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Deal or No Deal Island's Amy and Stephanie Refute Their Villain Status: "It's a Game"

The two players hardest on Boston Rob explain their games and why they were right. 

By Tara Bennett
Amy Hopes for Jordan's Downfall in the Final Challenge | Deal or No Deal Island | NBC

This story contains spoilers for Deal or No Deal Island Season 1, Episode 12.

Audiences of competitive reality shows love to separate players into heroes and villains. Viewers of the first season of NBC's Deal or No Deal Island certainly had strong opinions in that regard, with a lot of love going to underdog Aron Barbell, eventual winner Jordan Fowler Bull, and even veteran reality player Boston Rob Mariano.

How to Watch

Watch Deal or No Deal Island on NBC and Peacock.

On the other side, there was some internet heat pointed at two contestants, Amy McCoy and Dr. Stephanie Mitchell, who were vocal early and often about taking Mariano out of the game so the average players could have a clear shot at the millions. However, viewers liked that Boston Rob charm and didn't like some of the aggressive tactics the ladies took in playing their games. 

RELATED: Deal or No Deal Island's Jordan Talks Winning Strategy, Feeling the Love & That Surprise Reveal

But now that the results are in, Amy and Stephanie gave NBC Insider their sides of the story, with both harboring no regrets for playing hard to the very end. 

Amy and Stephanie share how Deal or No Deal Island gameplay surprised them

Stephanie Mitchell talks behind a golden $5 million briefcase in Deal or No Deal Island Episode 107.

Since Deal or No Deal Island was a brand new show, Stephanie and Amy both admitted they were adjusting from the get-go to figure out how to play this game well. 

"Immediately, Season 1, Episode 1, minute one running through the mud, I knew that physicality was going to be super important in this game," Stephanie observed. "I also know me and that's not my strong point. But what kept ringing in my mind is, as I was going through this casting process, they were like, 'Anybody can win!' So, I'm going to have to rely on something other than my physicality."

Amy said about the gameplay, "I didn't expect it to get as cutthroat. Why I didn't expect that, I don't know, I'm a reality TV fan, I should have known better! But I didn't expect to be America's bully. I didn't expect people to just ... flat-out hate me as much as they do. But I knew what I signed up for. In my mind, it was just a game. It will always be just a game. Like I said on TV, I don't let my husband or my kids when at home, even if it's family. I'm not going to let a stranger win when there's millions of dollars on the line."

Did Amy and Stephanie really have beef with Boston Rob?

The cast eats together on Deal or No Deal Island Episode 111.

Amy and Stephanie both said their only beef with Rob was that he was too good to not be a threat.

"I knew that we were playing with people who were not familiar with how detrimental it would be to be playing next to Rob, specifically," Stephanie explained. "I knew at that point that I was dealing with people that underestimated him. And I was not going to be the only person on that island fully aware of what Rob is capable of in a competitive reality space."

By Episode 3, when Stephanie pushed back against Alyssa and Claudia's plan to orchestrate Kim's ousting instead of Mariano's, she said she knew it was going to get tough. "I was pushed with my back against the wall, having to draw a line in the sand on what was best for the group, which was to target Kim, which blew my mind," she said of their plan. "I was looking around, like, 'What dimension are we in? Do you hear yourself?' And so for people to concoct a plan to then move forward to eliminate Kim? I knew I was all alone here."

RELATED: Boston Rob Unpacks the "Mistake" That Cost Him a Potential Deal or No Deal Island Win

For Amy, creating the Night Owls alliance was her way of trying to get some control over Mariano's tight alliance. Asked if she thinks it helped or hindered her game, she said it was a positive strategy in the end.

"It is about luck but what it all comes down to is if you beat the Banker or not," Amy said. "Only one person wins this game, so if I had a Night Owl playing [The Banker], if it wasn't me and I couldn't control my own game, if I had another Night Owl playing, I knew they were not gonna take me out."

She also admitted that she and Stephanie were big fans of Rob from the start. "He's a great guy!" she said. "He's a great person. He looked out for everyone. But in the TV show, you're my competition. I know I don't want to be Team Rob, because what is it going to look like if I'm Team Rob, and it's him and I in the final two? I know Rob can demolish me. Why would I even think about this?"

Amy and Stephanie explain their most "villainous" moments

Amy McCoy climbs a ropes course on Deal or No Deal Episode 112.

Asked if there were any moments in the game they weren't happy about, Stephanie said she wasn't happy about feeling forced to go after Alyssa, who was going after her. 

"I really didn't like the fact that I had to change my target over to Alyssa. That bothered me," she said. "But I had no guilt. I didn't want to have to focus on needing to eliminate her. But I had to because she became so vociferously opposed to me. I wasn't even until postproduction where I'm seeing all of these things about threats of violence unto me, stabbing me ... I didn't know that. But what I knew is that she wanted me out of there. So I had to shift to somebody that wasn't even on my radar. I had to shift my target and I really don't like how that had to happen. All the other ways in which it unfolded, I have no qualms about."

Amy agreed and said even trying to shake Jordan off the high wire, to her, was just the game. "I really didn't expect to be the villain," she said of social media reactions. "I've never done reality TV. This is my first show, and possibly my last. I don't know what the future holds. But I knew going into this that I had to put on a game hat. I had to go completely out of character. I had to know that I am fighting for millions of dollars. I've never in my life — not at a job, not in a competition — had the opportunity to win millions of dollars. So I told myself, I'm not gonna go in here and give 50%. I'm not gonna tiptoe around feelings. I'm gonna go in and give 110%. I don't care who likes me. I don't care who doesn't like me. I'm here for my friends and family. And that's what I did." 

What they'll take away from Deal or No Deal Island

Amy McCoy and Jordan Fowler hug and point as Joe Manganiello watches on Deal or No Deal Episode 112.

While Amy and Stephanie may have been painted villains, they are still tight with many of their former contestants. 

"I feel like we're all incredibly close to this day, particularly the Night Owls," Stephanie said. "With the majority of people who are in our group chats, we talk almost every day. And I adore Kim. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and to have an opportunity to share with the group of individuals that I got to share with is like a blessing that I will take on with me."

And what about Amy's crazy accuracy in picking low-number cases? Stephanie laughed and said that's a gift she often relies on.

"A lot of people have asked me this, even my family and friends," she said. "I've always had really good intuition, and I'm really really, really in tune with myself. I don't know if it's a Libra thing but I've always followed my gut. And nine times out of 10, it's right. It's so funny because I told Miranda, Dawson, and maybe Nick, going into the last Temple, I said, 'I know it's Jordan playing, and I'm so happy for her, but if I were to play tonight, my case would be 18. That's the case I would pick.' And 18 was the big one!"

RELATED: NBC's Hit Competition Series Deal or No Deal Island Renewed for Season 2 – Everything to Know

Asked what they both learned being on the show, Stephanie had this to say: "I think from the television perspective I also was a victim of thinking that I knew all the things from at home on the couch. I learned that my love of these types of games shouldn't necessarily dictate how I feel about people. There's some people to this day, I can't stand them because of how they played the game. So I have to realize the power of storyline and editing."

As for Amy, she said: "One thing I didn't do was be backstabby. I did make some pretty bold comments, though. But again, it's a game. It was nothing personal. I just had my game hat on and I played. I wanted to leave this game, whether I was a winner or a loser, knowing I left it all out there. I gave it everything."

Catch all of Deal or No Deal Island on Peacock