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It's Kyle Cooke and Amanda Batula's last summer before they tie the knot in Season 6 of Summer House airing Mondays at 9/8c on Bravo. But getting to the altar isn't going to be easy, as evidenced by the Season 6 premiere, which aired on January 17.
In the episode, Amanda became upset after she couldn't get ahold of Kyle when he decided to stay out by himself during the first night in the house (clip above). While waiting for Kyle to come home, an emotional Amanda confided in Paige DeSorbo and Ciara Miller about an agreement that she made with her future husband as she prepared to walk down the aisle in September. "We have a whole f--king paper signed that says if Kyle cannot control his drinking and we call off the wedding, then he owes my parents every single penny," Amanda revealed. "That's how serious it's gotten."
Amanda shared more details about this agreement in an exclusive interview with Bravo Insider prior to the Summer House Season 6 premiere airing. "It wasn't, like, with my parents or anything like that. I mean, most of us have seen Grey's Anatomy and, you know, when Derek and Meredith got married on that little Post-It note, and it was, like, just for them. That's sort of what this was for me and Kyle," she explained. "We just wrote a little something on a piece of paper that was essentially saying that if anything happened, if we called off the wedding because of Kyle's drinking, that he would be financially responsible."
Noting that this "little piece of paper" was not a legal contract, Amanda said that it came out of an argument between the couple. "It wasn't like I woke up one morning questioning things and had doubts and was like, 'Hey, can you sign this quick?' There was a fight that we had, and that, for me, was what I needed from him to feel secure moving forward," Amanda recalled. "It might have been a little bit of crazy of me in my state of mind, but it happened, and now it's out there."
For Amanda, it was really about getting reassurance from Kyle that he "was a thousand percent committed to this relationship." "It was something to give me peace of mind," she said. "It made me feel like he was willing to do whatever it takes and was fully committed to this — and really did want to get married to me."
During the same interview, Kyle clarified, "It wasn't if I called off the wedding; it was if I did something that caused the wedding to be called off," noting, "Amanda associates my drinking with my cheating, you know, years ago, and I can't blame her for that."
Though Kyle was, of course, fully committed to marrying Amanda, this alleviated some stress for the couple while planning the big day, he told Bravo Insider. "I don't want to talk about numbers, but our wedding was, you know, way over budget. And if, all of a sudden, I'm on the hook then, yeah, that is some skin in the game," he said. "And I'm all in, but this is just something that gave Amanda a little more peace of mind."
The couple had also initially intended this agreement to be something that was "really private" and a "secret between the two of us," shared Amanda, who said that she was "drunk on alcohol and emotions" the night she opened up to Paige and Ciara about it.
But even Summer House veterans like Kyle and Amanda can sometimes forget the cameras are there. "Amanda, in that moment, is talking to two of her best friends. You know, the last thing on their mind is the camera with, like, an infrared lens. She's just kind of spilling the beans. She's emotional. She's drunk," Kyle said. "And it obviously was not how we thought the first night was going to go, but you know, it is what it is."
Knowing that things "can only go up from there," Amanda is able to see the positive in this conflict with Kyle erupting early on this season of Summer House. "I mean, it's obviously not what we would have wanted for, you know, these things to come to light the first weekend that we're in a house with our friends," she said. "But, you know, at the same time, I'm glad that they did because we were able to kind of work through it all right before getting married."
With their wedding day quickly approaching, Amanda and Kyle's issues boiled over this summer. "I think there's just the stress of wedding planning, the pressure of getting married, you know, the seriousness of committing to each other for a lifetime. It's not abnormal for people to, like, get cold feet or to question their decision, whether it's about the cake flavor or getting married. And I guess with the show and filming and the wedding planning and the postponement of everything, it just kind of all bubbled up, at least for me," Amanda said. "I was on high emotions, more so than I realized. Just, I don't know. It's an emotional time. Not everyone goes through the same thing, but, I mean, there's plenty of people who I'm sure can relate to just being more stressed than normal in those months leading up."
Kyle agreed, adding that there were "a couple" of things that "had started to really take a toll" on him and Amanda. "Running a business together in a pandemic, I mean, it's just a high-stress situation. And the wedding planning, just when you think we're making progress, there's a setback, there's another delay, there's an outrageous cost. And then, yeah, I mean, I'll kind of break the fourth wall a little bit, but, you know, filming, it puts any relationship through a lot of stress, just because you're constantly talking about things," Kyle said, admitting that he and Amanda "were both pretty defensive and quick to overreact" this season.
All of this, on top of their trip to Vermont for Winter House, didn't leave much time for the couple to take a breath and process anything that came up prior to this summer. "We have been so busy, and there's been so many distractions. So anything, any bump or hiccup or argument that we've had at home, we would have to move on to the next thing, because we can't dwell on it and sit on it," Amanda explained. "It's going to be hard to relive, but it was good for us in a weird way."
Amanda said that there were a lot of expectations attached to that first weekend in the Summer House as well. "In my mind, you know, that first weekend, here we are, like, the wedding is finally happening. We're here as, you know, a couple that's about to get married. But you would want that first weekend to be with your significant other and just everything to be, like, perfect," she shared. "And I think sometimes, I set expectations in my head about the way things are going to go. And when they don't go that way, I get very let down, and I break down a little bit. But it's something I still am working on."
Putting your relationship out there in front of millions of people every week also brings added stress. But Amanda said that it's all about showing what real couples go through. "There's a lot of pressure to feel like you're in a perfect relationship or that your life is perfect or your marriage or your family, and that's what you see, not on all these shows, but you see it on a lot, and they do come to a head. You know, all of a sudden, that picture-perfect couple on your favorite TV show is getting a divorce, and you had no idea what was going on behind the scenes," she said. "And trust me, hopefully it doesn't, but if it ever happens to us, I feel like everyone's going to have been along for the journey the whole time. It's not going to blindside anyone."
Always being so vulnerable in front of the cameras does have its challenges, however. "It does not get easier at all," Amanda said. "It's never easy because we have to relive it, and, you know, our friends and our family and people that are important to us and employees and, you know, business partners that we work with, it's not something you normally [would] want them to see."
But through their ups and downs, Kyle and Amanda have owned it all. "We're not perfect but, you know, one thing we've never done is try to hide some of these flaws, and it's all out there for the picking. Our summer was certainly a little bit of a roller coaster ride," Kyle said. "And yeah, it starts out in an unfortunate place, but it ends in a great place. Whether you love us or hate us, I mean, it's all there."
"You know, yeah, whether you agree that we should be married or not," Amanda added, "We're not faking anything."
As we saw in the season premiere and in the preview of what's to come on Summer House (clip below), Kyle and Amanda, as well as their impending wedding day, will continue to be a major topic of conversation.
But Amanda said that, overall, the couple's housemates were there to "hear us out and support us" in Season 6, just as they have been in the past. "I don't think anyone was going to tell us not to get married, but I think, based off of how I was feeling or maybe what I said and what I was going through, I just had a group of people that wanted to let me know that they were there for me, and I wasn't alone, and I didn't have to feel like I was making any wrong decisions, that they were going to support me no matter what," Amanda shared. "And I don't think that that was a knock to, 'You should call off the wedding, and we'll be here for you.' It was more so, 'If you're feeling a certain way, just know that you have a group of people that will support you, and you won't be alone in it.' And that's what you want in your best friends, people that are gonna help and be there."
Still, Kyle admitted that it can sometimes be difficult to hear what others have to say about his relationship, even though he knows it comes with the territory of Summer House. "Obviously, one aspect of being on the show is you can see what other people are thinking and saying and, yeah, it hurts when you watch that first episode and you hear what people are thinking in the moment," he said. "I mean, people talk about other people's relationships. That's just part of real life, part of a reality show."
"And we've both done the same thing, so to expect people not to share, you know, their thoughts on [our relationship] would be outrageous," Amanda added. "But I know that, you know, any way that we went and any direction that we chose with our relationship, we would have had a house full of people supporting us — and, ultimately, we did."
Of course, there is a happy ending here. The couple tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony in the backyard of Amanda's parents' house in Hillsborough, New Jersey on September 25.
And, despite everything that we've seen Kyle and Amanda go through over the years, they always knew that they would one day be saying "I do." "I don't think, for me, [the wedding] was ever, like, going to be called off. I think you want to feel like you're in the best possible place as a couple leading up to your wedding day and on your wedding day. You just want it to be blissful and the happiest you've ever been," Amanda addressed the couple's nuptials appearing to be in jeopardy this season of Summer House. "And I think, for me, it was a huge bummer to be going through a low, in my mind. You know, maybe a part of me wanted to push it back to make sure that we worked through this, and it didn't feel like we were just brushing over any issues because we had a wedding to go through. So, it wasn't ever a doubt [or] calling it off; it was like, we have more work to do before we commit our lives to each other forever."
Kyle similarly said that he "didn't have any doubts" about marrying Amanda. "I have support in Carl [Radke] and Luke [Gulbranson] and Andrea [Denver] helping. It's not like the guys are sitting down and weighing in, like, you know, girls naturally do. And so I feel like with more people asking questions and questioning things, you're bound to start questioning yourself, right?" Kyle said. "So it's like, you know, maybe it was a product of my environment. You know, I just didn't have any doubts. I just was like, hey, we've gone through worse and come out stronger on the other end, and I think that's exactly what's going to happen."
Want more Summer House? New episodes air every Monday at 9/8c or catch up on the Bravo app.
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