Exclusive: "Chase" Aaron Chase talks about his 'Love in the Wild' experience (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/20/2012
"Chase" Aaron Chase and his partner Summer Mack were eliminated from Love in the Wild, which determined its Final 2 couples, during Tuesday night's penultimate episode of the second season of the NBC reality dating series.
Chase, a 28-year-old from San Diego, CA who currently resides in Newport Beach, CA, and Summer, a 32-year-old from Satellite Beach, FL who currently resides in Indian Harbour Beach, FL, were eliminated from the competition after Kenneth Barrington and his partner Yanina Beccaria -- who finished first in the week's adventure and were therefore able to select which of the other remaining two couples should be sent home and which one would be their opponent in the finale -- chose to oust them because they had always posed a big threat in the challenges as a couple.
On Wednesday, Chase talked to Reality TV World about his Love in the Wild experience and relationship with Summer -- including what Chase was willing to do in order to make the relationship work and how he and Summer both acted selflessly for each other, whether they got to accomplish their one goal of ziplining yet together, why he was convinced Benjamin Clark and Michelle Sacco's view on his relationship was wrong but also a strategic move, and whether he could see himself marrying Summer in the near future.
Below is the first half of our exclusive interview with Chase. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion. To begin reading our interview with Summer, click here.
Reality TV World: At the end of the Love in the Wild episode, it said you two are still dating and have been visiting each other every other week. How is that going? Is your relationship still going strong?
"Chase" Aaron Chase: It's going strong. It's going really well. I met her family, she met my dad and my brother. We've had many talks going into detail about her moving out here. We've gone over financial plans, we've gone over how she'll get established, how we'll live together.
I mean, it's really exciting because we really like each other when we're together, and I want to give her everything when she's not here. I mean, we went from Santa Barbara -- we were planning Catalina but couldn't make it, so we went to Vegas instead and met up with [Tara Locke].
We've gone... [on] an air boat looking at gators in Florida. We've just been having so much fun, and also, the romance is there. I know everybody always asks about that stuff, but it's going really well. I see nothing but great potential. And it sounds like I'm sure you've got that from her side of things -- that it's the same on hers.
Reality TV World: Last night's broadcast said you met Summer's parents. How did that go and do you think they liked you? Summer said they did, but I just wanted to get your take on that. And how did your family perceive Summer?
"Chase" Aaron Chase: It went really well with Summer, with her mom and her brother. Her dad wasn't there. He was in another part of the state, so it went really well. I had breakfast with her mom, hung out with her brother, at night, we went to a play. I mean, it was amazing. They really welcomed me in. We had a lot of fun.
We even set up our own zipline in the backyard the first time I went out there and we were playing around with her little brother, so they really welcomed me in and I feel really close and am tight with them. They call me. They talk to Summer just like I talk to her. They're best friends and all of that as well.
As far as her meeting my parents, it went really well. My dad really liked her, my brother thinks she's amazing. She's really becoming part of my family right now.
Reality TV World: You mentioned Summer plans on moving to California to be closer to you, and when I talked to her, she sounded pretty excited about that. What went into that decision and did you ever consider moving to Florida to be close to her or was that never really an option?
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"Chase" Aaron Chase: You know, I'm a pretty agreeable person and we pretty much just talked and said, "Okay this will work. We have what each other wants and we're probably not going to like another person like this again, the way we are."
So Summer made the decision, she was like, "You know what? I want to move one more time before everything settles down, so I want to move out there, clear my head, be with you, and start anew, and then see where it goes from there."
I asked her to go out there and I looked into the fire department and everything to change careers, but she was very adamant about working together. She wants to make sure that everything goes well with my new job that I picked up. She's been really supportive, and so she's the one jumping out there and taking a leap by saying, "I want to be with you out here in California."
Reality TV World: When you and Summer left the show, especially considering the distance between you guys, did you ever think you'd make it to the point you're at now? I know you hoped to build on your connection once you got home, but were you really confident at the time you could make that happen and form a successful relationship?
"Chase" Aaron Chase: Even before that Couples Choice Ceremony was done, I had a really strong feeling we were going home. I was already putting a plan together on how quick I could see her, and I actually -- in a day of getting back -- bought a ticket for myself out to Florida and a ticket for her to come out and meet my family, and then also, a trip after that.
So it was really all planned within the first week of her and I arriving back into the states. So, there wasn't going to be any hesitation. We automatically had something to look forward to, big plans for us, and Summer and I, we literally talked for seven hours a day on end throughout the week. We don't get tired of each other. We love laughing and we love just being around each other. I mean, I love the girl.
Reality TV World: When you guys got home and tried to develop a strong relationship, what was the most difficult hurdle you had to overcome and how do you think being on Love in the Wild prepared you to handle that?
"Chase" Aaron Chase: The biggest hurdle of course was the distance and being on Love in the Wild helped us to really establish what we had between the two of us. When you have to sleep in the same room with somebody, you have to be around that person all the time and it really starts the process of getting to know somebody.
So, it really established a quick history between us and it was really helpful because we were able to base our relationship not just off of one date or going out with friends one time. It was like, "Okay, we spent a lot of time with each other -- night and day, saw each other in and out -- and we were able to build off of that."
And it really was helpful because each week, we had a topic of going forward, like, "Okay this week, remember, we were going through this obstacle. What do you think?" And we'd have a conversation about it, and it's really cool now because we get to re-live those moments of getting to know each other.
Even in the beginning when we didn't pair up, it's like, "Okay, we're seeing how this is unfolding and it's kind of cool." So it's great to re-live the history. That helps build that relationship stronger.
Reality TV World: In the dating game you guys participated in, you said Summer wanted to settle down, get married and have kids in three years while you had a five-year plan right?
"Chase" Aaron Chase: I joked about that, yes.
Reality TV World: Okay so based upon how your relationship with Summer is right now, do you see that being a real possibility?
"Chase" Aaron Chase: I think it's a very strong possibility. I don't joke about this relationship and I know Summer's not. I think we know that we're right for each other and we're definitely in love and it's going strong. And so, we'll see what goes on when Summer moves out here. That's our biggest leap for right now, and you know, three or five year -- which ever it might be -- I definitely see better things coming.
Reality TV World: Ben seemed to think your relationship was mainly friendly and that you two just thrived on the competition together. You both didn't really argue his point to a great extent, so why was that? Did you feel like you didn't owe them an explanation because you simply knew what you had, or at that time, did you not blame them for thinking that based on your interactions together?
"Chase" Aaron Chase: Well, Ben's a hot head. It's fueling the fire for somebody like that who gets upset easily and tries to argue when he knows nothing about Summer and I or anything in our conversations. He had an outside perspective when he saw at lunch and then the only time he saw us in the competitions was when he was looking at our heels as we beat them.
So, I've gotta make the statement and it's the truth. He made the statement of like he knows us when he never saw us -- not in competitions, not around the cabins. We were with each other. We were having our own conversations. I couldn't -- there's a reason why we didn't get on their relationship and that's because we were never around them to know how their relationship was going.
So for Ben to question it, I mean, he's a good guy. But he lacks maturity and that's his choice. That's his vendetta and actually, I thought of it more as a strategy. If he tears us down, it builds him up. And Summer and I are a little bit more mature, so we didn't need to jump into that battle, because it wasn't a battle that needed to be fought. Our energy was other places and it was focused on each other.
Reality TV World: Did you two have any ill feelings towards Ben when you left the show, and do you have any now?
"Chase" Aaron Chase: You know, you never want to have someone to talk bad about you and the girl that you're with and getting to know and a girlfriend who I'm all about. So of course in the beginning, I was like, "Who are you? What gives you the right to express this opinion you have no real basis to go off of?"
But I quickly let that go. Summer and I, we talked and it was a strategy point for those two -- for Michelle and Ben. They needed to focus on -- they couldn't say -- I was talking to Summer about this.
If Summer and I were so passionate and like all over each other making out and being just handsy, handsy, handsy, they still were not going to say that we should be there. They were still going to say their relationship was of more value because we were stronger competitors.
They wanted us out. They would've found a different argument. So, I can't be upset with Ben anymore, but of course I think he should've shut his mouth and kept to himself.
Reality TV World: Do you think the dynamic of your relationship with Summer was ultimately a friendship that slowly grew into a romantic connection, or did you two automatically click and find that chemistry right off the bat?
"Chase" Aaron Chase: I think it was pretty obvious to people that paid attention that we clicked and we were in-synch right away, because for those competitions, people say Summer's so athletic and she's so gifted. But the thing is, you need to operate as a team and that's what our relationship was about.
And so, we were able to communicate -- you take the reigns, you do this, I do that -- and we weren't sitting there and arguing. If we didn't have faith in each other, if we didn't feel there was a bond, we wouldn't have been able to communicate or operate, and we wouldn't have been able to succeed.
And you know what? We came from Week 1 and we both switched so many partners until we found each other and decided to stick it out with each other in that one episode. She took a risk pretty much.
She said, "Hey, send me to the 'unmatched area' and if you pick me, you pick me. If you don't, you don't. But you're the only guy I'm interested in getting to know." And that spoke volumes to me, and so I knew that this girl was here for me.
And actually something that wasn't aired was that we didn't have a lot of history, so we wanted to find out if we were going to quit. And Summer said, "You know, if this doesn't work, we're going to walk away." And we both agreed because we were both there for the right reasons.
Above is the first half of our exclusive interview with Chase. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion. To begin reading our interview with Summer, click here.