All episodes of Hulu’s new reality dating series titled “Back in the Groove” hosted by Taye Diggs are now streaming.
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 Josh Teasley who shared some insight on the series as well as his journey on the show.
Check out our interview with Josh below:
You are a contestant on Hulu’s new dating series ‘Back in the Groove.” Can you first tell us a little bit about the series and describe it for us because it is different than other dating shows we’ve seen before?
Yeah, so “Back in the Groove,” I feel like it’s all about empowerment and just kind of breaking stereotypes. It follows three women who go to the Dominican Republic to get their groove back and meet 24 men who are younger.
Can you also just tell us a little bit about yourself and what enticed you to be a contestant on the show?
Yeah, I heard about this show and I live in Los Angeles and I believe that this is the first year where stuff kinda was open. But the last year had been pretty interesting in terms of dating. I mean like gyms weren’t open, restaurants weren’t open, everyone was wearing masks, and the dating apps were just kind of flooded with people who were also figuring out what this new era of the dating world or experience would be like. So, when I got this opportunity… I’m a person who doesn’t want to limit myself or my opportunities based off of maybe what you had planned or in mind. So, when I got it, I was kind of like, I’m not in a relationship right now, what I’ve been doing to date hasn’t necessarily come to fruition or manifested, so I was like why not? I’ve never really dated an older woman. I think the oldest I dated was maybe two or three years. I kind of saw it like, wow if I find someone in this experience, then amazing. Like why not at least try and put yourself out there?
And you’re a musician, right? I know that your music can be found on Spotify and I like to do a little bit of homework before these interviews and I genuinely love your music. So, I just have to ask if you write your own lyrics.
Yeah, I write my own lyrics. The music I released this year, I produced all of it. I think the song that really connects with people this year is called “Past Trauma” and I think it kind of goes hand in hand a little bit with all of us, stepping out to overcome by even doing this show and meeting these women. I feel like everyone has a past trauma and as you get older, experiences kind of build up and it’s only natural to be a little guarded with other people and new situations. I think past trauma for me is just about being aware and realizing that you’ve been hurt in the past and not letting the past dictate how you show up in the present moment. I just know a lot of my relationships, that’s how the women in my life would show up. They’d show up judging or putting what happened to them onto me and it’s just kind of helped me be more aware of where I may be doing that in life and I think on this island because we were, without a phone and then went through this together. I think we were kind of forced to, at least me… I took this opportunity to be so present and just be vulnerable and be open to learning and not judge what I was seeing based off of what I’ve been through.
I know you said that you typically don’t date older women, maybe like two or three years older. What do you typically look for in a partner?
So, honestly, I typically date younger women. I had my first experience of dating an older woman who was two or three years older. So, this is the first time I’ve dated someone older. I guess what I look for is definitely emotional maturity. I look for someone who’s smart. Someone who is like an individual for sure. I don’t prefer people who like to assimilate or look or act like someone else. I like people who have an opinion, you know. I feel like older women, they have an opinion on things, they’ve been through things, they bring wisdom to the table and so I really value people who, when I’m with them, I can learn something and I leave better.. like smarter or leave feeling something.
So, there are 24 guys competing for three older women. Did you connect with one of these women right away?
I connected with Brooke, we were both into fitness heavy, like personal trainers. So, I connected with Brooke on the fitness aspect but Sparkle I connected with, I think deeper just because she was so cool, so easy to get along with. I feel like when we had our conversations and when we got deeper with them, it just felt so natural and she was just very easy to talk to. So, I would say Sparkle I connected with the strongest.
24 guys, all strangers all kinds of different personalities, all living in the same villa… What was that like? And was that a hard adjustment?
Yeah, I remember when I was younger I was like, I want to be in the real world, you know, like I love that idea of it. But then you get older and you’re like, I have my own space, so you kinda get used to having your own space. And I was in a fraternity as well when I was in college and so I definitely know that feeling. When I showed up and I saw how many guys were in this house together, it brought me back to my fraternity days. So, I had some sort of familiarity with it. But props to casting because for the most part, everyone really did get along. There were a couple of people who, you know, weren’t conscious about how much food they were eating and would eat all the food. But for the most part, like our personalities meshed. There was no one super overbearing for the most part. There are the anomalies but they got out in the beginning, thank God. So the people who lasted were pretty dope. I think the bonds we made are pretty strong from going through this together.
I have to say, just even watching it from a viewer’s perspective, it seemed like everybody got along really well and there was just this genuine respect for everybody.
Yeah, totally. Everyone respected each other and I do wish they showed more of what happened on camera. So much happened that they didn’t show. But I really do like how it was put together.
Was there something new you discovered about yourself in the process?
Yeah, it was affirming for me because going through that experience and going through it just super present and I just found so many opportunities to let go and maybe like my mind was resisting something or I was resisting something. I came away more confident. I just learned more of how I can push myself, you know? Just came away more confident in my abilities and I think the universe and my ability to handle situations that my mind may not think I’m prepared for.
What was the most memorable moment for you on the show? For me, it was the reveal of Steph’s son.
Yeah, I was completely thrown off guard. Like I did not know. I remember when it first happened, I was talking to Sparkle while that was happening. Me and Sparkle were talking and Stephen was over there and they came out that I have an announcement to make and I thought that Stephen was going to say it was gonna be a twist like Stephen was talking to her too, you know? So, I just did not expect that and when he said that I just was staring at him like what in the world? I was like really? And I don’t even know if I was looking at their faces. I was just trying to process it for a while and then I was like, damn. And then I was like, so he was really in here like a mole, you know what I’m saying? Like what did he tell her that we said, you know? That was phase two and phase three was like, damn, he’s got a wingman in the house, you know? I was like, I need to check my mom in The Groove Hotel. My mom would be a great wingman. So,that was three stages of my grief.
Yeah, it was a shocking moment. You could tell nobody knew.
Yeah. No, that was not fake at all. I mean we were also like trying to survive too, you know? Like what’s gonna happen next? So, we were all kind of focused on ourselves and what was going on. I mean, every night… If you didn’t talk to a girl that night, you didn’t stay. So, everyone, each night, had to figure out how to get in your time with the women because there’s so many guys. So, you have to kind of do a Bachelor style and hey, can I talk to you?
One of the things that I loved about the show is that it had a deeper storyline and finding healing from past hardships. Ultimately, I found it very uplifting. Did this feel like something special and different when you were filming?
I’m still processing. I think every time when I go home, it’ll hit me that I was on a TV show where people walked away, not canceled. Everyone walked away, in that healing mindset. I think when we worked on it, it did feel special. But I was trying not to think about what it was, you know? I was really trying to stay present and not get caught up in how crazy different this was. Everyone felt like family when we were there. The crew was amazing. The women were honestly amazing. I think I really didn’t understand how special it might be until a couple of days ago we were on live and we invited some people to come into our live and a lot of women were talking to us about how this show has shown them that there are guys out there like us and there are women out there still fighting and that gives them permission to keep going too. And that’s just crazy to hear.
You can follow Josh on the following platforms below:
And listen to his recent song Past Trauma here.
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: