After spending season 5 locked in a love triangle of his own, Luke Gulbranson tells ET he's happy to advise his housemates in season 6.
Luke Gulbranson knows what it's like to be locked in a reality TV love triangle. The model/hockey coach spent most of Summer House's fifth season getting called out for leading on both Hannah Berner and Ciara Miller. With Hannah out of the house, and Ciara moving on to a different love triangle (with housemate Lindsay Hubbard and Southern Charm's Austen Kroll) in season 6, Luke is sitting back and taking it all in -- the Paige DeSorbo/Andrea Denver/Craig Conover triangle, included.
"I think it's a bit off that Paige labeled me a 'f**k boy' and made my life miserable for a while, but yet she literally is a walking contradiction right now, but whatever," Luke admits to ET over video chat. Paige is, of course, still close pals with both Hannah and Ciara, and served as the women's sounding board against Luke last summer.
"And then with Lindsay, Ciara and Austen, when it comes down to it-- I mean, Lindsay and Austen have been friends and have had a romantic past and so on and so forth that I don't think anybody's obligated to anybody," he says. "You can't tell somebody they can and can't do something if you're not with them, right? And they're fun, free spirited people."
"Their whole dynamic with Ciara... I mean, yeah, all I can say is, probably a recipe for disaster," he continues. "But I think Lindsay and Austen are -- and especially Lindsay -- mature enough to handle the situation and figure it out."
Viewers will get to see it all play out as Summer House continues to air -- and there is a lot of summer left to watch. While episode 4 premieres Monday night, the first three episodes only covered one weekend in the Hamptons so, though a lot unfolded in that time, little time has actually passed -- creating quite the scenario for Luke's arrival just one weekend "late."
"I had no idea half this stuff was going on either," he confesses. "I've watched it and been like, 'Oh my god!' Like, I wish I knew this when I showed up because I had no idea."
"Some of the relationships, relationship stuff between people, it was just really intense," Luke explains. "I wasn't aware of some of that. I didn't get the full download, that's for sure, from anybody. ... It would've been nice to know certain things, especially because those things can be sensitive. And if you don't know that, you might piss somebody off or upset him. You know what I mean?"
With that said, though, Luke does find himself in the mix as he attempts to impart wisdom on Austen. "You're saying one thing to [Lindsay] and one thing to Ciara," Luke tells Austen in the trailer, calling out the Kings Calling Brewing founder for doing exactly what Luke was accused of last summer, with Hannah and Ciara.
"I just felt I had been there, and I've learned from my experience, and I was just trying to tell him, 'Hey, bud, at the end of the day, you can't say this to her and say this to her and expect things to be cool. It's a bit disrespectful, and you just need to be open and honest about things and clear the air,'" Luke says. "And I was just trying to be helpful and be a friend, whether or not-- sometimes being friends is difficult, right? Because you have to say things that you know they don't want to hear."
"You don't even know if they're going to listen to it, or take what you say to heart," he adds. "But, yeah, I was just trying to help out, diffuse the situation, and try and talk some sense into my friend."
It remains to be seen how things between Austen, Ciara and Lindsay shakes out -- fans know a bit of the outcome, though, seeing as Lindsay and co-star Carl Radke confirmed they're now dating ahead of the season 6 premiere -- but Luke says he has no regrets about getting involved, even if it did result in Austen telling the Minnesota native to essentially go f**k himself with a, "Go make maple syrup."
"Hey, I will happily go make maple syrup! Are you kidding me?" Luke cracks. "I don't wish I stayed out of it at all, because at the end of the day, when you care about people, you want to help. And I was literally coming from a good place trying to help out."
"I'm glad I gave my two cents and tried to be a friend, especially because I care a lot about Lindsay," he notes. "I just feel she deserves to be treated properly, and even though Ciara and I have our differences, I feel the same for her."
Ciara and Luke's relationship has always existed in a rocky place since the model/nurse joined the house last year. Despite the fact that Luke introduced her to the group, Ciara distanced herself from him during the lockdown-style fifth season. She's gone on to describe Luke as "the douchiest guy on Bravo" while appearing on the network's late-night talk show, Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, among other digs over the course of the last two years.
"She actually had messaged me was and said like, 'Hey... oh, sorry for saying that or something...' and I was just like, why?" Luke recalls. "First off, I'm like, I brought you to the house and I'm the douchiest guy around? That makes a lot of sense. How about a thank you? You're welcome. Like, are you kidding me?"
"I didn't talk to her for a while," he continues, "and, I've said it before, and I'll say it again: You can be nice to somebody, and when you're nice to them and they continue to throw shade and just act a certain way towards you, that's negative or, honestly, just mean girli-sh, eventually they burn a bridge with you and you can be civil, but you're like, 'Dude. I don't have time for you and that in my life.' So, that's just how I feel."
Luke says the bridge between Ciara and himself isn't quite burned, but definitely "singed."
"I do think that it's been very damaged, and it's going to take a while for sure," he shares, noting that the audience is likely going to see more sides to Ciara as season 6 unfolds.
"She definitely comes out of her shell -- sometimes in a good way, sometimes in bad ways -- but she definitely does," Luke says. "I definitely feel her not having Hannah around, I feel allows her the freedom to come out of her shell more, and it's good to see. It's fun to see. It's nice to see her have fun and be involved more, I guess."
Ciara and Hannah bonded last year over the way Luke treated them, with Hannah finding herself at a breaking point at the all-cast reunion after Luke claimed producers talked him into leading on Hannah. The two have not spoken since that taping.
"We don't talk, that's fine," he says. "I wish her the best, and I hope she's doing well. I hope all is well with her, but, yeah. I mean, at the end of the day, I don't know if I'll ever really get over and how things went down with her."
A year plus removed from the Hannah situation-ship, Luke says he finally feels ready to date again -- and likely, ready to date for real for the first time since he joined the show in season 4, fresh off a split from his serious girlfriend/almost fiancée.
"I'm ready to have a girlfriend," he says. "Like, when is this going to happen? It took me a long time to get over my past and I'm finally in a place to where I feel I'm ready to move on with my life and meet someone. So, I've been dating around and I'm like, 'Am I going to have a girlfriend next summer? Or am I going to be single?' I don't know. But I know I'm ready for it. And so, we'll see what happens."
Some superfans question if Luke already has a girlfriend in new castmate Mya Allen. The two attended a recent taping of WWHL together, with Luke wrapping his arm around the culinary entrepreneur in the audience.
"I will tell you that I would never close the door on something with Mya," Luke cryptically offers when pressed on the potential coupling. "Mya is an extremely intellectual, amazing person. I enjoy the time that I do get with her. She's a great person to talk to; she's extremely communicative, and she's beautiful, and just has a lot of cool things going for her. And a little fun fact is, Mya said that she used to date a hockey player and I was like, 'OK, well, I played hockey...' So, yeah. I would never close the door on Mya. She's really a great person and I enjoy her."
"As far as my arm being around her, it's funny, because I was at lunch with [co-stars Amanda Batula and Kyle Cooke], and Carl and Lindsay, for Carl's birthday, and Amanda was like, 'Luke would put his arm around Kyle if he had to. He just puts his arm around everybody when he's sitting down.' And I'm like, yeah, it's comfortable!" he adds. "But at the same time, putting my arm around Mya? It wasn't a bad thing."
Viewers will just have to stay tuned to see whether Luke opened the door with Mya over the summer, but one thing is for sure: the audience will get to know the 38-year-old better by watching back season 6. Or, at least, he hopes.
"I went into the summer wanting to just have a lot of fun," he shares. "I think with coming out of COVID for me, personally -- and also coming in late, because I had things happening back in Minnesota that kept me from getting there -- it was like, OK. I'm finally going to be here and I'm ready to like let loose and really live it up, which I definitely did."
"Being a single guy, and being able to go out, and just play the field, and have fun, and meet people, and really experience going out in the Hamptons-- because for me it was, my first summer with the group, I was tied to Hannah, right?" he continues. "And it's like, I was, but I wasn't, but I was. And now, this is the first summer where I'm like, OK, cool. I'm in the Hamptons, and I'm single, and I don't have that shadow looming over me anymore. I can just like be free, you know what I mean?"
But "free" doesn't mean drama-free. While there's a lot of fun to come, there's also at least one explosive, wine-throwing fight between Ciara and Danielle Olivera, as Danielle -- Lindsay's BFF -- steps in to mediate in the middle of the Ciara/Austen/Lindsay whirlwind.
"I was like, whoa. What just happened?!" Luke recalls, revealing he was in the next room when the wine-toss happened. "You're going to have to tune in and see what happens, but I will say I've never seen Danielle so upset in my entire life, ever. She is the most loving person, and so kind, and that girl was really, really, really upset. And she deserved to feel that way. I can tell you that."
Summer House airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.