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‘Love Island USA’ contestant Chazz Bryant talks Sereniti and Casa Amor backlash

Bryant told TODAY why his recoupling speech sounded a lot like he was going to choose Sereniti Springs over Kat Gibson.
Love Island - Season: 1
Pictured: (l-r) Bella Barbaro and Chazz Bryant in Episode 121 of Peacock's "Love Island USA." Casey Durkin / Peacock
/ Source: TODAY

Chazz Bryant has been a trending topic on social media ever since he walked into the “Love Island USA” villa.

Bryant arrived with his older sister, Bria Bryant, making history as the first two siblings to appear on the USA version of the hit reality dating series. 

The 21-year-old personal trainer from New Jersey was forced to continue his journey alone after his sister was dumped from the villa during Episode 14. After her departure, Chazz Bryant became Season Four’s most controversial islander.

He first coupled up with fan-favorite Sereniti Springs, then eventually recoupled with Kat Gibson. Viewers called out Chazz Bryant for appearing to lead Springs on. Springs she referred to his actions on the Peacock series as “calculated” during a recent interview with TODAY. 

Love Island - Season 1
LOVE ISLAND -- Week Three, Episode 118 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jesse Bray, Chazz Bryant, Jared Hassim, Bryce Fins -- (Photo by: Casey Durkin/Peacock via Getty Images)Casey Durkin / Peacock

On Tuesday’s episode, the public voted to send Chazz Bryant home after he became involved in another love triangle. Now that he is out of the villa, Chazz Bryant is ready to explain some of his actions on the show.

In an interview with TODAY, Chazz Bryant opened up about why he doubted his connection with Springs, why his recoupling speech sounded like it was meant for her and why he returned from Casa Amor with Bella Barbaro. 

Why did you sign up for ‘Love Island USA’?

I signed up for “Love Island” because it was brought to my attention by my sister (contestant Bria Bryant). It was something she was interested in. And she mentioned that they wanted siblings on the show so I was all for it.

I kind of signed up, obviously, with the opportunity and chance to find love, find a connection, but also to be there for my sister in her time of need. Because I knew that in her last relationship, she was extremely vulnerable (and) went through some tough situations. 

Did your mindset change after Bria was dumped from the villa?

I wouldn’t say it changed my mindset because me and my sister were both going in there with the intentions of finding connection, having fun and that was exactly what I did. My entire “Love Island” experience was one of a kind. (There were) very unique situations that I was in and connections that I built and worked for. But I wasn’t getting reciprocation in terms of feelings from Sereniti. And same thing with Kat Gibson. It was kind of wishy-washy in terms of me giving my 110 percent to somebody and then not getting that same effort back. 

So, moving forward, I played the game a little differently … so, I played the field, I got to know Gabby (Kiszka) and got to know Bella (Barbaro). When I got back to the villa, Phoebe started showing interest. So I gave her the opportunity to explore things with me on an intimate level. 

I thought my experience was overall the best. I have no regrets. I felt like I handled things pretty well in terms of what I was looking for in that villa.

Sereniti was the first person you were coupled up with. How would you describe your relationship before the recoupling that sent her home?

The relationship before the recoupling was a little rocky. I was very genuine in terms of how I was feeling about her and was trying to approach things in the most mature and understanding way possible because there was an age gap. I wanted to prove that she should be comfortable with exploring things with me and taking me serious. So, I went above and beyond. You guys saw me making breakfast every single day for her–just giving her the intention and affection that she deserved and that I wanted to give to her. I thought Sereniti was a great girl. 

Love Island - Season: 1
Sereniti Springs and Chazz Bryant during Episode 108 of "Love Island USA."Casey Durkin / Peacock

But, we did have a couple of bumps in our relationship. She kind of felt a little overwhelmed at times because I was going out of my way to talk to her. When she would be alone and sleeping somewhere in the villa, I’d pull up on her, just to see how her day was going and talk to her. I would show affection.

I was under the impression that she felt very strongly about me. But there was obviously things that she wasn’t telling me. With that being said, she did open up and tell me everything that she was feeling. She kind of just didn’t feel comfortable telling me everything because she didn’t know how I would react. I don’t know why she felt that way because I never gave off the impression that I would get angry about her telling me anything or feel some type of way about it. 

Then she would always complain about how she didn’t sign up to date the family, which was another problem. She felt uncomfortable in terms of speaking about me and our relationship in front of my sister in the girls’ room. And that was weighing heavy on her.

She had mentioned that she felt like the “ugly duckling.” She had said those exact words to me (about how she felt) before I came into the show. I felt like she wasn’t reciprocating any feelings that I was looking for after doing all the things that I was doing for her. (The other islanders) felt like she was unappreciative in terms of the things that I was doing for her. With that being said, I tried to talk things through with Sereniti because I really did like her. 

On social media fans have pointed out that the language you used in your recoupling speech was similar to language you used with Serenity. Were you wavering at all?

I knew that I didn’t want to proceed in the villa going through the same things I was going through with Sereniti — having issues and not seeing eye to eye. So, I kind of knew that I was going to be picking Kat because I felt like from what she told me that she would be appreciative of the things that I did.

Obviously, that didn’t happen … It was a hard decision for me. With the speech, there was a lot of pressure because it was my first speech. I’d never given a speech before and there was a lot of eyes on me in terms of the decision that I was going to make. That’s why they kept me for the last. It was very nerve-wracking. 

In my head, I was speaking about both girls in the speech at the same time, not just one. But it was perceived as me specifically talking about Sereniti. At the beginning, I was like, “When I came into the villa, I was very into this girl. I really liked her yada yada.”  Just saying how I felt about Sereniti at the first half.

But then I was like, “Going forward, I feel like this girl will be able to appreciate me.” That was me making that transition (to) talking about Kat. So I was kind of talking about her in the second half of my speech and how I felt about her. I didn’t want to obviously give it away and talk about one specific person so that people could assume or know who I was going to be choosing.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, it was a show. I was just wording things to where people wouldn’t be able to obviously know who I was going to choose. I can see how people might have thought that I talked about only Sereniti. That speech wasn’t just for Sereniti. I wanted to pay my respects (and) be respectful. I wasn’t meaning any disrespect towards Sereniti with that speech at all. 

Love Island - Season:1
Kat Gibson and Chazz Bryant in "Love Island USA."Casey Durkin / Peacock

I always knew that I was choosing Kat. It was hard because I know people came at me for not telling Sereniti how I felt before the recoupling and being transparent in terms of me picking Kat. But I wasn’t even allowed to do that. That’s not something we’re supposed to do. We weren’t supposed to tell or make it known who we are wanting to be choosing at the end.

Let’s talk about Casa Amor. We saw you make a couple connections. Your first connection was with Gabby. Then, you pursued Bella. Were those the top two women you wanted to get to know?

Bella was always somebody that was on my list. I wanted to get to know her and see where things can go. As soon as I got to Casa Amor, me and Gabby kind of connected a little bit more … I kind of spent the first half of Casa Amor getting to know Gabby more so than Bella. At the end of the day, we were voted to go into the “Hideaway,” so it wasn’t something that was obviously my choice. But, I didn’t have a problem with it either and neither did Gabby.

Love Island - Season: 1
Gabby Kiszka and Chazz Bryant during Episode 121 of "Love Island USA" on Peacock. Casey Durkin / Peacock

After that, (I wanted to give) Bella the chance to get to know her because I didn’t want to have any regrets … I got to know Bella (and) had a conversation with Bella literally the third night of Casa Amor after the hideaway experience with Gabby. I really enjoyed the conversation and I was always attracted to her. 

I definitely did feel the connection and spark between me and Bella more so than with Gabby so I moved forward with Bella. (There were) never any ill intentions in terms of me trying to just be a player or anything like that. I was truly doing what “Love Island” was about — getting to know more than one person and seeing who you have a stronger connection and feeling towards and I felt like that was Bella for me.

You returned to the villa and had the 'Snog, Marry, Pie' challenge. Kat made a comment about you repeating the same things to different women. Do you think that was a fair statement for her to make?

I thought it was a fair statement for her to make because I did say one thing that was similar to, probably two of the girls. But that wasn’t my intentions. I did not like the situation of having to juggle three women at one time and I wanted to get out of that situation as quickly as possible. 

I originally wanted to get to know Chanse (Corbi). So, I had a conversation with her and might have said that I did want to see where things (could) go with her. That kind of made her feel like she was the number one girl in her eyes. Then, I had a conversation with Phoebe (Siegel) that same night and Phoebe was basically telling me that she didn’t think Chanse’s feelings for me were genuine. So, that kind of ruled out Chanse for me in my eyes because this is your close friend, who obviously hears things that you say about me when I’m not around. 

In terms of where Phoebe came in the "love square" ... Phoebe was actually showing interest in me. We were always best friends ever since Casa Amor. We were close. 

Which couples do you think will make it to the end and which couples are going to have problems during the final weeks? 

I think that Timmy (Pandolfi) and Zeta (Morrison), Isaiah (Campbell) and Sydney (Paight) and Jesse (Bray) and Deb (Chubb) are going to be three for sure couples that are strong in the villa right now and that will make it towards the end.

Some people that might find some issues are definitely going to be I’d say Chad (Robinson) and Courtney (Boerner). Because in Courtney’s past experiences she hasn’t really had anybody who she really approved of. She always had some type of issue where she would send them home eventually, that being Bryce and Felipe. I think Chad and Courtney do have a good relationship, but we have to see how they move when they come into a situation where they don’t see eye to eye.

My best friend Jeff (Christian) and Nadjha (Day) – I definitely do think that they are a couple that can move forward together too specifically because they have been through their ups and downs and they have come back to each other after experiencing it. 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.