TV

Robby LaRiviere on Life and Love After “Finding Prince Charming”

The former reality TV star talks his recent engagement, and why he won't stand for "Finding Prince Charming" erasure.

It has been five years since the final black-tie ceremony was held on Finding Prince Charming, Logo’s groundbreaking all-gay dating show à la The Bachelor. While the house was filled with memorable contestants, the fan-favorite was Robby LaRiviere, the wine-swilling, flamboyant suitor who frequently commented on the lively antics among his fellow Finding Prince Charming contestants.

Robby might not have won the heart of Prince Charming, Robert Sepúlveda Jr., but that didn’t matter to him since he was already spoken for. In a recent chat with Logo, LaRiviere revealed that shortly before filming began, he had started dating Gavin Laiche. Five years later, the two are now engaged.

LaRiviere also talked about what he’s been up to since Finding Prince Charming, how he feels about Colton Underwood coming out, and why he is still holding out hope for a Finding Prince Charming revival. Find our full chat below.
 

So, it’s been five years since Finding Prince Charming. What have you been up to? I know you’ve been busy, but run through it for us.

Well, it’s been a whirlwind journey after Finding Prince Charming. It’s been five years of a lot of fun, especially that immediate year after the show aired was very exciting, getting to meet all the fans and doing all these things. I got to ride on the Pride float next to Sasha Velour, Gavin and I did a commercial for K-Y Jelly. It was a lot of fun, a lot of adventure, but fame does start to fade after a while, which is fine, and that’s when you get back into the rhythm of your real life. For me, that’s still a very exciting life because I get to represent a beauty brand on TV all over the world. I’m the international beauty ambassador for a haircare brand called Nick Chavez. So I’m up late at night selling the shit out of shampoo all over the world from Russia to Australia to Germany, Canada, here in American, and soon to be Japan, which is very exciting. I’m loving that.

Let’s talk about your engagement. Congratulations! How long have you and Gavin been together?

Well, we’ve been together for over five years, which if you do the math, means we met before I went on Finding Prince Charming.

So you were dating Gavin when you went on Finding Price Charming?

We were about two weeks into dating. We really knew that we liked each other, and I knew that he was different than anyone else I had ever dated before. It felt right, and I think that’s why I was able to go on Finding Prince Charming and really be myself because I didn’t have to put on airs. As an effeminate gay man, sometimes we butch it up when we meet someone we’re into, but when it became to Robert and me on Finding Prince Charming, I was just able to have fun and love life and drink and not care because I knew Gavin was home with love in his heart for me, and that the feeling was mutual. It was two weeks in, and I think that goes to show trust that early on in a relationship as well. To trust someone you just started dating to go on an all-gay dating show, it was really crazy, but in Gavin’s defense, I kind of said, “Oh, this interesting social experiment, Big Brother meets Survivor with a little bit of Bachelor thrown in there.” So he was cool with it and no regrets. It was the most amazing experience, but as far as Gavin and I, it has been five years. I’m a Sagittarius; he’s a Libra. Some may say it’s a match made in heaven, and after five years, the parents actually got to meet.

Yeah, tell me about the proposal.

Our mothers met on the island of Nantucket two weeks ago, and the way they got along was so beautiful, so fun, so much love was happening, that there was no way these two families couldn’t merge together. So the morning of… We were all staying in this house on Nantucket together: My parents and his parents, Gavin, and myself. It’s hard as gay men because there really is not etiquette. Normally, you’d ask the daughter’s father for permission, but you never ask the son’s father for permission, but I knew how close Gavin was to his parents and that they do appreciate tradition. So I asked both his parents the morning of if I could have their son’s hand in marriage, and they said yes and there were tears, and it was all very good. We drove to the highest point of Nantucket, a place called Altar Rock, which apparently had been in my family for years. I’m ancestors of the Coffin family, who purchased Nantucket from the Native Americans back in the 1600s. We’re a big time whaling family that have been in Massachusetts — Nantucket specifically — since the middle of the 1600s. So we get to this place, Altar Rock, very special to myself and Gavin, the highest point of Nantucket, and I had pictures. I was like, “All right Mom. Let’s take a picture of you and your boyfriend here, Gavin’s parents here,” and then they took turns to take a picture of Gavin and myself, and that’s when I dropped down to one knee and proposed.

courtesy of Robert LaRiviere

Was he surprised?

He was very surprised. The parents were in on it, but Gavin was surprised and excited and his hands were shaking. It was the moment you dream about. It was very beautiful. We then went to the summer house and celebrated, drank champagne, and they were just super excited for our love.

What’s happening with the wedding? Have you guys started planning?

I think it’s going to be a Provincetown wedding, which is very exciting. I see Provincetown happening, which is a special place to me and Gavin. He’s from New Orleans, I’m from New England. So I think that’s going to be the theme of the wedding: New England meets New Orleans, lobsters and crawfish or whatever they eat down there, stuff like that, incorporating a lot of the New Orleans traditional elements into our wedding.

Has Gavin watched Finding Prince Charming?

Yes, Gavin did watch Finding Prince Charming. We would watch it together. We’d be watching it together laughing. There was a kiss between Robert and me that was a little awkward to watch with your boyfriend laying right next to you, but it is what it is. It’s all good.

I mean, you were the fan-favorite from the season.

Thank you.

Do you still get recognized? Do people come up to you?

Yes. It never gets old, and I love seeing the fans. All over the world, back when we were traveling, I would get recognized… even in Australia! So that was funny. Yes, I still get recognized, but now it’s been five years. People are like, “I know you from somewhere. How do I know you?” as opposed to, “Oh, that’s Robby from Finding Prince Charming.” So it’s all good.

Do you still talk to any of the boys from the house?

I do. Eric [Leonardos], the winner, still cuts my hair. Dillon [Powell] is a dear friend as well. We have nights out on the town with Dillon. Yeah, I see a lot of the boys. The ones that live here in L.A., it’s very easy to keep up with them.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

I want to get your thoughts on Colton Underwood coming out. He was the Bachelor, and now people are like, “Oh, maybe there will be a gay Bachelor show,” and when I would read stories, it seems like there’s Finding Prince Charming erasure. There will be some article where they do not mention that there’s already been a gay dating show…

It’s so bizarre.

What are your thoughts on this Finding Prince Charming erasure?

Well, we will not stand for that. We need to remind them that Finding Prince Charming was the first all-gay dating show, hosted by Lance Bass himself! Granted, it wasn’t called The Gay Bachelor. We didn’t have a rose ceremony, we did the black-tie ceremony, but it was the first all-gay dating show. I hope if they do end up doing a gay Bachelor, know that they’re number two, not number one.

Have you thought about returning to reality TV?

There is a show in the works right now. I’m not eligible to say what’s going on, but there is an exciting project in the works, something that’s never been done before. So definitely stay tuned.

If they go forward with a gay Bachelor show or some kind of gay dating show, do you have any advice for the men going on the show?

My advice would be: Have so much fun. This is such an exciting time of your life. My advice for anyone cast for a reality show, go out and do it because it’s an experience you will never get to have again. It’s such a fun and exciting experience, especially if you go in there with good, pure intentions, to find love, to be happy, and to have a good time. If you’re looking to cause drama or start fights, you’ll definitely get cast for the show, but I don’t know if you’ll have the most enjoyable time. So my advice would be stay happy, have fun, and love life, and if you drink, fantastic because the booze is endless! I never saw the bottom of my glass. They had it full to the brim. Maybe I was the one doing the pouring, of course, but still. We had a great time.

That GIF of you with a glass of wine still pops up now and then.

I think it’s time to get Finding Prince Charming Season 2 going before The Bachelor beats us to it! Anything is possible. They brought back the first Real World. They’re bringing back Friends. I could see Finding Prince Charming rearing its beautiful head again.

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was "just the cutest thing ever."
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