Hulu’s new reality dating series titled “Back in the Groove” hosted by Taye Diggs launched last December on Hulu. All 8 episodes of the series are available to stream now on Hulu in the United States.
Three single women in their 40s, all stuck in the grind of their everyday lives, will check OUT of their comfort zones and check INTO The Groove Hotel, a magical resort on the beautiful island of the Dominican Republic – where the goal is to rediscover their youth, live joyously, and hopefully find love with men HALF. THEIR. AGE.
As the saying goes, “you can’t fall in love with someone else until you fall in love with yourself!” At the Groove Hotel, these three women will have the opportunity to do both! Whether they find the perfect fling, friendship, true love, or something in between, this is their chance to take charge and break through the double standards older women face every day. And they’re going to have a lot of fun doing it! The show is hosted by Taye Diggs, who knows a thing or two about getting into the groove.
Recently, Disney Plus Informer had the opportunity to chat with one of the show’s contestants Gregg Hillhouse who shared some insight on the series as well as his journey on the show.
Check out our interview with Gregg below:
You are a contestant on the dating series “Back in the Groove.” Can you first tell us a little bit about yourself and then we can talk about the show?
Yeah, my name is Gregg Hillhouse. I’m from Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve never been as hot as a mug, I’ll just leave it at that. But born and bred out there…one of six children…I’m a twin, fun fact of the day, four sisters, and one brother. I really felt like I had to scratch and claw for everything in life. Nothing was given to me. I feel like I earned it and I wouldn’t really want it any other way, so to speak. That’s a long winded way of saying everything that I’ve achieved now, was just through my tremendous faith in the Lord, family, and strong support system and my indefatigable work ethic, if I can humbly toot my own horn. Life is about putting yourself in positions, you know, and you never know when your number is going to be called. It’s about staying ready. I’m a big component and believer that if you gotta get ready, it’s too late. So remain ready and when your time is called, just full steam ahead. I capitalized on this grand opportunity and I wouldn’t change it for the world. One of the best experiences of my life.
Let’s talk about the show and can you tell us a little bit about it and what makes it so unique from other dating shows?
This one is pretty self explanatory. I had come into this not knowing the number of women that we’d be earning the affection of but I did know that they were at an advanced age.. just grown women status. There’s no margin for error, frankly. And some of the little childish games that maybe I was able to get away with in college or just even a few years ago, that ship just will not fly here. You really just gotta be on your A-game. Not to mention that you’re coming into a situation where there’s 24 other contestants than yourself. I’m an individual who really embraces competition, I do. It makes the world go around. But 24 other what I perceive alpha men, each with their own salt, bring something to the table what I might lack and vice versa. But that’s the beauty of this whole experience is let’s see who prevailed. It was a healthy competition and it was a fun competition, but I never wanted to do lose sight of the goal, which is really kind of earning the ladies’ affection first and foremost. Little did I know at that time, I’d come out with some of the best bonds of brotherhood, that I’ve had in 30 years of living. So it’s twofold in sense. I really feel like I achieved. Maybe not the way I would have first envisioned it? Absolutely not, but I really made out good and I profited from this experience and that’s probably the best way I can sum it up.
What enticed you to be a contestant on the show? And did you apply for it or were you approached by a producer?
Yeah, So, I humbly say this. I do modeling and stuff and how that initially started was, you should try modeling, you know? And then it was always just something that seemed like a plan C, possibly plan B at the time and then one day you kind of really take that seriously. And then you start doing that and your name kind of gets out there a little bit. So, I was graciously approached with this endeavor, really. They reached out to me and they said, hey, if you’re interested, this is how you can apply… never really thinking that it would go that far. Like yeah, let me put my ring in the hat, so to speak and let the chip fall where they may. And then as you start going through the process, you’re like, hey, it’s looking pretty good for me. I was always positive, but it wasn’t something that I was just banking everything on. How often can people really say that they’re on a television show, you know? So, I was just really humbled. The producers never told you when you were gonna be on. You look at your email and then you see the contact and the flight information then you know that this is really real. This is on full throttle. So it’s probably the best way to sum it up. Contacted by producer and then you kind of go from there and then they got to like your personality. I’m a guy who’s charismatic. The easy part for me is just being myself. I didn’t have to go into trying to be anybody else other than me. It kind of reminds me of like a video game. You start one boss so to speak, and if they like you, you get to talk to an array of different individuals from the production team, but it was just a great experience that kind of sharpened me for actually getting on the island.
What do you typically look for in a partner?
I look at values that align. I’m a spiritual individual, but at the same token, that can come from all different walks of life, you know what I’m saying? So, just as long as she’s not a heathen or something, we’ll get along just fine…somebody with family values is important to me, core values, somebody that’s respectful. Of course, I like a smart partner, who’s passionate. Just because I earned a college degree, by no means, do I feel like she has to have one. Of course, it would be nice if she did, but there are other ways to earn a living or make something of yourself. I like sports. If we can kind of talk about things like that, that’d be great. I’m very adept at working out, fitness, and living an active lifestyle. I’m smitten by a partner that can kind of relate to that, but sometimes, opposites attract too. So, I’m not saying that they don’t have to have all those traits, but if you can check a few of those boxes, you really have my attention. I hope it doesn’t sound shallow but you got to look good too, you know? I am a personality guy, but I don’t know how far we can get just on personality.
There has to be an attraction, of course.
Absolutely, yes. You can check all those boxes. So those are just a few of the traits that kind of stick out to me ambition and just somebody good and respectful and that’s what I enjoy.
So there were three ladies on the show. Did you have an instant connection with one of them?
I absolutely did have a connection with…I’m the type that’s quite social so I spoke to all three… and if I can just really be brazen…I was the first person actually chosen that night. That is my claim to fame. I don’t want to say anything, you know, there are camera tricks and I’ll just leave it at that. Production was Great! Extremely informative, omnipresent and just overall wonderful. But those who were really there that night know what is what and I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring that up. That’s just a long winded way of saying, I was the one who spoke to Sparkle initially… the very first man. I felt like we hit it off great and that she thought that much of me to select me first. So naturally, I’m gonna say I hit it off with her and I kind of owed her my allegiance initially because I was the first to be selected. So you kind of put your stock into that basket, but as the show progressed, you get to know them…I thought that Steph’s personality and mine were probably the closest. Each of them has different nice things to offer in their own different unique ways. Steph’s personality was bubbly, funny and witty, much like myself. And I was actually chosen by Brooke as well. So, that is very near and dear to my heart and with the fitness in common and competing shows and things like that…not to mention she resides out here in Los Angeles as well. So, looking at it from this would be cool and grandiose if I can prevail and progress throughout the show…the prize may only be not 20 miles away over the damn hill, you know? Distance and time is money so it’s not like I was settling by any means. Three beautiful women, how could you go wrong? Each one had something I liked and had something to offer. So Sparkle led the race if we’re looking for an answer, first and foremost, but I very much liked all three ladies. Steph and I personalities matched the most and Brooke chose me and I still probably didn’t get the reason as to why and I don’t need to know but shout out to her because she chose me and thought that much of me. You know what I’m saying? I look at it like we’re on a dating show to get to meet all three of them and I don’t want to just limit myself and hone in on one. I think that was some of the gentlemen’s demise, if I can frankly say, because you gotta understand you’re jockeying with 24 other guys at the time. I came into this to meet all three and really get to know them and I really feel like I accomplished that.
You spent three weeks in the Dominican Republic. It looked amazing and like paradise. What was your experience like there? Do you have a memorable moment?
Oh, there are far too many to probably count but I’ll probably just say the anticipation of seeing the villa and how this was all gonna play out with these other guys. You want to kind of form bonds of alliances too. You don’t want to be standoffish or anything like that, but you want to kind of go in on your own two feet and everybody has their own strategic plan to do so. But the camaraderie…really just shooting s— with the guys… because there’s a lot of downtime sometimes in between filming. The precious moment would probably be to see the ladies because they really built up the anticipation when they’re in their respected villas, you don’t want to forget about the task at hand while I’m really and truly there. And just to kind of see and get to know them because as much I enjoyed the guys, I can hang out with my friends any time. Just be yourself and there was never a dull moment…the food, just really royal treatment all around. And there were little funny, contentious moments, not so much with myself. I never really had any, but just kind of being a fly on the wall of certain things. It’s kind of cool to sit back and maybe be petty and kind of laugh at some of those altercations, you know?
You had mentioned that you had formed these bond hoods. Do you still talk to anybody from the show?
I absolutely do. One of my guys, birthday was just yesterday and I’m supposed to possibly see him tomorrow if I can make that work. But there are a couple of guys that live out here and you speak to some more than others. I’m a very busy man and I would imagine them saying to themselves that I’m not actively in the chat, like some of them are every day. That’s no shot at my team. We all get together. We’re trying to all link up this summer. They’re real bonds, they really are. It wasn’t just like the 15 minutes or the heat of the moment. I hear from at least one of them once a week and a lot of it through social media or whatever. But we are very supportive of one another and that’s been cool because you can tell what’s fake and what’s real.
I was reading your bio and you have such a positive outlook and a positive attitude on life. I love that because it’s so important, where does that stem from?
I want to give all the credit of course to my loving mother. Sometimes you look at the things that they sacrificed for you growing up in a huge household and this is a woman who had married and had six kids and had a degree and things like that and you kind of put your career in life on hold, so to speak to be a mother. And that’s great and everything, but you don’t really realize that as a youth. And then as you get older, you start to see. So hard work and resilience, that was all instilled in me from a young age. Nobody’s ever gonna give you anything. So you gotta go work for it. We were never in poverty by any means, but we didn’t come up in any kind of first-class opinion silver spoon. It helped me to never be babied. Even on my bleak days, I’m human, but I always pride myself that today the sun is gonna shine and the world don’t stop for nobody. Tough times don’t last, tough people do that old adage. That stems first and foremost from my Lord and savior Jesus that my parents put into me. I’m not in church every Sunday, I’m guilty of that and stuff, but I’m a spiritual being. I pray and that’s enough for me and that’s how I pride and pattern my life and it’s all working out. The culmination of the hardest hard work… I told myself last week some of this stuff, it doesn’t all just happen on your time, it’s God’s time and things like that. And just to see how this past year has panned out for me. When you let go and let God and you’re not worried about it and you just continue to work hard, there’s nothing that you can’t desire to have or achieve. But it takes a little bit of luck and preparation as well and just being in the right place at the right moment. Trying yourself with the right people and the right attitude. That’s how I go about my every single day.
Has life changed for you in any way after being on the show?
It has. I’ve always had interaction with other people or attention but this is different attention because now you’re addressing questions about the show. And you know you never really know, of course, what you look like being on television. But then if you kind of sit back and be like man if I’m watching a show and if I’m really into reality TV… these people don’t know exactly what would happen online or how it really transpired. To them you might be a superhero for whatever that’s worth. Or it could be something as you made someone’s day or that resonated with you.. or man I thought maybe he could have got more burn or attention on this particular portion and/or I just like Gregg’s mindset and I’m a fan of him. I like what he looks like or just what his mind and acumen is all about. The tricky part is weeding out the weird and bad attention from the good one because not all attention is good of course, right? And I feel like I have enough discernment to try to figure that out. So if you’ve got other offers and things like this… I’m not about to sell myself for anybody. And I’ll never apologize for that so it all has to make sense and has to be something that lines up with the core values that I want to do. Because you get a lot of people kind of pulling at you and at what cost, you know? Is it really worth it? And you want to kind of sit back and weed those out. I don’t want to put myself in a compromising position, where I’m locked in for something just to make a quick buck. Is that really indicative of who I am? I just take a deep breath to really kind of assess everything, but life’s been good. It’s been good.
You can follow Gregg on Instagram @_thegregghill • Instagram photos and videos.
You can also read our interviews with fellow “Back in the Groove” contestants Remy Flores, Quentin Lloyd, Robert DellaVentura, Josh Teasley, Akio Ross, Lee Petropoulos, and Josh Taylor.
The show is executive produced by showrunner Elan Gale, Bill Dixon, Sonya Wilkes, Evan Wilkes, Michael Krupat, John Luscombe, Shannon Stoeke and Taye Diggs. “Back in the Groove” is produced by Walt Disney Television Alternative and Beyond Media Rights Ltd.
The series marks the first unscripted Hulu original series from Walt Disney Television Alternative, the company’s recently launched unscripted studio. An international Disney+ release date has not been announced yet.
You can watch a trailer for the series below: