They fell in love over FaceTime. It’s a true pandemic/quarantine love story for Summer House star Hannah Berner and her now-fiancé, comedian Des Bishop. The pair got engaged on Valentine’s Day, roughly eight months after they first started seeing each other — which just so happened to be two and a half weeks before Hannah started filming season 5 of the show. Separated for six weeks, Hannah and Des’ only option when it came to dating was to do it virtually.
“I just couldn’t wait for her to get out because, to me, it felt like she was in prison,” Des quips to ET over video chat, Zooming in from his and now Hannah’s Long Island, New York, home. “She was certainly in a prison from me, so I just couldn’t wait for her to get out and for us to experience it together. Because it went from like, oh, it’s exciting. I met somebody I like, to an intense longing, to like, now let’s see if this is a real thing or if it’s just an intense FaceTime fling with somebody who’s in prison with a bunch of insane emotional situations.”
“By the way, I wasn’t far away either,” he adds, “so it was very frustrating because I was just like, ‘Listen, just go for a walk and I’ll just happen to be outside.'”
The early weeks of their digital courtship proved to the pair they were meant to be together, as Des listened night after night to a tearful Hannah, who recounted the trials and tribulations of life inside her reality TV bubble.
“He became my rock,” Hannah confesses. “Calling him just felt so great. But I would normally cry the first 10 minutes on the call, then we would have a little phone sex, and then we would just talk about everything and anything. So if I’m calling this guy crying every night and he still is falling for me, I’m like, maybe this is meant to be.”
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As viewers saw in the first handful of season 5 episodes, it was a rough start to the summer for the Bravo’s Chat Room host, who was looking for resolution with her season 4 fling, Luke Gulbranson. Hannah and Luke had very different recollections of what their relationship was, with Luke declaring they never dated and Hannah adamant that they did. That difference of opinion/reality pushed Hannah to the emotional edge, with the situation only becoming more complicated when she compared notes with new housemate Ciara Miller, who also had a romantic history with Luke.
“I do think when you watch, if you really look, you understand my castmates were trying to make it like I had some obsession, I was so in love,” Hannah says. “I was crying not because I was heartbroken, I was crying out of frustration and anger after talking to Ciara and realizing this person that was taking up so much of my time was lying about me and really did not care and wasn’t the person I thought he was.”
“People can have their perception about how she felt about Luke or not,” Des chimes in. “Sometimes people ask me, and I’m like, listen, I don’t care how much somebody is an ex. When you get stuck in a house with somebody, that’s emotional turmoil. Whatever way you perceive that emotion to be, that’s your business. But it’s not easy to be just chucked into a house with somebody who you had previous feelings for and just control your emotions 100 percent.”
“I’ve been in relationships before — I haven’t seen them for years — I don’t even think about them, but the minute I see them, I’m like, oh god, that was a feeling,” he adds. “And then you throw another person into the mix, that’s complicated.”
“I really think that as Des and I got closer on the phone at night, it was really easy for me to be like, oh, this situation is toxic,” Hannah says, “and never looking back. And you’ll see in the house that my actions definitely really changed towards Luke.”
“I was there chatting to her sometimes while she was in the house, kind of waiting for her to let go,” Des says. “I was, not arrogant, but I really felt like eventually she would realize that she needs to just let go and realize that this is the thing.”
Hannah is hopeful her late-night chats with Des make it to TV sooner rather than later, which seems likely, seeing as the midseason trailer teased Des’ physical arrival to the house near the end of the season (including a crack from Kyle Cooke, 38, about Des, who is 45, being “old as f**k”). But just because he’s joining the show doesn’t mean he’ll be watching it.
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