Dating Naked: What the most memorable stars are doing now
VH1’s reality show Dating Naked was deep down a love story … of sorts. The three season series aired from 2014 to 2016 and featured (mostly) young, single contestants looking for love. Or for career exposure. Maybe just literal exposure? Either way, audiences got to see a lot of tanned (or sunburned) bodies going on dates at gorgeous island resorts.
The series bare-ly stood a chance and was ultimately canceled for several reasons. With the reality stars putting on their clothes for good, it does bring up an interesting question: What would you do with your life after starring on a reality show that utilized just a few pixels to cover your naked bits? Some folks went on to build personal brands on YouTube channels; a few jumped behind the camera into writing and producing roles; while others are just trying to live somewhat normal lives. We’ve done some digging to discover what the most memorable Dating Naked stars are doing now.
Steven Brandon made his mark on Game of Thrones … sort of
Steven Brandon, an Australian theater producer who made his TV debut on the show Wipeout, tried his luck with love on the second episode of Dating Naked and returned for the Season 1 wedding finale. According to Us Weekly, the finale reunited Brandon with Marissa Floro, one of his three dates from his debut episode. Brandon initially said he was still figuring things out with Floro, but he clearly annoyed her and the two eventually agree to be just friends.
Having loved and lost, or maybe neither, Brandon settled in as a writer and producer for live theater in Hollywood. As he discussed in an interview on the What the Faulk Show, he had a love of acting and the theater growing up in Australia. Fun fact: Brandon reportedly attended a drama camp in the mid-’90s and his teacher was a relatively unknown woman by the name of Cate Blanchett — as in future Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett.
Brandon produced his first big hit with Lost: The Musical – actors from the actual Lost TV show even attended. Based on that success, he then created Game of Thrones: The Musical, even though he had never seen an episode of the legendary HBO series. The theater production was another hit, with performances in Los Angeles and at San Diego Comic-Con, so Brandon looks to be carving out his showbiz niche.
Look for Marissa Floro at your nearest comic convention
Marissa Floro made her first TV appearance on the second episode of Dating Naked, so she had no idea what the show was going to be like — besides, well, the naked thing. When Floro, a video game tester, met the aforementioned Steven Brandon, the two connected over their love of everything nerdy while playing badminton on the beach — yes, with shuttlecocks flying everywhere. On the Season 1 finale, she returned with Brandon and other season favorites to attend the naked wedding between Ashley Fonda and Alika Medeiros (more on those two in a minute.)
Floro later spoke with Vulture about the difficulties of dating after appearing on a reality dating show. At the time of the article, she said her boyfriend was initially fine with her Dating Naked experience because it was prior to meeting her, but she said he progressively became insecure and uncomfortable about the notion of so many other guys seeing her naked.
Floro continued to pursue her passion for cosplay after her run on Dating Naked. In fact, her personal social media could be mistaken as an actual Comic-Con account. Under the name Celeste Orchid, Floro’s YouTube channel and Instagram are primarily dedicated to cosplay, visiting international comic conventions, and DIY costumes.
Kristen Williams found love on and off the show
Prior to her 2014 appearance on Season 1 of Dating Naked, Kristen Williams appeared as an actress in small roles for several movies and television shows — including the original Beverly Hills, 90210 and Alpha Dog. In her first episode on the reality TV series, Williams was Chuck Handy’s second date (more on him later), and let’s just say she instantly made a memorable impression. This gal didn’t hold back when revealing her bedroom preferences and high sex drive, per the International Business Times.
In a Focus interview after the season, Williams admitted that she and Handy continued dating after the show concluded — how cute! Sometime later, the pair split up, but Williams found true love off-camera with someone else. She’s raising a little boy that she proudly shows off on her social media page. This mom’s personal site also lists her as the CEO of Fitbodybabe — though that site seems inactive — and as a sales coordinator for the Juice Plus+ franchise.
Chuck Handy III hustled before and after Dating Naked
On Season 1, Episode 4 of Dating Naked, audiences were introduced to Chuck Handy III – a man with one of the better names in existence. According to the International Business Times, Handy went on three dates. His second date with Kristen Williams actually catalyzed a genuine connection, and the two wound up dating after the season ended, reported Entertainment Weekly.
Handy was a bathing suit entrepreneur before appearing on Dating Naked. His brand, SWIM by Chuck Handy, was a line of plus-size swimsuits that Handy created and sold along with the help of his then-wife, son, and daughter, per CNBC. When the business started to fail, Marcus Lemonis reportedly swooped in on an episode of The Profit to try to save the day. As a result, the company rebranded as Siloett, but that looks to have been short-lived, as reported by the Gazette Review.
In 2019, Handy appeared to have an additional side hustle with Bolt Mobility — the electric scooter company started by Usain Bolt. Handy posted a photo in Paris wearing the company’s logo and standing in front of several of the brand’s black and yellow scooters.
Moenay Shepherd became a candy entrepreneur after Dating Naked
Moenay Shepherd was a cruise-ship dancer looking for love when she found herself on Dating Naked‘s first season. Per The Cut, her first date with Michael Pericoloso (more on him later) went so well that the two shared a lovely smooch at the end of the evening back at the villa. Alas, things went downhill from there. She endured a terrible second date and was stood up on the third date. She told Hip-Hop Vibe that the situation got worse when she had to hear Pericoloso do other naked things — all night long — with his second date. Despite that experience, Shepherd returned for Season 2 to pursue a connection with Chris Aldrich (more to come on him.)
Although Shepherd was unable to find a suitable naked man, she said her dating life got much more interesting after the show. So much so that she decided to take a break from dating and focus on herself instead. Her Instagram account portrays a traveler and entrepreneur who owns Lee Poofs – “California’s 1st Trendsetting Cotton Candy Catering Service.”
Michael Pericoloso transformed into musician Mikey P
Michael Pericoloso introduced himself on the first season of Dating Naked as an emcee and radio host from Philadelphia. He couldn’t find love because he was always on the road so when all else fails, why not go on tropical blind dates in the buff?
On his second date with Stephanie Qutmiera, Pericoloso declared that he was enamored by her two enormous … personalities. The two hooked up (a lot) during the episode and returned for the season finale. Pericoloso and Qutmiera revealed that since their first meeting in Panama, they’d vacationed together in Las Vegas. She even appeared in his video for his song titled — what else? — “Naked.” Needless to say, that rack was not nominated for a Grammy — a crime really.
After the show, Pericoloso started going by the stage name Mikey P and continued making original songs with his band, DaCav. The group has created a diverse body of work, from an anti-bullying song (Yes! So important!) to a binge drinking tune (Oh no). He also had separate fitness and photography Instagram accounts for a spell, and his remaining account shows that Mikey P is still working on a solo music career and playing various venues in Vegas.
Kerri Cipriani picked the wrong man, initially
Kerri Cipriani was the main female lead in all ten episodes of Dating Naked Season 2. This was a change in format from the first season, which featured a new base man and woman each week. Kerri went on dates with 20 different men in the buff and found her match at the end with Mason Coggins, while rejecting her main male co-star, Chris Aldrich. As she explained to VH1 News after her season ended, choosing between Aldrich and Coggins was an extremely difficult decision. In the end, she felt Coggins would appreciate her longer and be less inclined to be a “tiny-objects chaser,” like Aldrich. Okay then.
Alas, the sparks fizzled when the pair left the island. Cipriani revealed that they didn’t even speak for a month after the show. “He actually told me on our way home that he was pursuing someone else,” she said. (C’mon, Coggins. Not cool man.) Things appear to have worked out for Cipriani, or rather, Kerri Cipriani-Nisley, as indicated by her Instagram account. She seems to have stayed out of the reality TV spotlight in favor of a simpler married life.
Chris Aldrich struck out on Dating Naked but became a president
Chris Aldrich was the main male alongside the aforementioned Kerri Cipriani for Season 2 of Dating Naked. As is tradition for the show, he and Cipriani had the first au naturel date with each other, and these two quickly formed a serious connection. Over the course of the season, he went on dates with 20 different women, and for the finale, Aldrich had to choose between three women: Cipriani, Elissa Sawaya (more on her later), and Fallon Tortolani. He chose Cipriani, but she did not return the favor. When the season ended, Cipriani told VH1 News that she became close friends with Sawaya and Tortolani, so where did that leave Aldrich?
He spoke with VH1 News after getting rejected on Dating Naked and was understandably disappointed about Cipriani’s decision. Even worse, Aldrich found out that the man she ended up with in the season finale already had a girlfriend back home. Fortunately, Aldrich and Cipriani became close friends after filming. He said they spoke every few weeks and didn’t shy away from deep conversations.
Based on Aldrich’s LinkedIn profile, it looks like he joined his family’s financial services firm, Aldrich Wealth Management, and worked as a financial advisor and as its president. Outside of work, it looks like Aldrich does not lack for adventure because his Instagram account is full of beautiful photos from around the world.
Elissa Sawaya became a Jill of all trades after Dating Naked
Elissa Sawaya appeared on three episodes, including the finale, during Season 2 of Dating Naked. Per The Cut, she fell hard for main man Chris Aldrich, even uttering that four-letter word. Despite professing her love for him, Aldrich chose Kerri Cipriani during the season finale.
After the show, it looks like Sawaya stayed in touch, at least initially, with her fellow reality TV friends. She even posted what looks like a cute Dating Naked viewing party. Sawaya also landed a singular acting credit in the movie All Out Dysfunktion! That flick, frankly, looks pretty weird and only got a 2.9/10 on IMDB’s user rating, so proceed at your own risk. Perhaps forgoing an acting career, Sawaya has seemingly diversified her portfolio. Her personal website lists services such as emcee, entertainer, and bartender for hire. She also listed a role as production coordinator in the unreleased film In Stranger Company (Cover Me), starring Danny Trejo, so perhaps she’s building a career behind the scenes.
David Dees’ hometown was nearly destroyed by tornadoes
David Dees became the last main male single of the series, appearing in his birthday suit on every episode of the third and final season of Dating Naked. His reality TV tenure included some truly awkward, cheesy, and genuinely sweet dates, per The Cut. In the season finale, Dees and co-star Natalie Jansen (more on her in a minute) opted to pick each other and depart the island together as a couple, but those good vibes didn’t last and Bustle concluded that the show did not help Dees forge a lasting romantic relationship.
Soon after his run on Dating Naked, Dave Dees tried his hand as an R&B singer, released a song titled “Jokes on You.” Dees hinted at a larger project that he wanted to release during an interview with Bossip, but like the reality show, that dream may have run its course. By the way, when Bossip asked Dees why Dating Naked was canceled, he theorized that the shocking premise of dating in the nude had grown stale for audiences.
In May 2019, severe tornadoes demolished parts of Ohio, including Dayton. Via an Instagram post, Dees said Dayton is his hometown and he was heading there to “restore some normalcy to my city.”
Natalie Jansen knows a thing or two about skin
Natalie Jansen was the main female lead, alongside co-star David Dees, in the third and final season of Dating Naked. The choreographer from Milwaukee told Sarah Scoop that she was a fan of the show before auditioning. While watching Season 2, her roommate supposedly hinted that Jansen would be a good fit for the show, and producers clearly agreed. Just like Dees, she too had her share of wild dates during her 13-episode run.
After the series finale, Jansen and Dees continued a long-distance relationship, though it’s unclear if they were just friends or something more. She told VH1 News that Dees was especially supportive to her when her brother passed away soon after the finale. She also confessed to Real Mr. Housewife that seeing Dees in person is bittersweet and that she tears up when the two have to say goodbye, due to their “unbreakable bond.”
Based on her Instagram account, it appears that Jansen married a gentleman who was not on Dating Naked and had a baby. Outside of parenting, she has a YouTube channel that consists mostly consisting of vlogs as an “Aveda Esthetician” focusing on health and beauty tips. Yes, Jansen seems well-qualified to talk about showing off some skin.
Connor Hughes got even riskier after leaving Dating Naked
Connor Hughes joined lasted three episodes on Season 3 of Dating Naked. For the aforementioned Natalie Jansen, he just wasn’t the full, ahem, package. During an interview with Florida Today, Hughes said Dating Naked wasn’t his first time on television. He’d also appeared on Syfy’s Exit game show (where he won $10,000) and on American Ninja Warrior. When first introduced on Dating Naked, Hughes claimed that he was a professional stuntman — something he continued to do after stripping off his clothes on Bora Bora.
In 2018, Hughes launched an Instagram account showing off his work as a live-action stuntman … because apparently going on dates in the nude isn’t enough of an adrenaline rush. When he’s not jumping out of windows or performing risky stunts, Hughes seems to spend a lot of time focused on video games. His Twitter account is packed with video clips of him playing first-person shooter games. Hughes is also supposedly the co-founder of Frisky Biscuit Productions, which looks like a venture that mainly makes YouTube videos about video games.
Rocsi Diaz kept right on hosting after Dating Naked
Raquel Roxanne “Rocsi” Diaz spent six years a co-host on BET’s music video countdown show 106 & Park, per her IMDb page. After a few years as a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight, she joined Dating Naked as the host of its third and final season. She presided over a lot of connections and rejections, plenty of drama, and more skin than a dermatologist.
Diaz has reportedly been romantically linked with several celebrities throughout her career. The rumor mill has connected her to actor Eddie Murphy, and singers Raphael Saadiq, Joe Thomas, and maybe even Bruno Mars. After Dating Naked was canceled, Diaz landed some additional screen time on other projects, including a commercial about powerful women for Cricket Wireless about powerful women. She also continued hosting with gigs on People TV’s Twitter series, Chatter, and with Beautycon Los Angeles, according to her Instagram account.