Exclusive: Skip Sullivan talks Theresa Trujillo and 'Love in the Wild'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/17/2011
Skip Sullivan and his partner Theresa Trujillo were eliminated from Love in the Wild after they finished the adventure in last place and subsequently lost the Couples' Choice Ceremony's dating game which determined the competition's final two pairs during last Wednesday night's episode of the new NBC reality dating series.
On Monday, Reality TV World caught up with Skip, a 30-year-old loan underwriter from Milton, MA, to discuss the season and some of the most memorable events to-date -- including whether he is still dating Theresa and how their relationship played out, what actually happened when the couple lost their bag of coins and took a leisurely stroll to the finish line during last week's episode, what his general opinion of girls from his local Boston area is, why he resorts to casual dating when all else fails, and whether he believes claims his relationship with Theresa on Love in the Wild was "X-rated" were accurate.
Reality TV World: Are you currently still dating Theresa or are you single and still looking for love?
Reality TV World: Do you mind talking about what went wrong between you two? Why and when did you breakup and are you still on good terms and was it a case where you two decided maybe it wasn't going to work out due to the long distance factor or anything like that?
Skip Sullivan: Yeah, I mean the long-distance thing was basically the main issue. We're on separate coasts and it's kind of difficult to organize trips every couple weeks or once a month or whatever. It was actually kind of a mutual decision. Both of us still get along; We still talk once in awhile. There's nothing -- nothing really bad happened or anything like that.
It's just that a little bit came down to the fact that we're very different people and a lot of the common ground we had was basically that we were on the TV show together. We tried to make it work for a couple months and it did, but it was difficult for her.
She's now living in LA and I think she likes to go out and have a good time. I think it was hard for her to have a good time and have a boyfriend at the same time I guess, so.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised you didn't last since you left the show with every intention to stay together?
Skip Sullivan: I don't think it came as a big shock that it wouldn't have lasted that long. I mean, in order for us to really have pursued a relationship, I guess one of us would've had to move and she doesn't want to come out to the East Coast. Her whole family is there and I have my whole family here.
I don't mind moving. I could see myself moving out of Boston, but it's just not going to happen anytime really soon. Who knows? I mean, I could move out to LA and start seeing her again or move out to California or something like that, but in the near future, that's not really in my cards.
Reality TV World: Viewers really didn't see much of you and Theresa throughout the season except for last week's episode when you both got eliminated. When I talked to Darren McMullen a few weeks ago, he told me that was because your relationship was kind of "X-rated" or too intense for cameras. What's your response to that? Do you agree with that or do you think maybe you two just weren't very entertaining?
Skip Sullivan: Maybe a little bit of both. There wasn't a whole lot of drama with Theresa and I. We're both really laid back and we got along really well. So, I guess that's not something really to -- that's going to make good TV, I guess. We weren't hiding in the cabins the whole time like naked in our beds. We were out and about with the rest of the couples.
I just think that during the adventures, we got along really well. There wasn't a whole lot of bickering or anything like that. It was really easy to kind of get along with her. So, on the adventure side, there wasn't -- and we never really won, so we were always kind of in the middle.
We were kind of the couple that got along and didn't really do anything that spectacular or do anything that terrible. So, I thought there was a lot of things that we did that were kind of funny. There was a lot of us joking around that maybe they didn't show or maybe it wouldn't really have related to what was happening with the rest of the show.
So, I don't really know why there wasn't a whole lot of us besides the things I just said. We were one couple that got physically close a lot quicker than the others did, so I know that was true of us.
We were -- I don't know how to say this -- but we were physically attracted to each other right off the bat, and we weren't really afraid of the cameras. So maybe that's one of the reasons why Darren might have mentioned that.
Reality TV World: You seemed frustrated when Theresa answered the question about who's more adventurous when it came to intimacy during the dating game at the Couples' Choice Ceremony with a "both" answer. However, you kind of laughed off the situation as well. So what was actually going through your mind at that point and why do you think she did that?
Skip Sullivan: Well I couldn't believe she would've chosen an answer that wasn't given. There was no "all of the above" choice, so the fact that she chose "all of the above" was a little bit of a shock to me. Although at the same time, if I had chosen "both," and she had chosen "both," we would have looked spectacular. But that wasn't the case.
I just thought that it was kind of a bonehead decision to make and maybe she didn't do very well on standardized testing in school or something like that, but my whole mentality for the show was that I was there to have fun and I wasn't -- something like that isn't going to make me mad at someone.
The whole situation was kind of funny and I'm not going to get angry at someone for making a mistake like that. She did make a couple mistakes on the last episode, but the reason I laughed it off was because there's nothing I could have done about it at that point. So, me being angry about it and letting it bother me wouldn't be something that would have helped the situation.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised to be eliminated after the game because maybe you thought you did know each other very well, or did you go into the game worried wishing you guys had asked each other more questions and had more serious conversations?
Skip Sullivan: When we found out that there was a game on how we knew each other, I did panic for a couple seconds because I knew [Mike Spiro] and [Samantha Woods] had lots of time alone to spend with each other because they won so many times. So they had a lot of time to be on these oasis dates and things like that, but Theresa and I didn't have so much alone time.
We were always with the rest of the contestants, so I knew there were going to be some questions in there that we were going to struggle with. It was close though. We were with each other since the second episode, so I thought maybe we would have a chance because I did learn quite a bit about her when I was on the show.
I knew we had a chance, but I knew it was going to be really tough to beat Mike and Sam. So, my goal was just to try to beat [Miles Haefner] and [Heather Pond], but that didn't happen.
Reality TV World: The questions during the game revolved more around your adventures together and the intimacy aspect of your relationships. Did you feel the questions were fair and truly resembled how well you knew Theresa or do you think the questions weren't good choices and the game should have centered upon other subjects?
Skip Sullivan: No, I think they did a good job of the questions that they asked. It was basically good because they split it up between questions of the time we had there and then some basic knowledge questions that we should have known about each other and about our lives prior to coming there.
Some of the questions like, "How many kids do you want to have?" and things like that, those aren't really questions I ask someone after knowing someone for three or four weeks in general.
Maybe for Mike and Sam that was something different or maybe their relationship was moving a little quicker than ours did, but I thought they were pretty fair. It ended up being kind of close at the end anyways. So, I guess I would say that they were fair.
Reality TV World: How disappointed were you that you guys didn't make it into the finale together? Were you really looking forward to taking that trip around the world and had you both won, do you think it maybe would have changed the outcome of your relationship with Theresa?
Skip Sullivan: I think if we had won, our relationship probably would have lasted a little bit longer, but ultimately, I don't know if it would have made it lasting -- or at least lasting for a long time.
I think it would have extended it a little bit and it would have maybe put a different spin on it, but I don't think -- although we were a good match on the show and for a little bit after -- that Theresa and I are like a perfect match for each other. I think we're probably looking for a little bit of different things in life.
But I think if we went around the world, I would have really enjoyed a trip around the world. I would have really enjoyed spending that time with Theresa, because we do get along and there's no hard feelings between us and we don't not like each other.
We still talk and things like that. It's just there's circumstances that make it so that I can't drop everything that I have going on in my life and neither can she. So, it just doesn't really work right now.
Reality TV World: You guys lost a bag of coins during last week's adventure. What happened there? How did you end up losing the bag, when did you realize it was missing, and how long did you spend looking for it?
Skip Sullivan: I have no idea where we lost the bag. My guess is that we sank it. Throughout that adventure, I asked her every two to three minutes if she had the bags, because I knew the one thing we needed to finish the race were those bags of coins. So I would ask her every couple minutes if she had the coins.
When we got the fourth bag of coins, when we left the beach to go out to that pier where the fourth bag of coins was, she had all three. So at some point between the pier and when we got back onto the beach and then about maybe 500 yards down the path, we lost them. And we searched the path exactly where we -- the steps we took on that path.
And then we went back into the water, so we probably looked for about 20 minutes and five minutes were after the two couples had already passed us. We were really far ahead of Miles and Heather and Mike and Sam. So, I think that we lost them somewhere in the water by that pier when we were either looking for the bag of coins or on our way back in, because they definitely weren't on the path.
Reality TV World: How long after the other teams do you think you made it to the finish line?
Skip Sullivan: Probably about a half hour because they ran the rest of the way, which was probably a couple miles, and we just walked. We dropped everything. We put the paddleboard down in the path, left that in the woods and then just took a walk. We weren't in any hurry really to get back to the finish line. We just kind of definitely went a whole different way.
You were supposed to run through the woods along the beach and we just walked down along the shoreline and then cut back into the town where we were supposed to get to that bar. So, it actually took us quite awhile. We weren't in any rush to finish the race. I actually stopped and took an outside shower in the town before we got to the finish line. They didn't show that. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Did you stop for anything else along the way or was that it?
Skip Sullivan: I actually went swimming a couple times. It was hot. It was really hot along the beach where we were finishing up. It was probably right at noon when we were making that last walk in, so I had stopped a couple times and went swimming for a little bit, got back out, and then when we got back into town, there was this little outdoor shower that I stopped and took a shower in to get all the salt water and sand off of me.
Reality TV World: Why did you originally go on Love in the Wild? Were you looking for a lasting relationship from the beginning or were you just looking for a fun dating experience but then changed your mind when you got to know Theresa?
Skip Sullivan: Originally I went on because I was single -- I still am single -- but I was single at the time and I feel like you can meet somewhere anywhere at any moment. It's not like I was looking for -- I wasn't desperate to find love, so I didn't go on the show really with the hopes that I was going to find a girlfriend. I was just going to play it by ear and see what happens.
So, the whole experience was for fun, which is why I went on, and then I ended up meeting Theresa and we got along really well. It wasn't like if I had gone on the show and I didn't find a girlfriend that it was going to be a complete failure, so I didn't really set the bar too high as to what I expected -- or from my expectations of the show, the bar wasn't set too high.
It was more along the lines of, "I'm going to go and see what happens, and at the very least, I know that I'll have fun and I will meet some great people along the way," which is what happened. When I left the show and I met Theresa, I was happy with the way we left and I was happy with how far we made it, and I was happy with how much we accomplished and how well we got to know each other.
She is a really great person and I had a lot of fun. I'm glad that I spent my time with Theresa, or my time there with Theresa, because we did have a lot of fun and it was very stress-free between the two of us. I think that was kind of her mentality too. It's probably why we ended up getting along so well.
It was because the two of us said this a lot on the show that we didn't expect to find someone that we would like that much. It's just too bad things didn't work out after the show, but what happens, happens.
Reality TV World: When I interviewed Darren, he said most of the contestants went on the show because they tried all types of dating and nothing worked out for them. Was that your situation or were things different for you? Did that play any role?
Skip Sullivan: I hadn't had a real serious girlfriend in maybe like a year or two, and I meet girls all the time and they just never seem to be ones that I actually really, really like. I almost date out of boredom because I'll date someone for a couple months and get bored with them and then I'd rather be dating someone than just hang out by myself all the time.
But I'm always trying to meet someone new. I'm always trying to find someone that I could possibly date and get engaged to and marry, but I don't know. I just feel like either I'm really picky or I go after the wrong girls or whatever the case may be.
But that's probably part of the reason why I did go on the show. I tried a lot of other things and I've dated a lot of other girls, so why not try to meet someone on a TV show, you know? Maybe that'll work. (Laughs)
Reality TV World: You've talked about why you liked Theresa and you mentioned a couple times throughout the season that they "just don't make girls like her in Boston." I'm from the Boston area myself, so on behalf of Boston women everywhere, could you explain exactly what you meant by that?
Skip Sullivan: Uh, (laughs) I guess I'm used to a certain type of person from Boston -- a certain type of girl from Boston -- and when I did meet Theresa, she's not the type of person that I would normally meet here. She's a California girl.
She's really into her looks and she really cares about her hair and things like that -- not that girls in Boston don't care about their looks -- but a lot of times, girls in Boston are -- they're just not that pretty in Boston, basically.
Reality TV World: You were originally paired up with Jessica Soares. How did that go and what did you think of her? Why do you think things didn't work out between you two?
Skip Sullivan: I liked Jessica. She's pretty cool. She's a really fun girl. I don't think that she's really my type. And one other reason why I didn't want to stay with her was why the hell would I want to go all the way to Costa Rica to hang out and be on an adventure with a girl that was from [nearby] Bridgewater, you know? She lives like 20 minutes away from me.
So, I feel like if I wanted to meet someone from Bridgewater or someone from around here, I could just go to like any bar in Boston and meet someone like that. But Jessica was really cool. She ended up kind of being like a little sister or like a good friend on the show. Sometimes she would come to me for advice and confide in me sometimes.
She was really fun. She was a lot of fun to hang out with and she had some pretty funny moments on the show. She kind of let some of the heavy stuff brush off her shoulders, and I thought that was pretty cool of her. I liked her personality. She was a really good kid, and I still keep in touch with her.
Reality TV World: You were originally paired with Theresa when she and Peter Paris decided to split and asked you to pair up with her at the end of the first episode. Was that a surprise to you or was it a case where you two had already been spending a lot of time together earlier and she had already told you she was going to pick you?
Skip Sullivan: Actually, Peter orchestrated that for me. At the time, we were so new to what was happening on the show and no one really knew how the elimination was going to go down. So, everyone was kind of like running around trying to meet different people and trying to get to know people in an accelerated manner.
Peter actually approached me and said, "Hey, Theresa and I are going to switch up. If she asked you or you got a chance to pick, would you ask her?" So he kind of hooked that up for me, and then when I went over and talked to Theresa and got to know her a little bit, at first I just thought, "Well, she'll be fun to go on the adventure with."
I didn't think anything; I didn't think we'd actually stay together. I thought maybe she'd be someone I would hang out with maybe for the next adventure and then would move on from there, but as it worked out, we liked hanging out with each other and we had a good time on the adventure. I don't know. We just kept on progressing from there.
Reality TV World: What are your thoughts on the last two couples that are left? After you were eliminated, who did you think had the best shot at winning and why?
Skip Sullivan: It's kind of a toss up between the two at winning the last adventure, because physically, they are pretty equal. I think Mike is a really smart kid and he's competitive, and so is Samantha. Heather is kind of the same way and Miles isn't as intense as the other three. I can see Miles and Heather winning if Mike and Samantha have a breakdown.
I can see Samantha having a breakdown and getting down on herself. I can also see Mike and Sam winning if they stay in the lead the whole time and they keep it all together. So, it's kind of like whoever keeps it together and works best as a team, is the team that is going to win, I think. As long as it doesn't involve swimming, because Miles can't swim.
Skip Sullivan: Yeah, we were all really shocked by the Steele and Erica thing. I knew for a fact that Ben and Brandee weren't going to stay together. I was right in front of them during the last challenge -- or the last adventure -- and Brandee was totally defeated. She had just had enough and I think Ben just kind of wore her out.
I also think that Ben and Brandee really weren't ever that great of a couple. I think their two personalities are too different and they clash too much, especially if you put them in a stressful type of situation like that.
I think Ben needs someone with probably a little bit of a thicker skin and Brandee needs someone that's probably a little bit more encouraging and a little bit more empathetic, I guess when she does get down on herself for something like that. She even says that.
She says that she would rather have someone that would encourage her as opposed to someone that would kind of approach it the way Ben did. But my thoughts on Ben, I thought Ben was actually a really nice guy and he's got a very sweet side to him. But he also can kind of have an edge to him that can rub people the wrong way.
I know the guys on the show all really liked Ben and I think by the end, a lot of the girls on the show even liked Ben. They might not have wanted to be his partner, but there was a side to Ben that was sweet and it was very caring. There's also a side to him that when his competitive side came out, he kind of lost that sweet side to him.
Reality TV World: When I talked to Steele last week, he said you guys had an incredible amount of downtime. So how much of you was looking forward to the adventures and potential rewards while you were on the show versus the time you got to spend just relaxing in the pool and bungalows talking and getting to know everyone afterwards?
Skip Sullivan: The first couple weeks, we didn't mind the downtime because there was a whole bunch of people there to hang out with and we could all kind of keep each other busy, especially if it was nice out. We could sit at the pool and hang out and it was a nice vacation.
But towards the end when the couples started dwindling off and there was not a whole lot of people, looking forward to winning the adventures had a different aura about it because A.) You could leave and go to the oasis and have a different type of night and then the next day you get to go do something special -- whatever it may have been.
So, that kind of became a lot more important as the show went on later into the episodes. I actually really looked forward to the adventures because I was in really good shape and I really liked the challenge aspect of it. I liked the fact that I didn't know what we were going to be doing and that's how I looked at the adventures -- as a challenge for myself -- especially when there was a lot of physical activity involved.
When they were physically challenging, I enjoyed them more because I felt like I had an advantage over a lot of the other guys because I was in such good shape. They were kind of right up my alley. They were just physical enough where I felt like I could do better than some of the other guys and there was a mental aspect of it that I felt made them really interesting.
Probably one of my favorite parts about the show was the adventures. They were really a lot of fun and I would get excited for them. I can't remember getting excited like that. The last time I felt that way was probably getting ready for a football game in college.
You wake up in the morning and it's like a little adrenaline boost and you're excited about competing. When you work in an office and you're 30-years-old, you don't really get that sense of competition as much as you used to. So, I really like that part of the show and I really liked that part of the experience that we got to do.
Reality TV World: Would you say going on the adventures truly helped you guys form relationships or did the challenges just make everything more tense than it needed to be between partners?
Skip Sullivan: I think a little bit of both. I think if you got along well with your partner and if you went through these adventures and had a good time and were successful, I think that says a lot about the relationship that you have. They should get tense and they should be stressful situations, and you should judge your relationship on how well you guys do -- how well that couple actually does together.
I mean, there's a lot of really stressful things that happen in a relationship and how you handle them is one way to either bring you guys, a couple, closer or separate. That's in life, not just on the TV show. But this is the really accelerated version of how the two of you might handle something that is stressful.
There were a lot of stressful things. There were a lot of moments -- not just on the adventures but maybe going into eliminations -- when the other person is nervous or upset and they didn't know what was going to happen that night. You don't know if you should pack your bags and go home.
You don't know how well you comfort the other person and how you treat that person when they do feel that way. The dynamic of the show is really pretty cool and I always thought of it as like a metaphor for a real relationship.
I think Steele said this and I think they aired it, he's like, "Before you get married, everyone should go on an adventure like this to see if you guys can actually stay together and to see if you guys can actually handle it." It's kind of true. I mean, I think if a couple can make it through some of the things we went through, you're off to a good start.
Reality TV World: Do you have any regrets from the show and who have you kept in touch with besides the people you have already mentioned?
Skip Sullivan: I honestly don't have any regrets. I kind of like the way I went off. I thought it was kind of funny how it ended. I'm glad that I didn't get upset or mad at Theresa or anything like that, because that just wouldn't really -- The way that I was shown is actually the way I would act in that type of situation.
There's no point in me getting angry at someone or mad at someone when it's something that's out of my control. That's kind of the way I live my life and I have for the past few years. Situations that aren't in my control, I just kind of let them be. There's no point in letting something bother me that I can't control.
So, I was happy that I didn't lose my cool and I didn't get angry at someone or her during the whole last episode. I think I would have liked to have made it to the last episode just so I could have gone on all the adventures and had a chance to win it just because I think it would have been cool if Theresa and I actually finally won one of the adventures.
We were so close along the way. We always kind of shot ourselves in the foot when we did it, but other than that, I'm really happy with the people I met. I'm glad I stayed with Theresa. I still keep in touch with a lot of the people. Steele and Mike and Miles and I are all pretty tight, and I talk to [Derek Leach] and Ben occasionally, but for guys, Miles, Steele and Mike are the three guys I talk to the most.
I almost talk to them daily. I mean, if it's not daily, it's every other day. I still keep in touch with Sam and Heather and I've actually seen [Kym Nguyen] out in Boston a couple times, so that's been fun. Kym's a nice girl.