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Love in the Wild is a reality television series that debuted on June 29, 2011 on NBC. The show is created and produced by Endemol USA. The first season was hosted by Darren McMullen; season 2 premiered on June 5, 2012 with new host Jenny McCarthy.[1][2]

Love in the Wild
Created byEndemol USA
Presented byDarren McMullen (season 1)
Jenny McCarthy (season 2)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes16
Executive producer(s)Tom Shelly
Liz Schulze
Mark Allen
Eric Gardner
Production location(s)Costa Rica (season 1)
Dominican Republic and Hawaii (season 2)
Running time43-44 minutes
88 minutes (season 2 premiere)
Production company(s)Steele Mill Productions
Endemol USA
Original networkNBC
Picture format480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseJune 29, 2011 (2011-06-29) –
July 25, 2012


Set in Costa Rica (season 1) or in Dominican Republic and Hawaii (season 2), the series begins with ten men and ten women, paired into couples. The couples must compete in challenges that test their own abilities and their compatibility as a team. Following each episode's adventure, the winning couple spends the night at a luxurious resort called the Oasis, while the other contestants stay in ordinary cabins and socialize with each other. The next day at the choice ceremony, contestants choose their partners for the next episode's challenge. The last remaining unmatched man and woman are eliminated. The series will conclude with one winning couple, who receive a trip around the world.

Choice ceremony and elimination rulesEdit

To illustrate the mechanics of the choice ceremony, the following example is provided using these fictional couples:

  1. Anna and Adam
  2. Barbra and Bob
  3. Connie and Carl
  4. Daisy and Doug

Couples are ordered by their finish in the previous day's challenge. (The gender that chooses first from each couple alternates with each ceremony; i.e., if women go first in one ceremony, men will go first in the next ceremony.)

Anna may choose first whether she would like to stay with Adam or ask someone else to partner with her. Because she and Adam finished first, if either of them wishes to partner with someone else, the other contestant cannot refuse. Anna chooses to stay with Adam, and Adam chooses to stay with Anna. They move on together.

Barbra and Bob are next. Barbra asks Carl to be her partner, and Carl accepts, so Barbra and Carl move on together. Bob asks Connie to be his partner, and Connie refuses. Bob moves to the Singles Area.

Connie may now choose between asking Doug or Bob to partner with her (despite having already rejected Bob). Connie asks Doug to be her partner, and Doug accepts. Connie and Doug move on.

Daisy and Bob are the final two unmatched contestants, and are eliminated.

If Doug had refused to partner with Connie, Connie would have joined Bob in the Singles Area. Daisy and Doug would then each choose to either stay together or ask Bob or Connie to partner up. If Daisy and Doug then both chose to stay together, Daisy and Doug would move on despite finishing last in the challenge, and Bob and Connie would be eliminated.

If there are more than two contestants in the Singles Area after all couples have chosen, the single contestants (in the order of their arrival in the Singles Area) may attempt again to create a partnership with one of the other singles. If all the single contestants continue to decline any partnerships with each other, they will all be eliminated. This feature resulted in the double elimination of Season 1, Episode 6, when the four remaining Singles Area competitors were unable to form any couples.

The show format gives a strong advantage to loyal couples, as they are guaranteed to move ahead as long as they do not finish last in a challenge. (Even then, they will advance if there is anyone in the singles area.) There are few circumstances in which betrayal can be advantageous. (One case being that a member of a last-place couple may accept a switch request, and certain survival for one round, rather than count on a partner's loyalty.) Attempted switches may leave a contestant vulnerable to subsequent retaliation, as in Season 1, when Steele's switch attempt led to a retaliatory rejection by Erica which eliminated both of them. In Season 1, the last three couples had formed romantic bonds which helped protect them from elimination.

Mike and Samantha won Season 1 and earned a trip around the world together.

Season 1 (2011)Edit


Contestant Age Hometown
Samantha Woods 23 Huntington Beach, California
Heather Pond 23 Sonoma, California
Theresa Trujillo 24 San Jose, California
Brandee Dillehay 25 Nashville, Tennessee
Erica Scherle 24 Nashville, Tennessee
Jessica "Jess" DeBolt 24 San Francisco, California
Jessica Soares 23 Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Kym Nguyen 24 Quincy, Massachusetts
Vanessa Guerrero 26 Phoenix, Arizona
Dawn Christjaener 27 Scottsdale, Arizona
Contestant Age Hometown
Michael "Mike" Spiro 29 San Francisco, California
Miles Haefner 28 St. Louis Park, Minnesota
Skip Sullivan 30 Milton, Massachusetts
Benjamin "Ben" Hooker 27 Charleston, South Carolina
Steele Dewald 24 Scottsdale, Arizona
Derek Leach 28 Venice, California
Jason Jackson 28 San Francisco, California
Adam Rose 25 Taunton, Massachusetts
Peter Paris 31 Venice, California
Jared Ines 28 Los Angeles, California


Partners 1 2 3 4 5 (Mandatory Switch)[4] 6 7 8 (Finale)
Mike Samantha Samantha Samantha Samantha Samantha (Theresa) Samantha Samantha Samantha
Miles Erica Heather Erica Heather Heather (Brandee) Heather Heather Heather
Skip Jessica Theresa Theresa Theresa Theresa (Jess) Theresa Theresa
Ben Heather Brandee Brandee Brandee Brandee (Samantha) Brandee
Steele Vanessa Vanessa Kym Erica Erica (Heather) Erica
Derek Kym Jessica Jess Jess Jess (Erica)
Jason Jess Erica Jessica Jessica
Adam Brandee Kym Heather
Peter Theresa Jess
Jared Dawn


Partners 1 2 3 4 5 (Mandatory Switch)[4] 6 7 8 (Finale)
Samantha Mike Mike Mike Mike Mike (Ben) Mike Mike Mike
Heather Ben Miles Adam Miles Miles (Steele) Miles Miles Miles
Theresa Peter Skip Skip Skip Skip (Mike) Skip Skip
Brandee Adam Ben Ben Ben Ben (Miles) Ben
Erica Miles Jason Miles Steele Steele (Derek) Steele
Jess Jason Peter Derek Derek Derek (Skip)
Jessica Skip Derek Jason Jason
Kym Derek Adam Steele
Vanessa Steele Steele
Dawn Jared
     Finished first and immune from elimination, except in episodes 5 and 7


Mike and Samantha announced their engagement in March 2013 and got married on April 19, 2014 in San Francisco, California, where they have been living together since the show ended.[5] They have two children: daughter Audrey (born on December 29, 2015) and son Zachary (born February 1, 2018).[6][7] Heather and Miles have also been residing in San Francisco.[8] The two announced their engagement in March 2015 and were married on June 18, 2016.[9][10] Their son Macklin was born in August 2018.[11]

Season 2 (2012)Edit


Contestant Age Hometown
Yanina Beccaria 33 Chicago, Illinois
Michelle Sacco 28 Atlanta, Georgia
Summer Mack 32 Indian Harbour Beach, Florida
Ali Leitza 33 Little Rock, Arkansas
Jenna Gillund 23 Dallas, Texas
Vanessa Ramirez 30 Phoenix, Arizona
Cina Luks 22 San Lorenzo, California
Jenny Blatt 27 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Lindsay Furman 29 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Melissa Alatorre 23 Los Angeles, California
Natalie Korzon 24 Ann Arbor, Michigan
Tara Locke 26 Miami Beach, Florida
Shauna Dillard 28 Kingsburg, California
Contestant Age Hometown
Kenneth "Ken" Barrington 33 Miami Beach, Florida
Benjamin "Ben" Clark 27 Bolsover, United Kingdom
Aaron "Chase" Chase 28 Newport Beach, California
Jesse Wilson 33 Manhattan Beach, California
Ryan Smith 27 San Francisco, California
Jason Ewell 25 Dublin, California
Tim Parrish 32 Chicago, Illinois
Christian Seklecki 34 Atlanta, Georgia
Darwin Zook 32 Boston, Massachusetts
Franky Arriola 31 Miami, Florida
Jason Holmes 29 North Hollywood, California
Leonard "Leo" Borriello 27 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Mike Sweet 30 Los Angeles, California
Quaison "Q" Dodd 31 Los Angeles, California


Partners 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 (Finale)
Ken Yanina Yanina Yanina & Lindsay Yanina Yanina Yanina Yanina Yanina
Ben Jenny Jenny Jenny & Michelle Michelle Ali Michelle Michelle Michelle
Chase Cina Ali Ali & Jenna Summer Summer Summer Summer
Jesse Summer Tara Tara & Melissa Ali Michelle
Ryan Shauna Shauna Summer & Natalie Jenna Jenna
Jason E. Cina Cina Cina & Vanessa Vanessa
Tim Tara Summer
Jason H. Ali
Leo Tara
Quaison Summer
Franky Jenny
Darwin Ali
Mike Yanina
Christian Shauna


Partners 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 (Finale)
Yanina Ken & Mike Ken Ken Ken Ken Ken Ken Ken
Michelle N/A N/A Ben Ben Jesse Ben Ben Ben
Summer Jesse & Quaison Tim Ryan Chase Chase Chase Chase
Jenna N/A N/A Chase Ryan Ryan
Ali Jason H. & Darwin Chase Chase Jesse Ben
Vanessa N/A N/A Jason E. Jason E.
Cina Chase & Jason E. Jason E. Jason E.
Jenny Ben & Franky Ben Ben
Lindsay N/A N/A Ken
Melissa N/A N/A Jesse
Natalie N/A N/A Ryan
Tara Tim & Leo Jesse Jesse
Shauna Christian & Ryan Ryan
     Finished first and immune from elimination, except in episodes 1,3 and 6


Winners Ken and Yanina got married in the Dominican Republic on January 17, 2015.[13] They welcomed their daughter Andi on January 8, 2016.[14] Ben and Michelle were married on October 26, 2013 but divorced in 2014.[15][16] Summer and Chase announced their engagement in September 2014.[17] They were married on March 4, 2016.[18] Jesse Wilson was a contestant on SyFy's reality game show Opposite Worlds.[19]


Love in the Wild received mixed reviews from critics, with Metacritic scoring a 47 out of 100.[20]

Emily Yahr of The Washington Post said that the best part of the show was all about the "sweeping views of Costa Rica", however, it did not go "far enough in any direction to make the premise intriguing to watch."[21]

Love in the Wild premiered to a 2.2/6 rating in adults 18/49 and was watched by 6.48 million viewers. The premiere was the third most watched program of the night, and it was first in its timeslot. The premiere was the seventh most watched show that week.


  1. ^ "NBC Announces Adventure-Dating Series "Love in the Wild" Will Return for Second Season". 2011-10-20. Retrieved 2012-05-05.
  2. ^ Margaret, Mary (2012-04-19). "Jenny McCarthy: 'I'm Taking Baby Steps' with New Romance". Parade. Retrieved 2012-05-05.
  3. ^ Bierly, Mandi (May 3, 2011). "'Love in the Wild' contestants revealed". Entertainment Weekly.
  4. ^ a b For episode 5, the first name listed is the partner chosen at the end of episode 4. The second name is the partner subsequently chosen when all contestants were forced to switch partners before the episode 5 challenge. Derek was forced out by an injury, and Jess refused all choices.
  5. ^ Samantha Woods [@SamanthaWoods10] (14 February 2012). "@katie492 - I am living in SF with Mike, still doing wedding planning :)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Stavarski, Melissa. "Love In The Wild Recap: Season 2 Premiere Features Jenny McCarthy, Double the Hotties with Bodies" Reality TV Magazine
  9. ^ Heather Pond [@heatherpondSF] (9 March 2015). "Amazing weekend at the beach in Carmel and exploring Big Sur with my FIANCÉ @mileshaefner #engaged @…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Schneider, Michael (May 4, 2012). "Exclusive: Meet the Contestants on Season 2 of NBC's Love In The Wild". TV Guide. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  13. ^ Yanina Beccaria [@yaninabeccaria] (8 December 2012). "@Rboy_12 last 3 couples r together. Traveling is a pain in the behind. Specially when u think how many shoes u could buy instead of air tix!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^[permanent dead link]
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Opposite Worlds on SyFy". TV Guide (CBS Interactive Inc). Retrieved 2014-02-09.
  20. ^ Love in the Wild Metacritic.
  21. ^ TV review: NBC’s ‘Love in the Wild’ is a cross between lots of reality shows Washington Post. Retrieved on June 30, 2011.

External linksEdit