FORT recently had the opportunity to talk to our first Geek from CWís ďBeauty and the Geek.Ē Given the unflattering moniker of the geek who had ďonly kissed one girl,Ē Piao Sam, known as ďPiĒ to his friends, was paired off with one of the non-blonde women. Frankly, if you had asked me, I would have suspected that number in his tagline was an exaggeration, but it turns out his fate was sealed not by his ability to swap spit with the opposite sex; nor did it matter how well he could listen to a naked woman prattle on about what drivel was showing on HBO the night before. Ultimately, Pi was merely the pawn in a deadly game of blonde vs. brunette.
So first off, letís verify your geek status. Whatís your favorite operating system?
Iíve been told that Linux is the place to be, but I use Windows. Iím not a real geek.
I use Windows, too. I guess neither of us are geeks.
I think most people in the world use Windows. But I hear itís all about Linux. Itís the best operating system, Sanjay would say.
So how did you come to be on the show? Had you watched the previous seasons?
I was sitting on my couch one day, and I saw [season 1 contestant] Richard Rubin and everybody else, and I said, ďHey, I can be me.Ē So I tried out, and there I was.
The premise of the show is that the men are smart but socially backwards. Is that how you see yourself?
Well, Sheree would probably say Iím not that smart, either. (laughs) For the most part, I mean, I really have no problem socially. I guess itís more like luck with women would be the real thing. But thatís kind of personal, too, it doesnít really need to be broadcast. They decided to use that as my ďfact.Ē
You mean about having only kissed one girl?
Yes. Thatís my tagline, and Iím proud of it. Itís really not a true tagline any more, though.
Oh, really? Can you tell us anymore about that?
Oh, just -- random girl, it didnít work out, there you go. (laughs)
Can you tell us about your partner, Sheree? What do you think of her now?
I really think Sheree is smarter than the other girls. In a way, she just didnít fit because she was so smart. Maybe she was wanting to take it down a notch after the first challenge, because she made herself out to be a threat -- made me out to be a threat. Mario viewed all the guys as pretty much equal, so I donít think that was part of his though process. But I really think after Cecille won that first challenge in the library, I thought she was a pretty big threat. too. But I digress. More about Sheree Ė I think sheíll succeed in anything she does in life. She sort of viewed the show as Geek School. She didnít look to improve herself. If it was all about learning to be smarter, she already was smart Ė so I can see her point, but still. She could have learned a little social behavior from us geeks, because we all got along, while the girls didnít.
How did you think it ended up so divided along the lines of hair color? Is there something about going for that bleached blonde look at play here?
(laughs) I donít think it was divided by hair color per se, itís just that Andrea is a very upfront person. It ended up being that Sheree aligned herself with Andrea. Cecille wanted to boot Andrea in the first episode, but we talked her out of it so they picked Sanjay and Tori instead. So if we had put up, say, any other team -- except for Erin and Drew, they blew everyone else away Ė like Andrea and Matt, they would have been able to possibly come back on their own. So it wasnít really divided in that sense. Cecille strongly disliked Andrea, was what it was.
Iím going to take a guess here and say that youíre probably used to performing well on tests. Did you find the showís challenges frustrating?
There was nothing you could do to study or prepare, you just had to perform. In a way the girls had it better because they could study. But there was nothing we could do, we just had to perform. The drawing challenge was so frustrating. I wasnít the only one who wasnít listening, though. I thought the comedy challenge was great, even though I was viewed as not doing so great. (laughs) I stood out, and I guess thatís what I wanted to accomplish.
You donít see a future in stand up comedy, though?
Iím not going to quit my day job.
I could see where you were going with the drawing of the single breast encircled by adoring men. Why do you think your drawing, which seemed self-deprecating and poking fun at yourself, fell so flat and became the object of serious discussion? I would have been more offended by the mustache, personally.
I was going for something more abstract. I was thinking that if I wasnít going to win the challenge, I was going to have fun, and I did have fun with my drawing. (laughs) I can draw a circle, Iím good at that.
How did it turn into this point of contention with Sheree?
Oh geez, I think it was more because we lost that challenge. Thatís really what it was. The drawing was secondary in the end. Even though we all thought it was very important, it was the fact that no one listened that mattered. I wasnít the only one there who couldnít listen. She was really blaming me for everything.
Did you find it ironic to be lectured on the subject of men obsessing about breasts from a Hootersí waitress?
Yes, I thought that was very ironic. (laughs) It didnít occur to me at the time, but looking back on it, after watching the episode, yeah Ė thatís pretty funny. (laughs)
I guess what Iím saying is, how do you feel about these sort of cheesy tricks played by the show editors?
Specifically which one?
In the example we were just talking about, when they put a caption underneath Sheree that read ďFormer Hooters WaitressĒ while she was lecturing you about how to appreciate a woman.
It adds comedy to the show, and itís a funny show. And itís a sweet show, kind of sweet like a sweet tart. (laughs) But itís a sweet show. What other reality show do you see everyone hug during an elimination? Like on Survivor, they put out the torch and walk off. On Apprentice, itís ďyouíre firedĒ and no one sticks around for a hug, no one wants to hear that.
Well, sometimes youíll see a hug on a reality show but itís not always sincere.
The hugs you saw on the episode were very sincere, absolutely sincere.
Do you still keep in touch with the guys?
I really do keep in contact with most of them. Through Myspace, telephone, smoke signals Ė it doesnít matter. (laughs)
Did the guys have any divisions like the women did, or did you pretty much all get along?
They did not have any divisions whatsoever. It was one big happy group.
Was there anything that happened that you wished had made the edited show? Anything we as viewers did not get to see?
I donít know Ė I tried to bribe Nadia with some astronaut ice cream that I happened to have from the Smithsonian museum. But she didnít take the bait, because she still went with the other girls. But I really donít hold Nadia at fault.
Did she share it with the other girls?
No, she still has it, actually. She keeps it in her drawer. (laughs)
Whatís changed for you since the show?
I have 300 Myspace friends now, and I only had 100 before. See, I wasnít entirely unpopular before. (laughs) And Iíve doubled my numbers, you canít say Iíve only kissed one girl anymore. But, um, not Sheree.
It sounded like she wasnít going to be Number Two.
Not at all. I just have to be myself. I mean, Sheree suggested that I stop smiling, and I would think, ďI donít know about that.Ē (laughs)
You sound really different on the phone than I remember you on the show.
What do you mean?
On the show you sounded like you didnít enunciate very well, and you were stumbling over your words sometimes.
It was a lot more nerve-wracking on the show, I donít know. Thereís all these cameras, all these microphones. I was surprised by how much airtime I did get. I didnít really notice myself mumbling Ė I guess during the comedy routine, I did. Youíre in front of a whole bunch of strangers.
What was the best part of the experience?
Definitely meeting all the people. Iíve never met anyone from Harvard before, and I know two Harvard people now. I know an MIT person now. Just meeting a lot of new cool people, and getting different viewpoints from certain women. Realizing what I donít look for in a woman.
Thanks for talking to us Pi, and many thanks to CW for letting us talk to a non-computer geek who is nevertheless a graduate from Geek School.