Geek's Boy Scout Defends His Honor
by Sabrina Rojas Weiss
TVGuide.com: How do you feel about the show's "beauty" and "geek" labels?
Scarlet Garcia: It was interesting to find out that's where I am being placed by society. I was actually shocked at the very beginning when we were told what was going on. I never thought I'd be stereotyped as that. I never considered myself to be very smart, but I got good grades. I graduated with a business degree and had a 3.4 [grade point average]. My whole life I've been trying for people not to just judge me by my looks. It was like, "Ow!"
Shawn Bakken: I think a lot of us [guys] described ourselves [as geeks]. Like they said on the show, none of us had ever gotten a free lunch because we were really hot or anything. It's something you get used to after a while.
TVGuide.com: So, what happened on the trail in the camping challenge?
Shawn: I wish I could tell you! I can remember up to the point where I was throwing up and the camera guy took five pictures of me. I could count them.
TVGuide.com: Has that ever happened to you before?
Shawn: Nope. That was a new experience, and not a particularly enjoyable one.
TVGuide.com: Scarlet, why were you so mad at Shawn?
Scarlet: I was upset at the whole situation. First of all, I didn't get that upset when he started to get really sick. I was very supportive, and I was trying to help him out. He couldn't continue on; he was really ill. I had asked if I could do it on my own, and they told me no. When we finished, I was really disappointed. I guess I overreacted the whole way. In my head, I pictured us winning and making it through to the final. All that was going through my mind was: "He's a Boy Scout. He's supposed to be in shape. He knows his stuff. I'm in shape. Why didn't we just get this done?" Out of the moment of frustration, there's a lot of things that were conveyed and I took it out on him, but I didn't mean to.
Scarlet: I took everything out on him, which was very wrong of me, I admit. I think now, looking back, I shouldn't have acted the way I did. I'm very competitive when it comes to sports. When I want to win, I want to win. But I forgot I was in a team.
Shawn: Ooh, yeah.
TVGuide.com: Shawn, it really looked like you couldn't figure out the tent.
Shawn: It just came to the rain fly, and I'm not sure how it got put together.
TVGuide.com: Have you gotten any backlash from the Boy Scouts?
Shawn: [Laughs] No, not yet. I hear stuff from them, and I hang up real fast — no, I haven't heard anything from them. At the reunion show, someone asked about my "meltdown on the hillside." When they used that word, I was very sad.
TVGuide.com: Your opponents never picked you to go into the elimination room. Why is that?
Scarlet: I think we were liked by most of the teams. Plus, I don't think we were seen as a major threat. We were being true to ourselves and to other people. We weren't being two-faced. I was being really nice to everyone, which is the way I am in person, and Shawn got along with all the guys.
TVGuide.com: Scarlet, how would you classify your relationship with Chuck?
Scarlet: [Long pause] On the show, we were very close; we had a good bond. I know he was attracted to me, and I liked him. But at the very end, I felt we didn't have enough time to make it into more of a love relationship. We live in different states, so it's kind of hard. I don't believe in long-distance relationships, but we're friends.... I didn't want to put myself in that situation and really start liking him because then I would just hurt myself. [It's not] that he didn't have a chance [with me] or anything like that.
TVGuide.com: Which task was the hardest?
Shawn: Talking to women, getting their phone numbers. It's not so much that I can't do it. It just doesn't feel right to say, "Hi, give me your number. 'K, bye." And that's what we were supposed to do. It just felt so very wrong. And honestly, Scarlet, I barely heard you. I heard you three times as you were yelling into the microphone. It's like a little clock in the background. And it's not like I could go, "Scarlet, hold on, I'm trying to talk."
Scarlet: I think for me it was the rocket science. We were given two books, and I didn't know where to start. Science is the weakest subject for me. I was never good at science in school.
TVGuide.com: What have you taken away from this experience?
Shawn: A lot of good friends. They're like extended family in some cases, like "little sister" Scarlet.
Scarlet: I think definitely the friendship [and] getting to know people from different backgrounds. I learned that sometimes I have to be a little bit more aware of what I say or do, because I might hurt somebody else's feelings.
TVGuide.com: So you learned nothing directly related to your challenges on the show?
Shawn: I've picked up one [woman's] phone number so far. We've gotten together a couple of times. I don't know if we have an official "relationship," but just getting the number was a pat on the back for me, as far as I was concerned. It wasn't like on the show, because I was actually planning to call her.
TVGuide.com: What's next for you two?
Shawn: I'm taking the bar exam at the end of the month.
Scarlet: More auditions. I'm on a show [on the cable channel] MasMusica TeVe called Las 40 Principales. It's the Top 40. We're in five different states, in 23 different Hispanic markets. And I may go back to school and get my master's degree.