In last week's season finale of the NBC dating series Age of Love
, 30-year-old professional tennis player Mark Philippoussis
chose to pursue a relationship with 25-year-old Amanda Salinas
over 48-year-old Jennifer Braff
. Amanda had made an early connection with Mark and, on the night the finale aired, the two were spotted together in Las Vegas to celebrate.
Are they still together and do they have a future together now that the cameras aren't rolling? Amanda spoke to BuddyTV and answered these questions, as well as a few about her future plans and her feelings on her competition on the show. Below you will find a complete transcript as well as the mp3 audio file of the interview.
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Hi, this is John from Buddy TV, and I'm talking to Amanda Salinas, the winner of the NBC dating show Age of Love. How you doing, Amanda?
I'm doing well, John. How are you?
You snickered when I said winner.
I just always thought that label, I guess, was funny. I mean, all through the show they kept saying, “Well, what if you win?” Or, “We want to win.” Just all through the thing as if it was a game, and then people thought it was a game. Only affection, so that worked.
Yeah, OK. And the first thing I think everyone wants to know is, are you and Mark still together?
We are, actually. Just hung up the phone with him before I called you.
That's nice. And how is your relationship different? Obviously, without the cameras and without competing against all these other women. But how are you managing a relationship, so to speak, in the real world now?
It's much more comfortable. It's harder now, because we miss each other, we want to see each other more. But we've been planning trips, and I just came home actually from seeing him. So we've got another one coming up, and just taking it slow, one day at a time. We talk everyday, and try to make it work.
And do you see this, a reality show is not typically where most people meet their soul mates. Do you see this relationship as having potential to go the distance?
Most definitely. I definitely see it as something that will go the distance, I guess.
When you were in Australia, and it was just you and Jen, who's nearly twice as old as you are. Did you feel comfortable or confident that Mark would pick you?
Well, anytime that he and I were together, just the way I felt, the way he felt, the way we were together, I didn't have a doubt when we were together. I did think that he would choose me ultimately, when we were together.
And what were your impressions or feelings about Jen?
I actually, throughout the show never really spoke with her. We didn't talk much in the house up until Australia, and in Australia she was friendly to me. I mean, when we see each other, we didn't see each other much. But it was just, both of us were courteous to one another, just “Hi, how are you? Good morning.” And that's about it, we didn't really get to know each other that well.
A lot of the reaction for the show, there's been some negative feedback about you winning, and about Mark ultimately choosing you. How do you react to those people who disparage you?
They're making their opinions based on what they saw, and what they saw was cut and pasted together. It's so far from what really happened, it's their opinion, so it doesn't really affect me. I try to stay away from those boards and everything. He knows what happened, I know what happened, we're happy together. So we're just gonna keep going from here.
So I take it you don't feel that you were accurately portrayed on the show?
Oh no, things were definitely exaggerated, and some things were made up completely.
What's an example of something that was made up completely?
The camping trip. They had me looking pretty insecure, and chasing him down in the woods and looking for him, but I was actually approached. I was handed the lantern by people from the show, and told to go look for him. They told me to go find him, and I said OK. I did what they asked me to do.
When he came back to the tent and I was there, I was there with Megan. She and I were both waiting in the tent to talk with him, but they only showed me, and then he asked me to stay.
And I'm just wondering, with the premise of the show, there's a lot of… people are upset. Possibly just the fact that they think a Cougar never really had a chance, and knowing Mark and knowing he's closer in age to all the Kittens over the Cougars, his past of mostly dating younger women. Do you feel like the social aspect, or the social experiment was accurate or was successful?
I don't think so. I mean, I came into this knowing age didn't matter. I don't think he'd ever had an experience dating women older than he is, and had you asked him this before, he might not have been as open to the idea.
But I think that actually he did find a lot in common with some of these women. He was impressed with some of the older women, and his views were definitely more open on relationships. I don't think he would be quick to judge by age at all.
Do you have any regrets about agreeing to be on this show, even though you are the “winner?”
None at all. I learned so much from this, and I'm happy I did it. And ultimately, I have an amazing relationship now with a great guy.
And previous to this relationship, did you have a good track record with relationships? Have you ever had a serious relationship?
Track record… I have had a serious relationship. I had a three-year relationship before. I've not dated much, I guess. I would have, I don't know what means a good or a bad track record. I've had serious relationships, but only a few, and definitely no pattern. I mean, I dated somebody several years my senior, and I've dated somebody right around my age.
OK then, just getting back to moving forward, do you see kids in your future? Do you want kids?
Oh, most definitely. I'm just getting started in my career, and working financial planning. I'm not actually just a dancer for a hockey team, so right now, I've got so much going on. And it won't be anytime soon, but I definitely want kids.
-Interview conducted by John Kubicek
(Image courtesy of NBC)