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***We’re starting a new feature today called Seven Questions, where we ask some of our favorite reality stars some uncensored questions and let them have their say. We’ll kick off with SexyPanda and Josh Graston of MoneyHungry!
SexyPanda: Hi Corky! Oh, I’m kidding. Hi Josh!! Before we start numbering questions, let’s just get right down to it. First question: What has been your favorite part about my recaps so far?
Josh: My favorite part about your recaps has to be your sense of humor. You are able to make fun of the situations without making fun of the people. You seem to be one of those people that understand that reality television is not necessarily reality. I also think your recaps make the show more interesting!
SexyPanda: 1. First and foremost, how’d you hear about the show, what made you decide to do it, and how’d you get the money? You know that $10,000 would have gone a long way with a personal trainer and a dedicated nutritionist/chef, right?
Josh: I had tried out for ‘the other’ weight loss show a few times and over the years had lost over 100 pounds on my own. At the last casting call I attended for the ‘other show’ I was pretty much told that I had gotten too small for what they were looking for. I thought that was just ludicrous! I was, at the time, over 320 pounds, and I was TOO small for a fat show? Luckily my persistence with that show had paid off in that I made a good connection with Holland Striplin (often called ‘The Master Caster’) and when she came over to work on the casting for Money Hungry she sent me a heads up message.
As far as the money goes, that was TOUGH. When we first started fundraising Melissa and I both lived in South Dakota, and so we got together and made a information sheet and donation sheet and started sending out e-mails and calling all of the various health related places we could think of. It came as a HUGE surprise though that none of the various gyms or health food/nutritional/supplement stores were all just like, “No.”
I ended up moving to Phoenix in February and we had pretty much given up. Then, Melissa got a great idea to think outside of the box and she contacted a company called PowerBrokers Inc (a motorcycle/atv consignment shop) and they gave us FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. We thought we were on top of the world with our first donation coming in. After that we started landing a lot of personal donations and then got another big donation from No Excuses Wear, a workout apparel company.
We did end up taking out quite a lot in personal loans as well.
I do realize that $10,000 would have went a long way with a personal trainer/nutritionist, but part of the journey was that I wanted to share what I was going through with as many people as possible. I wanted to show up, kick ass, and prove that obese people can still workout and put in the effort. So far we have not seen too much of the workout side of things on the episodes though.
SexyPanda: 2. How’d you and Melissa meet? Who came up with the “not-quite-star-crossed-lovers” theme? Did you also gag when The Cortayzee said, “It’s called ‘weight loss; love GAIN.’”? (How long do you think it took him to come up with that gem?)
Josh: Melissa and I met when we were both going to college and were kind of on and off again friends for a few years. We ended up becoming gym partners since we were both always in relationships and that is where we developed our bond. We work really good together when it comes to a workout partner capacity, the show was our first chance to see how we worked when we were around each other 24/7.
As far as the star-crossed lovers thing, I think we have the VH1 story department to thank for that. A lot of people thought going in that Melissa and I were going to immediately hook up in the house. As far as the weight lost, love gained line, I don’t think Cortese can take credit for that artful masterpiece.
SexyPanda: 3. Episode 2 of the show has you lusting for Jamie, which heavily influences your motives when the house vote system starts. Did you really have a crush on her, or were you playing it up to try to keep a weak team in the house, thus ensuring your survival?
Josh: I did have a crush on Jamie, but I still don’t think that it influenced my strategy in the game at all. The fact was that in the challenge (which preceded the house vote) the team right on my ass was not Roll Models, it was Grading Curves. To me, the best strategy was to eliminate the team that was a real danger to you. In addition, I never felt a ‘part’ of the Orphanage, so it didn’t make sense for me to just vote the way I was told to. I strove to always play the game strategically, not personally. I will say that my partner Melissa was pretty uncomfortable with rocking the boat so early on.
SexyPanda: 4. In your cast bio, you say you have an extensive knowledge of nutrition and exercise and hope to become a personal trainer. There’s no way to ask this without it having somewhat of a rude tone, and I absolutely don’t mean to be rude at all, but….why are you fat, then?
Josh: Haha, that is a perfectly acceptable question given the fact that I have opened myself up on National Television as an overweight guy who wants to be a personal trainer. Even before the show started, I had actually already lost 100+ pounds from my highest weight, so the desire to be a personal trainer and the research into diet and training had begun quite a while ago. As to why I got fat in the first place, I guess I am like any of the other millions of overweight individuals in that I had an unhealthy relationship with food. If things went wrong in life, I went to the drive-thru. I used food as a coping mechanism and that is why I became morbidly obese.
SexyPanda: 5. Sometimes, you don’t know the meaning or value of privacy until you lose it. What was the worst part about being on camera all day and night? And, hey, to be fun, what was the best part?
Josh: I actually enjoyed being on camera for the most part. The hard part for me was the times when the television side of things would interfere with workouts or your nutrition plan for the day. It is easy to forget when you watch at home that it is television first and reality second. I think my favorite part of being on camera was actually whispering into the microphones to see if anyone was listening. It was crazy though, you would start talking strategy and all of the sudden you hear rumbling through the hallways and BOOM, cameramen.
SexyPanda: 6. A lot of reality TV contestants complain that they got an unrealistic or unfair edit. Who’s gotten the worst misrepresentation by the editors in the show so far? (And who have *I* been hardest on, do ya think?)
Josh: I don’t think that anyone has necessarily been misrepresented. I imagine that it has to be very arduous to edit down multiple days of footage into what, 42 minutes? The one thing I want to make very clear is that EVERYONE in that house worked out more than you see. I know most teams were putting in a minimum of 3-4 hours a day in the gym. I think when it comes to editing, they just try to ‘enhance’ what they see as the person’s character. This works out great in some instances, but for some people it makes them look more villainous than they really are.
SexyPanda: 7. Who is your dream date, and why?
Josh: My dream date, hmm. My dream date is SexyPanda! I kid I kid, but no seriously, call me. I am going to go with Emma Stone. I have always had kind of a thing for redheads and she seems very witty and intelligent. I know that is kind of a cliché answer, but I really didn’t expect a dream date question.
SexyPanda: We’re supposed to be done, but I’m not so: 8. Did anyone ever break the prop scale when they stepped on it during weigh-in?
Josh: I think one of the edges of the prop scale broke during one of the weigh-ins, but it was quickly fixed with some duct tape. I remember stepping on that scale and thinking, I hope to god the people at home don’t think this is the real scale, we can’t be THAT low budget.
SexyPanda: Bonus question: You don’t like my current nickname for you (and I don’t blame you). What would you prefer to be called? (“Josh” is not an acceptable answer.)
Josh: The only reason I don’t like my current nickname is that my little brother actually has Down’s Syndrome, otherwise it wouldn’t bother me. I am not good at making up nicknames for myself, but I’ve been told I look like a fat-er Drew Carey? I will let you decide upon the new nickname when you deem I’ve earned/deserve it.