Jason Holmes talks about 'Love and the Wild and Ali Leitza's decision to cut him
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/11/2012
Jason Holmes was eliminated from Love in the Wild's second season after his partner Ali Leitza chose to stay with him over fellow contestant Darwin Zook but then decided to dump him when given the opportunity to pick from a bunch of new guys in the NBC reality series' "unmatched area."
During a Friday conference call with reporters, Jason talked to Reality TV World about his short-lived Love in the Wild experience and how he felt about his early ouster considering he had invested a significant amount of time into taking care of one particular girl -- including how he felt when he discovered two guys would be going on the first adventure with each girl, why he was hurt when Ali sent him home and whether he believed Ali led him on.
Check back with Reality TV World soon to read Franky Arriola's conference call with reporters.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction after the twist was revealed in which each girl was going to be paired up with two guys? Were you frustrated or worried about how hard directly competing against another guy was going to be? And what was your reaction when you saw that Darwin was going to be that other guy?
Jason Holmes: (Laughs) I think that it was pretty fair what I thought when she picked Darwin. But what she did -- well actually, what we kind of worked -- she asked me first who we thought we should get.
And I was going with what I thought would be the best opportunity for me, which kind of backfired, because I thought he'd at least be able to swim because I'm not the strongest swimmer obviously. And he couldn't swim at all. And so, I was like therefore kind of by default had to swim.
And it kind of screwed me over. But for me, I looked at most of the guys that were there as -- everyone was good competition. Everybody was very confident in what they could do. So it was -- it added an extra element that I was not at all expecting and kind of threw me for a loop.
Reality TV World: Did you feel like Ali led you on at all? I mean she picked you over Darwin at least but then right when she got the chance to kind of switch things up and choose from the unmatched bunch, she kind of took advantage of it right away despite how much you appeared to go out of your way to make her feel comfortable and everything.
Jason Holmes: She definitely threw me for a loop on that aspect. But after that night that her and I talked and I, you know, had consoled her and did all that, I still kind of stepped away just because of what I had to go through just to get her to stay. That's not something I want in my partner or my significant other.
I'd rather be with someone that wants to be there, wants to go through the experience because, you know, that was an amazing opportunity to be there. And I wanted to be with someone that was truly passionate about being there and competing.
Reality TV World: You said in your final words you were pretty shocked and hurt once Ali decided to pair up with Aaron Chase in the end. Why do you think she ultimately chose him over you? And can you elaborate a little bit on how you were feeling in the moment?
Jason Holmes: Well I think she saw me as a younger guy, not where she was emotionally. We had a talk where, you know, she saw Chase -- I mean, just from knowing Chase, Chase is more at the point in his life where he's looking for like true, ready to settle down right now -- he would love a house, like a wife and a kid, like that's where he's at right now.
Me, I was more willing to build a relationship and see where it went. And not necessarily is it going to be a permanent relationship, I don't know. But I was willing to be here to find that. Chase is more ready for like the marriage type of thing, because Ali was kind of saying -- what'd she say? "Her clock was ticking," is what she was telling me.
And in the moment, yeah it hurt, because you know, I did put that effort into it. I did sit there and put myself on the line by staying with her and talking with her most -- almost the whole time. And so it did hurt; It was a hurt to the ego. It hurt because, you know, being able to put yourself out there and be rejected, I mean, I don't know who really likes rejection.
Reality TV World: Did you think Ali was over-reacting to the weather and sleeping conditions at all? Like in other words, do you think her crying fits and the panic attack was justified because of the circumstances or were you kind of thinking she should have been able to like suck it up a little bit more? You know what I mean?
Jason Holmes: Coming from my point of view, like in my -- the way I was raised -- absolutely she was whining. It was, you know, it's raining, we're in a beautiful island. I mean, yeah the mosquitoes sucked, but it's a beautiful island.
When else are you going to be able to take a trip, be around some really cool people, do some amazing adventures and, you know, just basically be on vacation and have fun? And the fact that she took it there, it was dramatic to me. That was one of my main turnoffs towards her.
Reality TV World: Ali said she could have done better in the adventure than both you and Darwin. What's your reaction to that? Do you think that comment is a little far fetched or would you say it's accurate especially considering you kind of struggled with the swimming part in the beginning of the challenge and stuff like that?
Jason Holmes: At the very beginning, we all laid our cards on the line. We were like, "Who can swim? Who can't swim? Who can do what?" And I told them, I was like, "You know, I'm not the best swimmer but I can swim." And Darwin's like, "There's no way I can swim." And Ali's like, "I don't think I can do it either." So I was like, "Okay, well I guess I'll bite the bullet and do it."
Only thing that I -- one thing I do regret is I wish I would have worn shorts and a tight shirt, because I swear to God, I felt like I had a parachute on when I was swimming.
Also in the call, Jason H. told reporters whether he thought he was too confident in his relationship with Ali to try to give some of the other girls a chance, what he learned from the whole experience and whether he was shocked about his elimination.
Now that you're out of the game, do you think you were too confident with Ali or should you have put yourself out there more?
Jason Holmes: For me, [I wasn't] too confident. With me it was -- her and I, we had a few talks and just where she was at and where I was at personally on a personal level, I'm more of an outdoors person. I love -- I grew up camping. I grew up hiking. I grew up that kind of stuff. And that's really not where she's at.
She did it, now more power to her for doing it, but for me personally, we just -- we really didn't vibe the way I would like to vibe with the person I'm going to put myself out there for.
Besides the person you were initially paired with, was there another woman that you had your eye on or felt you had made a connection with?
Jason Holmes: I'll say for me, [Yanina Beccaria] was, you know, a really cool girl. Her and I we actually played football. She can throw a football pretty well. She played on the Powder Puff League and she tore her ACL, so we had a lot in common.
But her and [Kenneth Barrington] kind of had a really good thing going. And so they kind of had that good connection to where I wasn't able to get in there. We had big Mike [Mike Sweet] over there taking up all her time. So it was a little hard to get in there.
What were you both hoping to get out of the experience when you went on the show?
Jason Holmes: For me, it was just the ability to go out there, you know, and just really be myself alone and to see what I could actually accomplish by just going out of my element.
That's just, you know, I've never really been outside the United States and to go out there and to really try and be with complete strangers yet find a connection was something that I was really excited to try, willing to try and I'm glad I did.
Sorry to see you go so early.
Jason Holmes: Me too.
Now in the short time that you were there, did you really get a sense you were able to see people's true colors in these kind of adventure challenges and I mean with the mosquitoes and everything? Do you think this is a good way to get to know somebody?
Jason Holmes: For me, I think it's a great way.
Did you learn anything from the experience that you can take back now into the real dating world with you?
Jason Holmes: I would say for me, it's definitely [being] more of a go-getter. I kind of always sit back and let a girl kind of just, you know, let her be her. And in a situation the way we were in -- like Franky was saying a pressure cooker -- you really are.
It's a whole relationship condensed into literally three days, and so you have to just be out there, be vulnerable and just go for it. And that's something I learned I'm going to take with me -- be more of a doer and go for it.
After helping Ali get through her anxiety, how shocked were you that she chose Chase in the end?
Jason Holmes: You know what. There was a time when I actually -- we were all hanging out and we left -- or I left I should say, went to get a drink, and I saw Chase and Ali talking. I saw the way she was reacting, so I got to know here pretty well within the short amount of time. Ali and I kind of -- we really connected on the fact of I helped her and she really saw that I was caring for her.
But it just in the fact that -- I mean I don't know if you guys would really recognize it -- but a lot of my friends who saw that were like, "You really didn't like Ali." And I was like, "Yeah." Because at that point, when I was like, "Teamwork!" I gave her a high five. If I really truly was feeling someone, I would give them a hug. I would have kissed her. I would have done something more than just a high five.
But just the way things were, I kind of saw that she was going to go another route. But at the same time, I had put so much effort into her that most of the other women were kind of already, you know, had their two guys -- at least two guys.
Check back with Reality TV World soon to read Franky Arriola's conference call with reporters and what he had to say to us.