Ariana Madix—the jilted woman at the center of Scandoval, the cheating scandal that rocked Vanderpump Rules this spring—has been riding the disaster made of her personal life as far as she can, turning public heartbreak into career and financial gain. And this week, Madix revealed her latest move: a guest appearance on Love Island USA.
Madix is set to appear on Tuesday night’s episode of the Peacock reality series set in Fiji, and her presence was teased with a video on social media where she exclaims, “You could say there’s a hot new bombshell entering the villa: Me!”
Madix’s Love Island USA stint marks a stark departure from her more recent career moves. In the immediate aftermath of the revelation that Tom Sandoval, her former partner of nearly a decade, had been having a secret love affair with 28-year-old Raquel Leviss, Madix seized the opportunity to collaborate with brands on Instagram posts that shamelessly highlighted her newly single status.
“Life does not have to be that complicated and annoying,” she intoned in a sponsored post for Bic razors back in May. “It feels like I’m starting a whole new, unclogged chapter of my life.”
And in an ad for Uber One that’s become an instant classic among Vanderpump-heads, Madix, Scheana Shay, and Lala Kent sing a modified version of Shay’s song “Good as Gold” that touts the membership platform’s “savings!”
“[Uber One] is better than gold, actually,” Shay says. “It’s like freedom,” Madix offers.
But now, the initial shock and Scorned Woman Energy that carried Madix and her co-stars through the white heat of Scandoval has died down. Filming on Season 11 of Vanderpump Rules is underway, and Madix has, cannily, begun to angle her partnerships outside the show more toward new beginnings rather than righteous anger.
Madix is only making a guest appearance on Love Island, but her presence on the show—which tosses a gaggle of twentysomethings together in a villa to see who emerges partnered—communicates that she may now be positioning herself as America’s most famously eligible bachelorette.
Consider, for example, the eye-watering brand synergy that would unfold if Madix negotiated with Bravo in order to appear as the titular hopeful lead on ABC’s next season of The Bachelorette. With a viral boyfriend fallout already under her belt, there’s perhaps no one better suited than Madix for the highly publicized machinations of looking for love in front of the cameras.
After all, Madix’s reality TV aspirations have already gone beyond just VDP and Love Island. Last month, Derek Hough announced that Madix would appear on the next season of Dancing With the Stars, a show that’s not at all dating-focused, but which has produced several lasting couples (and minor cheating scandals) over the years.
The only thing potentially getting in the way of Madix’s new avenue as a hot single “bombshell,” as she teased in that Love Island promo vid, is her rumored new relationship. In May, just after Scandoval broke, a source told People that Madix was “falling in love” with fitness influencer Daniel Wai, whom she was spotted making out with at Coachella. Wai and Madix were recently spotted celebrating July 4 together, but things have been quiet since then.
After all, nothing gets in the way of one’s lucrative single girl brand opportunities like having a boyfriend.