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Hometown: Boise, ID; resides in San Francisco, CA
Growing up with a basketball coach as a father, Ryan Smith had no choice but to be competitive. His favorite spot for a first date is any bar or restaurant with live music. Smith's other interests include wakeboarding, snowboarding, golf, tennis and people-watching. He plans to use what he learned growing up to help him win on "Love in the Wild." However, as much as Smith would like to win, he is more focused on finding his future wife.
Smith went to undergrad at Chico State and Syracuse University for his graduate degree. He currently works as a marketing coordinator at a social commerce software company.
Whom did you feel most connected to during the competition?
I'd have to say Jenna, but it was because I was around her for the longest period. We were definitely comfortable around each other, but I think it stopped there. If I was to do it again, I would have liked to get to know Natalie a bit more.
Ultimately, are you happy the additional contestants were brought in to mix it up?
At first, I was a little overwhelmed, but in the end I was glad to have the opportunity to meet so many cool people.
What behavior surprised you the most from the other contestants?
The lack of communication and secrecy that many contestants showed. And I may have been guilty of this as well. It's such a tough situation when you're trying to get to know someone in such a short period of time and there's always a sense of uncertainty and fear.
What was your favorite challenge and why?
My favorite challenge was also the hardest challenge for me. It was the fourth one where we had to climb a mountain with a horse. This was a beast. Honestly, top five hardest things I've ever done both mentally and physically. But I had fun because Jenna and I competed really hard and ended up doing pretty good. Actually would have won it if I could gauge the weight of bananas a little better. It was also really important that we did well because at that point we thought the couples were pretty happy with their partners and would choose to stay with each other during the ceremony. Which means the losing couple would be the ones going home. Boy was I wrong.
Was there anything off-screen that you feel the audience missed out on?
It appeared that Jenna and I left on really bad terms, which was true; however we eventually settled our differences and will remain friends.
Any fun anecdotes or run-ins with nature you'd like to share?
Those damn bananas in the fourth challenge will haunt my dreams for years. I also wouldn't mind grilling a guinea fowl for dinner one of these days. Ben can vouch for me on that.
What did you learn about yourself through this experience?
I need to be more open with members of the opposite sex; I can't judge the weight of bananas to save my life, and my body can't handle exotic foods very well.
Why did you decide to take part in this show?
A bunch of hot, single women running around the jungle half-naked? Why wouldn't I take part :) But in all honesty, I was open to meeting someone, but I didn't really think it was realistic to fall in love in such a short time period.
Would you call yourself an outdoorsy person? Why or why not?
Yes, growing up in Idaho being outdoors was part of the lifestyle. Summer months were spent fishing, boating, wakeboarding and golfing. We had a ski hill about 45 minutes from my house, so winter months were spent snowboarding. I've seen my involvement in these activities decrease significantly as I've gotten older so I was hoping I could channel my teenage years to do well.
What are your afraid of?
Sharks. They scare the $! out of me.
What surprised you most about being in the jungle?
Being completely at the mercy of the elements.
What was the hardest thing for you to live without? What did you miss the most?
American food. At first, the food was great but the repetitiveness of it really killed me. Ended up getting sick and losing close to 15 pounds. Wasn't pretty.
What would other people say are your best qualities?
They'd describe me as sarcastically sincere (I'm coining that phrase). I tried to get along with everyone but I wasn't afraid to give people crap or laugh at myself when it was appropriate. Nice smile, likable, ridiculously good-looking :).
Describe the worst date you've ever been on.
This is tough for me because I honestly don't really have a horrible experience. There's nothing that stands out. Apparently I need to date more.
What qualities do you find to be most important in your partner?
Keeping your composure when things are not going your way. Which is pretty funny because I have a mouth like a sailor when I get frustrated. I think it's nice to have someone who's somewhat athletic. Makes the challenges easier. Staying positive throughout the challenges are important too. As far as a romantic partner, I mean, that initial attraction is really important. I think you need a spark at some point to incentivize getting to know someone further. Family is a big part of my life so I prefer a girl who is close to her family as well.
Describe your ideal date.
Listening to live music at an outdoor bar or restaurant in San Francisco on a beautiful day.