Natalie and John, <EM>Beauty and the Geek</EM> Natalie and John, Beauty and the Geek

It's been a season of new twists and turns on Beauty and the Geek (Tuesdays at 8 pm/ET on the CW), and the game changed once again last week. First, the five remaining teams were rewarded with a spontaneous trip to Cancun, Mexico. Though the tequila was free-flowing, it wasn't all a fiesta: The two challenge-winning teams were permitted to eliminate a single team, without the standard elimination-room quiz-off. With no chance to retain their place in the game, John Gardner and Natalie Reeves were voted off the island. Though these two couldn't be more different in their real-world pursuits, they served up a united, fiercely competitive front on the show. Were you shocked that you were the ones chosen to go home?
Natalie Reeves: I knew Sam would always choose John and I if we were up, and without an elimination [competition], this was the best way to get rid of us.
John Gardner: I thought that there might be some people who would want to send Jen and William, since they were having troubles, but I was pretty certain that Sam would want to send us.
Natalie: And of the two teams [making the decision], he was the strongest in convincing everyone else to vote for us. Do you think Jen and William deserved to stay more than you two did?
John: It comes down to whether you think they will be able to repair their relationship. I think they were already closed off — they weren't continuing to work on it. So I think that we should have stayed, because I didn't see them having the desire to salvage it.
Natalie: Yeah, they both told us they wanted to go. I understand that strategically it'd be the best way of eliminating us, but the other team wasn't learning from each other and this show is about learning. They didn't even want to be there. So I felt that William and Jen should have just [left voluntarily]. Do you think the other remaining teams want to get Sam and Nicole out as much as you did?
John: Sam's been winning a lot of challenges, and I think the remaining beauties would like their chance to succeed. They'll be competing with him hard. Are Sam and Nicole going to win this season?
It's possible, because I felt that John and I were their biggest competition left.
John: I think they're going to be strong in challenges, but this show loves to twist it up, so who knows what will happen. True. So you both think Jen and William can't work things out. Was it really as bad as it looked on TV, with them literally not talking to each other?
Natalie: They accurately showed what was going on. They really weren't talking to each other. What you see is really what happened.
John: I think that I didn't have a sense of how bad it was, because I got along well with both of them. It really started to be serious at the beginning of the superhero challenge.
Natalie: I didn't realize it was that bad while we were at the mansion. William and I played chess a lot but never discussed it, and Jen and I would hang out in the pool together and we never discussed that. Natalie, in Mexico it looked like you were trying to do some strategizing with Sam at the fiesta. Were you flirting with him in order to try to stay in the game?
Natalie: [Laughs] Um, well, I had a strategic plan of talking to him and trying to manipulate the situation and whatnot, but I [meant] to do that when I was sober. [Laughs] But as you saw on the show, it was after several shots of tequila that I decided to do it! Just how much tequila did you have?
John: [Laughs] Oh man, oh man!
Natalie: I don't even know — like, we never stopped. Shot after shot of tequila — it was endless! So toward the end of the night when I decided to talk to him, it probably wasn't the smartest idea! [Laughs] Let's talk about the challenges you had in Cancun. The beauties' challenge seemed more like a Survivor-esque obstacle course.
Natalie: Yeah, study materials were not involved with that at all. John, how was it learning to salsa?
John: I thought it was really fun! It was good, too, that we got some professional one-on-one salsa training. Do you think salsa is something you'll use outside the show?
John: Um... I don't know if I will. I think if I had a partner that I felt comfortable with, it'd be fun to go salsa dancing. John, were you surprised when Nicole asked you to be her date to the prom.... or was there something going on between you two?
John: Well, we got along well, and we talked a lot in the house. Nicole's a very nice girl and was fun to hang out with, so I was glad. And then you won the title of prom king — were you shocked by that?
John: I was. I knew people were very receptive to the makeover, but I was really surprised about how it made me feel different. I felt more comfortable talking to people after [that], so it was a fun challenge and turned out well. Are you keeping up the makeover, the haircut?
I've been kind of slacking with it. [Laughs] It's hard to break old habits! But I definitely want to keep it up; that's something I'll have to adjust to in the real world. What are you two doing these days?
John: I'm working on my master's thesis with an analog-circuits company in San Jose. Then I'll go back to MIT in the spring and finish up my classwork. Natalie, are you still an "Ultimate Hooters Girl"?
Natalie: Yes, I'm on the foldout poster of the 2008 Hooters calendar, so I've been traveling around signing my autograph for Hooters. I'm their model for a lot of things. I've done some commercials for them and I'm doing a photo shoot with them next month for Hooters magazine. I'm adding to my portfolio so I can continue with modeling, and I'm trying to pursue acting as well.

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