NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider Deal or No Deal Island

Nick Grasso Defends "Fiery" Amy & Talks His Record-Breaking Deal or No Deal Island Shocker

The always-positive Brooklyn sanitation worker couldn't muscle his way to a Deal or No Deal Island victory against The Banker. 

By Tara Bennett

The Headmaster of the Night Owls has left the island. Yes, hunky Brooklyn sanitation worker Nick Grasso tangled with The Banker and ended up on the Bad Deal end of a 50/50 case choice in the latest episode.

How to Watch

Watch Deal or No Deal Island on NBC and Peacock.

"You literally have to choose between your heart or your head and I chose my head," Grasso told NBC Insider about his choice. "Unfortunately, it was wrong for the day."

It was a gutting loss as The Banker offered Grasso the highest money deal in the history of the Deal or No Deal franchise — a whopping $4,417,000 — with just one case left on the board and Grasso's case choice of No. 9, which honored the memory of his fiancée's beloved brother who passed away. 

RELATED: Who Is the Banker on Deal or No Deal Island?

In our latest Deal or No Deal Island exit interview, Grasso spoke about the trouble he initially had navigating the mind game, his game-conflicting friendship with Boston Rob Mariano, and if that fight between Rob and Stephanie before his game with The Banker ruined his vibe.

Going back to the start of the season, how prepared do you think you were for this hybrid competition game show?

I could say I was unprepared for everything with this brand-new mishmash of a game. Day two, day three, I'm still trying to figure out how this whole thing works. Should I be at the top? Should I be at the bottom? Am I safer in the middle? Do I play? Do I not play? It's a whole big thing. You don't know which strategy is best.

So that's the beauty of a first season of a show, in my opinion, because you're setting the groundwork. You're that character that someone's going to mold themselves after. It was awesome to get to experience and to deal with it first. But I was not ready for any of it.

Nicholas Grasso and Rob Mariano fist bump while Dawson Addis looks on in Deal or No Deal Island Episode 108.

Boston Rob Mariano has dominated a lot of the gameplay and strategy the whole season. Do you think all that focus on him helped or hindered your game overall?

First of all, I didn't know who Boston Rob was. But I feel like it kind of messed my game up a little because people were putting such a big target on Boston Rob and how he plays and what he does. I don't know how he plays or what he does. I don't know if what they're saying is true or not. I'm just going off of Rob's word, and pretty much everybody else's word against Rob. So it kind of screwed my game up a little bit.

But I was great friends with Rob on the island. We were hanging out all the time on the beach. We would laugh and joke, and we were always together. But then when it came down to the competitive side, I didn't know which way he was working on. I didn't know if he was just going to keep me close then — bang! — throw me under the bus. Or, if he was riding with me to the end. So that kind of threw me off. 

RELATED: Watch Boston Rob Explain Reality Show Strategy on Deal or No Deal Island

Did the formal alliance of The Night Owls end up making you feel more secure with your strategy since you had people to bounce things off of?

The grouping definitely helped because like I said, I was close to Rob. But I knew I was never going to be his number one because he had Aron [Barbell].

For me to have a number one and number two in the Night Owls, it makes you feel safer. It makes you feel better that you have someone at bat for you. And it might be a shield for you, for your game, so that definitely did help my game. It definitely didn't make me feel more comfortable. But at the same time, you don't know what someone's thinking behind your back. Like I was true to my alliance through thick and thin once we were set. But it could be the downfall of you as well because you don't know these people at the end of the day through a hole in the wall. 

Jordan Fowler and Amy McCoy stand next to briefcases in Deal or No Deal Island Episode 109.

Who would you have wanted with you in the final two?

Amy. Me and Amy were definitely very close with each other. We were tent mates so we had a lot of close talks. We were very, very close with each other, through thick and thin. We're kind of like best friends. I know she gets a bad rap on the show. A lot of people hate her in the comments. But she is awesome. She's fiery, and it just makes me laugh. She was just a great vibe and a great person to be around. So definitely Amy.

Digging into your final episode, did losing alliance member Dawson Addis and then adding Jordan to your mix change the vibe at all?

It didn't really change. We lost Dawson, a big member, but then we had Jordan. From day one, she's like, "Why is Rob here? He shouldn't be here because he makes so much money on the show." So we knew if she had the chance, she would have taken Rob out. I still had my core squad: Amy and Steph. We knew where we stood so not much really changed in that aspect. And we just felt like it's always better to have more numbers. 

Joe Manganiello and Nicholas Grasso appear elated in Deal or No Deal Island Episode 109.

When it came time for you to face The Banker, were you ready?

If you're not nervous, and you're not anxious, you might not be a real person. I'm full of emotions. I'm full of all positive vibes. People were messaging me on the side when they saw the [episode] previews. They're like, "This is the first time I've seen you not laugh and not smiling. You looked a little serious." Because I was. That was one of the most nerve-wracking moments of my life!

How bad was it for your nerves for Rob and Stephanie to have a shouting match with one another as you were ready to go on deck to play?

Shout out to Aron for pointing that out and sticking up for me. But they brushed him off like a mosquito. Trust me, that definitely did not make things better and it definitely ruined the mojo a little bit. 

RELATED: Watch the "Night Owls" Form a Deal or No Deal Island Alliance to Take Down Boston Rob

When you came down to that final offer from The Banker, was it a head vs. heart moment? Which one did you go with?

That's exactly what happens. Your mind's telling you one thing, your heart is telling you the other. My heart was with the number nine, as I said it's my fiancee's brother's who passed away. And then the number six was in my head from a dream so it was just like the weirdest thing that six and nine ended up being the two numbers stacked next to each other, second- and third-highest amounts in game history. It's just crazy how it all played out and just stacked up on each other.

Joe Manganiello hugs Nicholas Grasso in Deal or No Deal Island Episode 109.

Has your Deal or No Deal Island experience inspired your interest in doing any other shows?

Hopefully, knock on wood, I get people interested in me and interested in my gameplay, and they'll want to see me again on the big screen. I sure do. A nice physical challenge, maybe a little less luck. I've always loved The Challenge. Hopefully, they're listening or watching.

New episodes of Deal or No Deal Island air on Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC, and will be available to stream the next day on Peacock.

Read more about: