Even though he was often described as hyper, The Pickup Artist 2 winner Simeon managed to dominate on several of the final challenges, beating out some stiff competition. He would often dress like a rock star, with jewelry, nail polish and a cowboy hat rounding out his bad-boy avatar. But when we talked to him he was calm and extremely positive about his experience – easy to get along with. Simeon also revealed the surprising place where he purchased that magical cowboy hat.
Congratulations! Has your life changed much since Sunday night’s premiere?
Well, I’ve been getting a lot more heartfelt text messages these days. I’m definitely enjoying having the cat out of the bag, I can talk about it now. It was a secret for so long.
When did filming wrap?
End of June. I’ve known for almost half a year! It’s a long time to keep secrets from your best friends, but it made it for a bigger, more fun surprise for everyone.
What were your friend’s and family’s reactions?
Some people said they knew the whole time that I’d win, but some people had told me the exact opposite, like “I know you didn’t win, but I bet you’ll get far.” My family is pretty happy for me and my dad is currently getting t-shirts made with my face on it because he’s so proud. I wasn’t sure how my parents would take it but they think it’s a good thing.
What did they say when you told them you were auditioning for the show?
You know, I didn’t give them a lot of detail. I basically told them it was a reality show and I’d tell them more about it later. I wanted to keep it under wraps.
Read the rest of the interview after the jump.
When I talked to Matt he said it was kind of embarrassing to use the tag line about how you’re all “Socially awkward, lovable losers”.
I never saw it as that, I was like, well, this show is more about guys who need help with girls and I always tried to make it sound a little better than that description.
What do your friends think about the show, have they picked up some of your pickup techniques? You were such a good teacher to your friend Ryan when he was on the show.
Some of my friends have definitely made transformations themselves. In Ryan’s case I definitely see a change, and when we go out we definitely get a lot more attention from women and we do better. It’s nice to see that even just from those little moments we had months ago, he’s made great progress. It’s worked for some of my other friends too, we definitely have a better time now and don’t just sit at a table at a bar drinking beer by ourselves. I’m looking forward to eventually teaching this to other people so they can have the same kind of transformation that I’ve gone through and enrich their lives. My life has definitely been enriched.
You definitely were a great teacher; you were really invested in showing him what to do.
Absolutely. Some people made fun of me because of how realistic I took things with pretending to be his target, but I wanted things to be as realistic as possible, and I think that method proved correct, even if it was maybe unorthodox. I drilled the techniques in a realistic fashion and that really helped him succeed.
Was it ever discouraging to constantly be referred to as the hyper one or to have them tell you were too energetic?
It was all entertaining. It’s not like VH1 were the first people to accuse me of being hyperactive; I was used to that assessment. Even, I mean, to be parodied on The Soup – to me everything is in good fun – even when I supposedly slobbered on the sexologist. I talked to her after and we laughed about it. I think I was fairly portrayed on the show, although I will say that some of the situations, like the final episode, tried to make it look like it was a close competition between me and Matt, but behind the scenes, it wasn’t close at all. Matt kissed a girl for maybe thirty seconds and she left, and I was with my target for at least twenty minutes.
What would you want a critic of the show, someone who doesn’t think the game of pickup works out in the real world, to know?
I think people make their own decisions and rationalizations for what we do, and nothing will change their minds; you can’t convince them of the true greatness that can come from a positive transformation in their life. This is more than just about picking up women. Things have happened in my life because of the training on the show – my daily life and my attitude and confidence have changed. I would tell the critics that it seems superficial at times but the main aspect about learning the Venusian Arts (the name of Mystery’s techniques) is turning into a better person, that’s at the core of it. At the root of it, it’s about presenting your best self. As a result, you get to meet wonderful women and wonderful people – a lot of interesting guys too, when you approach a mixed set. That’s what it’s about.
What was your first impression of Mystery?
I knew a little about Mystery but I had never seen an episode from the first season. I responded to an ad about a show that would help me do better with girls and had no idea it was associated with Mystery and then later on when I found out he was involved I was excited that, you know, here’s a guy who really knows how to do this. Working with Mystery was a huge bonus, but I went on the show to better myself.
I know some people can be skeptical of him.
I went in very open-minded. Mystery knows what he’s doing. The first time I met him, he greeted us so warmly, he was radiating good energy. A lot of people judge him on his TV persona, but it’s different when you meet him in person. You can feel the good energy coming from him. For the people who criticize him, I always say, “Well, have you met him? Before you judge him, talk to him.” He loves to talk to people and he’s a good person and that comes off. A lot of blogs and things on the Internet put their own perspective on how they see him, but if they actually met him they would have a different opinion. He cares about people. He loves women as well, but he’s in it to change guys like me. He’s not a caricature. Yes, he wears silly hats sometimes but that’s superficial. When you get to know the person himself he’s very real.
Any plans for that reward money?
My friend Ryan, who was my student, wants to go to China and I told him, as a thank you for all his help I’ll take him. I just plan to travel a lot, I’ve been wanting to go to Latin America too, I have a lot of traveling ahead of me, that’s where most of the money will be going. Experiencing the world is one of the best things anyone can do to better themselves.
That’s so great that you’re giving back to Ryan, that’s so nice.
Mystery talks a lot about giving value to people. The best pickup artists are value-givers. I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of them, I’ve met Neil Strauss, one of Mystery’s best, if not the best student and he’s a great individual, a true giver and a down-to-earth guy. If you give value to others, they will reciprocate.
Was there anything really embarrassing that happened to you on the show that maybe the audience didn’t get to see?
During the party in that last episode I may have had a little too much champagne that last night. Getting through the elimination ceremony was a little tough but luckily, editing helped cover that up. Maybe I was having too good a time. There are a lot of moments you’ll never see of all of us goofing off and sometimes they’d let us go shopping at Target and Walmart and we’d be trying our material on girls at Walmart. Little secret, my magical cowboy hat, as some people refer to it, was actually found at Walmart while I was shopping for toothpaste.
So you owe your success to Walmart?
I wouldn’t go that far.