Mike and Samantha, a couple together from the very first day of “Love in the Wild” (except for the one forced switcheroo), won the grand prize during the “Love in the Wild” Season 1 finale. They spoke with Zap2it about their experiences and plans moving forward.
On their most memorable moment of the taping:
Mike : “My most memorable moment was when we knew we were in first place and we were coming down the other side of the volcano towards the finish line. With every step I’d think of a place where we would go – with one step it’d be Australia, with one step it’d be Japan, with one step it’d be Europe.”
On their status as a couple:
Samantha: “We are actually together right now. He was here in Orange County for the finale. Today is my birthday so we’re actually going to Disneyland once we get off this call. We are very much together and we can actually say that we’re in love.”
On how the show helped the relationship blossom:
Mike: “It accelerated the whole getting-to-know-you process. The stress that was there was really just hands-on, right in our face at the moment, so we learned how to deal with it very quickly.”
On keeping it a secret after the show wrapped:
Samantha: “We definitely weren’t able to tell anybody about the status of our relationship and that was definitely one of the hardest things for us. We were trying to Skype at least two or three times a week. We were very good at keeping open communication with each other. We did sneak and see each other a few times in hiding, which wasn’t allowed, but as long as we were stealthy.”
On whether they are in touch with any of the other contestants:
Mike: “Yeah. We remained the closest with the guys who stayed there the longest. Skip and Miles I consider to be pretty close friends. We’re constantly jabbing at each other, but we respect each other. Not only were they pretty formidable opponents out there, but they’re also realy funny, fun, true people. These friendships will last a very long time.”
Samantha: “It’s a bond that no one else can really understand. We all went there and had nothing. We didn’t have our cell phones or TV or anything, nothing that we would consider normal life. WE all relied on each other a lot. We were all in a very vulnerable state and I think we all connected on that level a lot. It’s a bond that we can’t really lose ever.”
Congratulations to Mike and Sam! We hope they enjoy their upcoming trip around the world together.