The whole premise of Ashton Kutcher's Wednesday night "social experiment," Beauty and the Geek, was that awkward nerds would learn how to mingle with the gorgeous airheads who once shunned them. And the gorgeous ladies would, well, learn. So where did that leave a looker like Brad Hooker, the Mensa member from Mississippi who sneakily hooked up with Barbie model Erika? And is his Beauty partner Krystal Tini — who once thought North Carolina was north of South Dakota — just a shallow Philadelphia Sixers dancer? Before another duo is booted tonight (9 pm/ET on WB), TVGuide.com rang up Brad and Krystal for some Geeky gossip.
TVGuide.com: What did you expect when you signed up for this?
I really didn't know what it was about.
Brad Hooker: My mom, my sister and my friends were determined that I was going to do it because they wanted to see me on TV. [The casting people] told me it was going to be an academic competition of some kind. They didn't mention anything about the opposite sex.
TVG: How did you feel about the real premise?
I didn't see the other guys until the day we started shooting. When I saw them... I thought [the show] was going to humiliate people or something like that, but it obviously turned out being completely different.
TVG: Were you put off by the way Beauty and the Geek labeled you?
Yeah, I was. I was just in In Touch magazine last week and it said "lacks brains" or something like that. It doesn't really bother me that much because I know I'm not dumb or anything, but that's how we were portrayed on the show.
Brad: I can't say I was too pleased about it. I never thought of myself [as a "geek"]. I honestly thought they used that word because it fit nicely into the title. Sure, I read a lot and enjoy school. My social life has come close to nonexistent these days. There are geekish tendencies, to be sure.
TVG: Did living in the house change your perceptions of beauties and geeks?
I really had a connection with those guys. Richard made me pee my pants every single day. He was hilarious... I knew some of the other girls on the show would be like, "Oh, my god, he's such a dork." I just love people for who they are, so I couldn't say that I am any different than how I was when I went into the house.
Brad: I don't buy into the idea that beauty and intelligence have to be mutually exclusive qualities. I always thought they could exist in one person. My views changed about those girls in particular once I got to know them.
TVG: That first trivia quiz was pretty revealing, though.
I don't know, just talking to Krystal, she didn't know which was further south, North Carolina or South Dakota. To her, something like that was just irrelevant. It's not like she's too stupid to know it; she just doesn't care. It's something that she could learn. It has no bearing on her life. She's not dumb. I spent a lot of time with this girl and she's got common sense, a good bit of it.
TVG: Krystal, did you know what was happening between Brad and Erika?
I didn't. The first night she came in my room, I had no idea what was going on, and then I obviously knew they were in bed together... It was kind of weird. Not that it bothered me, but I thought that maybe she should have asked me if it was OK, because he was my teammate. I wouldn't approach the other guys without saying anything to their partner. I wasn't jealous or anything. Brad and I had a brother-sister relationship; we got along really well.
TVG: Brad, do you plan on seeing Erika again?
I certainly hope so. We're going to be several hundred miles apart. I still talk to her regularly, and we're trying to make plans so we can see each other. She's a really cool girl. Honestly, from the way they described the girls, I didn't expect to be able to hold a conversation with them. But Erika was surprisingly intelligent. She doesn't fit the stereotype they were trying to create about the beauties.
TVG: Do you think the skills you two learned on the show will come in handy in real life?
Changing a tire and all that stuff... so many of my friends have no clue how to do anything like that. I really did learn a lot; I was really surprised. Like rocket science — I was actually studying! I haven't studied in so long. It was pretty cool.
Brad: I highly doubt it. Massage, maybe.
TVG: You won't be buying clothing for a girlfriend any time soon?
I'll outsource that.
TVG: Why were you guys chosen twice in a row for elimination?
Their reasons were very valid. We had the least to gain from the experience. For guys, it was supposed to build self-confidence, and confidence has never been a problem for me. All the rest of the guys would benefit more. I don't mean that as derogatory.
TVG: Krystal, how did you end up kissing Richard at the end?
I was saying goodbye to Mindi and Richard, and then he said, "Oh, what the hell!" And he grabbed my face and kissed me. I was so surprised. I was glad that he did it, because he actually got the guts to do it, and I don't think he ever would have if he wasn't on the show. I was very proud of him for that. That [kiss was] all I heard about this weekend, everywhere I went.
TVG: So what's next for you two? Will you try to go the reality-to-showbiz route?
Hopefully. That's what I've always wanted to do. I've been with the Sixers for five years. Right now, I'm just relaxing in my Jersey shore house, and I have Sixers auditions this weekend.
Brad: The plan is to go to Georgia Tech [in August for my MBA] and become indoctrinated in the ways of corporate America. I don't know if I could exist in Los Angeles for very long. I think I would implode. There's too much celebrity worship, which is a side of American culture that I've ignored for most of my life, so when I was there, it was culture shock. It was like being in a different country.