In episode seven of Netflix’s Dated and Related two Irish siblings entered the luxurious French villa, hoping to find love.
Although they weren’t able to make any lasting romantic connections inside the villa, Rachel and Andy tell us that they had the time of their life during the week they were in the resort.
VIP Magazine caught up with Rachel and Andy Foster from Ballymoney in Antrim after the show landed on Netflix over the weekend.
The pair let us in on all the behind the scenes secrets, why they decided to go on the show and what they’re planning next…
Hi Rachel and Andy, you filmed Dated and Related last year! What is it like now that it’s out in the world?
Rachel: It’s been a long time coming. It’s nice that we had a year to mentally prep for it, I think we were ready for it to come out. We’ve been getting lots of lovely messages saying that we came across really well in the show.
Andy: The response so far from everyone we know has been grand. I found watching myself quite strange. But when I watched Rachel, I thought she came across brilliantly.
Rachel: You are far more critical of yourself than other people.
How did you manage to keep it a secret for so long?
Rachel: It was quite hard. Especially when people asked what we were off doing. Then we both took a year out to do some travelling. People must have been thinking what are these two up to?
Andy: We were obviously allowed to say to your family that we were on a TV show. You just couldn’t go into the details. But keeping it away from your outer friend group was quite hard.
Rachel: The first month after it was really hard. I was so excited about it but I had to just forget about it. Then one month before the show aired I got really excited again because I was like “Oh s**t it’s really happening.” But you had to forget about it throughout the year because we had so long to wait and we thought there was no point in torturing ourselves with it. We originally thought it was coming out seven months after but it was a year.
Obviously, the premise of the show is to find love with the help of your sibling. For some people that might be embarrassing, but that clearly isn’t the case for you! But why did you decide to go on a show like this?
Andy: I think for us we have a really close relationship. We’ve been out before, not on double dates, but I’ve been out when Rachel is trying to chat up a guy and she’s been there when I’ve been trying to chat up a girl. We’ve wing maned and wing womaned each other before in the real world. It wasn’t embarrassing or awkward for us.
Rachel: The concept of the show didn’t seem too crazy to me. I thought it was a brilliant idea. I thought it was going to be hilarious.
So, you’re not the protective older brother Andy?
Andy: Age could be a thing, because our younger sister again, Abbie, I wouldn’t be the same with her. I’d be more overprotective. Rachel is more like a brother, I suppose.
Rachel: Everyone says I’m a boy in a girl’s body. The boys would be more protective over Abbie when it comes to dating. When she even mentions dating they’re like: “I don’t want to hear it.” I’m very open in that way, so they’re used to it.
The show has an international cast and us Irish have been told we can be hard to understand at times. Did any of your villa mates struggle to understand your accents?
Rachel: A few times we were told we speak awful fast so we had to slow down our speaking. But they did understand us.
Andy: I didn’t find it too bad. I work over in England and people there found it harder to understand me! I was a bit worried then because a lot of people struggle to understand my accent.
Was that your secret weapon?
Andy: We were able to talk really fast to each other and no one had any idea what we were saying!
Rachel: We did that a few times. When we’re talking to one another our accents do come out very strong. But when we’re talking to other people we try to tone it down a little bit.
Of course, the aim of the game is to find love. But it is a competition at the end of the day, did you have a game plan?
Rachel: We were just winging it. We had no idea what we were in for.
Andy: We obviously wanted to be in from the beginning but we kept getting pushed back. We were just happy to get in there. It’s not an ideal situation because some people have coupled up already and you’re not left with an open choice. We just took what we could almost and went with that.
You weren’t in the villa for too long, did that affect you finding your perfect match?
Rachel: It takes me a long time to start liking someone. So when I found out we weren’t going in at the start it was playing at the back of my head that it would be really hard for me. And the further we were left the harder it was going to get. We were only in there for a week, I knew I wasn’t going to come out of it in love with someone in seven days. It put me under a lot of pressure. I am quite a slow burner when it comes to falling in love. So it was a lot of pressure.
You were only in the show for a week, but how long were you out in France before you entered the villa?
Andy: We travelled out with everyone.
Rachel: But we hadn’t met anyone, we were kept separate. We were all there for the same amount of time but you don’t find out that you’re going in until the day before.
Andy: We know there were other people there who didn’t get a chance to go in. They had a lot of people out there compared to how many people got onto the show.
So there was a chance you might not have made it into the show?
Andy: Yes! I guess they had an idea of who would work for who depending on who was single.
Rachel: They don’t know who is going to get kicked out. The cast vote on who goes and who stays. I suppose if they needed a brother or a sister or two brothers or two sisters.
Andy: It was funny that there were always more males than females.
Rachel: And I still didn’t find a boyfriend! [Laughs]
When they flew you out to France we were still following COVID protocol, you had to isolate yourself in your hotel rooms! What was that like?
Rachel: We were out there for five or six weeks. We got our phone occasionally to ring home but no social media. So that was tough.
Andy: The first week I enjoyed, you’re in a hotel getting your meals delivered to you. But after that, it was like being in a fancy prison. [Laughs]
Rachel: We got a one-hour gym break and sometimes we got to go to the beach. But you were still kept away from everybody else with our chaperone.
Andy: We got our own rooms but the balconies joined each other so we were able to go out and see each other.
Did you kill each other by the end of that quarantine period?
Andy: I think we were quite good at giving each other space.
Rachel: We had our own separate rooms so we were able to give each other space. We spent a few hours with each other, but I liked being able to have a big two-hour nap. He went to read his book then. We didn’t p**s each other off too much.
Do you think being a brother and sister benefited you rather than being a brother and brother or a sister and sister?
Rachel: I don’t think it made much difference.
Andy: No, I get that. If Rachel and Abbie went in and there was only one single boy they’d be competing for him.
Well did you help each other out with the opposite sex?
Rachel: I could put in a good word to the girls for Andy, and Andy could put in a good word for me.
Andy, you had a connection with Corrina on the show. Was she your usual type?
Andy: I wanted someone fiery. I would never go for someone like that on the outside. She was just a really nice girl, her personality was super. But we definitely are not made for each other.
Rachel: It was a shock. She’s very different to his usual girl.
I think viewers were a bit shocked when she revealed she was saving herself until marriage, was that something you ever expected to hear?
Andy: I think that would have shocked me more if she told me earlier on when I was still pursuing her but by the time she told me things had kind of fizzled out at that stage. I’ve never met a girl like that in real life who is saving herself for marriage. It was a bit of a shock. I always described her as a girl off High School Musical. She sings and all! She’s a real classic American high school girl.
@rachelfoster512 Sprite challenge ? @Andy Foster @Abbie foster #sprite #challenge #family #funny ♬ original sound – Rachel Foster
That was a culture shock, clearly! What was it like living with people from all around the world?
Rachel: It was brilliant. We have a trip planned over to LA to meet the rest of the cast. I would love an international boyfriend! I don’t want to see them every day. If I just see them once a month that would be perfect! Fly over and see them for a weekend then fly home. That would be perfect. I was excited about meeting international people. We have a few holidays booked. They were really lovely.
Andy: They are all really nice. Sometimes the Americans have a different sense of humour. But we got on really well.
Is there anyone you would love to meet from the cast that you didn’t get the chance to?
Rachel: I’m excited to meet Chris and Jason as well because watching them back they’re hilarious. They’re so funny.
Before we go, what’s next for you two?
Rachel: I would love to do more TV, I have been contacted by other shows already before Dated and Related had aired. But we’re contracted with Netflix for a year, so it really is only if they want us back. Otherwise, we have to wait a year and try to stay relevant and hopefully, someone will pick us up for something.
So could a Dated and Related reunion special be on the cards?
Andy: You know as much as us.
Rachel: I hope so! I would love that!
Dated and Related is currently streaming on Netflix