FORT: Hi Eric, thanks for agreeing to an interview with us. Congratulations on winning the trip to Hawaii on the Scantlins episode for Meet My Folks. You were quite impressive during the stand-up comedy challenge. Do you have any experience with comedy or otherwise on stage?
EF: No, I don't have any experience with any stand up comedy, but I've listened to Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld enough times to do their routines verbatim. I try to be funny, quirky guy at bars and as such, I have lied to girls I've met, saying that I have done amateur night stand up in the past. Better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody, right?
FORT: I think you're a real somebody, Eric. You seem really sweet. Have you been in contact with Melana or anyone else from the show since it aired?
EF: I talk to Melana about every two weeks or so. She is a very sweet person, and a nice soul. Even though she dismissed me on national TV, I'm not going to hate on her. Honestly, she was telling the truth: there wasn't chemistry between us, because the show is about having fun, not finding a love connection. I have not spoken to either Brook or Apple since the show, but both would be great to go out and have a beer with.
FORT: Had you ever seen Meet My Folks when it was on last summer and did you know what to expect? Would you recommend this to a friend?
EF: I did watch it last year and knew of the dreaded lie detector test. Before the show, they told us the lie detector wasn't necessarily going to be part of this year's show, but as seen, it obviously was. As far as recommendation: it depends on what the goal of being on the show was for an individual. My biggest fault was the fact that I won; 'winners curse.' If I had lost, I would have been shown in a much more positive light, much like Giancarlo from last year's episode. Thus, if a friend wanted to go on the show, but cared how they were perceived, I would strongly urge them to try to be eliminated first.
FORT: Why did the producers pick two guys named Eric to be on the same episode, and who decided to call Eric Apple "Apple" for the show?
EF: I think the casting directors and/or producers thought that, regardless of name, the two of us were so radically different that we would be a great contrast for the show. Unfortunately, the show was only an hour, because Apple and I had great banter throughout the filming. I was trying to suck-up to the parents, and Apple had witty retorts on the insincerity of my commentary. I guess 'Apple' made more sense than 'Ferch.'
FORT: Brook seemed rather quiet. Why did he volunteer to kiss Dad?
EF: That was the least of three evils in my opinion. That would have been my choice as well. I thought I had the worst task (even worse than the butt grab of the mom), because I came off as an inconsiderate guy, rather that a strange guy. And as mentioned by someone else, in Minnesota, being courteous is second to Godliness. It was difficult, but I was a team player.
FORT: Whose idea was it for Apple to "sabotage" you by dragging your shoes through the mud and smearing them on the rug?
EF: As far as I know, it was Apple's idea. The producers told us before we went in that all is fair in love and war and reality tv, and any means necessary to gain advantage was not only accepted, but encouraged. Up until the show aired, I had assumed that the producers planted the shoe; Apple had a great poker face, but why he lied on the lie detector test on that question is beyond me.
FORT: When I saw the episode, I was fully convinced that you were being honest when you told Melana about your virginity. Why did you flunk the lie detector test for that question? Was it just nerves about being questioned about that aspect of your life?
EF: Regarding the most hotly discussed question of virginity.....Yes, I am a virgin! Though I didn't say anything to the parents about it. The questions are written by the producers, not the parents. That was one of the hooks that got me on the show, the fact that I am obviously different than everyone else. My reasoning and rationale for agreeing to do MMF was more altruistic that just seeing my face on TV. I was attempting to prove that it's not only non-personality losers who are virgins. For some people, it's a choice. For me, it's a choice. I'm neither proud, nor ashamed of the fact that I'm a virgin, but if I can positively impact one person who wants to have sex solely because of peer pressure, I will have succeeded. BTW, I am a Christian and creating a testimony was the main thing I wanted to accomplish. Regarding Melana, she was very happy with the fact that I was a virgin (though most likely lost in the show due to the overall theme), they didn't cut a "you don't often meet a Casanova Virgin" excerpt from Melana. She is also a Christian (we had a long discussion off camera the night Brook was eliminated) and is interested in meeting a Christian, though not necessarily a virgin, guy.
Regarding the question, why I failed it, that's easy: The nature of the question condemned me. The ambiguity of many of the questions leads people to inadvertently lie. I actually failed the question "did you drink beer and track mud into the house?" TWICE. I am generally a pretty cynical person, and thus, when someone is questioning me, I guess I tend to tense up. As to the legitimacy of my answer, I guess it's my word against the lie detector, but I stand by my answer.
FORT: That makes perfect sense. You're a good skater as any former Minnesotan should be. So, which is it, hockey or figure skating?
EF: I've actually only been on skates about 5 times, and the last time was about 10 years ago, so to hear you say I looked ok on skates makes me feel good. I guess they figured since I was from Minnesota, I was born with skates on. You betcha. The fall was fake in order to get Melana to the ground for a kiss. Pretty pathetic attempt, but you do what you have to.
FORT: I thought it was sweet. Did you get any choice in what type of activity to do on your date?
EF: No. The producers asked me if I could skate and after saying, "not really, but I can ankle around the rink," it was settled.
FORT: Have you been on any other dating shows and would you ever?
EF: I haven't been on any other shows and have no intention of doing dating shows that are televised nationally.
FORT: Your brother Chris told me that he's going to be on Fifth Wheel. Did you inspire him to check out the world of reality tv dating or was it the other way around?
EF: His show filmed and aired before mine, so I guess it was he who introduced me to the world of dating shows. I think I'm one up on him, being on NBC rather than syndication, but he made out with three girls, so the public has to decide who's the better reality dating show Ferch.
FORT: Do you have a third brother? That could be another episode of Meet My Folks, have a single lady choose a date from three Ferches. How did you feel about Chris' tape that made you out to be a big crybaby?
EF: I didn't care at all. Chris and I have a great relationship and he could have subjected me to much worse than being a cry baby. He knows all the demons in my closet, and being a sensitive guy isn't really too criminal, despite what the dad said.
FORT: How did YOUR folks react to seeing the show, and do you think they would agree to be on an episode with women competing for a date with you?
EF: My Folks were proud of the way I handled myself and definitely believe me over the lie detector test. They were genuinely relieved when it aired, for I had prepared them for the worst. I guess relative to the other two, I came across as an angel, in my parents eyes at least. Whether they'd consider being the parents on a show with women, they might be too conservative to hear some of the contestants sordid pasts. That said, my mom has an energy about her that would serve her very well on the show.
FORT: What was the best thing that happened during filming that wasn't shown on the episode?
EF: After denying that he exposed himself in public, Apple was busted for mooning the hidden camera. He dropped his trousers in point blank range of the camera and Brook narc'd him out to the parents on a tape. That definitely got a lot of laughs with us, and I just wish it made it on the final cut. That's my $0.02 from the episode, let me know if you have further questions. Thanks for hearin'.
Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview and for joining us at the Meet My Folks forum at www.fansofrealitytv.com .