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When Style Network’s Giuliana & Bill returns Tuesday for its fifth season, viewers will get a firsthand look behind the news that caused headlines. The Apprentice winner Bill Rancic and E! News host Giuliana Rancic dive right in to coping with her cancer diagnosis.
“I watched it for the first time the other night, and it was hard to watch,” Giuliana tells The Hollywood Reporter. “They told me, ‘You should watch it before it airs.’ And it’s the first time in five seasons that I haven’t wanted to watch an episode, and I just didn’t want to relive it.”
THR spoke to the couple about what it was like to go through Giuliana’s cancer battle and other life-changing events on the upcoming fifth season of the series.
The Hollywood Reporter: What was it like to watch the premiere episode?
Giuliana Rancic: I just watched it recently. I am able to separate myself from it, because it happened in September and I try to mentally move on from it. But when I watch it, even I remember, gosh, what I was going through and it even inspires me to like, “OK, am I going to the doc? Am I making sure I am on top of my doctors appointments?” So it is something that I hope women will be inspired by in terms of caring about themselves, putting themselves on their own to-do list, and really caring about their health.
Bill Rancic: Over the last five seasons, we’ve tackled a lot of issues and really put into the forefront some things that a lot of couples deal with, but don’t talk about. And I think in this particular case, if we can get one girl to go out and get a mammogram and get checked, then we did our job, you know? So I’m very proud of it. I’m proud of Giuliana and it’s definitely going to open up a lot of eyes.
THR: What new things have you learned about each other as a result of the experience?
Giuliana: When you go through something like this, your spouse either sinks or swims, and Bill definitely proved he’s a swimmer. I mean, he swam the English Channel in this one, so he’s a pretty incredible person.
THR: Bill, I hear you’ll have a chance to get to know your mother-in-law better this season. What’s the story there?
Bill: We also open up a restaurant this season in Chicago. We brought back all of her mom’s recipes from Naples, Italy, and we’ve got a great chef that we brought onboard. He’s our partner. It’s called RPM Italian and it’s a 10,000-square-foot restaurant that we take the viewers from the origination of the idea to the construction to the hiring of the employees to the grand opening and beyond.
Giuliana: Yeah, so it’s great. She’s definitely very involved. She has a lot of dishes on the menu. A lot of viewers have fallen in love with her. On Twitter, you know, the day she opened her account, within a few days she had 10,000 followers. She doesn’t even tweet. She hasn’t tweeted in forever, and she already has like 35,000 followers, and she only tweets like every month or so.
But people love her and they always watch our show and say, “How can I eat her food?” Yeah, so she’s in a lot of this season. She stays with us — drives Bill crazy, which is always comical — and she sleeps on his side of the bed when he’s out of town, and he gets very upset.
Bill: It’s a little creepy.
THR: You’ve both been able to keep it together for about five years now. What do you have to say about the reality show couples that end in breakups?
Giuliana: People always say that there’s a reality show curse. And I don’t think it’s a curse as much as … I mean, there kind of is a curse. I think what happens is reality shows, for a couple, they accelerate your relationship. So if you are destined to have problems and fall apart, a reality show will only accelerate it. But at the same time, if you have a very strong relationship and a solid foundation, it accelerates that, too. We feel like we’ve been married for 10 years instead of five. It’s brought everything to the surface, the good, the bad, the ugly, and we’ve survived and it’s made us stronger.
THR: Everyone is always on the family watch with you guys, and I’m sure that Giuliana’s health maybe pushed that back a little bit. But do we see you guys continuing that discussion this season?
Giuliana: Absolutely. You’ll see it. There are a lot of developments with that throughout the season that I think people will be pretty shocked to see. So, yes, absolutely. Hopefully, this is our year.
Bill: Fingers crossed.
The fifth season of Giuliana & Bill premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. on the Style Network.
E-mail: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro
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