August 19, 2011 05:24 PM by Megan Thompson
If you have been watching the new dating show on NBC, Love In The Wild, you saw Mike and Samantha win the grand prize on Wednesday night. These two lovebirds were connected the very first night they met! This duo worked hard to beat out ten other couples and won a trip around the world. Keep reading to find out if their love survived after they left the jungle!
What is the status of your relationship at this point?
Samantha: We are actually together right now. He was here in Orange County for the finale and today is my birthday and we are headed to Disneyland right after this call! We are very much together and we can actually say we are in love.
What was your most memorable moment on the show?
Mike: When we knew we were in first place and we were coming down the other side of the volcano towards the finish line. With each step I was thinking all the different places we would go. It was surreal at that point that we were that close to the finish.
The final challenge was physical, but how did it affect you emotionally?
Mike: I told everyone I had a secret weapon that none of the other guys had, Sam. She was so tough mentally and physically that she would be able to do a lot of things the other girls couldn’t do.
Samantha: On the last adventure, when we went through the argument about camping. We have both said that was really a breakthrough moment for us. We were really glad that happened because we went into the day with an open mind. I really do think it helped us the next day.
Other dating reality shows they have to keep the ending a secret how did that work on Love In The Wild?
Samantha: Yes, we definitely weren’t allowed to tell anyone the status of our relationship. That was definitely one of the hardest things for us. We tried to Skype at least two to three times a week. We did sneak and see each other a few times in hiding, which we were allowed, as long as we were very stealth.
Mike: People that were really close to us knew we were having a secret relationship, and they had to keep it close to the vest – otherwise there were big penalties for us. Our parents and close friends we were able to tell them. We had to get into a rhythm of keeping in touch with each other to make it work. Actually today is a big relief because we can tell people we are dating!
Are you in touch with the other contestants from the show?
Mike: Yes, we are closest with Skip and Miles. We are buddy -buddy and are constantly jabbing at each other. They are really funny, honest true people. In my mind these friendships will last a long time.
Samantha: It’s a bond that we all went there – with nothing! We didn’t have our cell phones, friends or family. We all relied on each other a lot. We all connected on that level, it’s a bond you can’t replace.
Samantha – What made you choose Mike at the very beginning of the show?
Samantha: They actually didn’t show in episode one, but all the guys had to say a one-liner. The one-liner that Mike said is, “I might not be the biggest guy here, but in this competition you are going to need brains and brawns.”
Does the grand prize just feel like a bonus because you found love on the show?
Mike: We actually said that before the second half of the final adventure. It’s true, we knew we would see each other after the show whether we won or not.
Samantha: It’s so cheesy and cliché, but it’s true.
What did you learn about each other during these challenges?
Samantha: I learned very quickly how Mike deals with high-stress situations. We were able to connect very early one. Mike saw me without make-up the very first night, which would not happen in a normal dating setting! Every challenge felt like one month of dating. It was like dating on crack!
Mike: It’s like dating on steroids, spending all day and night with this person.
What’s next for your relationship?
Samantha: We have entertained the idea of me moving to San Francisco, no specific date yet.
Mike: We are taking it one day at a time. We are planning a trip around the world together. We are enjoying the fact that we can tell people we are in a relationship.
When is your trip around the world?
Mike: We don’t know where we are going yet. We get to pick, up to ten cities. We are planning on leaving the end of September and it’s roughly a month long.
We wish this new couple the best of luck now that thier relationship is public! What did you think of Love In The Wild – will you watch season two? Let us know your thougths, comment below!
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Photo Credit: NBC