Exclusive: Yanina Beccaria talks about her 'Love in the Wild' experience (Part 2)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/01/2012
Yanina Beccaria and partner Kenneth Barrington were crowned Love in the Wild's second-season champions during last week's finale of the NBC reality dating series, which featured singles attempting to find love in the Dominican Republic.
As the winning couple, Ken and Yanina received Love in the Wild's second-season grand prize -- an all-expenses paid first class trip around the world for two. The pair beat out runner-up couple Benjamin Clark and Michelle Sacco in the season's final adventure, which took the couples two days to complete.
Last week, Yanina talked to Reality TV World about her Love in the Wild experience and relationship with Ken -- including why she felt Michelle and Ben did have a deep connection despite others' claims they simply had a physical attraction, whom she pointed the finger at in the Ken versus Jesse Wilson dispute and whom she thought unfairly got off scratch-free, and whether an engagement may be coming up for the happy couple.
Below is the concluding portion of our exclusive interview with Yanina. Click here to read the first half. To begin reading Ken's interview, click here.
Reality TV World: You and Ken said Ben and Michelle's relationship was very similar to yours. However, Summer Mack and "Chase" Aaron Chase seemed to think Ben and Michelle's relationship was more about the physical side and they believed it would've taken them a lot more time to find a deeper connection. So what made you and Ken think differently than Summer and Chase? Why did you think Ben and Michelle did have something deeper than just a physical attraction?
Yanina Beccaria: Well, the way that they were just carrying themselves. You could see the physical attraction. You could see the way that they were talking with each other. They seemed very happy, very much in love -- their body movements even -- just the way you cross your legs when you talk or you grab somebody's hand or you kiss.
[There was] a lot of PDA going on. You could tell they liked each other, and every couple is different. I understand that, but Summer and Chase did not show that at the time. They were very separated.
We talked to Ben and Michelle that same night and they said that Chase had dinner with us while Summer was sleeping. They were not even hanging out, so it was an easy decision in that aspect. Like, we know the couples, and at the time, Ben and Michelle were stronger as a couple.
Reality TV World: Jesse Wilson and Ken clearly had a lot of issues this season. When I talked to Jesse, said he never had any intention of stealing you away from Ken and that the only "scheming or strategizing" he was doing was to get the right people together in the end. He was basically saying that he thought Michelle and Ben should've been together and that's why he opted to stay in the game by picking Michelle. So what's your reaction to his claims and what was your opinion on that whole argument that took place?
Yanina Beccaria: I think Jesse had a plan, so we didn't know. We didn't know what his plans were. I think Ken had that idea in his head and thought, "Well, what if he tried to split us?" I know Jesse was very strategic throughout the whole thing, so what if he wants to be strategic again and split us up?
So he just spoke out and warned him. It didn't mean anything, it's just that he was giving him a warning. I didn't think much of that. I didn't know he was going to speak either, but yeah, he took a lot of heat for doing that I guess! (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Did you take Ken's side in that argument or did you kind of see where Jesse was coming from a little bit?
Yanina Beccaria: I took Ken's side. I didn't know Jesse was going to, "Okay, I'm going to pick Michelle." I didn't know what Jesse was going to do. We were just blindsided, so we just wanted to -- I mean, Ken wanted to give him a warning like, "Hey, this is what's going on. We're not doing this game."
And you know what I found very interesting was the fact that Ken spoke and told both of them -- Jesse and [Ali Leitza] -- "Here's the couples that have been formed. This is what you're going to do. This is what's going to happen."
And I don't think it was only directed to Jesse, but Ali as well, and she totally took it from one ear and it came out from the other ear. She went and picked Ben and split them up, so I'm thinking, "Well she actually did the exact same thing that we thought Jesse was going to do." So, I didn't know why nobody spoke about that. (Laughs) She totally disregarded the warning.
Reality TV World: Jesse said he thought it would be better to keep Michelle in the game because Vanessa Ramirez and Jason Ewell had finished in last place during the adventure prior to their elimination, so he was saying Vanessa and Jason kind of sealed their own fate in a way. What do you think about that? Does that make sense to you or are you not seeing it from that perspective?
Yanina Beccaria: I think that makes sense, yeah. I guess I would do that for a friend as well. I also doubt that they did not know what Ali was going to do. So, I think that was strategically planned from before Couples Choice, so that was not a last-minute decision. I think that they both had an agreement -- [Jesse] and Ali.
Reality TV World: During one of Love in the Wild's first-season episodes, contestant Benjamin Hooker told a couple of the guys that dating on Love in the Wild after a few short weeks was like being in a relationship already for about five months. Do you agree with that and did you feel that was actually the case? Do you think your relationship moved a lot faster than you had expected or intended?
Yanina Beccaria: Well yeah, absolutely. You start seeing things that you don't see for a long time when you're in a relationship, because things happen so quickly and you're put through all this stress, and your true colors come out so fast when you're in different situations. (Laughs) And we experienced all those situations so fast.
And when we experienced those adventures, it would be like a three-four hour [event] where you have to do a bunch of things at the same time. At one point, for example, I kept telling Ken -- and this is funny because I kept saying it -- he was like, "We need the map to cross the line," and sometimes when you don't agree on things, you have to realize who's the one that's going to let go of the rope. (Laughs)
So I was testing him like, "No, we don't need the map. They already told us we don't need it to cross the line." And he's like, "Yeah, but do you have it?" And I was like, "Yeah, I have it in my backpack!" And he's like, "Okay. So, where are we going?" And I was like, "Well we already said we're going that way right? We know that."
And he was like, "Yeah, yeah, okay!" Then all of a sudden, he kept saying, "So, what does the map say? Do we have to go straight?" And I'm thinking, "You only want to know if I still have the map! I already told you I have the map in my bag." And he was like, "You're a control freak aren't you?!" (Laughs) So you start realizing things really fast.
Reality TV World: It seemed like the only thing you guys struggled with as a couple throughout the season was Ken supposedly not listening to you all the time. (Laughs) Did you guys end up working that out? How did that go over?
Yanina Beccaria: I know he tries very hard to, but he still doesn't listen to me. Like, I tell him -- when we're out, I go, "Hey babe, hey." And he channels my voice out (laughs) like completely. I know he's not deaf! He just channels everything I say out. Like, I have to repeat myself a lot! (Laughs) He admits it though, but it's funny. We're like an old couple, that's how it is between us I guess.
Reality TV World: How far ahead of Ben and Michelle do you think you and Ken arrived at the finish line during the season's final adventure?
Yanina Beccaria: We had quite a distance between them! Yeah. That was a funny trick, I would say, like the magic of television. But yeah, we had quite the minutes ahead of them. It was funny. It was clear we got there before -- and it was funny how we were opening the crate like slowly and taking our time.
And then you see Ben smashing it because he was upset. (Laughs) They had all the time in [the world] because we were already across the finish line by then. But it looked fun on TV!... Ben said his idol is all mangled. (Laughs) I was like, "Why did you do that?"
Reality TV World: Where do you see yourself being with Ken a few years from now? Is an engagement or anything like that in your near-future plans?
Yanina Beccaria: Yeah, that's possible! We're taking it slow right now. I know we're both enjoying this time. We still have to travel together and visit each other's families.
I want him to come to Argentina eventually and we have a few plans before anything like moving or taking the next step, so we're taking it easy. But definitely, I know he's definitely the guy for me. I don't see myself with anyone else in the world, so.
Reality TV World: Who are you still in touch with from the show? Who do you think you'll remain good friends with?
Yanina Beccaria: We just had to say goodbye to Ben and Michelle last night and [Christian Seklecki]. And I had such a depression this morning coming into work. I was like, "Oh my God." I was like, "Ken, thank God you're in Chicago because I miss everybody already!" So we see Ben and Michelle and Summer and Chase, actually. They're very good friends.
Reality TV World: Where did Christian come into that equation? He was eliminated in the premiere, that's the only reason why I'm asking.
Yanina Beccaria: You know, we have a group on Facebook where all the contestants -- all 27 of us -- are in touch, and I like putting things together, parties together. We actually had a viewing party every Tuesday, and I invited everybody for the finale. And Christian was the first one to actually book his ticket! Everyone was welcome to come obviously, but he was a good trooper to say, "I'm in!"
Above is the concluding portion of our exclusive interview with Yanina. Click here to read the first half. To begin reading Ken's interview, click here.