It was a very animated runner-up Nicole and Sam with whom I spoke after their elimination on Beauty and the Geek. During a season of twists and turns, they were the biggest twist of all--a female geek and a male beauty. Targeted as the couple to gun for each week, they share a very candid look about their experience during the show. Too bad we didn't see this side of both of them while on the show, as they were an absolute pleasure to speak with!
Hi, Nicole and Sam! Thank you for speaking with me, and congratulations on making the final two on Beauty and the Geek!
Both: Hey! Thank you.
You two were the start of many twists this season. Since the viewers knew nothing about this twist, what were you auditioning for, and how did you find out about this show?
Nicole: I was found on MySpace. They said it was a show that they thought I would be pretty good for, and it wasn’t until pretty far in the process that they told me it was Beauty and the Geek. It was a really long process, and they told me more and more throughout it.
Sam: I found out about the show . . . I was actually promoting one of clubs in LA, and I got approached by one of the casting directors, which was flattering and definitely threw up some red flags in my head that I might be stupid. [all laugh] It was questionable at first, but after talking with everyone, I knew that it would be a really great experience.
Had you ever watched Beauty and the Geek prior to this?
Sam: I had seen clips of it here and there, and I knew about the show, but I hadn’t really been watching it. I don’t watch that much TV. I thought when I was auditioning that it was going to be completely flipped—that it was going to be all male beauties and female geeks. So, it was a definite shocker when I realized that we were the only team like that!
Nicole: Throughout the audition process, I didn’t know if we would be the only team or not. I knew that they had done a regular casting search from Googling and things like that, so I went in there thinking that there might be a couple twist teams, but when I found out we were the only one, I immediately felt like there was a bit more pressure on us because if we got sent home week one, I knew that I would get hate mail from girl geeks everywhere!
When you first entered the house, were you told to play up the "beauty" and "geek" aspects of your physical appearance?
Sam: At least as far as I know, I wasn’t. I was really excited. Obviously, being there at first, I think I was kind of like jumping out of my skin, so if they told me anything, it would be to calm down a little bit so people watching their TV don’t get scared.
Nicole: I think the thing people don’t get is I feel relatively little interaction with people who aren’t cast on the show. It’s not like a producer will come into the room and be like, “Do such and such.” It’s your life. You’re just sitting there, and there are a couple cameras around, but other than that, you’re just seeing you—especially since they’re filming 18 hours a day, and you can’t do anything but be you because that would be exhausting if you had to put on a face for that many hours a day.
So, when you first appeared on the show, Nicole, that’s your normal attire?
Nicole: Yes! Those were all my clothes. Everyone asks me that. It’s part of my wardrobe, and I wear that sweater a lot.
I guess it was the shoes and white socks.
Nicole: It was funny because, really, everyone objected to that outfit. I thought the shirt was too puffy under the vest, and it made me look funny, but everyone was like, “You wouldn’t actually wear that?” I’m like, “Well, yeah. I wear those clogs all the time.” I guess maybe I wore them with pants more, but I don’t think of the socks so much. I don’t have any other shoes to go with that skirt. [laughs]
How do you guys feel you matched up as partners?
Sam: We knew at first it was going to be challenging, and we knew it was completely different than the other teams, and in my head I was thinking this is a little bit harder because of the gender flip. I learn a lot by watching other people do stuff, and I pick up on that. I felt like, “Wow, this is kind of hard because I’m not going to be able to see someone else’s progress and then go ‘Oh, I can do that!’” So, it was challenging at the same time, too, because we were always a target from the get-go. We were always trying to learn and progress as much as possible because we knew if we didn’t we’d be out of there.
Nicole: I totally agree about the fact that we had an incredibly different relationship from any other team in the house, and at first I was thinking, “Am I doing this wrong? Is it weird that Sam and I are interacting so differently?” Then, I thought about it, and, no, I think our interaction would be typical of a female geek and a male beauty because I’ve been raised differently from male geeks, and Sam has been raised differently from female beauties. So, it was a bit unnerving at first in the house to see how differently we interacted, but it’s a very strong bond. It’s just not the same as what everyone else had.
Did you feel that you were unwanted in the house or ever feel uncomfortable being there because you did have that target on your back, and a lot of the other couples, obviously, didn’t like the fact that you were there?
Nicole: I didn’t notice it early on. Any time I had interactions with the beauties, and they didn’t seem 100 % friendly in there, I just thought it was because I was awkward. It wasn’t until later on that Sam said something like, “You realize we’re different, and they don’t like us because of that?” I was like, “Why wouldn’t they like us because we’re different? What’s wrong with that?” But, I immediately felt at home with all the geeks. I think they were very accepting because every geek has a friend like me back home.
Sam: I thought from a strategy side. I would let the teams know that if I had the choice I would send them home. I would just let people know that beforehand. [Nicole laughs] I would help out the two teams—like after the MetroMan challenge. I helped Erin and Natalie study because I felt that I had to send them both into elimination, so I wanted to give both of them as much a chance as possible. It wasn’t until I watched the show that it was less “I want to send you people home because that’s a competitive, smart choice,” instead of “I want to send them home because I don’t like them,” you know. [laughs] It’s too bad. I felt like people went into the house open to meeting other male beauties and female geeks—you know, female beauties and male geeks, and that openness completely changed when we came into the house.
Nicole: Exactly. It’s like Sam said before. You go in there, and you’re supposed to be open to meeting different people, and they were—just not to meeting people different like us.
So, with the romance that was going on with Rebecca, was that a strategic move?
Sam: No. Not at all. I mean I said before that when I met Rebecca it was kind of an awkward situation because it was when we were supposed to be picking our rooms, and we were running around like crazy trying to grab the nicest room. Will introduced himself, and we were in the middle of introducing ourselves, and Rebecca just yanked him, pulled him away, so I was like, “Maybe that girl doesn’t like us.” After I started talking to her, I realized we had a lot in common, and we had a lot of moments that weren’t shown on the show that I think if people would have seen them, they wouldn’t question at all the relationship that me and Rebecca have.
Nicole, did you end up being okay with that? I know it was uncomfortable for you for a while.
Nicole: Yeah, I was fine with the relationship. If someone finds happiness and romance, I’m a romantic. I don’t date a lot, so I’m thrilled when other people do. I think I just heard a lot of other people saying this is going to affect Sam; this is going to affect you in the challenges. What it came down to, Will and Rebecca were really a strong team, and I knew Sam would never be able to send Rebecca into elimination, so in a sense I felt like it was a move I had to make. Granted, I wish it hadn’t been so early, but if Will had kept on winning challenges, there may have never been another time to send them into elimination. [laughs]
Sam, you were involved with a romance going on in the house when you and Rebecca hooked up. Is Rebecca someone who is going to be in your future?
Sam: After we finished shooting the show, we were allowed to—the gates were open—we could talk and hang out with whoever we wanted to from cast. So, she actually stayed with me for a couple days. We went to Disneyland with Shay. We went out to some of the clubs down here. I showed her around LA, and we talk every day. We’re going to try to fly back and forth as much as possible. She’s been talking about possibly moving down here, so definitely in the future.
Nicole, you got the attention of a lot of the geeks. Did you have any clue you’d become a “hot” girl in the house, and how did that make you feel knowing you were attracting so much attention?
Nicole: Sam was telling me that pretty much from the start. He’d be like, “Oh, all the geeks like you. All the geeks like you.” I guess I’m just kind of oblivious to that sort of thing. I always felt like so many guys fall for a pretty face, so I guess I found it hard to believe. I’m not sure what Sam was saying was really registering. I thought he was just trying to be nice to me and get me to feel more confident, but Sam was right! [laughs]
You made the comment, initially, that you’d always been the ugliest girl in the house after you saw all the beauties. Did you still feel that way at the end of the show?
Nicole: I definitely felt a lot prettier.
Well, good. I could tell from the start that you were going to make over quite nicely!
Sam, what was your initial reaction upon viewing all the geeks and knowing you’d be living in the same house as them?
Sam: Yeah, I was definitely surprised. I honestly thought that it was going to be all male beauties and female geeks. So, when I walked up the stairs, and I think that was the thing on the show, too, that didn’t really register, was the fact that I was just as surprised when I walked up the stairs as they were when they saw me. It threw me. It was definitely overwhelming for me with everyone standing there and all that. The fact that they had all met before, too. I really didn’t understand what was really going on at first, and once I registered it and everything, the funny thing is what you’d think would be with me being the male beauty, I would instantly get along with all the female beauties and not with the male geeks. Instead, I felt like it was more that the geeks accepted me right from the get-go. The female beauties were really, really, I think, intimidated by the fact that I was there. That was before I won anything!
How did you help the geeks out? What kind of advice did you give them, and were they able to give you any advice?
Sam: Yeah! They would always come and ask me stuff. They asked me about clothes. You know, for the rap challenge, I let them borrow stuff. I’d always help them out as much as I could—give them advice about girls, about working out. Hair—I did a couple of the guy’s hair while we were there before the makeover. [Nicole laughs] I don’t know if I was supposed to do that or not! I spent a lot of time with them. Me and Dave at the end used to hang out every night, too. He was really close with Will. When Rebecca left, I was upset, and when Rebecca’s partner, Will, left, Dave was really upset. The two of us kind of bonded, I guess, over missing the two of them.
Nicole, were the beauties able to give you any advice, and did you, in turn, help them out?
Nicole: Yeah! Katie taught me how to use a round brush. That was something that was kind of new to me. Right after the makeover, she was teaching me that. There was a challenge where we had to learn about accessories, and I went to Erin’s room, and she kind of pulled everything out of her bag and put it in front of her and was like, “This is this, and this is this.” I think one of the things that I regret is by the time I realized I should learn makeup tips—because I don’t really know how to apply it—the only person left in the house was Jasmine, and Jasmine’s approach is you just put it on and smear it around. [all laugh] So, I kind of wish I’d got on that earlier, but I’m learning it from Jasmine!
What is the greatest transformation that occurred for both of you while you were on the show?
Sam: I felt like I didn’t really see my potential in a lot of the areas we covered on the show. I mean, obviously, that is the reason why those challenges are made the way they are because they’re not things we’re used to doing. I think that some of those things I never would have tried because I didn’t think I would be that good at them, and now I’m interested in going back to school and actually studying those things.
What are you interested in studying?
Sam: Pretty much all those areas. I mean, I didn’t think I’d be that great with the debate thing, but that was fun. That seems like it would be cool. Like politics—I’ve gotten a little bit more into them, and I’ve been watching all these other debates. After seeing those, I thought that I did even better. [laughs wildly] Just all different areas. Nicole helped me out with kind of streamlining the way that I study and the way it works to keep information in my head. I was pretty much sitting there and trying to memorize every single word, and that didn’t really work.
Nicole: Like picking out what you needed to put on flashcards, but he just had a really keen eye for information and whether or not it was a question they would ask, so I was really impressed by that. By the end, I felt like he was able to study things and retain them quicker than I was because he’d be quizzing me, and I’d be like, “I don’t know!” And, he would know them all.
What is the greatest transformation with you Nicole?
Nicole: It was something that I didn’t expect because I’m very organized, so I went in there with the things I wanted to learn. I learned those and accomplished those, but knowing Sam and seeing how successful he was in life by taking a really relaxed attitude, it made me realize how much I stressed, and how I really could succeed just as well without doing it. Especially this week—because I’m in finals right now. There were a few nights where had it been me pre-show, I probably would have panicked and get incredibly upset for a couple days, but I just thought about Sam and how he relaxed. I was kind of like, “I’ll do it. I’ll get through it.” It may not be the most fun period, but I just really feel like it’s calmed me down a lot.
There’s been talk about how your team had an unfair advantage, simply because the challenges were geared toward the opposite gender. What are you thoughts on that?
Sam: I don’t know. Each challenge there were rules to make sure that there was no advantage. Like we wouldn’t be allowed to run; you could walk. I’d see something, and I’d be like, “All right! I’m just going to be running all over the place!” But, they tried to make each challenge even for everybody else. I think it was definitely more the fact that I studied all the time—after Rebecca left. [laughs]
Sam, how do you think you would have done if you had to make a costume for Nicole, and Nicole, how do you think you would have done in the creepy crawly challenge?
Sam: [Nicole laughs] It would have been very interesting, I’m sure! [laughs] It would have been geeks involved and all kinds of stuff!
Nicole: I think I would have been able to do the creepy crawley challenge. I wouldn’t have been great at it, but I’m very stoic. I think that’s something I just would have been like, “Okay, I have to do this.” It would have been gross, I’m sure, but I would have gone for it. In other challenges, as to people saying I have an advantage, but I never really won a challenge, so. . . .
What are you thoughts on the final twist with America deciding the winner? Do you think that helped or hurt you?
Sam: We would always throw around ideas on what we thought a challenge could be by looking at the material, and by the time we got to the end, we had already talked about the fact we thought it would be an America’s vote. I thought it was a great idea, but I did also say that—I mean obviously we shoot all day long, and the show is an hour, America is not voting by seeing everything that happens. They are voting by seeing what is shown in that hour, and, therefore, it is determined by how the show is edited. I knew that, so I wasn’t surprised after watching the show that we weren’t going to win.
Do you agree with that, Nicole?
Nicole: I do. It’s an interesting dynamic because there is a part of editing that has to come into play when you’re making a decision based on not knowing me or Sam personally—but on how we look on TV. Since the show, when I meet people who are fans or who watched the show, they talk to me for a couple minutes, and they’re like, “Wow! You don’t seem like you seem on the show. You seem very different.” I mean, they can only show so much of a person on a show, and, you know. . . .
I think the viewers’ sentiment changed toward the end of the show. They would have been okay with your winning, while at first, they were not for that at all. You actually made them change their opinions, so there had to be something going on there for you.
What’s ahead for both of you?
Nicole: Sam’s more exciting than I am. You go!
Sam: I’m still doing the night life stuff. It’s opened up a lot of doors, you know, throwing parties in other states, rather than just Hollywood. School. I’ve been approached about another reality show, but I don’t know. Just like with this one, I questioned it to death, you know. [laughs] Who knows? I’m always open to new experiences and great memories.
Nicole: I am finishing up my Master’s this year. I’m going to take a year off before I find a PhD program. I just want to have a more normal life where I’m not focused on school 24/7. Hopefully, I’ll have a little more fun and have a more normal life.
(There were some transmission difficulties at times during this interview. When asked about any final thoughts they wanted to leave, they both wanted to thank the viewers for watching—especially those who voted for them, and stated they enjoyed their experience of the show. Sam did mention he might be interested in getting into the world of politics!)
Nicole, I know you’re in the middle of finals, and I really want to thank you for taking the time out to do this, and good luck to you in the future. Sam, good luck in the entertainment industry, the world of academia, and politics!
Many thanks to THE CW and Nicole and Sam for this interview opportunity.
Photo Credit: THE CW/ Michael Desmond