July 09, 2012 05:32 AM by Melissa Stavarski
NBC‘s Love in the Wild is completely unpredictable. There’s a different challenge every week, constant changing of partners, and Jenny McCarthy is always on stand by to mix things up if the couples get too comfortable. This week, the shocker came when Jesse Wilson and Ali Leitz left the competition. Ali was very hostile towards Jesse when they were coupled. Rather than pair up again, she chose to pack her bags, leave the Dominican Republic, and admit she did not find ‘Love in the Wild.’ Jesse and Ali share some insight on their experience together, so keep reading!
One would expect contestants on a reality show to keep their eye on the prize, right? Not so much. Jenna Gillund blindsided her partner Ryan Smith at the Couples Choice Ceremony, suggesting they’re better off as friends. Host Jenny McCarthy asked Jenna if she would like to continue on the show as friends or call it quits, and Jenna opted to go unmatched. By default Ryan also went to the loser’s circle. Ali Leitz then had a turn to choose between Jesse Wilson or Ryan, but instead of picking one of the guys, she also decided to go home. Four people left the show this week because Ali and Jenna both decided they’d had enough.
In an interview Friday afternoon, Jesse and Ali dish about their time on Love in the Wild.
Jesse, were you generally interested in Ali or were you just playing the game?
Jesse: From day one, the only girl that really caught my eye was Ali. She’s down to Earth, very cute, and a southern girl. I won the first competition, so I was at the Oasis. She won the second competition, so she was at the Oasis. We never really had that chance to see if there’s a connection. Obviously I got a little sidetracked. Still, my main goal was to finish the competition with Ali, up until our conversation in the Oasis. I knew then that I didn’t belong there. The only person I felt like I could have a connection with was Ali.
(Sidetracked? Would that sidetrack’s name be Tara?)
Ali, do you regret not giving Jesse another chance?
Ali: Yes and no. By the end of that last episode, my head wasn’t in it anymore. I didn’t have enough to give to Jesse or to do any future challenges. We’re two different people, but under different circumstances we probably wouldn’t have been as much oil and vinegar. It was too much on a national stage. That kind of got me astray from the beginning with him. Had we had a little bit of downtime or had I not felt so neglected as a partner with Ben, I might have still had my head in the game and would have wanted to stay with Jesse. I just felt like it was a good time to leave.
Jesse, do you think the aftermath of you being with Tara was too much to recover from?
Jesse: No, I don’t believe so. I think we had a job to do. It was a competition and we had to find out if there was a connection. I think it was obvious that we didn’t have a complete connection in the way of Love in the Wild, and that’s what came to the surface. I had to deal with it the rest of the trip. I don’t believe that it really affected mine and Ali’s relationship whether we were going to bond and connect at all. So, I don’t believe that really weighed upon the whole Love in the Wild part of it. Obviously I had to deal with Ken and some other people, but that’s not why I was there.
Ali, compared to how things played out, what were you looking for with Jesse?
Ali: Jesse’s an extremely great guy. I didn’t go into it knowing whether we were going to hit it off or not. I just kind of went in with my eyes wide open, said that this is a new partner, and let’s see where this goes. I think a lot of the arguments between Jesse and I were not necessarily what people had the correct impression of. I think we were bickering about how prudish I wanted to present myself rather than whether I truly was that girl. I think too much of the energy between Jesse and I was spent bickering rather than trying to work cohesively as a couple.
Jesse, how shocked were you when Ken called you out during the couples ceremony?
Jesse: Beyond shocked! I can’t remember if they showed my face or not, but I think everyone was shocked. Yanina is a great girl, beautiful, an awesome athlete, she’s perfect for the competition, and perfect for finding someone, if you will. I had zero intention of taking her away. I wasn’t there to be spiteful. I knew Ken and I really didn’t get along since we have different personalities. We wouldn’t be friends back in the real world. But I didn’t know all of this stuff was going on inside of his head. I didn’t know that he was this worried about me. I had zero clue. We were all shocked when that happened and you saw the outcome afterward.
(Ken called out Jesse for messing around with Tara, then dumping her. Ali says during the interview that the confrontation was, in fact, very harsh towards Jesse and uncomfortable to watch.)
Ali, why didn’t you give it a go with Ryan, just to continue the adventure?
Ali: At that point, you get to know people behind the scenes as opposed to just having them as a partner. Ryan had a look to him that kind of reminded me of an ex-boyfriend and I couldn’t decide early on if I wanted him to be one of the first guys to leave or if it was intriguing to have him stay around. By the time I figured it out, it’s like I got to know him and saw him as a separate entity from what I originally thought of him as and I just knew that it wasn’t going to work.
There you have it, Love in the Wild fans. Jesse got pegged a player and couldn’t escape Hurricane Ken. Ali bellyached about everything and anything. It’s hardly a shocker these two didn’t make a love connection!
In the interest of fairness, I will say, they both came across as highly intelligent and a lot more likable in the interview than they did in the Wild. I admire their ability to admit “enough is enough” instead of continuing to be miserable for the sake of a prize.
Ken and Yanina, Chase and Summer, and a reunited Ben and Michelle are the final three couples on Love in the Wild. Tune in to the NBC show on Tuesday night to see what crazy thing will happen next in the Wild!
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Photo credit: NBC