The third time proved to be the charm for the opponents of Andrea Ciliberti, who successfully survived nomination two weeks in a row only to bomb out when put on the chopping block one last time. Andrea had no problems getting along with the geeks, and even learned how to play chess while she was on the show, but she incurred the wrath of the blondes by being forthright in her opinions instead of sharing them in that time-honored fashion, behind your fellow contestantís back. It begs the question: is it better to keep your integrity intact and let your true feelings be known, or play along with the bottle blondes just to last another week?
So how did you come to be on the show? Had you watched the previous seasons?
No, I had actually never seen the show before I went on it. One of my friends in Kansas City, Nima -- he is a weather guy for the news there. He was trying out to be a geek, and he called me and asked me to come down and audition with him. So I went, and it worked out.
For you at least! The premise of the show is that the women consider themselves to be beauties but not necessarily brains. Is that how you see yourself?
No. (laughs) See, thatís what people say when they talk to me, they say, ďYouíre pretty intelligent, so I donít know whyÖĒ (trailing off) I mean, you can edit anything. Everybody gets caught off guard once in a while, but Iím pretty intelligent. I have the brains, too!
What about the men, were they what you were expecting?
You know, I didnít really put any expectations out there. Theyíre just guys. (laughs) I got along with all the guys, talked to them and hung out. A lot of times I get along better with guys than girls, so that was no different than my normal life. Sheree and the guys are who I spent most of my time with.
You interacted with the men a lot; in fact, you actually learned to play chess while you were on the show, right?
Why do you think the blonde women Ė I mean, I hate to put them all in one category by hair color, but it really did seem that way Ė why do you think they never seemed to interact with the guys the way you did?
You have the ringleaders, and you have the girls that follow them. I think theyíre just the kind of people that only feel comfortable with themselves by putting other people down. Thatís how I think it initially started. So I think maybe there were followers that were thinking, ďI donít want them to talk badly about me, so Iíll hang out with them.Ē I think thatís how the whole thing got started.
Can you tell us about your partner, Matt? What do you think of him now?
Matt? Mattís a really good guy. Socially, he lacks the ability to see through people that are maybe acting fake or trying to take advantage of him. I thnk he got a little bit better at it as we talked together, and I helped him out Ėlooking for certain things that people do. So I think that was a positive outcome. As far as him personally, I think heís a great guy.
How close did you come to taking the money to leave the show in the first episode?
We were pretty close! After the first challenge, just seeing how he performed, and that being something I wasnít used to Ė as far as, he just didnít seem to have much of a competitive drive as I did. I didnít know how I felt about continuing the game with the lack of energy or drive to win. He seemed unwilling to step out of his comfort zone to make a change. Even when we were talking about it, he said, ďIíll leave for 10,000 bucksĒ or some low amount like that. I was like, ďI canít.Ē Thatís a lot of what we talked about. It wasnít the money itself, because if you split it up and take the taxes out, it was about seven grand apiece. But I definitely thought about it. Iím glad. I wouldnít have changed the decisions that I made.
So you are glad you stayed?
So, what happened that women ended up so divisive and catty, while the geeks all got along?
Thatís another thing. I got along with all the guys, too. Every single one of the guys, I got along with. I got closer to some of the guys more than others, but there wasnít any single guy that I didnít get along with. As far as the girls, there were other girls they didnít get along with, and then there were the guys they didnít get along with. Like I said earlier, the ringleaders were doing what they needed to do to feel comfortable because of whatever insecurities they may have had. Then there were the girls that followed them, because they didnít want the ringleaders to say anything about them behind their backs. It was just a mess. (laughs)
Who would you say were the ringleaders?
In talking about people behind their backs, even about the guys Ė Cecile did it a lot. She would talk about guys, girls, whatever, behind their backs. Iím the kind of person that thinks if youíre going to say something, great. Everybody has their opinion. But you need to say it to my face so I have a chance to explain myself. She just did it a lot. Megan did it some, and Jennylee was just a ridiculous situation. Erin and Nadia kind of followed them along.
What about that confrontation with Jennylee? It was frustrating to watch because it seemed like just a Iím-going-to-have-the-last-word kind of conversation.
(laughs) You think it was frustrating? Iím still frustrated about the actual conversation! (laughs) Jennylee and I Ė well, sheís the kind of person that complains about everything, nags about everything. I just conceded a lot of things they didnít show. She would complain about something just to open her mouth and hear herself talk. I would say, ďCan you just stop complaining?Ē It would be dinner or whatever, and itís like, be appreciative. This is given to us. There is a chef that comes in cooks food for us every day, thank God we donít have to cook. She just drove me crazy. That whole confrontation, I have a very difficult time talking to someone who I know is not being themselves, and when she made the comment, ďOh, Iím cooler than you,Ē I had to ask her what she said because I wanted to make sure what really came out of mouth. So when she said it again, I was like, ďIím done. Thereís no point in having a conversation with you, Iím donít even want to talk to you anymore.Ē
The thing is, who says that about themselves?
(laughs) Who says that ever? It was like a three-year-old. (neener neener voice) ďIím cooler than you!Ē (laughs)
What did you think about the elimination ceremony, the way there was so much crying and messy emotion from Jennylee and Niels when they were nominating Nate and Cecile?
Oh see, thereís something they didnít show there. At the end of the stairs, Niels, when he was crying, his nose was running. I have like a really weak stomach, and I always gag when stuff grosses me out. So he was crying, and the snot was running down his nose and he licked it with his tongue Ė
Oh, my God! (gagging)
I know! I was gagging, and I was like, ďOh, my God! (laughs) They didnít show it. No, but as far as the crying goes, Jennylee developed from what they showed some sort of liking for Nate. She just wanted her way and wouldnít have it any other way. The way she handled herself upstairs in the room with Niels was ridiculous, cussing him out, acting like a 3-year-old. That was a prime example of Jennylee.
Were you happy with Mattís makeover?
Obviously, I didnít see that much of a difference from the makeover. The difference that I saw was with him and his personality. He felt a lot more comfortable with the clothes he was wearing; he felt more comfortable, which made him act a little differently. That was what the real purpose of the makeover should have been. I think it served its purpose.
Did you get along with Tori?
Yeah, I got along with Tori. There wasnít a lot of time to get to know her well, but what I did know of her, she was sweet. She just wasnít there to talk mean, she was nice and wanted to make friends. She was more the one to make people feel comfortable rather than making people feel uncomfortable about themselves to make herself feel better.
How is watching the show on television different from how you experienced it in real life?
Yeah, thereís a lot that they leave out. Weíre there all day, and obviously they only have an hour a week to show on television, so they canít show everything. Thereís so much going on, why people are reacting the way that they do. When I went to Miss USA, I was around 50 other women for three weeks, and thatís really tough. To come into a house like this, I was a little used to what it would be like. It is, when you spend every single day in and out with people in a house, that may not be used to it, itís pretty difficult. But as far as your question, it is very different when you watch it on TV. Not completely different, but thereís a lot of things they left out.
I guess what Iím saying is, do you feel like the show editors misrepresented you or were you happy with your ďeditĒ?
They donít show some things, and my reactions to some things may have come off ďbigĒ at times, but thatís because they didnít show all the stuff that led up to that. So in a way, yes, but I think people saw through the show what I was dealing with and maybe understood a little bit more why I reacted the way I did.
Sheree had a lot of good things to say about you, but she did say that you are very straightforward and outspoken, and that there were times she wished you had dialed it down for the sake of strategy. Do you have any regrets about that?
No, I donít, actually. I am, and have always been, the kind of outspoken person who says whatís on their mind. There were a lot of times I held back in saying something just because I wanted to make life easier not only for myself, but the living situation. Some of the stuff was just ridiculous, and I couldnít hold it in anymore. It was just ridiculous.
Looking back, would you have picked a different guy to pair up with?
In the beginningóand actually this is something they didnít show either Ė Nate and I had talked about that if there was a chance to switch partners, we would do it. Originally, when the guys got to pick which girl then wanted when they walked in the room, Nate and Matt both wanted me, and they did ďRochambeauxĒ to see which one got me, and Matt won. So thatís how I ended up getting partnered up with him. But it was after the first challenge that I talked about switching with Nate, because we both felt like we were similar competitors. We talked about it, but the way things ended up, I got to Matt and heís a great guy. The way it worked out is for a reason. Everything happens for a reason.
Do you know anything about the Jennylee flirtation with Nate?
I didnít spend too much time with her, so I wouldnít know anything that wasnít shown on the show. I steered clear of her as much as possible. Whatever you see is what I know.
Was there anything that happened that you wished had made the edited show? Anything we as viewers did not get to see?
Just like I said, how the girls were acting. It is coming through, but I wish maybe they had put it on the earlier episodes, too. I was getting these comments on the CW site like, ďAndreaís a bitch.Ē Now the remarks have changed to, ďIím rooting for Andrea, all those other girls are ridiculous.Ē As this show goes on they see, and it comes through. I just wish it would have come through a little earlier so they didnít have that initial opinion.
What was the best part of the experience? The worst part?
The best part was the guys I met, and Sheree, the new friendships I have and will have. The memories, good or bad. (laughs) The worst part was the girls being catty and hateful.
Since you were in Miss USA, and it sounds like it was intense to be in that situation with the other women, which would you say was more intense? Being with the Miss USA contestants or the Beauty and the Geek house?
More intense as far as like, drama goes? Would probably be the Beauty and the Geek mansion. As far as the work you have to do, I would say Miss USA. Beauty and the Geek was kind of relaxing. You have to study, but you donít have to wake up at the crack of dawn. (laughs)
Thank you very much for speaking with me today, Andrea!
Youíre welcome, have a great day.
Thanks for a fun interview, Andrea - and many thanks to CW for letting us talk to a beauty.