Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to talk with Amy Paffrath, host of VH1’s Dating Naked. She has worked in various facets of the entertainment industry and has successfully made a name for herself. She offered tons of career advice, and the inside scoop on what to expect on the new season of Dating Naked.
You were recently featured as “Hostess of the Month” in Vents Magazine, can you talk about the journey of how you got to this point?
“Yeah! First of all it was really exciting to be named “Hostess of the Month” it’s a huge honor. It’s something that I never really thought would happen in my career. It all started in college, I did broadcast journalism at the University of Missouri, a really great journalism school. I had a lot of amazing professors and one in particular, Stacey Woelfel was really instrumental in getting me prepared to come to Los Angeles. He helped me create a reel and then I moved out there is 2006 and started auditioning. I got a job with Direct TV right away and it was my first on-air hosting job. From there it just kind of spiraled, one thing led to another. I got a job at E! in 2008, which is my dream job, and I worked there until 2012. From that Jersey Shore came and now Dating Naked.”
You’ve hosted a wide variety of shows and events in the past, how did you end up at Dating Naked?
“That’s just one of those random coincidences! I had a general meeting with the production company and just talked about what sort of shows interest me and where my interests lie. Then six months later, they were casting the host of the show and I went in a read for it and then next thing you know I had a meeting at VH1 then off to filming in Panama. So it came together really quickly. Everyone says this industry is all about who you know and it very much is. I went in there not for something specific at all, but fast forward six months later and I was fresh in their minds so they brought me back in for it. So it really is about making connections and just trusting that people are thinking of you when the right thing comes along.”
For anyone who isn’t familiar with the show, is it exactly what it sounds like?
“Yes the title is pretty self explanatory. It’s literally a dating show where they meet for the first time completely naked. So they spend their date in the buff, getting to know each other in a very vulnerable position. It’s really meant to open them up, so they can’t hide anything. To see who they are and exactly what they have to bring to the table. Not hiding behind clothing or any preconceived notions, it’s just bearing their whole body and soul.”
What is the “Playing for Keeps” spin on the new season?
“This season is different because we have the same two daters the entire season, Kerri and Chris. Our mission is to find each of them a soul mate. So every episode they go on two new dates with two new people and at the end they choose one person to stay and that person is known as their keeper. So every episode there’s an elimination process which they have to make tough decisions on who they felt the strongest connection with that episode and then send somebody home. So it gets a little tough and it does come to be about competition this season because feelings are in the mix and people want to win their affection. So it’s interesting to see how that all plays out and the relationship developments in the house.”
A reality TV show wouldn’t be complete without a little drama, can you tease about any that we will see this season?
“Oh there’s a lot of drama! We have a couple people that stick around awhile and definitely stir the pot. When you’re the keeper, you feel like you’ve already won, because this guy or girl has picked me and I have a stake here. So they feel like you deserve to be in the house because they were chosen, but new people are coming everyday and testing those connections. So people get jealous and really envious and try to reclaim their relationship. So there’s a lot of drama that goes on and a lot of people that really just want to stay there. I don’t know if it’s for the right reason or not, we will have to wait and see how it all plays out. But it’s such a good season, there are tears, fighting, but also a lot of love. It’s an emotional rollercoaster.”
Sounds like the perfect combination for a reality TV show!
“Exactly! It’s a reality show with no clothes on an island, the perfect recipe for a summer show.”
How was filming in the Panama last season and the Philippines this season?
“So amazing! Panama was incredible in itself and I didn’t know how it was going to get any better than that, then we ended up in the Philippines and I can’t even compare the two. They are different places, but they are both so beautiful and tropical. I feel like it’s almost like Sex in the City, where the city is a character in itself. It is every bit as important as any person that comes on the show because it’s so gorgeous and it really sets the tone of the environment. It’s the jungle and everyone is feeling sensual and free, so it’s incredible and the hospitality was like no place I have ever been. There was turquoise, gorgeous waters, it’s really beautiful and set the mood for romantic things to unfold.”
If you weren’t married, would you have participated the show?
“I would like to think yes, I’m adventurous enough to do that. I’m a courageous girl, I’m the type of person who is like you only live once. I’m very comfortable in my own skin. It would definitely be hard, I’m not saying I would walk out there and be super confident and just like: here it is! But I like to overcome fears it’s definitely a fear! You don’t want to just wander into public naked. So for that experience, yes I’d be game.”
Is the show completely censored?
“There is no uncensored version that will ever see the light of day. We promise our wonderful cast that nobody will ever see them naked except for me of course. So it’s written in contracts that nobody will ever see the uncensored version, thankfully. I think that’s why people are so willing to go on the show. They know that yes, they will be naked in front of a crew, me, and each other, but the home audience never really gets to see it. They just need to use their imagination, and so it allows them to feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.”
You have your own podcast, Tell Me Something Good, how did that come about?
“This is an idea that I’ve had for a very long time. I watch the news almost daily, and it leaves me feeling depressed and sad and don’t really know what to do about a lot of the problems our world faces. So it really is a show that showcases all of the positive stories out there, because there are so many people doing amazing things for the world, we just don’t talk about them enough. The more we share them, the more ripple effect they will have and it will show people that the world is hopeful. There are people out there that live with the constant fear that when they walk out their door they could get shot or harmed or something bad is going to happen. I see the world as a beautiful, welcoming, secure place and I just wanted to share my view of the world with everybody else. Some people think the glass is half empty, but I think of the glass as half full, it just depends on what you look for. The world is full of positive things and I just wanted to show people that it isn’t scary out there, it’s a beautiful, wonderful world.”
That’s a breath of fresh air considering all of the crazy things that have been happening in the world lately.
“There are! I’m not denying that those things happen because we all know, but you can get that everywhere else. I just wanted to offer one alternative source that was positive and light-hearted to enrich your soul and inspire people to give back. To be the change that we all want to see in the world.”
You went to the Selfless party for San Diego Comic Con, did you get the opportunity to go inside the convention?
“It was amazing! It was my first time going to Comic Con. Unfortunately I didn’t get to go to any Comic Con events, but I was invited to that party and my husband and I had a great time. My sister and I ended up taking a trip down to San Diego, so it just worked out that we happened to be in town and we could go have some fun for the night. It was a really awesome night out and I can’t wait to see Selfless, it looks really cool.”
What show have you been nerding out over lately?
“I just started watching Wayward Pines and I’m really kinda hooked on that. I’m not really a one hour show person because I fall asleep really easily with dramas, but this show really gripped me. I loved Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and I’m waiting for a rainy day to start Orange is the New Black because I know that once I start it, I won’t be able to stop.”
You’ve done TV hosting, magazines, and podcasts, what’s next for you?
“I never know what’s next! That’s the fun part about this industry. I’m an actress, I’m a blogger, I’m doing so many different things, and I really don’t know which one is going to resonate and take off. You really have to be open at all times and it’s exciting not to know because I would be happy doing every single one of them. I’m auditioning for movies and TV right now so I could do a movie or a TV show, and hopefully Season 3 of Dating Naked, which we can find out about very soon.
You can catch the premiere of Dating Naked: Playing for Keeps on Wednesday, July 22nd at 9/8c on VH1.