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By Jeff Pack
Writer 

Fallbrook High graduate hosts CBS's 'Love Island'

 

Last updated 7/21/2019 at 11:56am

Courtesy of CBS on Images

Arielle Vandenberg is the host of the new, U.S. version of "Love Island," airing weeknights on CBS. Vandenberg is a graduate of Fallbrook High School.

There are worse places in the world to be working than on the island of Fiji, and that's exactly where Fallbrook High School graduate Arielle Vandenberg is putting in the hard hours these days.

"Ugh, it's amazing, gorgeous," Vandenberg said by phone from the island which is 19 hours ahead in time.

Vandenberg is the host of CBS's United States version of "Love Island" – a dating series based on the international smash hit and cultural phenomenon where a group of singles comes together in a stunning villa in Fiji ready to embark on a summer of dating, romance and ultimately, relationships.

"I'm so excited to be the host of 'Love Island' first of all. This is definitely a highlight of my life, no joke," she said.

The 32-year-old Vandenberg has been working in show business since she graduated from Fallbrook High.

"I've always known that I wanted to work in the world of entertainment in every sense of the word," she said. "I was dancing when I was younger at Fallbrook Academy of Dance; I danced there for like 12 years. When I moved to L.A., I just started acting. I was auditioning and modeling and going out for movies and TV and hosting jobs and all kinds of stuff.

"I really started working a lot when I started my social media, Instagram and Vine, and all of those things and now here I am the host of 'Love Island,' living my best life."

Vandenberg first gained national attention on her Vine pages, creating comedic content with millions of viewers every day. She's continued to create content over the years and has more than 1.2 million followers on her Instagram account today.

Her former Snapchat series, "Snap Hangs," which featured interviews with Julianne Hough, Sophia Bush, Nina Dobrev, Derek Hough and Maroon 5's James Valentine had millions of followers.

She has also partnered with brands like Mercedes-Benz, Coca-Cola Zero, State Farm Insurance and Progressive Auto Insurance for television and social media partnerships and appeared in the music video with the Arctic Monkeys.

Her television credits include "How I Met Your Mother," "CSI: Miami," "Greek," "@Midnight," "Meet the Browns," "The Ugly Truth," "Bones" and others. She's had roles in movies such as "Epic Movie," "Spring Breakdown," "The Ugly Truth" and others.

She was born in Los Angeles to Dirk and DeEtte Vandenberg and said she moved to Fallbrook with her mom to live with her grandparents very early on. She said her grandparents had a huge impact on her development.

"My grandparents were some of the most entertaining people I've met in my entire life," Vandenberg said. "To grow up with them in Fallbrook, that's where I got a lot of my – I dunno – I feel like that's where I got most of my personality. From my parents and from my grandparents.

"I was able to live with my grandparents pretty much my entire life. They are the definition of Fallbrook to me," she said.

She said she left Fallbrook right after graduation – even before she turned 18 years old – to start her career.

"I was in L.A., going to auditions and modeling a lot, but I was never not myself, which is what I think led me here, honestly," Vandenberg said. "I only took jobs that I thought would be good for me and my personality."

And maybe that's why she fit right into the host role for "Love Island."

According to the show's website, "every few days the Islanders pair up and those who are not coupled are at risk of being dumped from the island. Islanders are on the lookout for romance, but the road to love doesn't always run smoothly. Challenges abound with intriguing new Islander arrivals and dramatic twists as friendships and relationships form."

"It's happening in real time," Vandenberg said. "That's obviously the coolest part about this show and the fact that I just get to be myself is really important to me and really cool that this job is allowing me to do that.

"It's been so fun already, I mean, we still have three more weeks in Fiji and I'm living my truth."

She said she loves meeting the new cast members as they come onto the show.

"That's kind of like the most exciting part," Vandenberg said. "Getting to know them is easy because they're all really fun people and totally normal people, thank God."

She said she is grateful to the show for helping her to realize that work can be fun, too, especially after years and years of auditioning for roles and spots.

"I've been auditioning for so long, but I never let not booking stuff stop me from doing what I wanted to be doing," Vandenberg said. "I've always just made my own skits on YouTube or made my own sketches for Instagram, so I felt like I was always working and now I get to go on set and do the same thing, which is cool."

Just before signing off, she was asked to give advice to anyone back home in Fallbrook that thinks maybe one day they want to follow in her footsteps.

"Always be yourself, always do exactly what you want to do," Vandenberg said. "If that means getting out of Fallbrook to audition for a movie, then go do that. Or getting out of anywhere you're from. Only do what you feel like is right for you."

"Love Island" airs weeknights at 8 p.m. on CBS and CBS All Access. For more information, visit http://www.cbs.com/shows/love-island.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.

 

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