INTERVIEW: 'Beauty and the Geek's Will Frank, Rebecca Nichols dish
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/11/2007
Will Frank and Rebecca Nichols were seemingly perfect for each other as a Beauty and the Geek fourth-season couple.
However Will, a 25-year-old server from Raleigh-Durham, NC, came-off as too self-confident and Rebecca, a 24-year-old recently certified massage therapist from Crown Point, IN, formed a romantic relationship with one of the other cast members, leading them to become the third pair eliminated from Beauty and the Geek 4 during Tuesday night's broadcast of The CW reality competition series.
On Wednesday, Will and Rebecca talked to Reality TV World about how their self-described arrogance made them a good match; what exactly filking consists of; what they thought of Beauty and the Geek 4's twist; and how that played a role in their ouster from they competition.
Reality TV World: How were both of you cast for Beauty and the Geek 4?
Will: You want to take this one first? Rebecca: Okay... I actually went to a casting in Chicago. My friend called me and asked if I wanted to go. At first, I wasn't going to. I wasn't too sure about it. Then at the last minute I said, "Alright, alright I'll go." We only had until 5PM to be there, and I got there at like 4:45PM. I'm the very last person to try-out. I went there, and they told me to come back and that they loved me, that I was the best they had all day (laughing).
Reality TV World: How about you Will?
Will: I actually remember this really clearly. I was driving into work one morning and the radio said, "The show Beauty and the Geek will be holding a casting call this Sunday..." This was mid-May. So I think about it and I get into work and I mention it to a couple of friends and everybody I spoke to -- with one or two exceptions -- said, "Dude you have to do this. It would be hilarious."... So I pulled together what they needed, the video and the questionnaire, and so I go in on Sunday. I was actually one of the first people there because I'm always sort of paranoid about being early. They're still setting up and I wait around, and finally I go up and talk to the first casting people and they had me come back. It just sort of snowballed from there...
Will: Rebecca definitely impressed me (she laughs). No seriously. She spoke clearly and she sort of knew what she was saying. Several of the girls -- the beauties -- seemed to be a little lost at what to say. Rebecca said, "This is what I'm going to do and I'm going to show-off," which is exactly what we were supposed to do, trying to sort of impress each other. Not to mention that personally, I think she's the most physically attractive of all the beauties. Rebecca: Thank you Will!
Reality TV World: How about you Rebecca? What were your first impressions of Will?
Rebecca: My first impressions of Will were he was very outgoing. Definitely the least shy out of all of the geeks. I almost actually thought -- at least to me -- that he seemed a little bit intimidating. I wasn't sure if I could actually handle him being so outgoing because he is very smart.
Reality TV World: If you could have chosen your own partner, who would you have picked?
Will: After you. Rebecca: Okay. At first I thought I wanted Josh. I don't know, we had some kind of connection at first. Maybe because he shot [the cup off my head with a rubber band]. And then I was thinking, "Maybe I don't want him." I told [Shalandra and Joshua, who picked the couples] that I didn't care who I got, so I was happy with whomever. Will: I said the same thing to both Joshua and Shay. I didn't have a preference.
Reality TV World: Yeah, I remember that.
Will: There were people who I wouldn't have worked well with. I was more concerned about avoiding them than picking about picking one person in particular. But I think I definitely... Rebecca and I worked well together, which is important... Rebecca: I agree. Will: Even if you can get along, you might not be able to communicate, you might not be able to teach each other or learn from each other, which I think we did. I think we had that connection of being able to communicate, not merely talk.
Reality TV World: Who were some of the beauties you wanted to avoid?
Will: I did not think I would have worked well with Shay. To be honest, I think she would agree with that.
Reality TV World: Will why do you think your experience in filking helped you win the hip-hop challenge? Could you explain filking a little bit?
Will: It's actually tricky to define filk, friends of mine gave it a good shot. Filk is fan music, meaning it's music... it's sort of a musical style, not even a style but... form. It's any sort of musical style. It can be rock, it can be folk music, it can in fact be rap or hip-hop. But what it is.. the important thing about it is the people who filk -- because yeah, it can be a verb too -- are science-fiction fans and fantasy fans and anime fans and basically one of the more recognizable forms of geeks. The readers, the people who watch Star Trek and science-fiction shows or have seen Lord of the Rings many, many times. It's about the people who do it... It's commonly defined as the music of science-fiction fandom.
Reality TV World: Do you think it helped you in that challenge?
Will: I absolutely think it helped me. There are as I said rap and hip-hop filkers and the only reason I so much as knew what rap and hip-hop were and how they sounded were a couple of these [filkers] in particular who I've heard and who I've enjoyed. Thinking about that, saying, "Alright, I know how they sound. Can I sound like that? Can I rap?" Turns out yeah. Not very well, but...
Reality TV World: Will, what was your reaction when you learned Jasmine and Natalie were spying on your elimination nomination deliberations?
Will: I was playing up my surprise. It was funny and I was a little impressed. That took some serious guts to do. I'm not sure... When I saw John telling them, "Making this is a tough decision," it really did take a certain amount of guts and a sort of cavalier disregard for getting into danger. I respect that. I was laughing about it. It was something that was interesting, but I thought it was kind of fun.
Reality TV World: What did you think initially about the fourth-season twist of including Sam as the hunky guy and Nicole as the nerdy girl? Specifically Rebecca, what were your first impressions of Sam?
(Rebecca and Will giggle)
Rebecca: My first impression of Sam was that... well I was actually really surprised [by the twist]. I didn't expect that at all. I was like thinking, "Oh my gosh. Why didn't I know this?" I never even expected it. I thought, "Wow, he's very good looking." But I definitely didn't want to get distracted in any way and I thought, "Oh boy. This is my challenge." Will: Rebecca told me from Day 1 that Sam was as if they plugged straight into what attracts her and turned it into a guy.
Reality TV World: Will, what did you think of the twist?
Will: Well, I have a number of female geek friends and I've heard them say more than once, "Why can't they do a gender-swap Beauty and the Geek?" So when [host Mike Richards] started talking about, "The experiment has evolved. We've changed one variable." I started going, "Oh they didn't... They did." My first impression of Sam and Nicole was very short-term. I didn't really get a chance to form much of an opinion on them from the initial introduction... It wasn't until a little later when I started talking with them and meeting them that I was able to form an impression. I was impressed, frankly. Sam -- for all of his beauty qualities -- was not the... I had expected someone more jock-ish in sort of distance and superior attitude. Sam was not like that at all. I was quite surprised at how personable he was. Of course, I felt Nicole was someone I could relate to. I really was impressed or pleased. Rebecca: We both had a very good connection with Sam and Nicole. We actually, all four of us I thought... besides well Nicole. I ended up finding out she really didn't like me like I thought she did. But... Will: Well I don't know if I'd say it like that.
Rebecca: I started to notice Sam looking at me, actually when we were doing the rap. He kept catching my eye because he was sitting behind me -- in the row behind me -- and I kept noticing him like looking at me. I just kind of ignored it. But then he kind of had like these flirty gestures towards me. I was just kind of trying to blow it off, like, "Uh-oh. Here we go." I thought maybe he flirts with everybody. Well than I noticed he wasn't flirting with any of the other beauties, so I think what really opened it up was the truth or dare.
Reality TV World: Was after the game of truth or dare the first time you physically acted on the relationship?
Rebecca: Yeah, the truth or dare was when we first actually did open up the feelings towards each other...
Reality TV World: Were you worried it would impact your relationships with the other couples?
Rebecca: With the other?
Reality TV World: With the other Beauty and the Geek teams? Were you worried about how your relationship with Sam would be perceived?
Rebecca: Well actually, I kind of mentioned it to Hollie. I knew Josh [Hollie's partner] wouldn't like it because I noticed he had a little bit of a crush on me. Will: He did. Rebecca: I knew that they wouldn't like it, because Hollie kept saying, "I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't do it." Then I think when Hollie, when she started really talking about it to everybody else I think that she was actually starting to make everybody more like against it as well.
Reality TV World: Okay.
Rebecca: I don't think anybody else really had a problem with it. I think Hollie was really the one that got more affected with it than anybody. I don't know why (laughing)!
Reality TV World: Rebecca you commented, "What is going on needs to stop." If that was how you felt, why didn't you stop fooling around with Sam?
Rebecca: Well that goes back to my challenge for myself. I really know I shouldn't be doing this. I didn't want this to interfere with my own teammate and I. I didn't want to get distracted. But I also couldn't help the way that I was feeling too because I mean there was chemistry. They don't show a lot of this part, but him and I really did connect. There wasn't just a lot of making out. There was a lot of us talking one-on-one as well. Will: Absolutely... Rebecca: There's a lot more to him and I then just kissing.
Reality TV World: Will, did you ever encourage Rebecca and Sam to stop?
Will: I think I was the largest booster of Sam and Rebecca's relationship in that house. I told Rebecca when I noticed they were starting to get together, I told her, "Keep in mind what's important." A couple days later, she comes to me and says, "I know I should be keeping in mind what's important. I know I'm letting the relationship with Sam distract me." I said, "No, that wasn't what I meant. People are important." I thought that if Sam and Rebecca like each other, they should pursue while they have a chance. As I said on the show, "You touch passion when it comes your way; you don't know when it's coming around again." So I did pull Sam off to the side and threaten to hurt him if he ever hurt Rebecca.
Reality TV World: Did you foresee it becoming as big an issue as it did?
Will: I didn't honestly... I am very friendly of the mind that what two people do behind closed doors is their own business and nobody else. So as long as nobody was getting hurt... Rebecca: Yeah... Nicole was. Will: When I found out that I was... When I found out that Nicole was so upset, I was upset for her. Not at the relationship... I agree with Nicole, it was kind of disrespectful. But that's a matter of making sure your relationship doesn't interfere with your friendships. So I didn't think it was some sort of huge deal. I really didn't think it would be the overarching theme to our time in the house (laughing).
Reality TV World: What about you Rebecca? I'm assuming it didn't make you feel good when you saw Nicole comment how it was "disrespectful" during Tuesday night's broadcast.
Rebecca: It was very selfish of Sam and I. I don't think we saw how it was affecting other people. I think we got to a point where it was like our whole world... Like it was just me and him. The next morning, we did realize, "Oh boy. What did we do? We shouldn't have done that." We did feel horrible about that. Will: They were pretty annoyed with themselves... Upset with themselves. Rebecca: We didn't realize how we were starting to affect other people.
Reality TV World: Will, some of the other cast members described your reading of "The Tell-Tale Heart" as egotistical. Do you think winning the first two geek challenges made you feel overly confident?
Will: I have to admit to be a little disappointed in myself seeing myself on television. Yes, I looked incredibly arrogant. I must have come-off incredibly arrogant to the other members of the house. That was so not my intent (laughing). I was completely oblivious. As Rebecca said, I'm not shy. I'm loud, I'm outgoing. The problem is that I didn't realize how people were reacting to me. Lacking other information, you know someone sees me seemingly disregarding how other people feel -- when really, I just don't know how they feel -- it looks like arrogance and it really is more obliviousness. So looking at that, I said, "Oh God! That was how they...?" That was so not my intent. I was so sorry. If I would have known people were going to take the reading that way... I thought it was a nice thing! I remember one of the beauties saying, "You should really do something with reading, you've got all those books!" I brought something like 20 books...
Reality TV World: Rebecca, were you surprised how well you did in the beauty anatomy challenge?
Rebecca: I wasn't surprised at all actually. I can be a little arrogant myself sometimes. Honestly, I think people do need to have a little confidence to get through life. If you don't, then who's going to get you through life but yourself? I knew that I was going to get that because I thought it was so easy. Honestly even without school, I knew what everything was. Then on the other hand, I was a little bit shocked because I wasn't 100% sure if I was right because I was suddenly thinking that the [nasal septum] was the side of the nostrils. So I said, "Well, I might as well give it a shot and move down." But something was telling me it's not the side. Other than that, I think I would have gotten it anyway. That was one of my advantages I think, and it doesn't even have to do with school. It's just general. I thought everybody knew where the organs were!
Reality TV World: After nominating both teams for the elimination round last week, Will you seemed to know it created a "target" on you and Rebecca. Do you feel there was any way to nominate both couples for elimination without creating a target? Was it a lose-lose situation?
Will: There's definitely some lose-lose to it. If possible -- I don't personally think this is what I'd say -- but if different couples would have been nominated, maybe we would have made friends instead of just losing them. In the end of the day, it was a really tough... That was the part of the entire show that really and truly sucked. Getting eliminated was not good of course, but choosing people for elimination I could not stand.
Reality TV World: Do you regret your nominations of Hollie and Josh as well as Erin and Jesse?
Will: I think we tried to make the best decision we could in an entire range of absolutely awful decisions. I don't think I regret the decision. I regret that people were upset. I regret causing pain, causing Erin anguish and pain. But I think we made as good a call as we could make. Rebecca: Anybody that we were going to choose, they were going to be mad. No matter who would have came back, they would have [nominated us for elimination]. If we would have chose Jen and William, they would have chose to put is in there. No matter who would have came back, there would have been hard feelings. But we had to choose somebody. At the end of the day, somebody was going in there. It didn't matter who it was. It just happened to be Erin and Jesse.
Reality TV World: Knowing your safety in the game was on the line, how confident were you going into the massage and rocket science challenges?
Will: Well I thought I had a good shot at the massage challenge. I mean Rebecca's a massage therapist... or was one in training, and now is one I suppose. Certified. So I thought that at least I'd be well-prepared. If I didn't win the challenge, it wouldn't be because my beauty wasn't helping me. It would be because I wasn't the best... There wouldn't be any, "Oh well I was ill-prepared!" Of course that was assuming it was the massage challenge, which we didn't learn about until the last minute. So I was really hoping and praying.
[At this point, a CW publicist participating in the interview stated that Reality TV World needed to wrap-up the interview prematurely]
Reality TV World: Rebecca, have you talked to or seen Sam since you left the mansion?
Rebecca: Well, considering we're not allowed to talk to anybody, I did find him on MySpace. So I was curious to see how he was doing. We did tell each other that we can't wait to talk to each other when it's all over, and then that was it. Now we know that we are thinking about each other and can't wait to see each other. We can't wait for the reunion show actually. But other than that we know that we can't talk, so we don't.
Reality TV World: After your elimination, Rebecca you wondered if you were being "played" by Sam. Since you've now seen the episode and the reasoning behind his nomination of William and Jennifer, how did it make you feel to know that it was Nicole's intention -- and not Sam's -- to boot you from the competition?
Rebecca: (laughing) It made me feel really good. I was really nervous to see what was going to happen [in the episode], and then that was something good that I did see. I was really happy to know that it wasn't Sam. That he didn't know. So I was really happy to see that it was Nicole and not him. But I did feel like there was something. I had this feeling that something was off or something was set-up. I knew that [Nicole] knew that Jen would study...
(Photo credit The CW)
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