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FORT recently had the opportunity to talk to our first Beauty from CWís ďBeauty and the Geek.Ē Described as a 25-year-old model from Elk Grove, IL, Tori seemed to fit the stereotype of a woman only concerned with outward appearance. Why did Tori refuse to study before her challenges, and why did she blow up at her partner Sanjay, a self-described virginal computer science major, for not being supportive enough? As we often find in reality television, the answer lies in a platitude: you canít judge a book by its cover.
So how did you come to be on the show? Had you watched the previous seasons?
No, I didnít know much about the show. The only thing that I caught one time, I think it may have been like the second season, when they were winning the money or something, and my sister said, ďthatís Beauty and the Geek!Ē So I had no idea what the show was about. I get a phone call asking if I can come in for an interview, and I was like, ďOh yeah, sure, Beauty and Geek.Ē (laughs) Iíd heard of it, but Iíd never seen it. And I know Ashton Kutcher, and I love his TV shows, so I went in for the interview. I got the concept of it being beauties trying to show the guys how to be hip and cool, and the guys helping the girls out with brain-work, just like, a lot of studying.
I didnít know it would be that bad, the way they portrayed me, as being very dumb. And Iím far from that, Iím very intelligent. Iím a young woman, trying to make it out here on my own. I live in Orange County, I live on my own, I take care of my things, and I pay my bills and have excellent creditóand here I am, on national television -- dumb! Just dumb! Itís funny how they didnít show where I studied. Yeah, I choked in elimination, but I studied! They showed I just went to bed--yeah thatís crazy, I studied! The teleprompter, I read that right like two or three times, but they didnít show that. They just showed the dumb girl getting put into elimination. I admit that I choked, but give me the benefit of the doubt.
That was actually one of my questions for you, because obviously a lot of times they donít show everything, but I was wondering if there was a time you studiedóthey really made it look like you didnít study at all, like right before the interview.
My brother called meóhe said ďTori, why didnít you study? Why did you go to bed?Ē I promise you, I went to bed at about 1:00 in the morning. I studied, I donít know why they didnít show it. Itís horrible!
The premise of the show is that the women consider themselves to be beauties but not necessarily brains. It sounds that like that doesnít really describe you. But do you still think that your looks are your best asset?
My best asset is my heart. Iím a very kind and happy person. They portrayed me as being a big crybaby, but Iím outgoing, Iím just a loveable person. That goes along with my beauty, and Iím intelligent -- Iím very intelligent, I know a lot of things. I went to school, I graduated from high school, I went to college. Itís strange how they made me out to be a really dumb girl. Iím annoyed, but Iím OK with it because, because hey -- I signed the contract to do this, but I really was just hoping that they wouldnít show me in a bad light, like Iím just a nobody, because I donít want this to mess up my career. I donít want people to think, ďOh, we donít want her to do this or that, because she doesnít know jack!Ē Which is so not true!
If you know me, if you get to know me, if you know the kind of person I amómy family, my friends, they knew me from the get-go, when they saw this show, they said ďOh my Godóyou donít even have to tell me, that show was so edited!Ē Iím a hard-working person. I get out there and I get it, and I do my thing. And Iím so outgoing, itís just like, on the show it seemed like I was just really insecure about everything. It was horrible! The house wasnít a good thing for me. Nobody was talking in the house. The only person I really communicated with was the cook, Belleóshe was really nice to me. I ate really well, she fed me really good. Sanjay was not very supportive of the whole thing that I was going through.
Originally you picked Sanjay because he was funny - did you continue to find him amusing, or was that just the first night?
It wasnít because of that blender thing. They didnít show the part where heís really into basketball, like the LA Lakers, and I like the Clippers, so me thinking, so he likes basketball, so I think that weíd get along real well, weíd talk about it and weíd have a good time, and heíd be somebody that Iíd communicate well with in the house. They didnít show that! Why would I even pick someone that does a blender impersonation? Come on! When I watched it, what they showed of me was horrible. It was the bad side, they didnít show the part of me thatís intelligent, and smart, and funny, and cool, and always happy. They just showed the part where I was dumb and looked like I didnít know nothing! People choke, I choked!
It was a pressure situation.
Itís a lot of pressure. Itís a lot of pressure, the house, like, watching us, and me thinking Iím going to make a mistake, I already know it, because I have so many people watching me in the room. What really set it off, and I knew it was going downhill, was when I went into the first challenge and I did poorly, and my geek was not happy with me. I knew right there, everything is going to crash.
So can I ask you about the menówere they what you were expecting?
I didnít expect them to be that bad. They were beyond geeky. Iíd never seen that before. Only on TV, but Iíd never seen it in person. It shocked me to see them dressed that wayÖ
And it was real, it wasnít a joke?
When I went to school, there were guys that were nerds or whatever, but they didnít dress that badóthat was horrible. It was really horrible. It was really nice meeting them, and I think they were really sweet, they just want to be loved and they just want to let everyone know theyíre normal.
I could not believe how many of the men had never heard the term "booty." Considering that Sanjay was supposed to be a "rap fan" (as he put it), was that real?
That he was a virgin?
No, that he had never heard the term ďbootyĒ?
No, that is so weird. Thereís something he said on the show that I barely knew about, and I was like, ďHuh?Ē Did you get that? That he thought it was pirate treasure or something? So he was reciting some song, and I was like, ďYou have to know what booty means.Ē You know that song, (singing) ďBooty booty booty!Ē When I met him it was hard for me to believe that he was really a geeky geek. It seemed like he was there for the show. For the money, too.
What about when Sanjay launched into his comedy routine about racial profiling, they showed a clip of you gulping. What was going through your mind when you heard that?
What did he say again? I didnít see that part on the show.
He told a joke about racial profiling, and the punchline of the joke was that the person who knew Osama Bin Laden was his dad. You looked a little uncomfortable.
Me, I come from a family that accepts everybody, and I donít see race. Itís really sad to see people call you out as a black girl, or a white person. I grew up in an all-white neighborhood. We were the only blacks in that neighborhood. I went to a predominately white school, and the area I was in was all white, and Iím comfortable with whoever Iím around. It bothers me, and Iíve always hated that people are always portrayed as racial beings. I donít like when people talk about it, I just donít think itís a good thing. I hate when people say, (in a pompous voice) ďIím pretty sure whatís going on now is that the black girls get kicked off first because theyíre black.Ē It may be that I was kicked off because I was black. Maybe the other girls in the house didnít want me to be successful. Maybe they didnít like me, I donít know, I donít care, but itís sad if theyíre really like that. Itís so upsetting and itís so sad to know that somebody is prejudiced. Iíll have to watch that again, I donít remember him talking about that.
He made the joke about racial profiling and nobody laughed. That was pretty much it.
It was a long time ago, it was like six or seven months ago. Iíll have to watch it again.
But I think itís just stupid. Get over itóweíre all different racesó(in a sassy voice) oh well! I love being what I am and who I am and what Iíve become. Iím very comfortable in my skin.
It sucks that I didnít get a lot of airtime. Especially with my geek, like after the comedy show, I wasnít shown with him, there was a lot of stuff that I did. I was chilling with him. Why wasnít I seen a lot more than the girls who were like acting like sluts? Thatís totally fine if they want to put me out there like a dumb girl, I donít care, because I am who I am, my family knows who I am, and my friends, and thatís all that mattersóand God! God knows who I am, he knows all about me! So thatís all that matters.
It does tell you what you need to do to get more screen time. The ones who get the screen time are the ones who are acting kind of slutty.
Yeah, thatís true!
Not that Iím advocating that!
Hey, I totally agree with you. Itís just that there are people out there that deserve the same amount as the next person. I donít know, the stuff that Iím hearingÖif you check out the [Internet websites], theyíre saying things like, ďBeauty and the Geek picks on the black woman.Ē What is that all about? Iím serious! And then theyíre saying things like, ďTori, what a moron. Sheís uneducated, she canít even read, sheís illiterate.Ē Iím like, what is this all about? They donít even know me and theyíre judging me, and theyíre so wrong! But thatís okay. They have their opinions. I have my opinions about celebrities and all that, so thatís okay. That doesnít hurt me. When you get to know me Ė if you ever get to know me Ė youíll love the hell out of me.
Can I talk to you a minute about the interview challenge with Stephen Dubner? Personally, I thought that was a daunting task even for a polished journalist. What did you think when you first heard you would be interviewing one of the authors of Freakanomics?
Right. That was totally fine. I love talking to people. The thing is, I studied the night before and the day of the elimination. I stayed up until 1:00 in the morning studying. They just showed me going to bed. (laughs) Itís so crazy how they didnít show me studying. Yes, I choked during the eliminations but I studied, and they didnít show the world that.
So you did prepare for the interview?
I read maybe three or four pages of the book. And a lot of it was just pressure. Everyone was studying it, and everyone was watching me, and it was just really horrible. The thing about the teleprompter was that I did read the teleprompter three times and they just showed me looking like, ďUh.Ē You know? They just were out to make me look so bad! And now people are [on the Internet] saying, ďTori made black women look badĒ and ďThatís why itís so hard for us to get good jobs.Ē Iím like, ďWhat the hell, are you serious?Ē
Wow, so youíre responsible for that much, are you?
I know! They really need to deal. I just think that itís so dumb and ignorant to say something like that. I hope some day the world knows the real story. My friends and family Ė they love me to death, and they hated to see that happen, but as long as they know me, my family and God, Iím okay with that. Everything works out for the best. Everything happens for a reason, and I had to be the first one to go. There was somebody that had to go, and that was me.
So you said that you didnít feel that Sanjay was supporting you, but he also told the camera that he was apologizing and you werenít accepting it. Did you feel like Sanjay was apologizing as he says he was?
When we were at the table? Itís funny how they mixed it up again! He had been telling me, ďYou canít base your life off faith.Ē I told him, ďI base my life off of faith because thatís all I go by. I love the Lord, and Iím totally down for him, and thereís nothing wrong with that.Ē And then he was saying, (imitating Sanjay) ďWell, Iím sorry I said that.Ē [/i] They just mixed it up. Itís not how it went.
Sanjay did make me feel bad the night before. They didnít have the camera on us the night before when Sanjay was talking to me, and saying that I wasnít smart. He said, ďIím smart and I know what it takes to be smart.Ē Thatís why I blew up on him the next day in the kitchen, telling him how I felt. They made me look like the bad girl. And now people are saying on the Internet, ďSanjay, I feel sorry for you. You didnít have a partner with you. They should have edited Tori out completely from the show, I donít know why they even had her on.Ē Come on! Itís a reality show.
Do you think it all would have gone differently if you had had a different guy to pair up with?
I totally think it would have gone differently. I totally do. Because there were a couple of guys that I did like in the house, that I said a couple of words to, so I think it would have gone differently.
Was there anything that happened that you wished had made the edited show? Anything we as viewers did not get to see?
My happy side! Iím so happy, Iím always happy, outgoing, energetic Ė and they didnít show any of that. They only showed me as a dumb, uneducated woman, and it was horrible.
They did catch you at a few low moments.
My family and friends know that I have high spirits, Iím educated, Iím very hyper, Iím excited all the time. I love life and I just canít wait for the next journey or whatever comes next in life. I canít wait to go get it, I canít wait to have it! Itís mine, and I want it! Itís just crazy. Iím so glad Iím talking to you guys, because I was like, ďWho do I talk to? I need to get this off my chest.Ē (laughs)
Weíre a big reality site so youíll get heard.
I have a lot more to say! Thereís just so many things going through my head right now, and every thing is coming at me at once right now. I didnít even want to see the show but I probably needed to. In the house, it just felt like such a weird vibe. There would be two or three girls in the room talking, and I would come in, and a minute or two later they would walk out. Then I was all alone. I was like, ďOkayÖwonít somebody talk to me?Ē (laughs)
It wasnít good. It wasnít a good experience. I really didnít get a chance to shine. I wanted to learn more, and I really didnít get that chance. Thatís what really sucks, because I really am a good person, and I know I need to be out there. I have so much in me. So much in me itís ridiculous. I just need to get it out there.
Thank you very much for speaking with me today, Tori!
Happy New Year!
Thanks for talking to us Tori, and many thanks to CW for letting us talk to a beauty.