I agree, Blondie. I did not like her AT ALL in the first episode, but she went up a few notches in second episode.Originally Posted by BlondieGal;2201987;
I agree, Blondie. I did not like her AT ALL in the first episode, but she went up a few notches in second episode.Originally Posted by BlondieGal;2201987;
I am beginning to like her a LOT. On the looks scale it is Andrea #1 and Nadia #2. (Of course I am a guy!)
Debbie: "Bianca, why would those rugby players have to eat each other when they crashed on a beach?"
Matt, to me, is so attractive. I would totally date him!
For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.
- Virginia Woolf
Matt to me is adorable. I would totally adopt him
~There is no way to Happiness. Happiness is the way.~
Cecille is not being painted in a very favorable light by former contestants, so it's obviously not a bad edit she's getting.
LinkWednesday, January 24, 2007
Beauty and the Geek Castoffs Blast Block-voting Blondes
by Sabrina Rojas Weiss
After two weeks in the Beauty and the Geek mansion, former Miss Missouri USA Andrea Ciliberti and MIT grad Matt Herman knew they were being targeted by the blonde voting block. Sure enough, when Jennylee and Niels won the right to send two teams to elimination last week, they made Andrea face the platinum beauty who'd shunned her from the start: Cecile. What started all that animosity on this usually friendly competition? And was there anything Matt could do to prevent his outspoken teammate from making more enemies? TVGuide.com chatted with the two to find out.
First up, Andrea:
TVGuide.com: How did you end up on Beauty and the Geek?
Andrea Ciliberti: My friend Nima [Shaffe] in Kansas City tried out to be a geek and called me to try out with him. I'd never seen the show before I went on it.
TVGuide.com: What were you hoping to get out of it?
Andrea: I was just hoping to meet new people. Obviously, the goal of the game was to transform and, in turn, win $250,000.
TVGuide.com: How did it become you versus all of the blondes?
Andrea: They just happened to be blondes. There are the ringleaders who feel better about themselves by putting people down, and then you have the girls who follow them around because they don't want the girls to talk badly about them. Then you have the girls like myself who don't want to be any part of it at all, so you just hang out with the guys, who don't do that.
TVGuide.com: In what way were they putting people down?
Andrea: By saying hateful things about the guys or other girls behind their backs. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, and you can speak what's on your mind, but say it to that person, not behind their back. I think that's why a lot of people were like, "Andrea's a bitch," but at least I was saying it to their face, not behind their back.
TVGuide.com: Was it mostly Cecile?
TVGuide.com: Did you consider pretending to like them to help yourself in the game?
Andrea: No, that's not me.
TVGuide.com: Why were you so upset when Cecile decided to dress up Matt like a girl?
Andrea: She was playing with him. She even said something like, "Like I would do anything with Matt!" Yet she was lying in the bed with him, letting him grab her boob, which was something they didn't show.
TVGuide.com: It was very gratifying to see you and Jennylee have it out after she said she wanted to eliminate you because you were "having a hard time."
Andrea: I'm glad they showed how she was acting toward Niels in the bedroom, and how she acted toward me. Having a conversation with her is like having a conversation with a 3-year-old.
TVGuide.com: Do the women in the pageants you've done act like this? Is it just a by-product of having that many competitive women in one house?
Andrea: For Miss USA, I was with 50 girls for three weeks. It was pretty intense waking up in the morning, where everybody's in a bad mood, going through their time of the month, that whole thing. But this was just, I don't know, like middle school. The women are more mature in Miss USA. The women in the BATG house were trying to make their insecurities better by bashing on someone else.
TVGuide.com: In the beginning, you doubted Matt's drive. Did he redeem himself?
Andrea: Yeah. In this last challenge, I was so proud of him, because we stayed up the night before practicing, and he did it exactly the way we practiced. It was uncomfortable for him, shaking his butt and doing the "No, no, no" thing, but he did everything exactly the way we practiced it.
TVGuide.com: What did Matt need the most help with?
Andrea: Socially, he was not only uncomfortable talking to people, he also had a hard time seeing through the people he shouldn't waste his time on.
TVGuide.com: Did he teach you anything?
Andrea: Matt taught me the digits of Pi. At the time, I learned, like, twentysomething digits.
TVGuide.com: Do you see geeks differently now?
Andrea: Some people are just socially different. I definitely wouldn't qualify some of the women as "beauties," because I think beauty comes from within, as well. As far as categorizing the guys as geeks, they just do what they enjoy, and it may not be socially acceptable all the time, like playing chess, but I had fun, and I'm going to do it if I like it!
TVGuide.com: Did you get good at chess while you were there?
Andrea: Yeah, I beat one of the geeks. I think it was Piao.
TVGuide.com: What are you doing now?
Andrea: I'm sitting in my hotel room... oh, with my life? I got my associate's degree last semester, and I'm working as a bartender still. I'm just waiting for what's next. I want to act.
Here's what Matt had to say about his time on the show:
TVGuide.com: What made you stand out from all the other geeks at MIT?
Matt Herman: Part of it was luck, that not all of the people who wanted to do the show saw the fliers or knew what it was. I think probably what made me different from the others is that I had more interest in learning something from the show. Some other MIT students probably would have been there just for the money, but I actually wanted to learn a bit about how TV works, to get to know some of the girls, and to have a really cool experience.
TVGuide.com: What do you think is geeky about you?
Matt: My interests and what I studied at MIT. I never considered myself a stereotypical geek, though. I've never seen Star Wars or Star Trek.
TVGuide.com: Wait — you've never seen them at all?
Matt: Never. I don't like sci-fi stuff.
TVGuide.com: How is that possible? Do you leave the room when it's on?
Matt: I don't leave the room; I generally fall asleep.
TVGuide.com: I hear you're still living in Boston. What do you do for a living now?
Matt: The work I do is math-related, working on problems that use some of the stuff that I learned in school. I don't really want to talk about it too much. I want to try to keep the show as separate from work as possible.
TVGuide.com: That's interesting, since all of the beauties seem to have dropped their jobs to go to L.A. after the show.
Matt: I know. I think the girls are really bright people, they just have different priorities than a lot of the guys do. They'll drop everything to go to Hollywood, whereas it's been very tough for me to do interviews this week because I've been extremely busy at work.
TVGuide.com: What did Andrea need to learn before she went on the show?
Matt: She needed a little bit of an attitude change, which I think she got while I was there. She learned a lot of patience from me, just because our styles were so different in the way we'd approach any type of challenge. I think she learned a lot about how to study for something. She learned Pi to like 27 digits in the first week. She realized that she liked geeky things more than she thought, whether it was playing chess or something completely different.
TVGuide.com: Were you aware of all the drama going on among the girls?
Matt: I was pretty aware of it. It got very cliquey, especially since Cecile was winning all the challenges at the beginning. So, of course, everybody was going to want to be friends with her, and Andrea refused to do that.
TVGuide.com: Did you try to talk her into at least pretending to be friends with them?
Matt: I did a little, the first week. But still, I realized everything she was saying about them was exactly right. Every so often I'd tell her to try to maybe not say certain things to them, but after watching the show again, I think everything she said was really good. I think it was really cool that she was able to learn a lot about different things while she was on the show, but she never changed her core values, like her appreciation for honesty.
TVGuide.com: Was the makeover hard for you?
Matt: It was kind of tough. I went on the show because I wanted to learn a little bit more about style, but that store was a little grungy for me. I'm a very skinny person, and just like Mario was having a hard time finding clothing to fit him, they didn't show that I was having a hard time finding stuff as well. Like, the belts wouldn't have enough holes for me. Then we found out we were going to have to do the date auction, and that was even worse. I'm a very stiff person, and I don't like dancing or anything like that. But part of the fun of the show is getting makeovers.
TVGuide.com: Do you still follow any of the things you learned about style?
Matt: I didn't really take that much out of the makeover challenge, but the week before that... I asked Sheree what I should wear to work, and I took her advice almost exactly. I went to Banana Republic and got the same type of belt she told me to get, and the same type of shoes and pants....
TVGuide.com: Have you been on any dates since the show?
Matt: Same as before. I don't date that much, but I go out a lot. It's because I've been really busy with work and stuff.
TVGuide.com: You're never going to get less busy, you know. You've got to make the time!
Matt: At some point I'm going to make the effort. The show really gave me the kick to try new things. It was funny, because when I talked to Andrea last week for the first time since the show, one of her first questions was, "Are you still a virgin?" And I said, "Yeah." She's encouraging me to go out.
TVGuide.com: Use some of that newfound fame and get out there!
Last edited by ShrinkingViolet; 01-24-2007 at 04:05 PM.
This is a candid interview with Matt about his experience on Beauty and the Geek.
LinkPerks of Being a Geek on Reality TV
Food, Fears, Fashion: MIT Grad Speaks After Being Eliminated on Show
By Joanne Shih
Matthew A. Herman ’06 and his partner Andrea Ciliberti were sent home last Wednesday on the CW television show “Beauty and The Geek,” after surviving two weeks of such challenges as performing a stand-up comedy routine (for the geeks) and giving a space museum tour (for the beauties). The pair lost after Andrea Ciliberti missed her two questions in the elimination round — what type of advertising are billboards (answer: outdoor), and which store’s slogan is “Get more. Pay Less,” (answer: Target).
“I was surprised that we didn’t win that elimination beforehand just knowing how prepared we were,” Matt said. “The first [question] … was a very vague question and one of my colleagues at work had a good analogy … that made me feel a lot better — that’s like asking what type of vehicle is a fire truck and saying the answer is emergency, and then them saying ‘I’m sorry, that’s not right. It’s red.’ I don’t feel like it was either one of our faults or that we didn’t try our hardest or that we didn’t look good.”
I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Matt over the weekend about his experiences on and since the show. Among other things, we talked about what to take advantage of on a reality television set, what not to wear (ever), and what social anxieties even fraternity presidents have (Matt was, after all, president of Theta Xi for a year).
I ain’t no drama mama
Since I’ve become addicted to this show (even though I only started watching this season, which will have run for four weeks after tonight’s episode), I had to ask Matt how much of the show was “real” and how much was scripted, or the result of producers putting a negative slant on what had really happened. Were the cliques of blondes and the catty drama staged?
“It was worse, in my opinion,” Matt insisted, mentioning that only three girls (two of which were eliminated earlier in the show) besides his brunette partner Andrea would speak to him since the rest formed a clique that was not too fond of Andrea.
The eight geeks, on the other hand, got along together just fine.
“I think the guys who were in the house were very laid back. We all like to win things and we all were reasonably competitive but we weren’t competitive like some of the girls were, or competitive like some of the guys from past seasons were. We were enjoying ourselves, we each had something we wanted to get out of the experience, and we went with the flow a lot more.”
I found myself wondering how much common ground these geeks shared. I mean, geeks are pretty much the same everywhere right? Wrong.
“I think we had less common ground than the girls. You think about the people from MIT, we’re all essentially the same, but the geeks they had there weren’t all like math geeks. That was me and Niels.
“Then you had the two from Harvard, who studied social anthropology. Their interests are completely different from mine. The stuff they want to talk about is like current events and politics, and Harvard-type stuff. Then you have Mario, who’s four years older than the next oldest geek. He’s from the Mid-West. He works at a newspaper now; he studied Theology in school. I guess the reason he was there was comic books.”
Perks of the show
The contestants on the show reside in a beautiful mansion while they are still in the running for the $250,000 prize. It turns out, though, that the mansion itself is not really a perk of being on the show.
“They rave about this mansion, but essentially all the mansion is is a TV set,” Matt explained. “It’s not used as an actual house regularly. There are issues with that; the house didn’t have a dishwasher, the plumbing was worn out. It was smaller than I think Theta Xi was.”
For the MIT graduate, the best part about living there was the abundance of food.
“They had like three options for the two vegetarians … that was probably the best I’ve eaten in the four years that I was in college. I had never done three meals before.”
Product placement, by sponsors including Dentyne, Deja Blue, and Snapple, was also a big plus.
“Dentyne was a huge sponsor. There was Dentyne everywhere! Unfortunately, Andrea and I were not expecting to be going home this week, so we didn’t take a box of Dentyne with us or anything, which I wish I would have done,” he joked.
Studying Fashion 101
In case you haven’t been watching, in tonight’s episode the remaining five pairs are supposed to go on a vacation to the beach, although Matt told me he wouldn’t call it a vacation exactly.
“It can be very stressful. I mean, for two weeks when Andrea and I were studying, it was like studying for finals. You only had so many days to learn books worth of stuff.”
For example, in the episode on which Matt was eliminated, the geeks had to become experts on men’s fashion while the girls tackled marketing.
Matt was given study materials written by Carson Kressley from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. “It was about 120 pages or so, and I had it completely memorized,” Matt said. “I knew everything that was in the book. It was things you should or shouldn’t do about men’s fashion. They had pictures of all these types of shoes, all these different types of suits….”
Anything that could be put to use?
Perhaps. Although Matt had already forgotten much of what he’d memorized, he still remembered “things that are useless like what are three types of suits — Italian, American, and British. I think those are them … don’t quote me on that. I remember that. Maybe some things about shoes.
“The only thing that I really took out of that book was ‘Don’t wear pleated pants.’ So when I went shopping at Banana Republic this summer to get stuff to wear to work, I did not buy any pleated pants.”
Extreme Makeover: Geek Edition
This prompted the question of what he wanted to get out of the show in the first place. A makeover to be less geeky? The prize money?
“In high school I watched all the girly shows on the WB,” he said. “I really like soap operas. I watched the first season of Survivor when reality TV was new and cool. I watched a lot of it. Lately, I’m not a huge fan. I like Beauty and the Geek of course. But I always liked TV and I wanted to see how it was made. And in a setting that I wasn’t going to have to be an actor.
“Ideally I wanted to win [but] I wasn’t going in there saying ‘I need to win this, I need to win this.’ The only thing I didn’t want was to go home first. So it sucks we didn’t get to stay there longer, but I had a chance to learn what I wanted to learn and it was a fun experience. But I didn’t go in there thinking ‘I’m a geek beyond hope and I need these girls and I need a makeover.’”
Nevertheless, the makeover episode, where they went to the boutique Kitson, which according to Matt is a favorite of such celebrities as Jennifer Aniston, was an interesting experience for the extremely slim contestant. With his skinny frame, Matt had problems finding clothes that would fit properly.
“[The show] made a big deal out of showing Mario and how it didn’t work for him, but Mario and I have about the exact opposite body types. Whereas the stuff wasn’t going to fit Mario because he was a little heavier than the rest of us, stuff wasn’t going to fit me because I was too skinny. The only belt I could get had these ugly spikes on it, and the pants I had were like falling off because we only had half an hour in there and the closest jeans to my size were still a little too big. Same thing with the shoes and everything.”
In the end, the biggest change from the makeover for Matt turned out to be him taking off his glasses and putting them in his pocket.
Facing fears and other problems
After reading in last week’s Tech interview in the arts section that Matt was not afraid to talk to girls or be around them, I was curious as to what he was afraid of doing on the show.
“The third challenge where we had to get up on stage and prance around [for a date auction], that’s very uncomfortable for me,” Matt admitted. “Those were the types of things that I was really nervous about when I was about to start doing the show and once the show started. Things that I’m just not good at, that I have no interest in being good at. Like modeling, or selling myself based on looks and selling myself based on my coordination or athletic ability. Another biggest weakness is I’m not very good at meeting people. I’m an acquired taste, that’s the way my parents put it.”
His parents were supportive of his venture onto reality television with one exception: Matt had to miss graduation to film the show.
“That was the only reason. Like for me, I don’t personally care about missing graduation. It would have been nice to have more closure to MIT, but when you think about how much work you put in to graduate, I think what’s a bigger experience is when you go on WebSIS for the first time and it says ‘All Institute Requirements Complete’ with a degree on it.”
Inevitably, Matt has gained a sudden fan base of people who have been watching the show, and for him, the biggest change since his time on Beauty and The Geek “is having random people know [him].”
He joked about the nature of some of the comments he’s read on online blogs — ranging from “You should eat a lot of cheeseburgers” to “He has a cute face but his body kind of looks like a kangaroo.”
After mentioning he’d been recognized by three or four people on the street, he hesitated when I asked him if there had been any weird encounters.
“Nobody’s done anything weird. There was this one girl who kind of screamed but it wasn’t like a good scream. Like you think about the scream you’d expect: Say I’m Brad Pitt, and I’m walking down the street, and somebody screams. You can think about that scream. Now imagine you’re me, and you were on this show that’s not meant to be flattering, and now I’m walking down the street and people recognize me — there’s going to be a different kind of scream.”
To my disappointment, he refused to re-enact the scream.
One last word on being geeky
There was just one last question I was burning to ask, and after almost an hour of chatting with Matt, I was fairly sure he wouldn’t be offended.
Did he try to make himself more geeky than he really is?
“No. Not at all. I tried to be myself as much as possible, if anything I was more reserved than I generally am, just because I didn’t know the people, and it was a crazy experience. But I wasn’t trying to look like a geek. If anything, I was trying to look the least geeky.”
I’m sure most of us at MIT would have done just the same.
I loved this line:
Poor Matt--when your own parents say you are an acquired taste.I’m not very good at meeting people. I’m an acquired taste, that’s the way my parents put it.
Last edited by ShrinkingViolet; 01-25-2007 at 03:46 PM.