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Katie Thurston \'F Boy Island\'
Katie Thurston \'F Boy Island\'
Photo By Mandee Rae
Culture > Entertainment

Katie Thurston Is Embracing Her True Self With The Help Of ‘FBoy Island’

Katie Thurston has returned to the reality TV dating scene. But this time, she’s moving away from the stricter and more high-stakes environment of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, and dipping her toes into the lighthearted atmosphere that is FBoy Island. “My most important focus was that I got to just be myself. FBoy Island really embraced that and allowed me to fully exist as Katie, not someone looking for an engagement or marriage or baby. It was very authentic to me,” Thurston says in an exclusive interview with Her Campus.

FBoy Island follows three women looking for love as they each pick a potential partner from a sea of 21 men. The catch? Some of the men describe themselves as “Nice Guys” while others think of themselves as “FBoys,” and the women have to determine who’s who. The competition element in this show is amplified through the $100,000 cash prize: If the women end up with Nice Guys, the new couple gets to split the money. But if they end up with F Boys, the men singlehandedly decide where that money’s going. 

Thurston says FBoy Island does an impressive job of eliminating that hiccup in relationships where people try to hide behind a facade instead of presenting themselves authentically. “On other shows, people are trying to put their best face forward, and that’s not what this show is about. These men have proclaimed themselves as a Nice Guy or an FBoy, and we don’t know who is who, which I think reflects real-life dating.” 

Despite her veteran status on reality dating shows, even someone like Thurston can get it wrong sometimes. “I thought I had these guys pinned down, and I was definitely blindsided by a few of them,” she admits. “I’ve been putting [Instagram polls] on my story everyday leading up to the premiere, where people can vote if the guys are FBoys or Nice Guys. It’s really funny to watch the audience perception, before the show is even airing. People will DM me and be like, ‘Why do I think they’re all FBoys?’” 

Despite the uniquely chaotic concept and setup of FBoy Island, it comes with the same highs and lows that Thurston is used to from her previous stints on reality dating shows. “The least nerve-wrecking [part of the show] for me was talking to [the guys]. They were more nervous than me, and I love having that power. Obviously, this isn’t my first time dating people on TV, so I’m like, ‘Oh, you want to make out on night one? Let’s go for it,’” Thurston says. “The hardest part was sending people home, because you lose out on exploring that connection once they’re gone. [You] hope that was the right decision, and all the way up until the end, you make a final choice and you deal with the consequences, whether they’re good or bad.” 

This feeling of hoping you made the right choice with a potential relationship is one that anyone can have when they’re dating IRL. Considering that, Thurston offers a few tips on the art of identifying Nice Guys in a sea of FBoys, if you’re dealing with them in your personal life. “There’s humble confidence, and then there’s cocky confidence. The cocky confidence [can] be an FBoy, whereas the humble confidence tends to be a nice guy,” she explains. “You’ve got to trust your gut. I think a lot of times, we want to see the best in people, or we think we can change people. We want to nurture these men to be nice guys, but at the end of the day, a man is going to be who he is, and you’ve got to take it for face value. You’ve got to take reality over his potential.” 

Thurston says these reality dating shows play into the same human emotions people experience in actual life every day, which is why they’ve become a significant part of our online culture. “At the end of the day, we watch it because we see ourselves in it in one way or another, no matter what show it is, what we’re watching. We like to root for love,” she says.

FBoy Island Season 3 premieres on Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.

Karly Ramnani is a junior at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles, studying music industry, with a strong passion for art and journalism. They discovered this amazing community shortly after starting college, and are super stoked to a national writer for Her Campus this semester. Karly worked with Her Campus in Fall 2022 as well, as the Entertainment & Culture Editorial Intern. Other outlets they've written for include All Country News, The Honey Pop, Medium, Newsbreak, and their own startup music blog Playlists & Polaroids. They currently serve as a campus ambassador for Amazon Prime Student and Tinder. When they're not writing blogposts and music reviews, you can find them composing and performing music, putting their nose in a rom-com book, binge watching "The Summer I Turned Pretty," or crying over Taylor Swift.