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HOME > Love in the Wild > Love in the Wild (Season 2)

Exclusive: "Chase" Aaron Chase talks about his 'Love in the Wild' experience (Part 2)


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/25/2012 

"Chase" Aaron Chase and his partner Summer Mack were eliminated from Love in the Wild just shy of making it to the NBC reality dating series' second-season finale, which aired Tuesday night.

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Chase, a 28-year-old from San Diego, CA who currently resides in Newport Beach, CA, and Summer, a 32-year-old from Satellite Beach, FL who currently resides in Indian Harbour Beach, FL, were eliminated from the competition after Kenneth Barrington and his partner Yanina Beccaria -- who finished first in the season's penultimate adventure and were therefore able to select which of the other remaining two couples should be sent home and which one would be their opponent in the finale -- chose to oust them because they had always posed a big threat in the challenges as a couple.

Last week, Chase talked to Reality TV World about his Love in the Wild experience and relationship with Summer -- including why he thought Benjamin Clark and Michelle Sacco didn't even scratch the surface of their relationship while on the show, why he believed Summer and himself had an excellent team dynamic in the challenges, which female contestant he thought was too "emotionally demanding" for his style, and which former Survivor castaway convinced him to apply for Love in the Wild.

Below is the concluding portion our exclusive interview with Chase. Click here to read the first half. To begin reading our interview with Summer, click here.

Reality TV World: Summer had made it clear that just because you two weren't taking showers together and such like Ben and Michelle were, it didn't mean you and Summer didn't really like each other. So based on how Ben and Michelle acted while you were on the show, did you think they simply had a physical attraction to each other or did you envision them having something deeper than that?

"Chase" Aaron Chase: I've never talked to Ben and Michelle or heard them talk about their future -- where they live, what they're going to do down the road -- all I heard them talk about were her jugs or their attraction to each other, and that was it. It was very surface. There wasn't depth at all.

Ken and Yanina had more depth, but for Ben and Michelle, it was very surface. They didn't even scratch the surface. It was like, "Oh you're pretty," "Oh you're pretty." It wasn't anything that was like, "Oh, I can take this girl home to mom," or, "I could take this guy home to dad." It was nothing like that, so for me, getting back to the point, with those two, their relationship was different.

I think [their connection] was physical and they're going to develop something later on, because you literally don't develop that kind of relationship within five days where you get the depth of like, "Oh my God, you're the one." Ken and Yanina had spent the most time together, and so, they were able to develop it slowly and had been through more obstacles.

But they came in and he just had an attraction. That's the reason he chose Michelle over [Jenny Blatt], because he was physically more attracted to her. That's what he said. So it was an attraction that initially got them together, and I'm sure since then they've had more of a deeper bond. But it was just a physical bond on the show, I would say.

Reality TV World: Summer tended to get very aggravated when you two would perform poorly in challenges or lost them altogether. And you were obviously on the show looking for a love match, not to -- as you had said during the season -- develop a first-place team. Looking back, do you think Summer took the adventures a little too seriously and was a little too competitive for you considering the circumstances of the show or did you like that aspect of her personality?

"Chase" Aaron Chase: I really appreciated it. Summer and I during the show, we sat down and said, "Okay, I'm good at this," or, "I'm not good at this." We just put it all out there like, "Hey I'm not good at communicating this way," or, "I'm not good at communicating that way," or, "I'm not good at operating this or that."

She told me from square one that based upon how the adventures probably were, "I'm not good at directions. You tell me where to go and I'll go there fast. You tell me what to do and I'll listen to you, and I can swim really good and that's about it." And so, I was like, "Okay well, I'm good at directions, so that would be my strength."

And she said, "When it comes to that, that'll be your responsibility. And when it comes to this, that'll be my responsibility." And we laid it all out, so we knew that whether we were in a situation like a competition, it would show that we were just going to say, "Okay, you take the reigns."

So was a little bit more intense than everybody else, but that was our understanding between us. That's how we wanted to go about it and we wanted to make sure that we delegated the responsibilities, because we needed to work together and learn how to operate.

Reality TV World: Clearly Ken and Yanina chose to keep Michelle and Ben for the final adventure because they thought you and Summer  posed a very strong physical threat. So did you think it was kind of obvious Ken and Yanina had a better shot at winning Love in the Wild or would you say they maybe underestimated Ben and Michelle a little bit?

"Chase" Aaron Chase: It was obvious that they had a better shot at winning. Ken and Yanina needed to make that decision if they wanted to win. If they were going to make the decision to go against Summer and I, I mean, they weren't making a decision based on how our relationship had developed or whether it was valuable or not.

They were making a decision on what was going to get them to the end of the finals and give them the best shot. So, going into that, they definitely based it -- we were definitely threats, yeah. We were definitely breathing down their throat.

And actually, they don't show this, but in Episode 4 when Summer and I become a couple and [Jesse Wilson] went and then [Ali Leitza] went and Ken picked that time to speak up [at the Couples Choice Ceremony], before that, Ken came to me and said, "Hey, on the off chance something happens and say there's partner switching, I want you to pick up Yanina and I will pick up Summer, because you're the only guy I trust to be with Yanina." 

And we agreed that we would see the two couples, my couple being with Summer and his with Yanina, to the finale. If we had a choice, we were going to have the two couples in the finale. So that's actually something that wasn't shown and I thought after the final plea [it would be shown], but they didn't show.

Reality TV World: So were you a little disappointed in Ken and Yanina's decision then based upon the fact you and Summer had become really close friends with them or did you just expect them to make that decision for their own benefit?

"Chase" Aaron Chase: I expected them to make that decision. Of course there was a slight glimmer of hope -- like that 10% percent chance -- but Summer and I just spent the last days getting some sun and hanging out, so, we expected to go home.

Reality TV World: Going back to the very beginning of the competition, you were the first guy picked when Cina Luks selected you out of all the original guys. Was that a little bit of an ego boost and how did that make you feel going into the season?

"Chase" Aaron Chase: It was a big ego boost for 10 seconds, and so then Cina came up to me and I said, "Oh thanks for choosing me!" And she was like, "Yeah, I like brown shirts." So I was like, "She picked me because of a brown shirt?" So it was definitely a good boost in ego but on somebody that doesn't like [to flaunt] their ego.

I thought that was very sweet of her and she's attracted to me among the other guys. I mean, you're going off of physical attraction, it's not like anything else. But yeah, it was very nice. It was very nice to be picked first.

Reality TV World: What exactly went wrong in your relationship with Cina, and then what about Ali? You were paired up with Ali for a bit but ended up choosing Summer from the "unmatched area."

"Chase" Aaron Chase: With Cina, we had a good talk and she was there for fun. She did not want to find a relationship. She wanted to go about it in a sense of finding somebody that would have fun with her.

And she ideally could see doing this whole adventure and just taking a trip around the world with a friend, whereas, I was trying to find somebody. So that's where we differed. That was just what she wanted, and at that time, [Jason Ewell] was more bubbly and just trying to be a buddy-buddy, friend-friend.

I was like, "You know what? I'm actually going to go with somebody else and see if something else works." So I know it was a 50/50 chance between Jason and I in the first episode, but she chose him. And then with Ali, I was fortunate that she picked me because it allowed me to stay around and eventually find Summer, but with her, it was just too emotionally demanding.

This person in that situation, she just stresses out too much, and once she stresses out, she freezes. I can't constantly coddle somebody, like, "It's going to be okay. It's going to be okay." There's nothing worse than being out there in this amazing place and you can't even talk to somebody because they're pissed off, afraid of something -- they're so inside their own head that they're not actually with you.

So, that's why it didn't work with Ali and that's why I chose to go a different route. And all in all, I was looking for a chance to be with Summer. In the first episode, she won. So, we didn't get to see each other or get to know each other, except for like 10 seconds because I was at the cabins and she was at the Oasis.

Second episode, Ali and I won. We didn't get a chance to see each other because then we were at the Oasis. Third episode, here come all the girls. So, it wasn't until the end of the third that we decided, "Hey, we haven't gotten to know each other. Let's see if this works."

Reality TV World: During the dating game in which you competed against Ken and Yanina and Ben and Michelle, Summer answered "both" to the last question about who's ready to settle down and start a family first. Jenny McCarthy cracked a joke asking whether Summer had seen Love in the Wild’s first season because a similar situation played out before. So my first question is, did you watch Season 1 and did you get the reference?

"Chase" Aaron Chase: Yes, I watched the first season, definitely. There were definitely a lot of parallels between the two, and looking back I'm like, "Wow." And actually, I knew that was going to happen, so I definitely wanted to prepare for that and so Summer and I had many conversations and as time passed, we wanted to know more about each other.

Reality TV World: Skip Sullivan was the guy involved in last season's dating game with his partner Theresa Trujillo, who had answered "both" like Summer. And he got pretty pissed that Theresa answered that way, so were you frustrated or disappointed Summer came up with that answer at all? What was going through your mind when that happened?

"Chase" Aaron Chase: I thought it was an obvious "Whoops" mistake, but I can't be mad at her. I mean this stuff happens and if she thought that was a viable answer, then fine, you know?... I was upset at course, but it happens!

Reality TV World: Do you think had you and Summer gotten that 30-second head start Ben and Michelle received that you could've won the adventure and then automatically earned your ticket into the finale? Do you think that would've made all the difference or no?

"Chase" Aaron Chase: Yeah definitely. It would have made a world of a difference. There's certain things on the course that kind of delayed us, so that would have made the difference.

Honestly, the difference between Summer and I winning and losing was when we entered the [banana] plantation and Ken and Yanina were right behind us, we went right and then Ken and Yanina came in 10 seconds after us and went left -- and that's when Ken spotted that one chest. So, it literally was a difference of we went right instead of going left.

Reality TV World: Why did you originally apply for Love in the Wild? Was it simply to find love or were you also looking for a little adventure and fun and stuff like that?

"Chase" Aaron Chase: I had no idea what I was signing up for. I honestly wasn't -- I never applied for a show or never have been a part of anything like this. I had a friend that was on Survivor and she always talked about how great her time was, and she sent me an email and said, "Hey, you should try out for this!"

I'm like, "Okay." So I just went up there on my one week off, on a Wednesday, and just went in there and told them my story and what I was about. I didn't even know what the show was.

I got a call back later and then was like, "Oh, I should check out what this show's about." So definitely, I didn't at first -- my very initial reasons were just to check it out. But then when I saw what it was about, I was really excited to get the opportunity to maybe find somebody. And I did, so I was really excited!

Reality TV World: Would you mind sharing who that friend is who had competed on Survivor?

"Chase" Aaron Chase: Katie Gallagher [from Survivor: Palau].

Above is the concluding portion our exclusive interview with Chase. Click here to read the first half. To begin reading our interview with Summer, click here.

(Photo credit NBC)


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