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Romancing The Bellhop

2:29 PM EST on December 13, 2023

Normal Gossip logo with cartoon characters gossiping
Illustration by Tara Jacoby

The inner workings of fundamentally ridiculous places—like MBA programs, Ibiza, those tiny glass smoking chambers in German airports, clown school, Instagram-centric kitchenware/luggage brands, or luxury hotels—tend to awaken a certain morbid fascination in people. It only makes sense, these places are built for fantastic and absurd tales, with an eccentric cast of characters, ambition colliding with intrigue and the always chaotic factor of wealth.

Fortunately for team Normal Gossip, our listeners provided us with a tale directly from the belly of one of these beasts, and today we’re sharing it with you. And in the swanky hotel at the center of this week's episode, it turned out that stories about the guests were not the most salacious elements of the gossip. No, the true crux of the drama was simpler and more pedestrian, centered on the young employees and the age-old question of who’s got a crush on who. 

Our guest this week is Erika Casupanan—the first Canadian winner of Survivor, infamous smasher of hourglasses, and gossip connoisseur. She's also the host of the Happy to See Me podcast where she has inspirational chats with people who have been overlooked and underestimated. She recently returned to reality TV on The Traitors Canada

Erika brought Kelsey a morsel of goss from all the way back in the days of GeoCities and MSN Messenger. Then Kelsey told Erika about the strange sexually-charged ecosystem of the Black Rose, a luxury hotel whose employees dedicate themselves to fulfilling the extravagant whims of the guests—at least when they aren’t too busy gossiping with one another. 

You can subscribe to Normal Gossip on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever else you listen! You can follow Normal Gossip on Instagram here.

(The transcript for this week’s episode can be found here.)

And if you have some good goss that you want us to hear, the email for that is normalgossip@defector.com, or phone it in to 26-79-GOSSIP.

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