While all eyes were on The Hills alternate ending this summer, another show has been quietly usurping all of Lauren Conrad's fans thanks to a carefully orchestrated mix of pretty people, ugly confrontations and the hottest iTunes playlist you've yet to download.
Yes, ABC Family's The Vineyard is the most worthy heir to L.C.'s throne and I recently caught up with the show's king, Luis D'Agostino, to talk about his feelings for Katie, his controversial hook-up with Jackie and how he came to reality TV.
ETonline: What kinds of reactions have you been getting from people on Twitter to The Vineyard?
Luis D'Agostino: I'm new to social media, but Twitter has been super positive and great. The majority of fans are female and women absolutely love the show, so it's been great.
ETonline: That said, how many marriage proposals have you received?
D'Agostino: [laughs] If we're being honest, probably about 700. It's very endearing, and so nice. I need to get back to a lot of them. Don't want to leave anyone hanging [laughs].
ETonline: So the show was kinda unclear about this: how and when did you and Katie actually meet?
D'Agostino: We met in 2009, I remember that summer very well because it was my first on Martha's Vineyard. She was living with about 10 other people -- including Matt [her boyfriend], and that house became quite the popular spot to hang out. We hit it off almost immediately. We spent most of the summer together and stayed in contact for a bit, but then that faded. So it was unreal when I saw her and realized I was living in the same house as her.
ETonline: How did you come to get cast on The Vineyard?
D'Agostino: I was walking around in Boston and someone approached me and asked if I wanted to be on a reality show. I was pretty skeptical, but then hearing what the show would be like and meeting with the creators, I couldn't be more pleased to have put my life on camera. The show is beautifully done
ETonline: Did your history Katie come up during a casting session? How did the producers put that together?
D'Agostino: I have no clue how they found out, honestly, so the fact she was on this show too felt pretty serendipitous to me.
ETonline: Was Katie dating Matt back in 2009 when you first met?
ETonline: So she's always had a boyfriend, preventing you from taking things to the next level.
D'Agostino: You hit the nail on the head right there [laughs]. There are a lot of obstacles in life, and that's been one of them. It's hard to explain your feelings to someone when they're with someone else. It's the predicament I've been in for longer than the show has been going on. This is a four year saga for me.
ETonline: Given those feelings, why did you decide to go to Jackie's house after Katie rebuffed you on the beach? Was it simply to apologize for putting her in the same situation Katie put you in or did you plan to hook up with her?
D'Agostino: Definitely not the latter. After telling Jackie that I saw her more as a friend than anything, karma got the best of me and the exact same thing happened to me. So I wanted to apologize to Jackie -- who knows, if it had happened during the daytime, things might have turned out differently [laughs]. My emotions were running so high in that moment and they kind of got the best of me. I don't have any regrets, but if I could take it back ... it comes across as immature to a lot of people. The truth is, I was going to apologize not hook up. I made a complicated situation more complicated and the morning after when I woke up, it was like, "Oh my goodness ... what did I do?" I wanted to just get away at that point.
ETonline: Do you feel things with Katie are resolved by the end of the summer/season?
D'Agostino: No. I have a lot of loose ends that need to be tied up -- or severed. So I'm hoping we get another season of the show. Some things are still up in the air and there are a lot of things I need to say and do that haven't happened yet.
ETonline: In your perfect world, would the show end with your wedding to Katie?
D'Agostino: You'll hear no arguments here! And Martha's Vineyard is an awesome place to get married.
The Vineyard airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC Family.