Now that Fox is finally bringing back Temptation Island (tonight at 9 ET), we want dirt, we want dish, we want scoop and, by God, host Mark L. Walberg is going to give it to us. At least that's our fool-proof plan as we begin our interview with the host of the skank-o-rama that makes Paradise Hotel look like Disneyland. Unfortunately, it quickly becomes apparent that the armchair psychiatrist has other ideas.
TV Guide Online: Since Island nearly fell off the map during its second season, should we expect any big changes this time around?
Mark L. Walberg: The way we reveal vote-offs and date selections and things like that might be a little different, but the biggest difference is the personalities [of the couples involved]. Each season, our show is as unique as the couples' problems and choices.
TVGO: Bummer I was hoping for a clothing-optional episode. Tell me about playing the island's pseudo-shrink.
Walberg: Those bonfires are pretty interesting. At the same time, I dread every one of them. You rarely get an opportunity to fly without a net like that. There's no script, no earpiece, no cue cards. There's little planning. The producers just give me an idea of what we hope to find and where they would like me to steer [the conversation], then when it starts going, man! You just sort of have to stay on your toes.
TVGO: Now we're talkin'! You're a manipulative rat after my own heart.
Walberg: Actually, [the swinging singles] think we're leading them, but it really becomes more an exercise in following them. And in my situation, it's neither leading nor following, but sort of investigating what is the true emotion around their actions.
TVGO: That's okay, Mark; your secret's safe with me. You must be rakin' it in, being so psychologically savvy Fox mustn't stand a chance come contract-renewal time.
Walberg: (Laughs) I only wish I was as effective in that arena as I am in the bonfires. Actually, they should make my contract conditional upon how many tears are elicited at a bonfire. Then I'd be rich.