Nickelodeon is taking us to Hawaii in its brand-new daily series, Paradise Run. The 20-episode competition series features three teams of kids racing across an exotic resort, competing against one another in a series of heart-pounding challenges, ranging from obstacle courses to water-based adventures in an ocean-fed lagoon. The first team to cross the finish line wins the grand prize.
CelebSecrets4U spoke with Daniella Monet, the host of the new competition series, to find out more about what viewers can expect from the show. She also talked about her new reoccurring role on season five of Baby Daddy, her vegan cooking channel on YouTube and her insanely healthy lifestyle. Plus, she gives some great beauty and fashion tips — make sure to read our Q&A below!
Paradise Run premieres Monday, February 1, 2016 at 7pm ET on Nickelodeon and will continue to air every Monday through Friday.
CS4U: The premiere date for Paradise Run is approaching, so what can you tell us about the show and the role you play in it?
Daniella Monet: “Well Paradise Run is just a really exciting and fun game show. It’s three separate teams of two kids with all different relationships to each other. Some of them are even twins. We have best friends or relatives or whatever and they compete along this huge resort that’s gorgeous and it’s right off the ocean in Hawaii, so it’s definitely not miserable for sure (laughs) except for the fact that the courses or the challenges are actually pretty difficult, but these kids have so much fun and my relationship is I host the darn thing. I just get to watch them and basically root them on and enjoy Hawaii all at the same time.”
CS4U: What was it like filming in Hawaii?
Daniella Monet: “Amazing. Hawaii was so amazing. They were so good to us because it is kind of a — it’s a challenging show to film because it’s very similar to something like Amazing Race where there’s constantly like three to four different crews and there’s like a camera jib. The whole resort was basically our playground so it was really fun and when we weren’t working we were definitely just like enjoying Hawaii. Definitely an experience I’ll never forget.”
CS4U: What can we expect from the first episode?
Daniella Monet: “The first episode pretty much dives right in. I think you’ll get a whole gist of the way the show works. The kids on the show are so fun and honestly they have really funny moments because it’s very real. I mean, some of the challenges are difficult so their interactions together are just that. They’re like yelling at their brother or yelling at their best friend or working together. It all comes down to real teamwork and problem solving while being, you know, exhausted, but in the end there’s a great prize and everyone has a good time and I always say whether they win or lose they all become good friends so it’s just a cool thing to watch.
CS4U: Out of all the challenges that the kids have to do, which do you think would have been the hardest?
Daniella Monet: “The first one that comes to mind is there’s a balancing one that takes place in the pool and they throw these huge like donut floaties and you have to basically stand on this — it’s kind of similar to a lily pad or something — and catch the tubes around you and the one that gets the most tubes basically jumps off and swims out to this other section. Honestly. they’re so complicated I could never explain a challenge if I tried (laughs) but they’re really fun.”
CS4U: You live a very healthy lifestyle. You’re very active and you follow a vegan diet so do you have any advice for our readers who want to maintain a healthier lifestyle?
Daniella Monet: “Oh absolutely. Honestly, I would just say it starts with a choice. Sometimes there are days I don’t want to get up and run or eat healthy or whatever. There’s tons of other alternatives I could be eating, but I choose to be as healthy as I can. I understand there’s a balance to everything. I do not starve myself and I do not say no to an occasional vegan donut or whatever, but I’ve learned to make things that I love to eat that taste amazing that are also vegan. I enjoy it and I’m hoping to share that with others through my blog and my YouTube channel and that sort of thing. So I would just say you make a choice and, you know, you slowly try it out and figure out what works for you. But can I also say that being healthy, I feel so much happier so I think it’s an easy transition to make.”
CS4U: Speaking of your YouTube videos in which you cook vegan recipes, what would be one of your go-to vegan recipes?
Daniella Monet: “I’m big on shakes. I love like a good, really yummy chocolate shake in the morning and I jazz it up with all sorts of fun stuff. I will always have a shake at least once a day. I eat a lot of salads and Italian food so a good pasta, a good sauce and good greens, so I’m pretty simple, but my recipes I try to make very easy and user friendly (laughs) because if I’m hungry I don’t want to spend too much time, you know, playing aorund in the kitchen even though I love it, so hopefully people can relate to that.”
CS4U: I watched your video with the spring rolls and I definitely want to try those out.
Daniella Monet: “I’m telling you right now those were a hidden secret. I had never made them and that’s what’s funny about stuff that I make for my YouTube channels. A lot of those I try to put a little more thought into and make a little more interesting and that I had never done before so it’s actually a really good experience for me too because I’m learning other things along with everyone else like I do not claim to be a chef for one second (laughs). I just enjoy doing it.”
CS4U: You’re also going to be starring in the new season of Baby Daddy so can you tell us a little bit about your character and what we can expect from her in the upcoming episodes?
Daniella Monet: “I play Sam and she plays Ben Wheeler’s love interest since high school and she interviews to be the manager of his bar and gets the job and there’s a ton of things that happen after that, but it’s a really fun dynamic. I love the cast and it’s fun working opposite of Jean-Luc because he’s actually really really really funny and Melissa’s funny and Tahj and everyone is so talented on that cast. It really is a nice environment to work with and I love my character. She’s so different than I’ve really ever played. I mean she’s a love interest, but, you know, she’s funny which is great. She’s a little bit of a flirt as well.”
CS4U: We see that you’ve made time to watch some TV, so what are some of your favorite TV shows that you’re watching right now?
Daniella Monet: “Oh this is funny. I was just talking about this. I’ve been watching The Bachelor this season. That I don’t miss. It sounds silly, but I’m like a big Bachelor fan. I’ve been watching since the very beginning — the Trista and Ryan season — and um, I’m a fan so that I’ll watch. I hate to say it but I’m big on the HGTV. I will have HGTV on like all day long in my house (laughs) and other than that I love a lot of Bravo shows like Housewives and Vaderpump Rules and yeah there’s no shame.”
CS4U: Since we are CelebSecrets4U, can you give our readers some beauty tips or fashion tips that are your little secrets or something that you swear by?
Daniella Monet: “Yes, okay, so when it comes to fashion, I would definitely say the best look that I can come with are always a bargain. I love finding a good deal. To be completely honest, sometimes I find my best stuff from like T.J. Maxx or Forever 21. I’m not kidding, so the less you spend almost the better I feel about wearing it because I feel like yeah I scored (laughs), so that’s fun and then in terms of beauty tips, I try to keep it super natural. I use all cruelty-free vegan products. I actually did a little video on this. The stuff that I use on my face, because everyone will ask me like oh well what do you use to clean your face or moisturize or whatever, I will say right off the bat, if you combine Aloe and Vitamin E oil together, equal parts, you can make a lotion and it’s the simplest, cleanest version of just any sort of moisturizer. I use it on my face like three or four times a day, so that’s a trick for you.”
Photos: Karen Neal/Nickelodeon