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HOME > Love in the Wild > Love in the Wild (Season 2)

'Love in the Wild's Franky Arriola: I had a wandering eye the entire time


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/12/2012 

Love in the Wild contestant Franky Arriola, who was one of the "surprise guys" introduced to the girls after they chose their initial male partners, was eliminated after his partner Jenny Blatt chose to stay with fellow contestant Benjamin "Ben" Clark over him during the NBC reality series' second-season premiere.

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During a Friday conference call with reporters, Franky talked to Reality TV World about his short-lived Love in the Wild experience and how he felt about his early ouster considering he was competing one-on-one with another guy for one girl -- including what his first impressions were of Ben and whether he found him to be big competition and whether he had developed a true connection with Jenny.

Click here to read Jason Holmes' conference call with reporters and what he had to say to Reality TV World.

Reality TV World: Since you were one of the surprise guys revealed to the women during the show's initial twist, what was your reaction when Jenny picked you and what did you first think of Ben when you learned he was going to be your main competition at that point? Were you intimidated, worried, anything like that?

Franky Arriola: Yes. Definitely, you know, I was excited to get drafted right away and not be picked last, you know. I'm glad I was picked second. So that was definitely a nice stroke to my ego, and I'm glad I didn't have to wait around to the end. That was nice.

When I saw Ben, I'm like, "There's two stark differences between the two of us. I'm a nice clean-cut guy. Ben thinks he's a bad boy with the whole long hair and tattoos. You're either into me or him," and you know, it doesn't matter. So when I saw that, I was just like, "She's going to make up her mind very quickly."

Reality TV World: Did you feel a real connection with Jenny or were you kind of just trying to woo her so that you'd have a chance to stay in the competition? And if you did have real feelings for her I guess, were you thinking Jenny felt the same way as you leading up to the Couples Choice Ceremony?

Franky Arriola: Yes. No, there wasn't a connection with me and Jenny. She seemed like a nice girl but definitely not for me, and I kind of had a wandering eye the whole time on the whole adventure.

Reality TV World: At one point in the adventure Ben said flat out that you were quote unquote useless because you weren't really helping much or completing any of the challenges, tasks and stuff. So would you admit that you did little to help your team or would you argue you did contribute a lot and Ben was just kind of saying that?

Franky Arriola: I definitely contributed a lot. Ben had better moments than I did. It's all in the editing. And yes, Ben's just a hot head, you know? And he and I did not click. And yes, we definitely butt heads. He's definitely a hot head. And, you know, that's his opinion of me, so be it.

Reality TV World: When Jenny and Ben kissed during the adventure portion of the episode, rather than getting jealous or mad, you kind of seemed to be supportive and kind of said Ben deserved to kiss her. Could you talk about that a little bit? Like did you really not care too much about Jenny at that time so the kiss just didn't matter to you or did you care but you were kind of just trying to be a good sport about it?

Franky Arriola: Oh, I didn't care at all. I knew pretty quickly that Jenny was not my kind of girl. And, you know, and I love her as a person. We're still friends. But I was waiting to just get done with the challenge and meet the other girls.

I knew -- I'm pretty decisive and I knew it wasn't going to work out. So, you know, she could stick with him. He's less of a threat to me if they stick together, and I could just focus on meeting other girls.

Reality TV World: And touching on that a little more, the show didn't really show much of you trying to get to know and talk to the other girls besides Jenny. So could you elaborate on that a little bit? Were you really shopping around? Which girls did you have discussions with?

Franky Arriola: Yes. Definitely yes. Unfortunately they didn't show the most flattering things on the show of me. So, you know, we all got a good laugh out of that. But I definitely put some time in getting to know [Tara Locke] and that never showed, and [Ali Leitza] also. And that never -- unfortunately did not show either. And they're both great girls.

Also in the call, Franky told reporters who else he had his eye on while he was on the show, whether he thought Love in the Wild's circumstances were good for finding love and a potential life partner, and when he discovered Jenny just wasn't the right girl for him.

How much do you think the camera and the kiss played a part in you not forming a bond with Jenny?

Franky Arriola: Yes. Definitely some salt water got in the camera, so that kind of delayed it obviously. They didn't want to really show how water got in the bag during the adventure. So it definitely kind of screwed everything up, and yeah, that definitely kind of set me back a way. (Laughs)

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?

Franky Arriola: Yes. Let me -- yeah, I definitely had my eye on [Shauna Dillard]. It didn't really line up right, but yes, I definitely had my eye on her when I got there.

What were you both hoping to get out of the experience when you went on the show?

Franky Arriola: Yeah, for me, it just sounded like it'd be a lot of fun. You know, definitely being able to just roll the dice and see what happens, and you know, try to re-live spring break again.

Sorry to see you go so early.

Franky Arriola: It's a damn shame.

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 with the mosquitoes and everything? Do you think this is a good way to get to know somebody?

Frankie Arriola: Yes, absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. You get to see what's wrong with them right away. You know what I mean? You get to see what bends or breaks them when the pressure comes in.

And you get to see if they're cool or not, because like if you decide to meet someone at a restaurant or a bar, anybody could put up a facade for a good hour and then you go home and then you leave with a different impression. You get to see someone in the pressure cooker, you get to see their true colors and you get to make up your mind fairly quickly on that one.

Did you learn anything from the experience that you can take back now into the real dating world with you?

Franky Arriola: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. From now on, I think I'm only going to stick women in the jungle and see if they -- no, I'm just kidding. (Laughs) No, unfortunately, yes. It's like, you know, I got a girl's number, now we're going to the jungle and see if she can survive with me for two weeks. No, that's not going to happen. But, no, but I get it, you know?

At what point in the game did you know you and Jenny weren't going to be a match?

Franky Arriola: That came -- let me think. Yeah, that came pretty quickly. I saw her [and] I really wasn't like knocked out by her appearance right away. And I really wasn't feeling her.

And as it went on, I just could tell she got bossy and bratty and I definitely was -- wanted to get through the challenge and just get back on the compound and start meeting the other girls. I knew fairly quickly that I knew it was not going to work out with her.

Click here to read Jason Holmes' conference call with reporters and what he had to say to Reality TV World.

(Photo credit NBC)


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