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TELEVISION 'Prince Charming' contestant discusses controversial exit
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times.
2016-10-11

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Local contestant Sam Provenzano indicated in his initial interview with Windy City Times ( WindyCityMediaGroup.com/lgbt/TELEVISION-Chicago-man-competes-on-groundbreaking-Prince-Charming/56401.html ) that he would make a big impression on the groundbreaking Logo show Finding Prince Charming—and, boy, did he ever.

Clashing primarily with fellow contestant Dillon Powell on the show—a gay twist on The Bachelor—Provenzano stunned viewers during the third episode when he spat in Powell's face during a confrontation. Provenzano then removed himself from the house where the suitors resided.

In a very candid conversation with WCT, Provenzano talked about his exit, lessons he learned from the show and his future.

Windy City Times: I feel like we should begin at the end. My jaw dropped.

Sam Provenzano: I knew that jaws would drop. This is probably one of the most explosive episodes they'll have.

WCT: Looking back, do you wish you had done anything differently?

SP: You know, I don't think I would. I think there was going to be a reaction no matter what.

I think it's easy for someone to say, "Oh, I would've done this or that" when you're watching that—and I found myself doing that, too. But it was in the moment. It wasn't planned, and it wasn't something I'm proud of. But someone likes me owns up to what they do; I own it completely. Everyone has a [breaking] point. I didn't know I had that in me, to be honest.

I was brought to that level by Dillon. I think he wanted a reaction out of me; he was poking and poking and poking the entire season. I don't what he expected me to do, but he knew there was going to be a reaction—and there was one.

WCT: I'm curious: How did you family react to that?

SP: They were disappointed, for sure. That's understandable, because I was, too. But I think they saw the picking and prodding, and it wasn't just from Dillon; it was from other suitors in the house as well. I felt like I was being ganged up on. Donique said in an interview a couple weeks ago that they knew [I] had a weakness and they wanted a reaction.

WCT: The way it was shown made it look like Dillon was the primary instigator.

SP: He was the primary instigator, for sure, but there were some other minions around. [Laughs] I think a lot of people just didn't connect with me, and I didn't get a lot of respect. When you're locked in a house and you're with people who don't have the best intentions, you can't just run away. I'm there, I'm in the moment. I reached my breaking point. It is what it is, but there was definitely a mean-girl situation in that house.

A lot of people saw what Dillon was doing—and they said nothing. For me, that's just as bad as being a part of it. When I see people being bullied and ostracized, I will step in—and I did that with Chad [Aaron Spodick], when they were going at him. I was the only one who had Chad's back.

So when you put all those things [together], that's the perfect storm, and it led to my demise. Dillon and those other guys got what they wanted; now, they have one less guy to compete against. To be honest, I could've seen myself in the top three, no problem.

WCT: If you had five minutes with Dillon, what would you say to him?

SP: I just want to ask him, "What did you expect me to do? You knew what you were doing. Did you want a reaction out of me? You came at me [constantly]. You were poking and prodding—you shouldn't do that to people you don't know."

It just happened; I can't go back time and change it—and he got the reaction he wanted.

WCT: But, from what I understand, that wasn't the only reason you left.

SP: Definitely not. One of the other reasons I left was because I wasn't into Robert [Sepulveda Jr., also known as "Prince Charming"]. I said it multiple times during that explosive episode.

I wasn't into him, I had Dillon coming at me, I had people who didn't want me around—I was done. I missed my family, my job and my reality. Why waste Robert's time and mine?

WCT: With the drama generated, I'm surprised Logo didn't try to draw it out.

SP: They knew I was done. I think they were protecting me, and I was protecting myself. I really felt, looking back, it's not cool to spit on someone—but you shouldn't pick at boundaries.

But you know what? I let them do it. I let them get under my skin, and that's a huge regret. I didn't know how vulnerable I could be to people bullying me. It took me back to my middle-school days when I would go home and cry. I thought I was a lot stronger than that, and I had to go back to the drawing board about how to get my confidence back.

I was just starting to open up to some of the guys in the house, and it blew up in my face. It was not how I wanted to leave. Who knows what would have happened if I had stayed? But trust me: You haven't heard the last of Sam Provenzano.

WCT: I know we've been talking about some of the worst parts of being on the show. What were some of the best parts?

SP: The best parts were just creating a few bonds; I created a few friendships. I became close with Paul [Hollowell], Chad, Jasen [Kaplan] and Danique—and also Robby [LaRiviere]. We got to know each other, and we're a lot more alike than we are different. In fact, we're all much more alike than we are different—and that goes for the show and the LGBT community.

WCT: Robby cracks me up.

SP: He's so funny, and they need him. Now that I'm gone, the show will need someone to carry that weight. [Note: LaRiviere was eliminated from the show in the last episode.] I felt like I brought a lot to the table and I called out a lot of people. I don't want to be known as the villain; I just want to be known as someone who tells it like it is.

A lot of those guys are mean girls. If you got to LOGOtv.com, you can see the bonus clips—and you can see them laughing at what happened to me. Justin [Roisom] acted like he was my friend and crying—but he realized he was just drunk and crying. I think you get to see people's true colors. In terms of Eric [Leonardos], Brandon [Kneefel], Dillon and Justin, I would definitely categorize them as mean girls. Robby was not a part of that.

WCT: What would you say to Prince Charming if you had five minutes with him?

SP: Oh, Lord; I'd need 30. [Interviewer laughs.] I'd let him know that everybody has a past; I've been very up-and-down about [Sepulveda's past as an escort], but he's someone son, someone's cousin, someone's brother. You don't have to like Prince Charming, but you don't have to ridicule him.

So there's a part of me that feels for him. But there's another part of me that says, "You know what? You signed up for this, honey." All of us are getting ridiculed from one person or another, and it's part of the territory. If you don't want your past to come up, you shouldn't have done a show like this. You've got to own up to your mistakes—and there [may be] others; I've owned up to mine.

WCT: You've discussed this a little bit, but what did you learn about yourself?

SP: I learned that I'm definitely still a work in progress. People come up to me and say, "You're so strong and confident." I think that's more of a protective shell I put up; I'm not as confident as I seem. When you work on your confidence, people like Dillon won't matter as much.

I used humor so many years, and to get me through tough times. When people wanted to laugh at me, I'd beat them to the punch by making fun of myself first; I became known as "funny Sam." But I didn't realize that, by doing that, my confidence is nowhere to be found. I'm not as confident or happy as some people think, and I need to work on that. It's a tough situation. I plan to march to the beat of my drum; there are a lot of sheep on that show—and I am no sheep, baby.

WCT: Of course, [the fictional] Prince Charming is featured in a fairy tale with a "happily ever after." What is your "happily ever after?"

SP: It involves someone loving me for my ups and my downs. My happily ever after is taking my career to the next level, my self-worth to the next worth. And maybe my happily ever after involves doing another show like this.

WCT: So you could see yourself on another show like this?

SP: Definitely—and I wouldn't let anyone get in my way this time. And I won't get in my own way. Robby made a good point; when I was upset, he said, "No one can control Sam but Sam himself." Next time, no one's going to ruin my time.

WCT: I think you should be on a show like The Amazing Race.

SP: Oh, girl—I like working out and all that, but I'd get so stressed on a show like that. [Interviewer laughs.]

WCT: And who'd be your partner?

SP: Whoever that person is, I'd feel very, very bad for him.

WCT: I volunteer Robby.

SP: I love it—that'd be hilarous! I think that'd be amazing television.

Finding Prince Charming airs Thursdays on Logo at 8 p.m. CT. For more information, visit LOGOtv.com .


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