Exclusive Interview: Maria Rangel, 'Age of Love'
Exclusive Interview: Maria Rangel, 'Age of Love'
After making it all the way to the top 4, Maria Rangel, the photographer from Playa Del Rey, California, called it quits by eliminating herself from the Age of Love on Monday. But what was her motivation behind it and why did she wait this long to make her move after threatening Mark to do this twice before? Maria took some time to talk with us at BuddyTV about how she really felt about the show and why she did what she did.

Read the full interview transcript and listen to the mp3 audio below.

This is Royce from Buddy TV, and I’m here with Maria from Age of Love. How’s it going, Maria?

I’m doing great, thank you.

Great, well, thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

Thank you.

So Maria, maybe we can start out by talking a little bit about yourself, and how you found yourself on the show Age of Love.

I found myself just absolutely fantastic. (laughter) No seriously, what do you mean how did I find myself? Let’s see, I found myself drinking too much tequila at one point, and I found myself blow-drying my hair too much. What do you mean?

Well, what was that process like for you, as far as getting on the show?

It was interesting. I just had an interview, and I just had to be myself, and just talked about what it was like to be single, which is always very fun and interesting and exciting. Made a tape for the production company, and then they’re like, okay. Spent a week in a hotel doing some tests to make sure I wasn’t crazy. I could’ve saved them some money, I am definitely crazy. And it was like, a big yes, and then on our way.

Yeah. How much of the premise of the show did you know about before getting yourself into it? Or were you kind of just going into it blind?

Yeah, can we talk about that? Definitely not the show that I thought I was doing. I thought I was doing this show about women in their 40s and 50s. You know, passport ready, opportunity to meet an amazing man. I would’ve not even said that I knew it was really about pitting the 20-year-olds against the 40-year-olds. I don’t think that’s very interesting. I mean, in hindsight, I guess it is for good TV drama in the reality world, but not really a show I would’ve liked to really put myself into.

Were you a big fan of dating shows like The Bachelor before doing this?

You know, I don’t watch TV. I have to say that I have watched The Medium and some Fear Factor, and the one with all the singers. You know, what’s its name… help me out, the one that everyone’s watching when people sing and it’s a sing-off…

Singing Bee?

No, the big one!

Oh, American Idol.

Yeah, American Idol. (laughter) My family comes from a big singing family, and so we actually find that very inspiring, that people from all over the world get to have an opportunity to show their stuff. I don’t watch a lot of television, so I didn’t really know, I didn’t know anything about reality TV. I really thought that I could be myself on a show. (laughter)

What was your first impression of Mark when you first met him? Did you have any idea that he was this famous tennis star?

No, I didn’t know who he was. I didn’t really watch a lot of tennis, but I thought he was very sweet, I thought he was a total gentleman. I thought he was very shy, I thought he was shocked as all hell! (laughter) He was just as shocked as we were, especially when they introduced the 20-year-olds, although I thought that he was very happy about that. I just found him very endearing, actually.

You definitely had some pretty emotional and dramatic moments throughout the season...

Oh really now, did I?

Do you feel that you were portrayed fairly accurately on the show? And were there several things you wish that they showed about you on TV that maybe they didn’t?

I think I was portrayed pretty accurately. There were some shots that I’m like, Oh I so did not have that attitude there. I did not give that look in that moment, I know it was from something else. But you know, reality TV, it’s smart editing. I think there are some things that I did say that I wish would’ve been on, that they would’ve kept in on the show, but ended up on the cutting room floor. But then I realize it’s only an hour long show, cuz I think sometimes when you don’t get the full body of what someone says, it can be misconstrued or misinterpreted. You don’t really get the meat of it, you don’t really get the substance of it. So of course, there was so much more there.

Yeah. You threatened to eliminate yourself on the show twice before last night, but never did. Was this a plan on your part?

I wouldn’t say that it was a threat. I think in that moment, I was really through. Just feeling like, I just wasn’t feeling it, and I really had to go. And when I say feeling, it was that, and Mark will admit it, so I’m not saying something that I did not express to Mark, that Mark and I talked about. I found Mark very hot and cool, like one minute I would really get him, and I’d feel like he could get me, and the next minute it was like, I don’t know this person at all, and very disinterested.

When there’s a consistency of hot and cold, it’s like, I’m not sure what I’m doing, I’m not sure why I’m here. You have to remember too, and I’m sure you’ve had relationships and partnerships in getting to know someone. You may come to the table and say, “You know, this just isn’t working for me, because this is what I’m feeling.” And the other person may very well say, “Wow, yeah, I can see that. I’m doing that.”

But when Mark would say to me, “I don’t want to do that, and I thank you for telling and pointing that out to me, and I’m totally gonna step up to the plate. I do want to be this, and I do want to be that, and I do want to show up, and I would love for you to stick around so I could show you that.”

I mean seriously, as a woman, your gonna go, “No, forget about it. I’m just gonna go on with…” No, you kind of take that and go, “Well alright, I like that in a person.” I like that in any person, any person who wants to step up to the plate, so I don’t think it was a threat. I think I was genuinely honest about that, it wasn’t working for me, and then I think that it’s always good to give a man an opportunity to show up.

So last night, you decided to finally eliminate yourself from the show, even after Mark reassured you that he wasn’t going to ask you to leave. Was this kind of just the last straw for you, or…?

I just felt like, you know, we were down to four women, and there were no more excuses. Because a lot of the excuses was, “I never had a date with so-and-so, I didn’t spend enough time with so-and-so, and I really had to make up. I know who you are, Maria, I really have to make a decision about the other girls, because I don’t know them that well.” Oh yeah, okay, I got that. Oh yeah, I could see how you could pretend to be interested, but there were no more excuses like that. There was like, there was enough time for him to kind of really fill up. So I don’t know what to tell you, it’s like I just didn’t see what, I just didn’t get what I thought he was saying. He was willing, how he was willing to like kind of fill up, you know what I mean.

Yeah, totally. Looking back on the show, Maria, was there anything that you wish you might have done differently?

Yes, I definitely would not have drank so much tequila. (laughter) Not good. Don’t drink tequila in front of live cameras, ever. That would be one. What else… I think that’s about it. I think everything else, I was pretty true to myself, pretty honest with myself. And yeah, no, I don’t think I would’ve done anything different.

In your opinion, given your experience being on the show, how big of a factor do you think age really is when it comes to love and dating?

I don’t think it’s a big factor at all. I think when people are connected, a woman can be 20 and you can be 40 or 50, or vice versa. I don’t know about a 50-year-old woman being with a 20-year-old, but maybe a 25-year-old. (laughter) Yeah, I just think it’s a heart-based connection. I don’t think it has anything to do with the intellect.

Well, we’re finally down to one Kitten and one Cougar left, Amanda and Jen. Who do you think Mark will pick?

I think he’s gonna pick Amanda. I really think he likes them young. I could be wrong, but I really think he likes them young. (laughter)

Alright, cool, we shall see then. (laughter)

(laughter) What do you think?

I don’t know, I’m gonna keep a no comment.

Really? Aw man, you’re no fun! (laughter)

All right, well, any final thoughts about last night or your experience in general?

Any thoughts about my experience in general… I wish there would’ve been more time where there was more freedom to kind of hang with Mark. It’s very choppy in terms of like, limited time. I think when it’s very choppy like that, you don’t really get the full expression of someone. I would like to have changed that, but you know. Otherwise, I think we should’ve been able to listen to music. I really miss having music in my life, because five weeks, six weeks and that stuff I would change, I would’ve snuck in my iPod. (laughter)

Sounds good. Well, thanks again Maria for your time, and from all of us at Buddy TV, good luck to you.

Thank you so much, thank you for taking the time to speak with me.

(Interview conducted by Royce Yuen)