'Love Island' Favorite Cashay on Reconnecting With Cinco and Her Relationship With Trina (Exclusive)

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Love Island fan favorite Cashay "Cash" Proudfoot knew her time in the villa was coming to a close and on Friday's episode, she was exited without any regrets. "My heart was ready. My mind was ready," she told ET on Monday over Zoom after her departure. It had been a roller-coaster run, to say the least, for the 25-year-old New Yorker. She found herself in a love triangle with Melvin "Cinco" Holland Jr. and Trina Njoroge, only for Cinco -- who left a week earlier -- to admit that it was always Cash.

So when ET connected with Cash for her exit interview, it was no surprise she had reconnected with Cinco in Virginia -- even using his Zoom account for the chat. (She had a layover in his hometown before a flight to Buffalo, New York, and decided on a whim to stay.) "This is no average fairytale story, let me tell you that," she said as she reflected on her and Cinco's unconventional (and very rocky) love story. 

In her exit interview, Cash opened up about reconnecting with Cinco, even amid all the villa drama; her disappointment in fans pitting her against Trina; where she sees her renewed relationship with Cinco going; and who she's rooting for to win it all.

ET: Obviously your time in the villa didn't work out in terms of making it to the very end. What was the villa experience like for you?

Cashay Proudfoot: Even though it was very, very, very, very hard at times, overall I think my journey completely changed me as a woman and really gave me more tools that I need to succeed in this life. And really changed the way I see myself in the sense of beauty and confidence. I already felt like I was a really confident woman and I already felt like I liked my face, but it changed for me going into the villa in the best possible way. I think still being able to make a connection and still being able to pursue that right now, with Cinco on the outside, I think everything happens for a reason. I'm just really happy. 

You quickly became a fan favorite. What has the interactions been like with fans now that you're outside the villa? What has struck you?

It's been insane, to say the least. Like, kind of really overwhelming, but in such a beautiful way. I say this all the time, I never thought what I was doing inside the villa would really have as much of an impact as it seems to have. I just never thought that I'd come out with the kind of support that I have right now from not just friends and family, but the supporters of the show. It's monumental to me. And especially because I was just being straight core of who I am. So feeling like that's enough for everybody else, I can't even speak sometimes when I look at my phone and go, "This is insane." It's crazy. I still can't even believe it because I've only had my phone and really been connected to the real world for maybe three or four days. It's been so overwhelming, but in such a beautiful way.

Speaking of your exit, did you see it coming?

I 100 percent knew I was leaving that night. I felt it in my core. I felt like it was my time. My heart was ready. My mind was ready. I was tired, y'all! For me, and I knew this in my heart, even if Charlie would have chose me, I probably would have still left that night because if I had stayed past that night, it would have been me not being true to myself. I know a lot of people have different thoughts of, you know, Charlie was using me, I was using Charlie. But for me, the connection with me and Charlie was real. It was beautiful at Casa Amor. It got really hard at the villa. It got to a point where I could see, even though he wasn't ready to be honest with himself, that it just wasn't there for us anymore. As much as I was trying to make it work, me trying to get him to open up, me trying to get him to feel comfortable sharing his thoughts with me, it just wasn't there. For me, it was a battle between my mind and my heart. My heart wanted Cinco, my mind was like, "But this is the kind of guy that I thought I wanted. This is the kind of guy that I feel like I should be with. This needs to work, you know?"

I'm very logical as a woman, and it just got to a point where it's like, maybe I should listen to my heart and maybe he should listen to his. He did and him choosing Alana was the best thing for him, and me going home to figure out my feelings with Cinco was the best thing for me. Me leaving was perfect and it happened as it should have. Me going out in the dashiki with Trina was beautiful because it mended us. Now that I'm on the outside, there's two different fandoms or supporters. There's Trina supporters and Cash supporters, but it needs to be Trina and Cash supporters because we support each other as women and we supported each other throughout the whole Cinco journey. If we can support each other having strong feelings for the same man, I feel like everyone else should get on board with that as well.

Love Island
Sara Mally/CBS

That perfectly segues into my next question. How do you feel about fans being divided over you and Trina? Was there ever division or a feeling of division in the villa?

Yeah, of course. Getting out and seeing Trina's fans bash me or my fan bash her -- I hate saying fans, but the supporters of the show. It sucks. Like, it really does because that was our biggest fear, is that people are going to try to not pin us against each other, but pin each other against each other. Supporters are fighting with each other because they support me or they support her. But I don't see why they can't support the both of us because we did. Everyone in the villa did. My friends can, why can't they? I think both of us did things and both of us were following our hearts, and if we can move on, they should be able to as well.

In the villa, I'm not going to lie. There was a divide at a point because some people felt like Cinco would be better with me, some people felt like he would be better with her. But there was still a, "Whatever happens, I love the both of you guys," and there's support there. It's tough because me and Trina are so close, we really are bonded in every way. It just kind of sucks to still see that going on, but I'm excited for Trina to get out. No matter what happens to her, how she leaves -- and I hope she makes it to the end. But I'm excited for her to get out so her and I can bridge that gap that seems to be there because I can't do it alone.

What I loved about your friendship with Trina was that you respected each other and wanted to empower each other, even though there was the messiness of the triangle.

Yeah, the throuple.

Do you plan to keep that friendship going?

For life. That's not going to change. At least I hope not. That's my girl. I'm going to support her no matter what she does and vice versa. I think it was massive for her my last night there for her to come up to me and say, "Yes, I still have strong feelings for this man but I feel like you guys are meant to be. Go get your guy." That was massive. I really thought her doing that and us wearing the dashikis as a sign of trust, respect, friendship, bonds. All of the things that we did was because we love each other, respect each other and were genuinely really close. So it's literally so shocking and beyond me that there's still such a divide out here with our supporters because you should be able to support everybody. But I get it. People are really diehard for her, people are diehard for me. People are diehard for the show and it is a beautiful thing to see but it's like, let's all support everyone. Women have it hard hard enough in this world for us to pin each other against the same thing that we all want in this life and that's respect and love.

You reconnected with Cinco after you left the villa, even after all the bumps in the road. Can you talk about that?

Yeah, girl, this is no average fairytale story, let me tell you that. I had a two-hour layover in Virginia; that's where he lives. I was on my way back to my hometown in Buffalo, I got off the plane and we saw each other. It's obviously so weird to each other on the outside. We talked and I don't know, we're very competitive people. He's like, "You could just stay." I was like, "OK." He's like, "All right." And I was like, "OK, cool." And then he was like, "OK, so start walking." So I'm walking towards his car and now I'm here. The biggest thing is there's no pressure with us and I'm really excited to be out here and our feelings are still there with each other and we want to just explore that.

I know everyone's really excited on the outside and I love that. We do have a lot of fans that are excited, but for us, we remind each other that no matter what happens, it's on our own accord and we never want to start doing things for other people. Me sharing videos or him sharing videos, it's because we want to, not because we feel pressure from the supporters. It's been really nice that I'm able to be out here and actually follow my heart and talk to him and explore that connection.

What are you looking forward to as you grow this relationship?

I'm most excited to just do things with him. Like, we're going out to get dinner tonight. I'm excited to go to a drive-thru with him. I'm excited to go on a date with him. Like, I want to see what life could be like with Cinco because I did express to him, "I feel like you're it for me and I still feel that way." But now it's discovering what it could be, you know? What would a life with us look like? I'm also excited for our friends to get out. Like, I'm excited to make it out of the villa because we all are like, "World tour!" We're going to be traveling with each other and I'm excited for that.

Who is your pick to win?

I really want to express that I'm rooting for everybody because I'm obsessed with every single person in that villa. But obviously, I am a little biased. My two best friends [Olivia and Korey] are coupled up and they're dating. Well, not dating, but exploring a connection. I really want them to work and make it to the end because they keep missing each other. Like, she liked him and he wasn't there, and he was there and she wasn't. There was just so much and now it's just them focusing on that connection. I just hope they can make it work. I'm really excited for them.

It's nice to hear that you and Cinco have reconnected.

We've expressed that we both want this and now it's just discovering how we can do it because he lives in Virginia. I don't really live anywhere right now because my lease ended in New York, so I'm kind of bopping around and figuring out what life is for me right now.

Love Island airs Tuesdays through Fridays, as well as Sundays, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Special episodes drop Mondays on Paramount+. Fans can binge the entire season of Love Island on Paramount+ before the finale on Sunday, Aug. 15.

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