Who says that mad sheep-catching and hay-baling skills don’t pay off in the end? Finishing up the competition with a strong performance in the ranching challenge, Megan Hauserman and Alan "Scooter" Zackheim beat out the second place finishers Nate and Cecille when their fellow contestants voted them as the couple who were most transformed by the experience. They certainly seemed fused as a pair in this interview – they even finished each other’s sentences. Congratulations to the winners!
Good to talk to you this morning!
Scooter: You too.
Megan: Good to talk to you too. I hope you had a happy Valentine’s day.
Oh, thank you, I did.
Megan: (archly) Oh, really?
Um, so…I just wanted to say congratulations.
Both: Thank you!
Do you guys see Beauty and the Geek as a social experiment, or a cheesy reality show?
Megan: It was like a long therapy session.
Scooter: (laughs) It was really great. For us, I think it really was an experience.
Megan: Yes! Intense and stressful, and really pushed us to our limits.
Scooter: So whenever people see it and it’s all edited and cut, it was great.
Megan: Yes, people see the entertainment part, but they don’t see how really difficult it was, and what a challenge it was.
Scooter, your degree is in social anthropology. Don’t you have to be a people person to study people?
Scooter: No, not necessarily.
Megan: I think he was studying European people and cavemen.
Scooter: (dorky laugh) I mean, you have to be able to talk to people, but there’s a difference between just being able to talk to people about their lives, and actually being able to really relate, particularly with women.
How does studying people academically translate to interacting with women in real life? Did your education give you any insight?
Megan: (flatly) No. (laughs)
Scooter: (laughs) Honestly, no. It may have given me some tools in terms of coming into a new culture of a jungle of beautiful women, but I certainly wasn’t prepared for what I found there.
Megan: I think that he definitely was starting from ground zero in this entire experience, but it was amazing how much he embraced the opportunity and really got the most out of it.
Megan, there were a lot of tall, tan, good-looking blonde women this season. What set you apart from them?
Megan: Everybody was coming from different lifestyles and backgrounds, and schools. Even just attitude was a big thing, or easily adjusting to the environment. I think it was very difficult for a lot of the girls who were there that were a little more high maintenance, versus me, who really enjoys different types of experiences and was a little more open-minded, I think.
Let me ask you about that for a minute. When the season starts, we only have a bio on the contestants to go by. Everyone was expecting you to be really wild because of your bio that reads you are a “Playboy cybergirl.”
Megan: Honestly, they show everything because it is a family show.
Megan: Once in a while, things going on – we actually were cut off from alcohol from too much, um, activity.
How did you get so close to Cecile in the first place?
Megan: You know what, me and Cecille live very similar lifestyles, and have a lot of similar goals, and attitude about things. She shows it in a different ways. Obviously, we’re not the same in every way, and how the show portrayed it. But we got along from the very beginning, from even before the show started. We’re really close during the show. The show doesn’t really show our relationship, and we still are very good friends.
There were times when it seemed like you were exasperated with her behavior. Did you ever have doubts about being around her?
Megan: Not for the most part. Me and her were just good friends the whole time. I mean, everybody gets in little tiny – you know, you get sick of each other spending 24 hours a day for a month together. But we actually got along really well.
Scooter, what did you think when Cece and Megan were all over you that first night in the house?
Megan: Best night of his life.
Scooter: (dorky laugh) I was pretty freaked out. I really wanted to just kind of go with it. I remember when they kind of grabbed me, and they were like, “Come on, come on with us.” I really just wanted to go with it because I was all about giving in to the experience, but I was certainly pretty nervous and I didn’t know what to do. I was pretty happy when Cecile fell off the stool just because it broke up that whole thing.
Megan: He was out of his element.
Scooter: I was definitely out of my element.
Megan: But plus, it doesn’t show it in this order, but that was actually on a weekend, and we had been drinking for twelve hours straight. They don’t really show that part, they just show us wandering up there, but we were all very, very intoxicated.
For both of you, when you look back at yourself on the early weeks of the show, what is your reaction to your thoughts and words from back then?
Scooter: It’s pretty interesting to watch. Seeing the whole transformation again, now I want to go back and watch the whole season again. It’s very much like watching home videos, and I certainly enjoy watching the season. I had forgotten a lot of things that I said.
Megan: The funniest part is just probably we were thinking when we first met each other, and how differently we think of each other now.
Scooter: Yeah. And just everybody in the show. Watching all of our first impressions, and being able to remember our very first few days in the house, you know to where we all are now, the people we’ve seen since the show, our friendships and how they’ve changed, and how we’ve all –
Megan: -- really helped each other, and really learned from each other.
Scooter: And really moved beyond the house.
What did you think of the twist of having all the other participants vote?
Megan: Oh, I thought it was great.
Scooter: (laughs) It certainly worked out for us! I do think it is a good way to do it. Everything was pre-planned before the season was cast or anything, so it wasn’t that they chose it specifically for us. I think it’s a great way to determine the winner in the end.
Megan: Yeah. I don’t think they’re going to use that in the next season, they’re going to have to switch it up so that people don’t prepare for that type of ending. I think it was a really good idea.
Scooter: Better than just coming down to a quiz face-off.
Megan: It was more of a fair way, I would definitely say.
Especially if it is supposed to be a social experiment, and not a test of your smarts.
Megan: They even said from the beginning, the winners are going to be the people that transform the most.
Did you find out anything about yourselves that surprised you?
Scooter: Yeah. You’re put into these situations that you’re not used to, and you certainly learn something about yourself. Maybe something that you may or may not have known all along. For instance, I knew I didn’t have a lot of skill in just cold approaching women, and going up to them and trying to talk to them and get their phone numbers. I had to do that in the dog park challenge, and it was really difficult. Maybe what I learned about myself is that is still something that I really don’t enjoy.
Megan: Just that your limits are farther than you think.
Scooter: Exactly. Now I know that I can do it if it comes down to it.
I’m just thinking of Megan making the dog house, and milking the cow, and really going after that sheep.
Scooter: Yeah, she really rocked it.
Megan: Yeah, it really comes down to just your determination and concentrating, and really giving it your all. You’re surprised what you can come up with.
What was the best challenge for you two?
Scooter: I think the farm challenge was pretty great. We really came together as a team there.
Megan: It was just really satisfying to put so much effort into it and be rewarded.
In fact, Scooter, Niels called your method of transporting the hay bales “genius.” How did you come up with that?
Megan: He is a genius.
Scooter: Well, it was very painful. (laughs)
Megan: And also, there was really no choice because I couldn’t even participate.
Scooter: Yeah, Megan got to the point where she couldn’t even help me lift.
Megan: I said, I cannot even walk. I think it was 100 pounds. It was ridiculous.
Scooter: So I put the hay bale on, essentially like a back pack.
Megan: There was no other option.
Did you expect to be facing down Cecile and Nate in the end?
Megan: We kind of expected them to be there in the end, but I don’t think we ever thought we were going to be against them.
Scooter: That’s true, yeah. It was clear from the beginning that they were going to be the team to beat. I don’t think that we had a lot of faith until suddenly we were there, and we were like, “Wow, we made it this far.”
Megan: We were in shock. You know, we had already just had such a great time and enjoyed our experience. We thought it was just so valuable, we just would have been happy with whatever the outcome was.
What did you think when you heard that Nate had been campaigning for the two of you instead of himself? Were you even aware of that at that point?
Scooter: Somebody had mentioned it to me. We weren’t really aware, because he wasn’t going out in the open and making a big public stand about it, it was just in his conversations with people. Somebody mentioned it to me, and it wasn’t like there was much I could say. I talked to Nate pretty extensively before that whole thing, and the night before we discussed it. He really felt bad about his situation, and I felt really bad for him.
Megan: I think he was under a love spell of Jennylee.
Scooter: (laughs) He was in a difficult position. I think maybe he saw the way the wind was blowing, and he thought that instead of trying to fight for something that he wouldn’t even necessarily feel great about having succeeded in –
Megan: I think he really valued his relationships with the other people more than the game itself.
Scooter: Yeah. It’s interesting, during that whole day where Nate was talking to everybody, I was really just spending my day –
Megan: Standing at the pool like any other day.
Scooter: Yeah! For me, it was just, “Wow, this is great. Everybody is back in the house, it feels like old times.” I just wanted to go and hang out with people like before. I just wanted to take it as one more day in the house. So I really didn’t do any campaigning. People would come and ask me questions, you know, everybody was trying to determine how they would vote, so people would come up to me and say, “Hey, can we talk?” And I would say, “Sure.” But for the most part, I certainly wasn’t seeking anybody out to talk to them. I don’t think either of us really were.
Scooter: Just living our life like we had.
I got the impression when I watched the show that everybody met with everybody on a schedule or something.
Megan: Oh, definitely not scheduled at all. We were just roaming around, and of course that happened over two days, so the twenty minutes that they show you on the show is not really an accurate way of how it really happened.
Who do you think changed the most out of all the Geeks and the Beauties?
Megan: It’s really hard to say because it’s really not a fair comparison when they are not there for the same amount of time. Somebody who is there for three days, six days – how can they really have as much of a life-changing experience as somebody who was there for a month?
Scooter: Yeah. I would say that I definitely saw a really big change in Drew. I think that he took some big steps. I’m sure that most of the guys would have – I could see that Sanjay, if he had stuck around longer would probably have been able to transform.
Megan: And you know that there’s so many people that you really can’t get to know them that well to be able to even know how they’ve changed or how they’ve really embraced the experience.
Is the term “geek” just an insult, or does it have any positive meaning for you now?
Scooter: (laughs) I certainly don’t think so. All of us geeks, we all wore the badge with pride.
Megan: Yes, they enjoyed it. It’s really how you use it. You can use it as a negative term or as a positive outlook.
Scooter: It’s funny, people on my Myspace page have messaged me and said, “I think it’s awful that they use these stereotypical terms like “geek”. And then I get a lot of people who are like, “Yeah, geek pride!” I’m with them. I say, embrace it; take it back! It’s not a pejorative if you think it’s a positive term.
Do either of you think your experience is going to change your life after the show?
Megan: Our lives have already completely changed and have really been affected by the show in many ways.
Scooter: It’s definitely been a life-changing experience.
Megan: You know, like, emotionally, mentally, locationally.
(both laughing together)
Did you both move to L.A. or something?
Megan: I moved to Florida and actually got engaged, and Scooter is pursuing his movie stardom.
Scooter: I just moved to L.A. and I’m going to act.
Megan: He’s actually an amazing actor, and has a theatrical background.
Thank you for speaking with me today. Good luck to both of you, and congratulations! Many thanks to CW for a great season of interviews.