INTERVIEW: 'Beauty and the Geek's Luke Neyer, Katie Roberson dish
By Christopher Rocchio, 10/18/2007
Luke Neyer and Katie Roberson didn't receive a lot of camera time as Beauty and the Geek fourth-season participants, but that's just fine with them.
Luke, a 23-year-old student from Columbus, OH, and his partner Katie, a 25-year-old retail store manager from Schaumburg, IL, were revealed to be the fourth pair eliminated from The CW reality competition series during Tuesday night's broadcast.
On Wednesday, Luke and Katie talked with Reality TV World about who their best friends were in the house; how the show's fourth-season twist impacted the dynamics of the couples; which team they think is in the competition for the money; and why they didn't care about not receiving as much on-air time as some of the other cast members.
Reality TV World: How were each of you cast for Beauty and the Geek 4?
Luke: You go first Katie... Katie: Me and all my girlfriends were in a nightclub in Chicago and they asked us to try-out for [NBC's Summer 2007] Age of Love [reality dating series]. So we all went and had a couple drinks and tried out for Age of Love and then they called me and were like, "Hey, can we cast you for Beauty and the Geek?" I was like, "Yeah, sure go ahead!" Luke: Actually, one of my friends from my robotics group had a girlfriend who watched the show and said they were having a casting in Columbus. So she wanted to get someone from [my] robotics [group] to try-out for the show. She thought we were all very geeky. My friends got together and were like, "Well, if there's one person who would be good, that would be Luke." When they initially told me about it, I was a little repulsed. I was like, "I'm not that geeky." But as much as I talked with the [robotics group], they were like, "Yeah, you'd be a definite great fit for it." So I tried out and made it all the way.
Katie: Honestly at first, we both had other people that we wanted to be partnered with.
Reality TV World: Yeah, that was going to be my next question. So answer both if you could. What were your first impressions of each other and if you could have chosen your own partners, who would you have picked?
Katie: I wanted to be partnered with Dave and Luke wanted to be partnered with Hollie. But as soon as [Shalandra and Joshua] were like, "Hey, you guys are going to be partners," I was so excited. I was like, "Wow! Luke, we're going to have fun!" Luke: To be honest, when I initially met all the girls, my Top 4 were Hollie, Katie, Erin and Rebecca. I actually had positive impressions of all those four girls. As the day went on, I talked more and more with Hollie, so I was like, "Yeah, she'd be great." We both liked each other, we had chemistry, we would just get along very well. So I was shocked because I told [Shay and Joshua] I preferred Hollie. But actually, I'm really glad that I got Katie because we would never have become friends if we had not been partners.
Reality TV World: Katie, what was it about Dave that made you want to be his partner?
Katie: Dave reminded me a lot of one of my ex-boyfriends actually. He looks a lot like him, and me and Dave just clicked right off the bat. I was really interested in LARPing (live-action role playing) because I feel like my whole life's a live-action role play. So we just talked a lot and had a good time.
Reality TV World: Luke, was one of the reasons Rebecca was on your list because she demonstrated her massage therapy skills on you during the introductions?
Luke: Actually one of the things I wanted to learn going onto the show was how to give a massage. I don't really know what to do or how to do it... This was one thing I could learn, I need improvement on, is how to give a massage. So that's one of the reasons why I was like, "Oh, she'd be a good partner." Also she's from the Midwest, and I'm partial to people from the Midwest.
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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?
Katie: I know right away I was just like, "This is out of control!" I thought like, "Great. I came here to get away from guys like that."
Reality TV World: What about you Luke?
Luke: Originally I thought that Sam was your stereotypical male. I think I compared him to some of the characters on Zoolander, he would sort of fit right in... He's got this cool kind of like, deer-in-the-headlights almost, "I have no idea what's going on around me," but cool. The more I got to know him, the better it was... Sam and Nicole were some of our best friends in the house. I got along with Sam more than any other guy, which was surprising, because with the other geeks who I have some much more in common with I would be able to bond quicker. But Sam was, I guess, my best guy friend in the house... Katie: Yeah, Sam and Nicole were probably our closest friends in the house.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you noticed Sam and Rebecca were becoming romantically involved?
Katie: My first reaction was, "Wow. I saw this coming." I honestly knew it wouldn't be long before he hooked up with somebody, and Rebecca seemed like the one that would probably be his type... We saw that coming for five minutes, they were in the house for five minutes. Luke: Yup. Jesse came up to me five minutes after we had just met [Sam and Nicole], and was like, "All the geeks' chances of getting with a beauty have just gone down now that Sam's here. That's never ever going to happen now."
Reality TV World: Do you think Sam and Rebecca's relationship was a contributing factor to Will and Rebecca being eliminated?
Katie: No. I think Will and Rebecca got eliminated because of the fact they kept winning. I don't think it had anything to do with Sam and Rebecca. Luke: They presented themselves as the strongest team, which is what I really think got them sent to the elimination room. Everyone knew they were the team to beat, so they wanted them out of there early.
Reality TV World: Luke you called Will and Rebecca the "biggest threat." Is that what you were basing the comment on, the fact they were so successful in the challenges?
Luke: I mean, Will won more [challenges] than any geek. He was basically the biggest obstacle for every other team winning, they thought he would have to leave sometime. And lose in the elimination room because he was also really, really smart. He had a great... He was phenomenal in studying. He was like a dictionary... He would just know so much random stuff, if you asked him a question, he would spit out an answer.
Reality TV World: Katie, Nicole described you as "one of the beauties I feel most comfortable with." How does it make you feel to hear something like that?
Katie: Me and Nicole were very close. It didn't surprise me. We clicked really, really well. I thought she was an awesome person... I just loved her. I mean a lot of the girls... a lot of people didn't want Sam and Nicole there. But for us, as a team, I think I can say that we just loved them. I loved Nicole... She was awesome. Luke: I think Katie was the comforting person that everybody would go to. I mean, if all the geeks had troubles or problems, they would actually go to Katie and she would calm them down. She just has a sort of comforting thing about her that you can't help but trust her and open up to. Katie: Awww! You're so nice!
Reality TV World: Luke were you happy with your makeover?
Luke: Yes. I was a little surprised at first. I couldn't tell the difference. Originally I thought that, but when I look back now, I can actually tell the difference. It's actually funny because the engineers I talk to when I got home told me I don't look different. But those people who aren't engineers say I look completely different. I look back, and it's not really a makeover in what I look like, but how I carry myself. It's just like a self-confidence thing. I seemed a lot less confident then than I feel now. Katie: The way he carried himself was 100% different. I think he grew a foot just because he was standing up straight! Luke: (laughing) People have said, "Hey, you look taller!" Then everyone's like, "No. He's just standing straighter." I didn't realize I was slouching before, but when I saw it, I just walk with my chest out and my head held high now.
Reality TV World: The show didn't really seem to show much of you guys, is there anything you expected to see shown that didn't air?
Katie: We can't really say anything that didn't end up on air. We can't really talk about it. But I was really pleased with the outcome of the show.
Reality TV World: Were you pleased too Luke?
Luke: Yeah, Katie and I -- the only thing I don't know if it was clear with people -- Katie and I are good friends. We got along really well. I don't know if that was portrayed, but we got really close. We were really, really happy with each other as partners.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised that the Rebecca/Sam relationship thing was such a big focus of the first few episodes? When we talked to Will last week, he didn't seem to think it was that big a deal.
Katie: It really wasn't as big... You've got to admit, Sam and Rebecca made great TV.
Reality TV World: Yeah, that's a good point.
Katie: I mean, I thought it was entertaining. I don't know about you Luke, but they made great TV. I think me and Luke both were in it more for the experience than for to get a bunch of TV time... Luke: Yeah. Katie: We talked about it when we were there. Neither of us is going to try to be an actor or a model... I think we were there for the experience and to learn and grow. Luke: It doesn't really matter to us how much we were on TV because what it boils down to is how we changed as people. I think we both have viewed this as an opportunity to make ourselves better people, more well-rounded people. That's what's important to us. Not how much we got shown on TV or if we were portrayed as good guys or bad guys, as opposed to these people are nice and well-rounded.
Reality TV World: 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?
Katie: The show definitely changed my whole life. I don't know about you Luke. Luke: I told Katie right before [this interview] I'm going to a salon now, I'm going tanning for the first time ever... The first thing I did after getting back from the show was go shopping for new clothes. I tripled my shoe count... Katie: I'm so happy you went shopping for clothes (laughing)! Luke: No more jean shorts! Katie: Yea! No more jean shorts!
Reality TV World: During the show Katie, you made a point of mentioning about how little studying you ever did. What was your reasoning behind that? Was it strategy? Are you just not the type of person to study?
Katie: I was there for the experience. I did learn a lot. I felt like going into the elimination room, it's kind of the luck of the draw with the questions that you get and you can study day and night, but more than likely, it's common knowledge. If you know it you know it, if you don't, you don't. I studied... Luke did I study? Luke: I think Katie did study a lot... Katie: It was just that... Luke: I mean there was stuff that you could sit there and bang your head over, but a lot of the stuff was common knowledge. I don't think that she slacked off or did anything like that. We both worked hard. Katie: I mean we worked hard, but in the end, it was just kind of like, "I'm either going to know it or I'm not." Luke: Some of the questions weren't even in the study material. Katie: The questions were hard!
Reality TV World: Were you surprised Shay and Joshua nominated you for the elimination round?
Katie: We were very surprised considering Shay and I were really good friends. We shared a bathroom with them. But on the flip side, I understand it's a game and they had to pick somebody. I know it was really hard on them to nominate us. We were surprised, but we weren't angry. Luke: I think Shay was playing the game really well. She was a lot better at playing this game than people give her credit for. She chose the people to be paired with. She chose someone (Joshua) who would not probably win [all the challenges], but she was betting on the fact that people aren't going to vote her and Joshua into the elimination room because they don't think he's much of a challenge. If you look at the teams that have gone home so far, it's the teams that people have perceived as challenges. The first people to go home are people who teams have viewed as strong competition. So she really just put two really strong teams into the elimination room (Luke and Katie as well as Sam and Nicole) because she knew that would better her odds of winning. Katie: I think she was definitely there to win the money. But she did help Joshua a lot, I'm not going to deny that.
Reality TV World: Is there anybody in the house you'd like to see win? Anybody you wouldn't want to see?
Katie: We're definitely rooting for Sam and Nicole... Luke: Yeah. Katie: I really don't want to see Shay and Joshua win.
Reality TV World: Is that because they nominated you?
Katie: Just because I think they're there for the money more than anything else. Luke: Yeah... I think what you're there for is a big deal, and I don't think they're quite there for the right reasons. Katie: I'm definitely rooting for... I know I'm rooting for Jasmine and Dave. Luke: Sam and Nicole, those our are top choice. But we also like Jasmine and Dave because I think that they're two of the people who can learn the most out of this experience... Katie: And they were nice!
Reality TV World: So what's next? Got any plans?
Luke: Katie, you want to go first? Katie: Yeah. I just actually moved out of Iowa to Chicago. I've been living life and having fun. I'm not going to try to get into modeling or acting, that wasn't why I went on the show. I'm just living life and having a good time!
Reality TV World: How about you Luke?
Luke: I'm in Columbus. I'm actually interviewing for some jobs right now, so I don't think I'll be here in Columbus the next full month. We'll see. I'm just enjoying trying new things. I'm going on about two or three dates a week now... Katie: Two or three dates a week! Oh my God!