summer House returns for its sixth season, and ahead of the premiere, DeSorbo dished to The Daily Beast what fans are in for this season. Among other juicy storylines, we’ll get to see the origins of her relationship with Southern Charm star Craig Conover, after the two of them appeared on the Southern Charm/Summer House crossover miniseries Winter House last fall. At the time of filming, Conover was in a relationship with Natalie Hegnauer, though he’d expressed feelings for DeSorbo after they met a few years prior. When the 32-year-old lawyer split from Hegnauer in early 2021, the stars had finally aligned for him and DeSorbo.
Even before DeSorbo confirmed she and Conover were dating in October, Deauxmoi and Bravo fan blogs were publishing photos of them canoodling around New York City and have yet to stop obsessing over Bravo’s first (at least, as far as we know) crossover couple.
“It definitely is kind of crazy,” DeSorbo tells The Daily Beast about the frenzy around her relationship. “I mean, I think the birth of Deauxmoi was one of the wildest things to come out of quarantine. So when people care where we went to dinner or what we’re doing, it is very flattering. But I’d be lying if I said I don’t get some anxiety that my whole relationship is kind of up for public opinion.”
Before DeSorbo got together with Conover, fans watched her entertain a possible romance with the charming but evasive Italian model Andrea Denver on Winter House. In the trailer for this season of Summer House, Denver, who comes on as a new roommate, appears to have an emotional breakdown over DeSorbo, who’s shown hanging out with Conover. Fans immediately began to speculate about a messy love triangle, but DeSorbo insists there was no foul play.
“I was very single over the summer,” she says. “Andrea was very single. And Craig was also very single. So none of us owed the other one anything.”
Despite all the waterworks, DeSorbo says everything is good between her and Denver.
“Andrea is one of the kindest people ever,” she says. “And he is such a great friend. So it kind of plays out the way it’s supposed to.”
Summer House’s central romantic plot, however, has long belonged to Kyle Cooke and DeSorbo’s best friend Amanda Batula, whose relationship has been rocked by cheating scandals and Cooke’s heavy drinking over the past five years. This season, we finally get to watch the pair get married, but not before convincing us they probably shouldn’t, including in tonight’s explosive premiere.
“It’s definitely difficult because, as a girlfriend, I want to be as truthful and honest with my friends as I can be,” DeSorbo says. “But I obviously don’t want to overstep and say things that are out of line.”
Plus, even though she’s consistently been vocal and honest in questioning the stability of Cooke and Batula’s relationship, DeSorbo says she always knew the two would make it down the aisle.
“I knew that they were eventually going to get married, whether it was in two months, six months, five years,” she says. “I know that they are meant for each other. So I just wanted to always make sure that Amanda felt secure and happy with their decision. And obviously, they do end up getting married. I think it was great timing. I think they worked out what they needed to work out.”
Another polarizing couple this season will inevitably be housemate Ciara Miller and Southern Charm’s Austen Kroll, who started a fling with the nurse/model on Winter House. He also admitted to previously hooking up with original Summer House cast member Lindsay Hubbard, and in the season trailer, Kroll appears to romance both women behind their backs during his visits to the Hamptons.
Despite the internet’s criticism of Kroll’s player tendencies, DeSorbo claims her man’s best friend has “a great personality” and “totally gets why girls fall for him.” However, she seems to hint that things between him and her buddy Ciara eventually go south.
“All I really cared about was Ciara being valued the way she should’ve been,” she says. “And you know guys are so flip-floppy all the time. So my only advice is if you’re not being treated the way you’re supposed to be, there’s a million other guys out there that are jumping at the chance. So I don’t think Ciara will have a hard time being treated the way she’s supposed to.”
On Winter House, we watched DeSorbo and Miller become the tight (but not nearly as dynamic) duo the fashion blogger once was with Berner, who exited the show last year after pissing off most of the cast. She says entering this season without Berner was a bit of an adjustment, but ultimately allowed new friendships to blossom.
“Of course I miss Hannah,” DeSorbo admits. “I talk to her all the time. We have Giggly Squad together, which is one of my favorite hours of the week. But it definitely gave me a chance to get so much closer with Ciara. We shared a room in Vermont and we also shared a room this summer together. She is one of my very best friends.”
She also invites her friend, restaurant consultant Mya Allen, to stay at the house this season. Allen, the show’s second Black cast member after Miller, is walking in with the show’s first East Asian cast member Alex Wach, seemingly in an effort by Bravo to add some much-needed diversity to a predominantly white show.
“Mya is one of the best people I’ve ever met,” DeSorbo says. “She really is so confident and holds her own and has strong opinions. I always say if you want the truth about anything, ask Mya. And Alex is one of the sweetest people ever. He’s a little bit more reserved, which is normal.”
“I remember my first summer just sitting at my first dinner and watching everyone fight,” she continues. “It was very shocking. And then you get used to the group and you’re like, ‘You know what? I have an opinion on this as well.’ So I think they did great. They really did bring a new energy, and we had so much fun with them.”
Who knows how DeSorbo will feel about her co-stars once their summer together has been broadcast and we catch up with her at the reunion. But for now, she’s enjoying the long-distance life with Conover, who lives in Charleston, and at the end of January—if COVID-19 allows—she’ll be jet-setting across the U.S. for some Giggly Squad live shows in California. And on Instagram, she’ll continue out-dressing us all.