Voorhees resident Etay Aroshas found himself in Hawaii filming for a unique reality TV show after submitting an audition for “The Real World,” and learning a thing or two about who he is as a person in the process.
Aroshas is set to appear on the USA Network every Thursday, beginning Oct. 10, for season two of “Temptation Island.” The show, he said, is about four couples who have been in a relationship for some time, are having trouble at home and want to see if they’re still in love with one another.
The couples are split and live in a house in Maui with 12 people of the opposite sex, where they see if they can “withstand temptation.”
He added he came across the show after an audition for “The Real World” wasn’t successful, and an unnamed person called him back weeks later for “Temptation Island.”
For him and his family, watching reality TV is a way to bond. He said it was entertaining for them to watch shows like “Big Brother,” so much to the point where he made it a commitment to himself to do all he can to be on TV.
“It’s funny to see yourself on screen on a network that you watch,” he added. “It’s a different perspective now seeing it as someone being casted, compared to just watching it through the screen.”
As more reality TV shows appear on various networks, some use creative plots to draw in viewers. “Temptation Island” certainly fits that category. It is also one of several shows eliciting strong opinions from the public.
“I’m preparing to just think about the fact that it’s reality and that’s how things work in anything,” Aroshas said. “There’s going to be criticism always, whether you’re on TV or hanging out with friends.”
As someone who was on a show, he added that what people see on their screens is “100 percent real.” He clarified in saying that cameras are rolling every single minute and the microphones are always picking up audio.
“That becomes your reality while you’re there because you have no phone and no connectivity to the outside world,” he said. “Every hour seems like a day, every day is like a week. Being there for a week or even two weeks, or however long you’re there, that becomes your reality.”
While the 24-year-old didn’t speak on specifics on what occurred during taping, he said the show provided him an opportunity to show others facets of his culture, which is Israeli.
The show gave him an overwhelming amount of time to be able to cook various Middle Eastern foods such as Shakshuka – eggs baked in a tomato-red pepper sauce – and spicy Moroccan fish. His passion for cooking the cuisine has led him and his mom to pursue opening a Middle Eastern restaurant in Philadelphia.
Outside of working on the restaurant and filming, Aroshas added he models on the side and hopes to live out his passion of becoming an actor or to focus on “showing things from a different perspective” with the use of photography.
The Eastern Regional High School class of 2013 graduate added being on the show taught him not only how to live with complete strangers, but also that it’s OK to not always have the attention of someone.
“I’ve learned to sit back and listen a bit more and observe,” he added. “I’ve always observed, but it gave me the opportunity to sit back, observe and listen and not have to be the center of attention all of the time. It wasn’t easy, but it was definitely something.”
With “Temptation Island” focused on seeing if its four couples can fight temptations, Aroshas said he has a temptation of his own he’s always drawn to.
“I like women, I went on the show because I like women, that’s what tempts me: women,” he said. “But I think the only thing that can get my attention off of a woman is a puppy. If I see a puppy in a street and an attractive woman, I’m going to that puppy.”
The reality TV star said if he were to star on any other reality show, it’d be “Survivor” for the challenge and competitive nature, or “Big Brother.” He added if he were asked to return for another season on “Temptation Island,” he’d do it again.
“Watching reality TV my whole life, I know that there’s always going to be criticism,” Aroshas said. “Everyone’s going to give their feedback and it’s important to focus on the positives even though with us as human beings, there’s times when we want to focus on the negatives.”