'Love in the Wild' contestant Shauna Dillard: Ryan Smith "absolutely" led me on
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/19/2012
Love in the Wild contestant Shauna Dillard was eliminated after her partner Ryan Smith didn't want to remain paired up with her because there was no spark, and then fellow contestant Benjamin "Ben" Clark denied her request to become an item due to the fact he felt loyalty to his partner Jenny Blatt.
During a Friday conference call with reporters, Shauna, a 28-year-old from Kingsburg, CA who currently resides in Hollywood, CA, talked to Reality TV World about her short-lived Love in the Wild experience -- including whether she regretted letting go of contestant Mike Sweet when they had bonded at the beach eating coconuts and chatting.
Reality TV World: During last week's episode, you really seemed to hit it off with Mike at the beach, but then you chose to stay with Ryan instead. Why did you ultimately make that decision, and do you regret it looking back?
Shauna Dillard: I do regret it looking back, yes, and I made that decision because I went there for something different. I went there to see if something -- I've always dated the same type of guy, and I wanted to lead with my instinct instead of my emotions, because we all know [there's] some areas that I'm feisty in.
And I always -- I mostly, 90% percent of the time -- lead with my emotions, and I wanted to not do that this time. I wanted to lead with my instincts, and so that's what I did. And yeah, but I regret it in the end.
Reality TV World: Could you talk a little bit about why you got so emotional and upset when Ryan told you there wasn't a spark? Was it because you had real feelings for him at that moment? Was it because you regretted letting go of Mike at that point, or was it kind of just because rejection hurts and that upset you?
Shauna Dillard: No. I got upset because I think that Ryan knew the entire time that there was nothing between us, because even me, like it was just -- I just didn't know. I wanted to see if there was something more, if there was going to be a spark, but there wasn't at any moment in time at this point.
And I was so emotional because he could have communicated with me. He could have -- if he was at all a gentleman and cared at all about why we were there, he wouldn't have just -- he just didn't communicate. And so, he wanted to stay on the show and that's why he -- and that's why I chose him, and I just didn't know. Like, there was no communication between us.
So, I had this burst of emotions. I just felt like [I was] almost lied to because he could have come up to me and we could have talked about it and we could have went our separate ways, but instead, he'd let me stress out all day long about who I was going to choose between him and Mike. And, you know, I should have chose Mike.
Reality TV World: So since there was obviously a lack of communication between you guys, would you say that Ryan led you on at all?
Shauna Dillard: Yeah, I would, absolutely.
Also in the call, Shauna told reporters why she was still willing to give Ryan a shot although he told her they hadn't formed a connection at all during their adventure together.
When Ryan admitted he felt no spark with you in the tent, did you really still want to give your relationship a chance at that point?
Shauna Dillard: When I was in the tent and Ryan and I were talking -- Well, actually, after the event, we both realized that him and I were not compatible with each other. And I think it was just such an emotional rollercoaster for me, going there, and it was hard to -- it was everything.
It was emotional for me. I'm a female. Like, I just, I don't know, wanted to. And when I chose him, I really wanted to give us a chance and I felt that in the very beginning, he was completely checked out. [If he] just would have communicated with me, then maybe I would have a chance with someone else.