Too Hot To Handle’s Nicole O’Brien On Dating, Her Near-Love Island Experience & Plans For The Future

The tea was spilled.

STELLAR sat down with reality TV star and singer Nicole O’Brien to get the dirt on her dating life, partying with David Guetta in Ibiza, and her upcoming music plans. Nicole was on season one of Too Hot To Handle and since then has amassed 760k followers on Instagram, as well as launching her singing career.

Here’s what we chatted about.

You were meant to go on Love Island before your parents stopped you. Tell us what was the Love Island audition process like?

“It started when they reached out on Instagram, I did the application, then there were a few phone calls, then Zoom interviews. Eventually they flew me over to go into the ITV studios and meet all the execs. So that was the last round where they want to make sure that you’re grand in person and whatever, not just chatty over video calls. And then, I came back [to Ireland] and like a month later they said ‘Oh, you have it, so you fly tomorrow.’ I told my parents and then on the way to a lecture they changed their mind and told me I’m not doing it. They were like ‘You won’t finish your degree, Nicole’ and they’re dead right. Like, I definitely wouldn’t have.

“I was traumatised for about two years, I was in the library watching Kady McDermott and Alex Bone. I love him. He’s so sexy and I’m so annoyed that we could’ve matched. But I honestly do think that I’m blessed I didn’t do Love Island because I would have done something stupid on TV. I was so young. When I went on To Hot To Handle I was 23, so I was way more mature.  It actually worked out for the best, and I feel like I was kind of doing it anyway to do my music career because I wanted a label and stuff. Everything works out for a reason.”

So many people dream of becoming a reality TV star. Would you have any advice or insight for someone wanting to become famous?

“It’s not all it seems, it can be very straining on your mental health. I never had anxiety or depression before any of this, but over the last few years, I have developed anxiety with different situations. There was a period last year where I was a bit depressed because you don’t have a nine to five, you don’t have anything specifically to get up for some days. So unless you have that mindset where you get up at half five, or 6am every morning, go to the gym… You’re your own manager, essentially. It’s very different to what people think, but it is amazing, and I’m so blessed.”

Do you find people have misconceptions about you since going on Too Hot To Handle?

“Oh, my God, so many misconceptions! I feel like people will always be like, ‘oh, she’s just doing our music now because she just wants to stay relevant’. People will always come with this, like, BS, essentially. I’ve literally had to prove myself by uploading videos of when I was like five and six and ten years old, performing on stage. This is what I’ve wanted to do my whole life.

“My mom actually found my manifestation diary of writing what I wanted to do from when I was 15, and even back then I was like, ‘I’m going to be a singer’. This is my dream.”

How has your dating life changed since being a reality TV star?

“To be honest, I feel like my dating life has changed, but not for the better. My guy friends have told me that I can sometimes be a little bit intimidating. [After the show] I found it quite hard because some people don’t have genuine intentions. Some people might be interested in ‘clout’ or even getting me to pay the bill. I don’t mind splitting the bill, but don’t assume that that’s going to be the way it is.

“Now I’m way more mindful because I used to be so naive. I got shot in the foot with a relationship I was in where he took a lot of money from me. He actually flew me out to the Amalfi coast and ended up making me pay for everything! I was so infatuated that even two weeks after that I brought him to meet my family and everything. My mam even noticed that he kept forgetting his wallet so she took me aside and said ‘Nicole, it’s so obvious he’s using you for different things.’ But now my eyes are open. So, yeah, I dumped him and now we are onto better things.”

What was your best (or worst!) celebrity encounter?

“There’s so many people in the industry who are lovely, I’m friends with a lot of the Love Island girls. My best celebrity encounter was probably David Guetta. He brought me over to Ibiza, took me to his gig and then we all went back to his house where he was DJing. Anne Marie was there too. The two of them were probably the nicest people I’ve ever met.”

@stellarmagazine We sat down with @Nicole O brien to ask her our 6 stellar questions #fyp #toohotohandle #interview ♬ Young Folks – Shindig Society

You sample Kylie Minogue in your new song. Who are your other music inspirations?

“I love Kylie, she’s amazing. I listened to her all the time growing up. Anne Marie is a massive one for me because I think she’s so chill, cute, relatable, and her music is just quite cheeky. The next kind of tracks I’m going to be releasing are more pop based and they’re kind of more that kind of vibe.”

In the future, who would be your dream person to collab with?

“David Guetta. And that could happen 100%. I’m making it happen!”

Do you have any upcoming plans? Can we expect a return back to reality TV ?

“In terms of reality, no dating shows. Because I want to get away from having that kind of vibe. I’d like to do fun things like Master Chef and whatnot. I feel like you get put into this little box once you do dating shows, that’s what I always say anyway. I’m really trying to get away from it. Other kinds of reality bits I don’t mind doing, but no dating shows. Music is my sole focus now.”

Nicole’s new track with Irish DJ Marty Guilfoyle – Love At First Sight – is coming out March 3rd.

By Zana Zee Keough


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