If there’s one person you want on your squad, it’s Floribama Shore’s Candace Rice. When her MTV co-stars get into “petty” fights and arguments, the 24-year-old Memphis native is always there to expertly diffuse a situation with her sage wisdom and impassioned pep talks. But, in an exclusive interview with Life & Style, Candace revealed why she isn’t afraid to “go off” when someone outside of her roommates initiates the drama.
As fans saw on the Monday, Dec. 11, episode of the Jersey Shore spin-off, Candace was infuriated after she discovered that a random bar patron had called Gus Smyrnios a “fa—t” during their night out. After Gus walked away from the heckler, Candace stepped in to give the stranger a piece of her mind. Unsurprisingly, the hater – who used the slur while commenting on Gus’ perfectly coifed hair — was hesitant to admit his offensive remark to Candace.
Though she never threw a punch, the Southern spitfire got right in his face and warned, “I’mma step to you. We the same height, boo. What’s up?” The man ignored Candace, so, in retaliation, she flipped his baseball cap off his head and made her way back to Gus’ table where she defiantly added, “And you ain’t gon’ do s–t about it!”
The altercation resulted in a huge bar fight, but Candace has no regrets about how she handled the situation. “I do not like derogatory words and that is something that I stand on. I don’t like that word. I have gay friends, I have friends who are lesbians, I have friends who are trans. I don’t like the word fa—t,” she told Life & Style. “For any stranger to call Gus ‘fa—t’ because he was wearing a certain outfit and because his hair is big and because he cares about his appearance and because he was getting girls, like, you ain’t nothin’ but a hater. So, yes, I asked him if he called him that and I didn’t like his answer.”
She added, “It’s important for me to do that because it’s something that I believed in. It wasn’t just something that I was doing for the cameras. I don’t like words like that. You don’t call anybody that’s around me anything derogatory, especially not ‘fa—t’ because I’ll go off. And I did. I had to handle that.”
While Candace is one of the most fiercely loyal friends you’ll ever meet, there’s so much more to the stunning TV personality. Here, Life & Style rounded up everything you need to know about Miss Rice.
She comes from “humble beginnings.”
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First time in South Carolina was such a success! Had so much fun tailgating, meeting people, and spending time with these amazing folk I haven’t seen in such a long time. Thank you @code_eye10 but being a bomb tour guide, thank you @jbn3_77 for being such a gentleman and beautiful presence everywhere you go, and thank you @_k0nigi for always being the turn up when necessary. 2 days to rest and then NYC… the whole cast together since the summer is about to be epic… @aimeeelizabethhall @nillythesquid @guscalebsmyrnios @kirkmedas #FloribamaShore @floribamashore #southcarolina
Asked how she feels being the “voice of reason” in the house, Candace told Life & Style that it’s a role she takes seriously. “I come from very humble beginnings. My parents worked very hard. I don’t come from a rich family or anything like that. I have two great parents and they instilled a lot of great values in me. And I left home when I was, like, 20 to move to New York and then I came back to Memphis and then moved to LA,” she said. “When you deal with big life decisions by yourself, under the age of 22, you gather some wisdom about people.”
So, naturally, Candace is happy to enlighten others. “I credit both of my parents a lot for that. I realize how blessed I am. So if I can pass on some knowledge from life experience and from what was instilled in me, I’ll do that,” she continued. “Because I honestly was raised to look out for my brother and my sister — and by brother and sister, what I mean is your counterparts, who you live with: family, friends, everybody.”
Her parents “love” watching Floribama Shore.
Candace’s mom and dad are her biggest fans — and make sure they never miss an episode of the Panama City Beach-based docuseries. “My parents watch it and they love it! And they are very proud of how I’ve presented myself on the show. My parents know who I am. My parents know I like to party, my parents know I like to twerk in the club. My parents know how much I drink. My parents also know that they instilled a lot in me along with all of those other things. Yeah, I like to party but I’m not no dumb b—h, either,” she said with a laugh. “So it’s just, like, a cool balance.”
Kortni is her No. 1 girl in the house.
Even though Kortni Gilson peed in Candace’s bed on the first night in the house, she ended up bonding with the 21-year-old wild child. “Right off the bat, Kortni and I clicked. It doesn’t show this, but as soon as I walked into the house, Kortni welcomed me with a shot,” Candace said. “And that type of person is the type of person that I’m meant to room with! So yeah, Kortni and I were tight from the minute I walked into the house.”
She’s not “too down” with Kayla Jo being a Wiccan.
Jeremiah Buoni’s love interest Kayla Jo — who, as previously reported, is now secretly married and pregnant — shocked several members of the Floribama Shore cast when she nonchalantly revealed that she is a Wiccan. Candace isn’t one to judge, but she admitted to Life & Style that Kayla’s affiliation with the witchcraft-centered religion creeped her out a bit.
“If she wants to be a witch, that’s cool. But I don’t want any witch spirits inside of the house because I gotta live there! And thank God for Aimee [Hall]’s Jesus candle. We had the Jesus candle and all of that to keep us safe,” Candace said. “I’m not going to down Kayla Jo because of her beliefs, but it’s not something that I particularly agree with. I’m not too down with it. I just don’t want her putting no curse on the food or nothing like that. I’m not trying to eat no cursed meal. And she better not put a spell on my pizza rolls!”
She hopes Jeremiah and Nilsa end up together.
As he recently explained to Life & Style, Jeremiah would’ve gone for Nilsa Prowant had his buddy Gus not already asked the brunette beauty out on a date. As a result, Nilsa — who admittedly liked Jeremiah more than Gus — found herself in a jealousy-fueled rage after Kayla started hooking up with her hunky gym enthusiast crush.
Still, Candace is hoping to see the two make amends — and finally give into their feelings one day. “It’s possible that it could happen because at the end of the day, Nilsa’s an attractive woman and Jeremiah’s an attractive guy,” she noted. “So if it happens, it happens! And if it happens, I would like to watch.”
She’s single AF — and not worried about finding Mr. Right.
Some of Candace’s roommates may be looking for love at the shore, but girlfriend’s just trying to have a good time. “I’m pretty casually single right now. I’m just kind of casually dating and kind of just seeing what’s out there. You know, times have changed so I’m just like, ‘Whatever.’ It’s hard out there!” she said, adding that the “love of [her] life” is her precious pet pooch Fifi.
She’s got big dreams.
When she’s not getting cray in PCB, Candace is working hard to make a name for herself in Hollywood. “I eventually want to be a comedian, I want to produce my own movies, and be a television host. Those are things that I was doing way prior to reality television and those are really my passions and I’m actually very talented,” she told Life & Style. “You don’t see it that much on the show. You see me throwing back shots! But I do hope that one day my platform will allow me to showcase my writing talent and my comedy talents.”
Floribama Shore airs on MTV Mondays at 10 p.m. EST. Watch the video below to see how the cast of the show’s predecessor, Jersey Shore, has changed over the years!