'Selling The OC's Kayla Tried To Kiss [SPOILER], And Things Got Icy

·6 min read
Photo credit: Kayla Cardona - Instagram
Photo credit: Kayla Cardona - Instagram

Any doubts about the popularity of Selling the OC, the latest installment in the Netflix/Oppenheim Group reality real estate empire, have been quelled by the show’s smashing first few days on the streamer.

The show, which is firmly in Netflix’s top 10, revolves around the latest O Group office in Orange County, California, and is a companion to its Los Angeles-based predecessor.

And if you thought Selling Sunset was overflowing with glitz and glam, buckle up, because the OC isn't messing around either. The heels, drama, and houses are bigger than ever—like $100+ million (yes, more than $100 million) pads—thanks to the 11 fabulous new agents.

One of those newbies is Kayla Cardona, a spunky real estate agent born and raised in Orange County. And despite all the drama that ensues with a co-ed cast, Kayla always stays true to herself. As a single mom who has worked multiple jobs her entire life, she's gritty and ready to prove herself—and she makes sure she looks sharp while doing it.

Kayla sat down with Women's Health before the show aired to talk about the new reality show, and what her relationships are like with the rest of the cast now.

She's new to the real estate game.

Kayla was born and raised in the OC, but she only got her real estate license in 2019, when she started assisting at a firm in San Clemente.

The stint only lasted only a short time, though. Kayla says she began “butting heads” with her boss. And plus, she had some big dreams. She gave an ultimatum: they could hire her as an agent or she would leave. They offered to train her as an agent.

“I was so proud of myself—I became an agent there, I was the only woman for a long time—I'm all about women empowerment,” she tells WH.

A few months later, she got tapped by the O Group.

Kayla is a single mom.

For the last 12 years, Kayla, who is a single mom, has been working multiple jobs at a time across several industries.

At one point, she was cutting hair while also working in a nightclub. And even now, she still bartends at night and on weekends to support her 15-year-old son, sometimes pulling 12-hour workdays.

The real estate world is not all designer clothes and fabulous parties. And Kayla's not alone in her long hours. Making it in the real estate world takes serious work.

“People wanna come across as like, ‘Oh, I'm this badass agent that's making it right away,’” she says. “The reality is you might need one or two side hustles to get you through the first couple years of real estate. That's just the truth.”

But Selling the OC and the O Group will probably change all of that for her.

“Once the show airs and my life obviously is going to change overnight, more opportunities are going to come. I'm done with that lifestyle,” she says. “I'm tired. I wanna be in bed at 9:00 p.m.”

She’s super into fitness.

“Fitness has been a huge part of my life,” she says, explaining she tries to work out five days a week, doing boxing and weightlifting.

In fact, Kayla even used to compete in bikini competitions, but she says her days of doing that are totally over now.

She almost didn’t join the cast of Selling the OC.

Kayla was happily working at her former brokerage when she started getting messages on social media about casting for the reality show.

“I thought it was a scam, to be honest,” she says. But after getting an email from the casting team, she realized it could be a great opportunity. “I honestly never thought in a million years that I would make it," she says. Kayla didn’t hear back for months.

When the casting directors called back, Kayla says she almost “immediately said no." But she didn't. And that decision might very well have changed her life.

Kayla promised herself she’d be “100 percent” herself during filming.

Kayla only had four months to settle in to the new brokerage before filming began in November of 2021.

“I pretty much cried every single scene…I was cringing, not gonna lie," she says of showing her authentic self. Still, Kayla doesn't regret that decision.

“For others, knowing them before we started filming and then after filming, I definitely saw personalities change, it was quite interesting," she says of her cast mates.

It’s difficult to be watched by your bosses while doing your job, but the stress mounts when you’re also being filmed. “I'm not used to having all that attention on me as I'm really working,” Kayla says. “The cameras do kind of amplify your feelings.”

She's might have "trusted the wrong people."

Hearing what people say about you when you're not in the room (a reality TV staple) can be hard to swallow. Kayla now knows that firsthand.

“It was very disappointing to watch the scenes where I wasn't there or if I was there, and they're talking about me behind my back, and I had no idea,” she says. “I clearly trusted in the wrong people. And again, I don't regret anything—you live and learn. Where I stand with them? We're cordial.”

Wait, so what happened with Tyler?

*Warning: Spoilers ahead!* After perhaps a few too many cocktails at an office party, Kayla and Tyler had a tough off-camera moment. Viewers don’t hear about it until the other agents chat about it over lunch the next day.

“She, like, genuinely tried to kiss me,” Tyler Stanaland told his coworkers. Alex Hall, who seemed pretty tight with Kayla at the beginning of the series, looks pretty upset. And co-star Polly Brindle also makes it clear that she's not down with this development, either.

FWIW, Kayla apologizes personally to Tyler, who says it's water under the bridge, but Alex and Kayla definitely drift after smooch-gate, at least according to Alex.

Kayla has since cleared the air with Jarvis and Rose.

Kayla also wanted to address the finale and explain what happened during that intense episode.

Kayla says she didn’t realize that co-stars Alexandra Jarvis and Alexandra Rose were actually standing up for her during the finale. She thought they were still bringing up the Tyler Stanaland drama (you know, that little issue of Kayla leaning in for a smooch and all).

“It was so loud, and I had a little too much tequila, so my emotions were all over the place, and I just wanted to honestly jump in the ocean and disappear at that point,” she says. But Kayla says she immediately called Jarvis and Rose to apologize.

And it seems like all is well in the OC now. “They were so forgiving,” Kayla says.

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