Rule No. 1 of reality-TV dating games: The guy is always going to be a sucker for the girl whom all the other girls hate. Rule No. 2: TV Guide Online is always going to want to dish the dirt with that girl! (Nice chicks may finish first, but they're less likely to gossip than a mime.) And so, gentle readers, it is with great pleasure that we now present our titillating tete-a-tete with For Love or Money mischief-maker Rachel (who, in keeping with her vixenish screen persona, phoned us two hours late!). Our money is on this endearingly forthright 26-year-old flight attendant to emerge from tonight's season finale (9 pm/ET on NBC) with both a huge payday and a big buck by the name of Preston.
TV Guide Online: How do you feel about being portrayed as "the villainess" of the show?
Rachel: Terrible. Honestly, I'm just really, really upfront, and I just spoke my mind. I really didn't think it was possible for them to make me look as bad as they did! I just thought, "Hey, you know, at least I look intelligent." But it kind of took a different spin when I saw the editing process in action.
TVGO: I never thought you were so bad. You were fun!
Rachel: Well, that's good. At least I have one fan! I keep saying that I'm afraid people are going to start throwing fruit at me on the airplane [when I'm working]. I'm just waiting for it to happen!
TVGO: From the beginning, it appeared you guys didn't even know what show you'd signed up for.
Rachel: Right. It was supposed to be called Adventures in Love, but we got there, and they were, like, "Oh, you girls came here looking for love, but you're going to get much more, because you're on For Love or Money!" I was like, "Flawless! This could work!"
TVGO: That's a win-win situation if ever there was one.
Rachel: Exactly. I thought I was going to be on Average Joe or something. When I heard For Love or Money, I was like, "Whooey! This is good!"
TVGO: It was obvious from that moment — maybe to everyone but Andrea — that you were in shock from the silliness of it all.
Rachel: Exactly. It's ridiculous. I mean, you haven't even met the guy at that point, and then, even after you meet him, it's like, "Well, I don't really know him that well, and how many times in my life am I going to be offered a chance at $1 million? And there are how many other men in the world? Let me see..."
TVGO: So were you really falling for Preston or just trying to convince yourself that you were?
Rachel: I had a great time with him. I don't think that anybody can fake a connection that well. There has to be something there on both sides in order for you to click. So I definitely enjoyed hanging out with him. Being in that house with so much drama, I was relieved to get out and go have fun with somebody that... [Pauses] I was just happy to get out of that house! And you heard me on the show — obviously, I needed to get out of that house and be with a man for other reasons, too! [Laughs]
TVGO: Good God! Those girls crucified you for admitting that. I didn't realize that they'd cast the whole show with Puritanical virgins.
Rachel: [Sarcastic] Oh, right!
TVGO: Was it a strategy to make out with Preston as much as possible so that you couldn't get caught in a lie?
Rachel: [Laughs] You know what? I just think that I really like making out! And I always had a great time making out with him! I don't know. I had a great time with him like I said, but I think because I was playing a game, it was also like... How did I say it? Oh, I said, "Hey, I'm a professional seductress." And I think it was working quite well!
TVGO: Amen! How do you think viewers will react to the ending?
Rachel: I think they're going to be surprised.
TVGO: Were you?
Rachel: I was, yeah!
TVGO: I won't ask if you were happy with the outcome, but were you satisfied with your overall experience?
Rachel: Yeah. Given the opportunity to do it again, I would. I just wish I had been better prepared for the editing process. Other than that, it was great. And I think that every experience you go through, you learn something from.
TVGO: What did you learn, then — and be careful what you say!
Rachel: [Laughs] Oh, I still say too much, anyway! You know what I learned, honestly? I kind of knew this anyway, but I like me! Even when I watch the show and I know how they're editing it, I still think it's funny, half the stuff I say. I'm like, "Whatever! That's just me!" If people don't like it or can't see the entertainment value, then forget it; they're probably not people for me, anyway. Another thing is, I used to think, "Where do they find these freaks [on all these reality shows]?" Now, I'm like, "Oh, I see — they don't find them, they turn them into freaks!"