Phoebe Siegel and Chad Robinson were the newest couple to join the Love Island USA villa, putting them at a disadvantage as many assumed they wouldn’t make it to the finale. Both islanders came onto the show as bombshells during the Casa Amor episodes. While Chad made a quick connection with Courtney Boerner, Phoebe was stirring up a lot of drama with Isaiah Campbell. Phoebe was determined to get him to take her back to the villa and leave his feelings for Sydney Paight behind. Unfortunately, things didn’t play out as planned, and while he did take her back to the villa, Isaiah returned to Sydney soon after.
Phoebe thought there was no use crying over Love Island USA contestants and soon made a move on Chazz Bryant, who was partnered with her best friend in the villa, Bella Barbaro. When he was eliminated, she made a close connection with Chad. Phoebe then earned a bad reputation with fans who felt like she was a mean girl. Chad also wasn’t a fan favorite for choosing Mackenzie Dipman over Courtney, which led to her elimination. However, when Mackenzie self-eliminated and Chad recoupled with Phoebe.
Despite initially going after Isaiah, Phoebe and Sydney buried the hatchet, and a few of their friendship moments were caught on camera. Phoebe even did her hair the night Isaiah asked Sydney to be his girlfriend. Phoebe and Chad caused quite the commotion the night they were dumped, with Jeff Christian losing his temper over their elimination. However, the two stayed calm and collected and politely said their goodbyes with no bad blood. Screen Rant spoke to the two about their short-lived time at the villa, whether they think they deserved to compete in the finale, and why Phoebe felt misunderstood by fans of the show.
Phoebe, what initially drew you to Isaiah at Casa Amor, and what was the moment that you realized he wasn’t right for you?
Phoebe: The moment that drew me to him was actually the spitting in each other’s mouth challenge. I know that sounds weird. It was kind of like this ice-breaker and as a Casa Amor girl walking in, you feel very overwhelmed. I think after that challenge, there was this level of comfort that all the girls felt with the guys and Isaiah was spitting in my mouth, so there was this level of comfort that was created through that challenge. We had so much fun together in that challenge and that’s something that’s attractive to me, someone who could just have fun and say ‘fuck it whatever, I’m just going to spit in her mouth.’ Stuff like that I find attractive. That’s initially what made me say, maybe there is something there. Our first conversation was also very nice, but it was very introductory so after that ice-breaker it felt really nice. Then, in the villa, when I was brought back after the recoupling, I have said this to all the islanders on the show, I’m the type of girl where I want you to tell me the truth of what’s going on even if you think I don’t want to hear it and I felt as though the way the situation was handled, even though I really do respect his actions for respect of Sydney, I felt a little bit left in the dust. I was like this new girl walking in, and it was very stressful, very intimidating, and I tried to hold my own, but when you walk in with someone where you feel as though they’re going to give you a chance and there’s this potential for something to grow and then it kind of gets revoked from you, to me, I realized me and Isaiah in tough situations might act differently. I also wasn’t there to meddle with anyone’s relationship. I went in as a Casa Amor girl and wanted to find my own connection, and it happened to be with Isaiah at the time. When I saw the way he looked at [Sydney] and I saw how hard it was for him to be in there with me, it was just not there. We just called it quits.
Phoebe, do you think things would have worked out if Isaiah hadn’t met Sydney first, or do you think you were less compatible than you initially thought you were?
Phoebe: I definitely think we were less compatible than I initially thought. In Casa Amor I think the guys and the girls are just there for fun, and it’s a very lighthearted situation and I think when we all went back to the villa, it was like this back to reality for everyone’s situation. We were compatible in certain ways, but the incompatibility outweighed the compatibility between us. Now, reflecting on it, Sydney and Isaiah are irrefutably compatible. Chad and I for instance talk about things that are more up my ally and emotionally and socially the way we deal with situations are very compatible. I think that in Casa Amor there was the potential for us but when we got back to the villa, that flame went out really quickly.
Chad, what initially drew you to Courtney, and what did you see in Phoebe that you lacked with Courtney?
Chad: What initially drew me to Courtney was she was very open with me. She’s very straight forward, and I enjoyed that, especially in that specific environment. That’s kind of something that needs to happen if you start saying one thing or doing weird stuff, that’s not ideal. So, I liked that she was a straight shooter. She made me feel comfortable transitioning into the villa and helped me get into the flow of things. She made me feel appreciated, and she’s attractive as well. We were able to have a good time and chill out, and just relax, and build a good connection through being organic with each other and real.
As for as what Phoebe has that that relationship lacked is, not that Courtney didn’t let me be myself, but in a way Phoebe helped me express that even more. She didn’t really put any stipulations or pressures on what I needed to be doing. I enjoyed that about her. For a while me and Phoebe were platonic friends, but I was able to get a good perspective on her. I like how bold she is. Not that the other girls aren’t bold, but she’s not just the most bold girl but the most bold person in the villa. I thought that was really attractive. Phoebe had a very tough go around. I’d say aside from Sydney, Phoebe had the hardest route in the villa. She honestly just never showed it. You could never tell by her demeanor. She was always chill and cool, and she could talk her sh*t. I was like, I like this. She was always so respectful of whatever situation I had going on.
Chad, Courtney said she broke up with you before recoupling, but this scene didn’t air, were you hurt by her decision, or were you ready to move on?
Chad: I wasn’t hurt. Obviously, I wasn’t like ‘oh I hope she ends this today,’ but I understood where she was coming from. We just simply didn’t see eye to eye on our situation, so when she did it I was like, I understand, you are ready for full commitment, and I wasn’t there yet. So, to me, it was pretty straight forward, and I completely understood where she was coming from and that was that. It was never a fake situation. It was always real between us, which I know maybe was misconstrued a little bit. I know I was acting like whatever but because of the situation I understood, and we just moved on and everything was smooth after that.
Chad, why did you choose to recouple with Mackenzie, and would you have chosen Phoebe if Joel hadn’t already recoupled with her?
Chad: My plan was to choose Phoebe for the recoupling. I told Mackenzie that too. Mackenzie’s dope too, but I was planning to choose Phoebe.
Phoebe, I’ve heard from other female bombshells that they weren’t welcomed into the group of girls who have been there since day one, what was your experience with the female islanders like?
Phoebe: My experience was a little bit different than just walking into the villa as a bombshell, I was that Casa Amor girl, so when I walked in for the recoupling I obviously expected the tension and that feeling of not feeling welcomed, given the situation, like duh. My intention when I went into the villa was to talk to Sydney as soon as possible, but the way things ended up happening and the fact that I do feel for girls, and I am a girls’ girl, and I want to make that clear, I know that when the stone is hot don’t touch it. Sydney didn’t need to hear from me that night, and she didn’t need to hear from me that morning. She needed to be with the girls who love her and have been with her and know her. I gave that space consciously. If rolls were reversed, and I don’t know if Sydney would have wanted it any other way, it wasn’t the right time. Everything needed to settle down and everyone needed to breathe a little bit because it was a huge recoupling. So many couples were going through a lot. The next night was when I decided to talk to Sydney and commend her for how she handled herself and just tell her everything I thought was necessary for her to know. After I had that conversation with Sydney, I was embraced more by the group and I obviously didn’t feel good, but I respected it just because I understood it. So, I was upset that night, just because it never feels good to feel alienated or iced out, but it wasn’t because they didn’t like me, it was just because it was a supportive thing. The second that everything was dealt with, and the water was under the bridge, I was welcomed with open arms and I honestly didn’t feel as though the girls who were already in the villa didn’t fully except me. I’m best friends with all of them. I really found inseparable bonds with each and every one of them. It wasn’t until I had to put on my big girl pants and take accountability and tell Sydney the situation. Ever since then, everything was great. So, I didn’t necessarily feel the isolation that maybe some other people experienced, but that first night obviously I did.
Phoebe, some fans interpreted what you were saying to Isaiah at Casa Amor as putting Sydney down to make yourself look like the better option, do you feel like you were misunderstood, and what were your true intentions?
Phoebe: I definitely feel as thought I was completely misunderstood, you know what people are watching is not necessarily the entire conversation. We’re there for 24 hours every day and people just see snippets of conversations. I never once spoke badly about Sydney. I even said to Isaiah in one of our conversations, I’m not here to tell you everything that’s wrong, I said, ‘I don’t know the dynamic of your relationship in the villa. I don’t know Sydney, I don’t know how you guys are together.’ I obviously was interested in Isaiah, and I was giving myself the opportunity to say ‘look, I feel as though I would be a great fit for you and I do feel like I have certain characteristics in the way I hold myself that I think you would want. I’m a Casa Amor girl, and you have four days to see if there’s anything and I did see potential with Isaiah at the time. I am a pursuer, I go after what I want and that is the name of the game and that is the show.
I have heard that people were upset that I said ‘Sydney Who?’ That chant was actually started by all of the Casa Amor girls and I think people just saw me saying it.That’s just a Casa Amor thing. There were all these cheers and chance. In the raunchy races and the spitting challenge, everyone’s like ‘no villa, forget about them!’ It’s not meant to be taken so personally and like ‘oh, she’s attacking her’ It’s just like, we’re in Casa Amor group and we’re here and the name of the game when we’re here is we do want the boys to give us a fair chance. I think that people took what I was saying completely out of context and actually understand what was happening in the full conversations. We were there for a long time in those four days, like hours and hours and hours of conversations took place, and it was upsetting to me that people thought that I was that way considering the compassion and actual respect that I did have for Isaiah. I even told him, I respected that he didn’t take Casa Amor as a lad holiday. I said to him, ‘I really respect that,’ and that’s also what made me more attracted to him, the fact of how respectful he was being about his prior connection with Sydney. But, I wanted to pursue him and I think that some of my words were taken out of context and almost spun to make me seem as though I was putting another girl down. I would never do that. My parents raised me better than that.
What did you both think of Jeff’s reaction to your elimination, and do you think you deserve to have been in the final four since Nadjha and Jeff left soon after your elimination?
Phoebe: Me and Chad really have something great, and we love what we have, but we know what the finale entails in the aspect of the romance and the love and the intense finale of these strong couples. While me and Chad have a strong connection, we are taking it day by day and to put pressure on a connection and relationship that we have tried so hard to keep out of pressure and to allow it to have its own life and course throughout the villa in a pressure cooker, we didn’t feel as though that was organic or authentic to us and our connection. So, we actually, after speaking to our families, had conversations, and were at peace with our journey there and were actually excited to hang out, outside the villa because I think with our relationship and our connection, that’s where we work best when we feel like we don’t have to be looking around and seeing everyone being all couply, and we’re like ‘are we supposed to be like that?” We wanted the strongest couples to be in the finale because that’s what the finale is about.
On the topic of Jeff’s reaction, we just got so close to Jeff and Nadjha. Nadjha is my best friend. She literally is one of the reasons I remained mentally okay and emotionally okay. Jeff has been like my number one cheerleader since the second I was in Casa Amor and Jeff was my best guy friend in there once Chazz left. I think his reaction was just an emotional reaction to seeing us go as well as some other built up energy he might have had being in the villa and seeing your best friends go. I think he just allowed his emotions to run away from him a little bit. He’s human and that’s okay. I obviously was upset that it had to be in that moment when me and Chad were leaving, but expect the unexpected in Love Island, and Jeff was so sorry. He apologized and he’s an amazing person. I didn’t talk to him about it so I can’t really say much but from my perspective I think he was just very upset and maybe projected it onto individuals, but I know he’s sorry about that.
Chad: [Jeff], that’s my dog in there. I think sh** was just blown out of proportion in the sense of everything around it. It’s a high pressure environment. There’s a lot of stuff being said and there are a lot of things that are going on and at that time the Jesse and Deb situation was a little rocky and no one really knew what was going on. So, there was a little doubt in the air as far as why has this been going on for so long and there’s still a question mark on what this even is. I’m glad they got it all figured out now, good for them, but at that time, we didn’t exactly know. Jeff’s a very straight forward guy, and he just didn’t necessarily like some of the things that transpired in there and like I said, it’s a high pressure environment, so he just had to let it out a little bit. It is what it is. Everything is smooth now. I don’t think Jeff really did anything wrong per say. I think it just depends on how people receive and perceive things that happened to them. At the same time, in the grand scheme of things, those couples that came ahead of us were definitely stronger than us at the time, they just have had a lot of time, it’s really that simple. Me and Phoebe are just more relaxed and chill about the situation and let things naturally progress. So, that already puts us in a slower pace on top of the fact that we really only had four days at the end where we were actually able to get more romantic so I see both sides of things.
Phoebe, Isaiah recently said that he thinks you’d be most likely not to split the cash prize if you won. Do you agree or disagree? Chad, what do you think?
Phoebe: I disagree! I went onto Love Island for the experience of a lifetime. I went on Love Island without any expectations, so I can’t say I went onto Love Island to find love. When I put expectations on myself the type of personality I have, I get really caught up in those expectations and I put pressure on myself to do things and I wanted to just grow and experience. I ended up finding a connection because I didn’t put expectations on myself and because I allowed myself to organically move with respect in that villa. I 100% would have split the cash prize. To be completely honest, and I know people might not believe it, I didn’t care at all about that. I did not go in there for money, I went in there for the experience, and the experience I got in that villa and what I’ve learned about myself and who I walked out with means a lot more to me than a cash prize. I 100% would have split it if I’d won.
Chad: I don’t think she would have taken it all for herself. To me, that’s pretty self-explanatory if you know her. I know she would have split it. It’s just so funny hearing the things I’m hearing because if you heard our conversations or anyone who actually knew us, they’d be like, what are you talking about? But it’s kind of funny though, honestly. People have their opinions and at the end of the day you have to understand, it’s a tv show. There’s a small snippet of a giant context. On top of that, if there was one person who would say that I can see it would be Isaiah because of how rocky their situation was and how that caused so much turmoil in his world on the island. But it wouldn’t be based on Phoebe’s character, it’d be based on how much went on because of their situation.
I didn’t even think about the money the entire time. I never once thought about that.
Phoebe: I forgot we were even on tv sometimes. I’d be like wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts and burping. I even farted once in front of the guys. Literally, I forgot I was on tv. My moves in the villa were not to stay in the game, my moves in the villa were to eventually find Chad, to eventually find someone who I genuinely connected with. That’s what the whole show is about. It’s going in there and finding who’s most suitable for you and who you feel most comfortable with, the most romantic connection with, and I think that what people have seen has been perceived as me just me being this cockroach and trying to stay alive in there but no I went in for an experience and then when I was there, I was like, I deserve to find a connection. I deserve love. I’m ready for it and I did not stop until I found something that felt genuine. Even if me and Chad didn’t work out, at least I left that villa feeling like I tried all avenues, and I really put myself out there. I wore my heart on my sleeve, which is something I do not do in the real world. So, I allowed myself to grow by continuing to pursue and be vulnerable.
Chad: As far as those perceptions about her, they don’t necessarily make sense when you really think about the grand scheme of things. If you’re in the villa the point is obviously to find a connection. So if one doesn’t work out, are you supposed to sit in the background and not keep venturing out. In the real world that’s how it works too. When you break up with someone, or it doesn’t work out, you come across new connections. This process is just sped up into days at a time. That’s just kind of how you go about things. It’s Love Island, you’re supposed to go on and if something doesn’t work out, it’s like, okay, I’ll check out another option. It’s just when that option happens to be in other peoples way it seems bad, but that’s just how it goes in there. It depends on if you’re bold enough to actually go after or just sit there and be like ‘I don’t want to try.’ You have to be selfish in there a little bit. I think that Phoebe went about it the right way. If it didn’t work out, she just tried a new one, but never forced anything.
The Love Island USA reunion airs Thursday, September 1st at 9 p.m. EST on Peacock.