E!'s Total Divas has been on the air for eight seasons- and season nine is currently airing episodes. A lot of its success comes from it's changing cast that seems to switch up each season. While some like Natalya and Naomi have been on the show since day one, others like Alexa Bliss, Eva Marie and Maryse (just to name a few) are no longer on Total Divas for different reasons.
For season nine, one WWE Superstar that joined the case for the first time is Sonya Deville, 26. Deville- whose real name is Daria Berenato- is unique because she's the first-ever open lesbian wrestler in WWE after coming out on the first episode of the 2015 season of Tough Enough. But she's also a former MMA fighter turned professional wrestler that loves to fight, no matter who her in-ring opponent may be. Now that she's on Total Divas, Deville opened up about how the reality show allows fans to see a totally different side of her.
"They get to know us on a more personal level and see a more vulnerable and sensitive side of us. With my in-ring character being this bad-ass fighter, this tough guy, it was really cool to let my guard down a little bit and show the world this different side of me," Deville explained in a recent interview.
Deville also discussed how being on Total Divas allows her to show fans that being gay is okay.
"It’s one of those things where the cameras have been on since the moment I came out. With Total Divas, this was the first time I was really able to talk about it and be able to tell people the full story on that big of a scale. That was cool for me. When you say the words out loud, it gives them life and value. Although I knew it was OK to be gay, I knew it was OK to share my message, I knew it was OK to wear rainbow gear, to say it out loud and share my story, it gave me a sense of confidence and further instilled that in my brain."
Despite being nervous about showing her real-life self and having no days off between filming the show and being on the road with WWE, Deville is making the best of it. While certain parts of some episodes make her cringe (i.e. when she went to Carmella's 80s' themed housewarming party in stripper heels) and others are just weird to watch (i.e. getting back together with her girlfriend, Arianna Johnson), she admits that she'd be "happy" to return if season 10 happens.
"Publicly and socially, it’s increased my platform and given me a whole new demographic of people to share my story with. I think it’s been really good for me and my character. It lets the fans see that I am normal and I do have insecurities, I do have struggles. I am going through a lot more than what is seen on WWE," she concluded.