Too Hot to Handle: Harry and Francesca Are Still Together — What About Sharron and Rhonda?
The contestants met while filming Netflix's no-sex dating show last year in Mexico
Exactly one year ago, the 10 remaining cast members of Netflix's Too Hot to Handle left "The Retreat" with some cash in their pockets and a brand new outlook on relationships.
The eight-episode dating series dropped a group of singles, all extremely hot and notoriously horny, in a beachside villa in Mexico. The contestants arrived thinking they were in for the sexual adventure of a lifetime — only to find out they had to abstain from sexual activity of any kind, self-gratification included, for their chance at the $100,000 prize. Prize money was docked for every kiss or sexual act, and after a month, the cast was left with $75,000 to split evenly amongst them.
But some walked away with more than just $7,500. Four singles seemed to have found love: Harry Jowsey, 22, and Francesca Farago, 26; and Sharron Townsend, 26, and Rhonda Paul, 28. So who's still together?
HARRY AND FRANCESCA
Against all odds, Francesca confirmed Thursday on Instagram that she and Harry are still together. Speaking to PEOPLE, the couple said they're "probably in the best position that we've ever been."
Though Francesca is currently in Vancouver, Canada, and Harry is in Los Angeles, they're planning on moving in together in L.A. after coronavirus travel bans are lifted.
"Honestly, we're better than ever," said Francesca. "It's hard not being able to see each other because we're in different parts of the world, but everything's been great. It's been the craziest year for both of us."
After the show wrapped, Harry went back to New Zealand for a few weeks, then flew to Vancouver to visit Francesca and her family, followed by a trip to Australia together. They split briefly after that, until Harry "accidentally got drunk and texted Francesca," prompting a reconciliation. They've been together ever since, and Harry moved to L.A. in September.
"We're way more comfortable with each other, we're way more open, and there's just so much more love this time around," Harry said.
And though their hookups cost the group more money than any other couple on the show, both say they have no regrets when it comes to the experience.
"I think the show is going to set a pretty interesting standard for people in their 20s who are a little bit confused, or in an interesting part of their life where they don't know how to progress in relationships, like I was," Harry said. "I didn't know what I wanted, or how to communicate with someone, or how to open up as much as I have with Francesca. So I think that for anyone our age who wants to start getting serious about that kind of stuff, it's definitely an amazing opportunity and the best thing I did."
SHARRON AND RHONDA
It's been a little more complicated for Sharron, who lives in New Jersey, and Rhonda, who lives in Atlanta. While the two are still in touch, they're not currently in a relationship. Though they haven't seen in each other in person since the show wrapped, they did stay in close contact for a few months after filming ended.
"We talked for a few months and then my schedule kind of got in the way," Sharron, 26, told PEOPLE. "I was working literally from sun-up to sun-down, coaching. I work at a school, and I was personal training. So we lost contact for a little bit."
"Then we kind of picked back up where we left off, and things had been going well for a while," he continued. "I mean, it's not like it was when we were at The Retreat, obviously there are still things I'm working on. But she's been there the whole way and still has been supportive, as supportive as she was while we were at The Retreat."
Added Rhonda, 28, "Like he said, he was super busy, and I was a full-time restaurant manager so our schedules never happened to line up. Hopefully, when things slowly come back to normal after the quarantine, we'll be able to sneak in some time before we get busy again. But it’s just been all kinds of FaceTime, phone calls, checking in here and there."
They've also both stayed in touch with their other costars.
"I communicate with almost everybody from the show, we have a little group message where we all chat back and forth and keep up with each other," Rhonda said. "It's like a dysfunctional family at times, but at the end of the day, that experience is something you can't take away from any of us. We did it together."
"I'll check in on the guys or I'll ask everyone how they’re coming along with the goals that they set while we were at The Retreat," added Sharron. "It's kind of like we need to hold each other accountable, because we were there to experience it with each other. No one else knows what we've gone through and the extent to which we've grown and developed."
"And Rhonda and I, we talk, we FaceTime, and I get to talk to her son, which is cool," he continued. "We stay optimistic and like I said, she invested a lot of time in me, so I do owe her and I'm thankful that she's still here for me."
Too Hot to Handle is streaming on Netflix.