INTERVIEW: Jennifer and William talk about 'Beauty and the Geek'
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/23/2007
Jennifer and William had a hard time working together as a team right from the start of Beauty and the Geek's fourth season, however they still managed to bicker and argue their way pretty far into the competition.
That is until Jennifer, a 26-year-old waitress and model that currently resides in Boston, MA, and William, a 25-year-old server from Raleigh-Durham, NC, became the eighth pair eliminated from Beauty and the Geek 4 during Tuesday night's broadcast of The CW reality competition series.
On Wednesday, Jennifer and William talked to Reality TV World about where their difficulties with each other originated; William's reason for making a fat joke about Jennifer; how William feels there's a fine line between confidence and arrogance; and why it was tough to be booted once they finally came together as a couple.
Reality TV World: How were each of you cast for Beauty and the Geek 4?
Jennifer: I actually found out from one of the girls that I work with that they were having an audition the next day. She was like, "You'd be perfect for it! You have your blonde moments. You should definitely go try-out." So as soon as I walked through the door [of the audition], they immediately were handing me applications to fill out. They called me back for two more interviews -- I sent in my home tape -- and they were calling me back a week after that saying that they are considering me as a finalist for the show, they're going to fly me out to California to meet with [creator and executive producer] Ashton Kutcher and the other producers and stuff. After that, they called me back again and told me I made the show.
Reality TV World: How about you William?
William: I was at my work waiting tables, and then the bartender said, "Meet these two guys." She called me over and they were casting producers. They were in Chapel Hill pretty much looking for beauties I guess. But this girl that I work with called me over and introduced me to the casting guys and talked them up, and that's when I found out about the show. They said, "Well, we think you're very interesting." They had me fill out the form and everything...
Reality TV World: Before you became partners, what were your first impressions of each other?
William: Before we became partners?
Reality TV World: Yeah...
Jennifer: I just thought William looked like what a geek would typically look like. He just seemed really shy and quiet. Later he started to open up more, but kind of that first time I was just like, "Yup. He's a geek." I just looked around, and I was like, "Yup. Definitely all geeks." (laughing) That was about it. William: When I first saw Jen, I thought Jen was... I thought Jen was kind of not really that interesting. I actually hate sports. I hate watching sports. Anything to do with athletics -- forget about it, I'm not interested at all. I can't stand being bored, and when Jen started talking about how she's an athlete, I said, "Alright. I do not care much about that." I was just hoping, when I talked to Shay and Josh [who were responsible for picking the couples], "Just give me someone I can actually have a conversation with."
Reality TV World: That leads well into my next question. When we talked to Shay and Joshua last week, they told us William how you didn't want to be partnered with Jennifer from the start of the competition. Why was that?
William: Originally, I didn't want to be partnered with her because of what I just said. I didn't think we'd have anything in common to get along with and we wouldn't be able to find any common ground. I said, "We don't have any common ground. I'm not here... I don't care about the [$250,000 grand prize] at this point. I don't care about. I want to just try and help someone and expose them to something different."... [During discussions with Shay and Joshua], I thought, "Okay. I'm not going to find common ground here. You've got to give me someone else."
Reality TV World: Jennifer, were you hesitant about having William as a partner?
Jennifer: No, not at all. I was really open to having pretty much anybody as a partner. The people that I felt I connected with the most the very first night were John and Dave, and possibly [Will Frank, not her partner]. I was kind of hoping I'd get one of those three for a partner. But I wasn't opposed to really having anybody. If I got Joshua, if I got anybody, you know? I would be cool with it. I really didn't have one particular person that I was like, "No! You can't put me with him."
Reality TV World: So William, what were your feelings when Shay and Joshua revealed you'd be partnered with Jennifer?
William: I was just so in shock. I was thinking, "Ohhh. I should not of said anything." Because if I hadn't said anything, then I might not have been in this situation. Because I opened my mouth, I got partnered with someone I didn't want to be with. Obviously Josh and Shay were already thinking about later on down the line... the end of the competition.
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?
William: I was shocked. Jennifer: Yeah, I was like, "Great. More competition. It's just going to make everything harder now."
Jennifer: I was happy because I thought for sure that's going to make them lose focus and going to not give them as much time to study. They're not going to be able to do as well in the challenges... and just be devoting all their time and energy into actually studying and trying to change and transform as opposed to putting all their energy into one another.
Reality TV World: Do you think the relationship played a role in Rebecca's subsequent ouster?
William: Oh yeah, definitely. She was so worked up about it, she didn't study at all [for that elimination round]. She was so gaga over Sam most of the time... Jennifer: Actually she did study. I went up to her and asked for her help in the anatomy challenge... William: Yeah? Jennifer: Yeah, she actually really did study. So that's why I was kind of like confused why she didn't answer any of the questions. William: There was that one challenge where they supposedly studied the wrong ones... Jennifer: Yeah... William: She was supposed to study all three subjects [rocket science, computers and sociology] as opposed to just rocket science.
Reality TV World: You two never won any of the challenges throughout the competition. Why do you think that was the case?
Jennifer: We came close a couple of times! William: She came in second, and I came in second once, so... There's no shame in second. Jennifer: I still think William should have won that flare-bartending contest... William: Me too! Jennifer: Everybody that was watching it with me too, they were like, "Why didn't William win?" I was like, "I know!"
Reality TV World: Why do you think Sam's been so successful in all the challenges?
Jennifer: I really feel that his acting has helped him a lot. He's probably used to memorizing lines, and so therefore I figured he'd he used to... That would help him memorize the study material. I feel like because he's an actor, he's used to performing in-front of people in public. He knows how to carry himself, how to present himself. So I think with a lot of the challenges that also helped him as well. I mean I have to give him credit. I really do think he's a smart guy.
William: Yeah, yeah.... When I came back [home with red hair], everybody was like, "Aw Will! You've got red hair! It looks awesome!" All the girls that I work with were like, "Oh Will! You look so hot!" I was like, "Yessss!" (laughing)
Reality TV World: Have you kept any of the changes?
William: I've still got red hair. Actually, my hair's a bit longer now... I've got pretty similar clothes to what the [makeover wardrobe specialists said] on what I should wear...
Reality TV World: I hate to bring this up, but William as you were designing Jennifer's superhero costume, you commented how you were going to make her look "as fat as possible" because she's acting like a "prima donna." Why would you say something like that?
William: Because I was mad! I wasn't saying it to be mean. When I'm mad, I make... I had no intentions of making her a fat suit. I was just talking with the rest of the guys and thinking, "Okay, the one thing that's going to get rid of my anger right now is if I make everyone else laugh."... It worked. I said before in cast interviews that I would do anything it takes to make sure that I'm not mad anymore. If the jokes don't work out, then I'll just walk away... That's one of the reasons I wanted to make the jokes too, because Jen and I were just so angry at each other. Nothing was funny anymore.
Reality TV World: Jennifer if my memory serves me correct, you overheard William make those jokes. What was your reaction when you overheard it?
Jennifer: I really actually didn't hear that (laughing). William: She walked in maybe an hour after I said it. Jennifer: When I was watching the show and I saw it, I was going, "Oh really? So that's what you were trying to do." (laughing) But I just knew that we needed to... I wanted to talk to him anyways that day because it seemed like every other [geek] was coming up and taking [their beauty's] measurements and really working with their partner. I hadn't seen William like all day... William: I was just trying to figure out how to work the damn sewing machine. I had no idea what to do. I was just trying to heads or tails of a pattern and THEN I was going to go take measurements. Jennifer: I just wanted to touch base with him more and just kind of work with him more. That way, I could maybe try and help him out with measurements or if he needed anything. I just knew that we weren't getting along and this is really hurting our team -- and it wasn't going to help us with the challenge -- so I just wanted to make things right and talk to him so that way we could finally get things straight and do well.
Reality TV World: William, some of the other teams we've talked to have described you as "cocky" and "arrogant." Do you agree with that sentiment? Was it something you were aware of and wanted to change about yourself via the show?
William: Hmm... Yeah, I'm kind of arrogant. But mostly because I usually know what I'm talking about. I think it's founded. But now watching myself on the show -- as an outside source -- it gives some perspective. I'm like, "Whoa. I need to tone it down a little bit because I can be a bit much." I had no idea I was... I mean I think arrogance and confidence are super close. You can be confident -- but if you're too confident -- you can be arrogant....
Reality TV World: It was no secret you two didn't get along very well. Jennifer you commented on more than one occasion how you felt like you "hate" William. Has your viewpoint of each other changed?
Jennifer: Yeah, definitely. I totally think my outlook on the way I felt about William -- once we started to get along -- I was just so relieved. I felt like, "Oh, finally! I'm able to get through to him. I'm able to show him and prove to him that I'm not a bad person. I really do care about us doing well and being able to work together." I just felt so happy because I felt like I was able to finally have more trust in him and he was able to finally kind of trust me. It really helped us come together towards the end and get along.
Reality TV World: What about you William? You even said you came to "respect" Jennifer during Tuesday night's broadcast. Is that the case?
William: Yeah. She dealt with me for so long. I felt bad. There was one point in the show when I kind of just had the epiphany that I could get to know Jen a bit more. I was firing away questions... So I was happy that I was able to know more about her and I respect her more... We've both been through hard trials growing up as kids in high school. So I found that out, I said, "Oh, maybe this is the common ground that I thought we didn't have." Jennifer: We found that we have more similarities. It's funny because even though I am -- or was -- an athlete, I really don't enjoy watching sports. I'd rather play them. So he doesn't like watching sports either, it's stuff like that. You know?
Reality TV World: How bittersweet was it when you were eliminated after finally being able to come together as a team?
Jennifer: It was sad! William: It was like, "Why? Why?... We've finally got a good thing going here!" Jennifer: It was definitely frustrating because we were finally getting along -- we were finally acting like a team -- doing what we're supposed to be doing. We're finally seeing eye-to-eye and have come to a realization about one another. All of a sudden, it's like, "Well, that's great. Bye!" (laughing) So it kind of sucks...
Reality TV World: Of the two remaining couples, which would you like to see win and why?
William: I want to see David win. Jennifer: Yeah, Dave and Jasmine.
Reality TV World: Why?
William: To me, Dave and Jasmine, they're both growing a lot more. They've put in so much work to become a team. Nicole has to, but I feel like Dave and Jasmine, they deserve to win more. I just don't want Sam to win.
Reality TV World: Yeah, that's been a popular answer to that question. Do you think participating in the show really had an impact on the way you look at yourselves as well as other people who are different from you?
William: Yeah, definitely. Like I said before, watching myself on the show, I view myself differently... Now when I meet someone else, I'm trying not to develop stereotypes. I'm trying to find that something that we can talk about.
Reality TV World: How about you Jennifer?
Jennifer: Yeah, definitely. It really teaches you not to judge a book by its cover. It really just shows you that you think you know somebody; but you really don't until you get to talk to them. So [I learned] not to hang it up before you really give that person a chance. I think just with our relationship being the way it was, I think it really taught both of us that lesson. Hopefully the viewers that watch it were able to see that and learn from our experience as well.
Reality TV World: So what's next for you two? Have any big plans?
William: I've applied [for a job] at Wizard magazine. I'm hoping that they'll hire me because it would be amazing to work with them. They're creative geniuses... I hope to work for them some day. Jennifer: I've just been trying to pursue my modeling more and I want to try and get into acting. Right now I am still a model and actually doing some commercials with Grey Goose vodka. I was a speciality extra [role] in the new Bachelor No. 2 movie with Alec Baldwin and Dane Cook. That was kind of cool, meeting those two. I'm pretty much just trying to do that, and hoping some good offers come from being on the show. Kind of see how far I can go...