“Before I went on Big Brother, my mom made it very clear, and my mom’s Puerto Rican … she was like, ‘No Chicas,’ which means no girls, and I held out as long as I possibly could until I didn’t,” Monte, 28, exclusively told Us Weekly on Friday, September 8, one day after his elimination from The Challenge: USA aired.
Monte told Us that “the aftermath” of his showmance with Taylor, 28, was “definitely a unique experience.”
He continued: “As a man on reality TV … some of the things that you hear online after things don’t work out in a relationship, it [can] definitely be tough. So, I just didn’t want to go through that again. It was a bit of a traumatizing experience.”
Monte and Taylor — who placed second and first, respectively, during the 2022 season — surprised fans when they were seen kissing on the live feeds. Taylor had previously admitted to having a crush on houseguest Joseph Abdin, whom she went on to date for six months after the season ended.
Prior to his showmance with Taylor, Monte was among the houseguests who sparked backlash from fans for making negative comments about her. “Taylor’s personality is just so unattractive,” he said during a July 2022 conversation captured on the live feeds.
After they got out of the house, Taylor slammed Monte’s treatment of her, claiming that “there were deeply misogynystic undertones” to his behavior. “My journey [on the show] started and ended with Monte degrading me,” she claimed during an October 2022 appearance on “Rob Has a Podcast.”
After Taylor became the first Black woman to win Big Brother in September 2022, Monte exclusively told Us that he did “not remember” making negative comments about her earlier in the season.
“I’ve had conversations with Taylor where I have come to terms with the fact that I was not aware of everything that was truly going on, and my perspective on things was completely different,” he said. “And based off of the information I was working with, I made those statements and I apologized to Taylor for the fact that I thought of her in a different light earlier on in the season.”
As for his return to reality TV, Monte told Us that there “were opportunities” for him to have a showmance on The Challenge: USA, but he “decided not to, just for my peace of mind.” However, he noted that he has “thicker skin now” and might be open to romance if he’s invited back for another stint on the competition series.
While Monte didn’t find love on The Challenge: USA, his fellow Big Brother 24 alum Alyssa Snider kissed Tyler Crispen, who competed on Big Brother 20 and Big Brother 22 in 2018 and 2020, respectively, during an episode of the show that aired last month.
Monte worked closely with both Alyssa, 25, and Tyler, 28, in the game and told Us that he was rooting for their romance.
“[Alyssa] is the nicest, kindest person that you could possibly run across. She’s somebody who is just very thoughtful and just a really good friend. And Tyler’s the exact same,” he said. “So, I just felt like their energy’s really matched and meshed well throughout the season.”
The Challenge: USA airs Thursdays on CBS at 10 p.m. ET.