'Deal or No Deal Island' Star Alyssa Klinzing Talks Pageant Life, Her Fiancée, and Show Challenges (EXCLUSIVE)

A Miss Kansas USA alum, 'Deal or No Deal Island' contestant Alyssa Klinzing knows how to stand her ground during a competition.

Kelly Corbett - Author

Mar. 11 2024, Published 5:42 p.m. ET

Alyssa Klinzing
Source: Patrick Ecclesine/NBC

In 2024, the beloved gameshow Deal or No Deal left its cushy studios and reconvened at what became known as the Banker's private island. This spinoff series, adequately dubbed Deal or No Deal Island, invited 13 brave contestants to this remote island to not only play the iconic briefcase game but also face grueling physical challenges. Among these hopeful contestants was Alyssa Klinzing from Kansas, Mo.

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While Alyssa isn't a Survivor alum like other contestants this season (*cough cough* "Boston" Rob Mariano), she knows a thing or two about competition and standing out among a crowd. And so far, it's been working for her.

In an exclusive interview with Distractify, Alyssa spoke with us about her past life as a pageant queen and Disney princess, how she got cast on the show, and the secret ailment she was fighting behind the scenes.

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Alyssa Klinzing used to work at Disneyland as a character performer and won the title of Miss Kansas USA in 2019.

Not everyone who entered Deal or No Deal Island has an insanely cool résumé, but Alyssa sure does. In the first episode, she coyly mentioned that she used to work as a princess at a theme park. This theme park was no other than Disneyland, and she worked there as a character performer for seven years starting in 2016.

"I was actually hired off my very first audition, which is pretty unheard of," she told us. "And I was one of two girls who was hired as Cinderella out of like 900 who attended that casting. So that was like a super huge dream come true for me," Alyssa explained.

During her time with Disney, she went on to play six other characters and experience many other firsts, including being there during the Star Wars Land Avengers campus opening and stepping right into the character of Elsa when Frozen 2 premiered. "I loved my job — so much," she said.

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Even though she no longer works at Disneyland, Alyssa still keeps tabs on her former peers and says she's rallying behind those who recently announced they were unionizing. "I'm really excited for the performers who currently work there because I think that will change so much in a great positive way for them that I, unfortunately, didn't have while I worked there," she told us.

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Before her princess stint, Alyssa began competing in beauty pageants when she was 12 years old and most notably won the titles of Miss Kansas USA in 2019, Team Miss Earth United States in 2015, and Miss Kansas Teen USA in 2013, among others.

Initially, she tried to get into sports, but it wasn't for her. But when it came to pageants, she said, "I loved the competition aspect of it. But I also just loved the self-growth aspect of it. And I was also really good at it. So that was a plus."

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Alyssa Klinzing as Miss Kansas Teen Usa with Darrian Arch Miss Indiana Teen USA in May 2013
Source: Getty Images

Alyssa Klinzing as Miss Kansas Teen USA with Darrian Arch Miss Indiana Teen USA in May 2013

Alyssa is currently engaged to her fiancée, who almost appeared on 'Deal or No Deal Island' with her.

When Alyssa was tipped off that Deal or No Deal was casting in her area, she slid into the casting director's DMs, inquiring about being a briefcase model. The casting director took her up on her offer but instead wanted her as a contestant.

Initially, Deal or No Deal Island, which didn't have a working title then, planned to have teams, so the show agreed to bring on Alyssa's then-girlfriend, Ale Vega (who goes by Vega), to play with her. However, the team idea was scrapped shortly after, and Alyssa was asked to compete solo.

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"I had to take a few days to think about it because it was super outside my comfort zone — like living on an island," she recalled. "I didn't know, like, 'Are there going to be toilets?' Showers? A bed? Do I have to fish for my food?' I don't even eat fish. Like, how would I eat?"

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Fortunately, a call with the casting manager helped ease Alyssa's nerves about going on the show sans Vega. And the time away only strengthened their relationship. Alyssa proposed to Vega in London in February 2024, and she said yes.

The two met back in 2022 after Vega slid into Alyssa's DMs on TikTok and told her she was pretty. Alyssa recalled her "dad joke" response to her future wife, which was, "You're so fine, you made me forget my pickup line."

Alyssa said she was experiencing the aftermath of long-form COVID on 'Deal or No Deal Island.'

When asked if she had done any training for Deal or No Deal Island, Alyssa said she was not as prepared for the competition as she would have liked as she had just recovered from her third bout of COVID while moving across the country with Vega.

"I remember being really stressed out before going into the game because I was experiencing forms of long COVID," she explained.

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"So I felt like I couldn't get full breaths of air at some times," Alyssa said, noting that during the archery challenge in Episode 2, when she scaled the tree for arrows, the on-site medic had to tend to her. "It just felt like I couldn't feel my lungs. And I was really afraid that I was going to pass out."

Alyssa Klizing deal or no deal
Source: Monty Brinton/NBC
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Alyssa explained that this shortness of breath "was honestly a theme that I faced the entire time that I was in the show." Fortunately, she made friends with the right people on the island, including Aron Barbell, who, alongside ally "Boston" Rob, didn't put her up against the Banker after she landed in the bottom two during that episode, which helped save her from elimination.

"I'm still super close with Aron and several others from the cast," she explained, claiming to text Aron regularly. "I'll let the season play out, and I think it'll be pretty obvious who I'm in touch with and who I'm not."

As for her experience on the show, Alyssa would definitely do it again. "If the Banker called me and said, I want you on the island tomorrow, my a-- would already be in an Uber on the way to LAX."

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