Who would have thought that a show called Beauty and the Geek could be one of the nicest reality shows on television? This season began with seven guys and girls paired up with the goal of pushing everyone out of their comfort zones, all while shooting for a $250,000 payday. The winners of executive producer Ashton Kutcher's "social experiment" this time were Josh Herman, 27, and Cheryl Tenbush, 24 a surprise in only that this nondating show resulted in a romance for Cher and fellow contestant Wes Wilson. Since Beauty and the Geek wrapped, Josh has sold a comedy screenplay to Fox and Cher has moved out to L.A. (But as our phone call will reveal, it seems she's not out there by her lonesome....)
TVGuide.com: Congratulations to both of you on winning. Is this something you put on a résumé "Winner, Beauty and the Geek 2"? Where would that fit in, exactly?
Josh Herman: I'm not gonna put anything else on my résumé but that. It's just going to have my name, address and then in big bold letters in the middle, "WINNER, BEAUTY AND THE GEEK." And I think we'll include some screen grabs, too.
Cher Tenbush: [Laughs] How about the screen grabs from after we found out we won the map challenge? We were rolling around on the floor.
TVGuide.com: Did you enjoy rolling around on the floor, Josh?
Josh: People have asked me that. Many friends of mine do say they want to frame that picture where I am on top of Cher.
Cher: When Josh became a man.
TVGuide.com: Was it tough to watch yourselves on TV?
Cher: That's what was tough for me. All of a sudden I became the "villain" in the house. When we were in the house, everyone got along really well we still talk so every week I was dreading [it]. The thing that changed for me [during the series] was how I viewed my life and how I did things in my life.
TVGuide.com: Josh, you got a makeover during the show. When you look back at that early footage, what are you thinking?
Josh: I'm thinking I like the long hair. It is in the process of being grown back.
Cher: I like it short because then you can see your face. You have a cute little face.
Josh: I've always said this about Cher: She helped me become a better version of myself. She never tried to change me. When we had the makeover, she said, "We're gonna get clothes in the kind of style you're already wearing."
TVGuide.com: It's interesting that we didn't see some of that.
Cher: Of course not! I was the villain then!
TVGuide.com: Josh, you've been open about what an anxious person you are. Did you feel that auditioning for this show would help you "snap out of it"?
Josh: Absolutely. I think you have to do what scares you. I actually got off one of my anxiety meds at the conclusion of the show.
Cher: Wow! I didn't know that!
Josh: Yeah. So the experience was absolutely helpful. I don't want to get too sentimental here, but a lot of the e-mails I've gotten are from people who have anxiety themselves and they're like, "It's so inspirational to see that if you can do it, then anyone can do it. And I feel that I can do it now. You've given us hope."
TVGuide.com: Did you meet exec producer Ashton Kutcher during the audition process?
Cher: He grilled us, actually. Well, he grilled me. Josh, did he grill you?
Josh: He grilled me like... a grilled cheese sandwich. That was terrible.
TVGuide.com: C'mon, Josh, you're a writer. You can come up with a better line than that.
Josh: I know, but you gotta give me a minute.
Cher: He grilled you like a steak at Ruth's Chris.
Josh: Use that one.
TVGuide.com: Cher, is it safe to say that you didn't expect to start a relationship on the show?
Cher: [Laughs] Uh, it's absolutely safe to say that.
TVGuide.com: Was it weird to watch the episode in which you all went to Vegas, when it appeared that your romance with Wes had started?
Cher: Well, it was weird because they made it seem like all of a sudden in Vegas there was so much attraction! But we had been staying up really late talking [prior to that]. I had a huge crush on Wes after the first night. I don't know how he felt about me. I think having the makeover kind of gave him a little more courage to pursue his feelings for me.
Josh: They'd stay out late cuddling on the couch and I'd have the whole room to myself. I think it was a really symbiotic relationship.
Cher: And I would always talk to Josh about it because when you're first in a relationship and you're excited about someone, you want to talk to someone about it. And Josh would always tell me, "Cheryl, I'm not your girlfriend."
TVGuide.com: What's your status with Wes now?
Cher: We just moved out to L.A. together last week. Wes is sitting right next to me, actually.
TVGuide.com: Can you put him on for a moment?
Cher: Yeah. Here's Wes.
Wes Wilson: Hello!
TVGuide.com: Tell us, Wes, are you now a god among your geek friends since your girlfriend is a "beauty"?
Wes: Yeah, when I got back from the show and Cher actually came to visit me in Atlanta, everybody was like, "Wow. Wes, you lucky, lucky... " fill in your own expletive there.
Josh: Wes was one of the most outgoing of the geeks so it was great having him on the show. He kind of led the way for everyone. He was inspirational. Especially after he hooked up with Cher. Everyone was like, "How can we be more like Wes?"
[Cher gets back on the phone.]
TVGuide.com: What's the biggest thing you'll each take from this experience?
Josh: Well, it's nice seeing how much I've grown. I was able to get over some of my anxiety. [By the time I left] I was able to throw away one of my anxiety medications. That just shows me that I was able to get what I wanted to get out of the experience. The money's nice, especially that I don't have to spend it on therapy and on drugs. They were costing me so much money!
Cher: I was able to realize that I am really scared of failure. It's like I am paralyzed by fear sometimes, so instead of pursuing what I want to do, I'll stop and do whatever's comfortable instead of risking anything. What was the quote that you told me, Josh?
Josh: "Don't worry about failing. Worry about the chances you miss by not trying."
Cher: That's something that Josh tried to grill into me and I always get the quote wrong but I know the meaning. I know the meaning in my heart.