Season Nine of Total Divas premieres tonight at 10pm Eastern on the E! Network, with a much-changed cast. Rusev and Lana are out, supposedly because the E! viewers didn’t like them, and Paige and the Bellas are gone too, but Sonya Deville and Ronda Rousey are joining the cast. Sonya will be the first LGBTQ cast member since the departure of Disaster Bisexual Rosa Mendes at the end of Season 5 (and the less said about how her sexuality was portrayed on the series, the better). Sonya Deville seems far more invested in giving young gay fans someone to look up to, as she has spoken about in multiple interviews.
Talking to TV Insider, Sonya had this to say:
I know when people watch Total Divas there is going be a lot to relate to when it comes to my relationship to my girlfriend and being part of the LGBTQ community. Letting a whole new demographic able tune in and say, ‘Wow, I’m gay. She is gay.’ I want to make them feel comfortable and know they have a voice from the WWE now.
However, Sonya’s girlfriend apparently had to be convinced to take part in the show.
She did not want to do it at all. You’ll see it play out on the show. And that’s real life. She met me before I started doing Total Divas. She had no interest in me because of my job or what I do. She wasn’t about sharing our private moments on TV. We went through some conversations about that. Then she agreed to do it because I wanted her to do it. I wanted to share her with the world. I didn’t want to have to fake something on TV. I didn’t want to leave her out, so I’m glad she did it with me.
Hopefully that won’t put too much stress on their relationship, even as it provides some all-important reality show drama. Sonya also talked about her relationships with some of the other WWE performers on the show:
Carmella and I were always close, so it gave us more time together. Nattie I never got to know that well before Divas because we’ve been on different brands. I really got to bond with her. Ronda, it was cool to bond with her. You’ll see during the season that her and I were not always on the same page, but it was good getting to know her. We’re friendly now.
Join us tomorrow for a new Total Divas Post Match, when we talk about how Sonya, Ronda and all the other changes affect the show itself.