If there's one thing that's to be expected from a reality show, it's serious drama. The same can be said for Lifetime's scripted series about the behind-the-scenes world of a fictionalized dating competition. UnREAL is back for Season 2, and so is the series' fictional show-within-a-show, Everlasting. Everlasting has a brand-new suitor named Darius, a football star and the very first black suitor the show has ever had. With a new suitor comes a slew of eager new contestants desperate to win his affection. One of these contestants is Meagan Tandy's Chantal, a Southern debutante and pageant queen still reeling from the death of her fiancé. The Season 2 premiere saw Tandy's character getting a brutal producer grilling from the once-innocent Madison, and according to Tandy, the Everlasting producers won't let up.
"[Chantal] thinks she's completely over her dead fiancé and that she's ready for Darius, but it's really Madison, Quinn and Rachel who try to use it as bait, and get her to do certain things and say certain things, and get Chantal to cry and be emotional," teases Tandy of how the producers will try to use her grief against her. "Later in the season, people will see that Rachel tries to use [Chantal's emotions] in a way that actually embarrasses Chantal a little bit, and it's pretty sad what they end up doing."
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However, according to Tandy, Quinn and Rachel may have underestimated the former beauty queen.
"Chantal definitely has wifey potential, I think just mostly because she is genuinely there for love. She knows how to play to the cameras, though, I will say that. But her being a Southern debutante and a former pageant girl, and dealing with this loss, she really is there for love, and I think Rachel and Quinn realize that early on. They find her to be somewhat of a wifey for Darius."
It's not just the producers' baiting that will keep Chantal on her toes. As we saw in the Season 2 premiere, Confederacy-celebrating contestant Beth Ann wasn't too keen on bunking with her black roommate. Diversity and racism are two big issues that UnREAL tackles this season, and according to Tandy, it'll come to a head between two contestants.
"There's definitely going to be some drama between Ruby and Beth Ann. Ruby, as they've declared her being the black activist, and then with Beth Ann, whom they've been teasing isn't so much about diversity; those two definitely will be going at it at some point," says Tandy of brewing drama. As for her own opinion on the way that the challenging topic is handled, Tandy is all for it.
"Honestly, I really love the way that they tackled [racism] this season. They haven't just done if for entertainment reasons, they've done it to try to educate people and to bring some more awareness. It's completely fine to have a black suitor be someone that is desirable for women... It's a huge risk, but I commend them for taking the leap. Someone has to do it."
Of course, just because there's a new suitor doesn't mean we've completely forgotten about Season 1's eligible bachelor Adam, whom a vengeful Rachel screwed out of a fantasy wedding with his choice of bride. We know that we'll see Adam again before the season is out, and that he's been making phone calls to his former love interest Rachel — but what's the reason? Tandy couldn't tease too much, but did say he could have two very different motives for returning.
"He may or may not still be into Rachel," says Tandy of the will-they-won't-they pair's complicated relationship. "People need to remember that he had a thing with Rachel, but that she played him and screwed him over at the very end... Fans will have to [wait and see] if he's coming back because he's into Rachel, or because he wants revenge."
Do you think Chantal will win Darius' heart, or will the producers ultimately screw her over? Sound off in the comments.