Savannah Palacio Won’t Compete For Your Attention
“You’ve got to wine me, dine me, then 69 me, in that order.”
Savannah Palacio knows how to compete on a game show. You might remember her from The Circle Season 2, where she was a strong early contender before a feud with another contestant led to her elimination. But a dating show? That’s not really her scene. “I've been an athlete my entire life,” the 26-year-old former data researcher from California tells Elite Daily. “But in love and dating, I don't compete. If anything, other people are competing for my time, and the best things come to me when I’m just living my life.”
Still, when Palacio was approached to be on Netflix’s new dating series Perfect Match (out Feb. 14), she decided to give it her best shot. “I was single, so I was like, ‘I might as well just try to meet someone,’” she recalls. Her time on the show was brief, but full of dramatic moments — most notably a feud with Francesca Farago, who was matched with Dom Gabriel from The Mole. In Episode 4, Palacio was eliminated after Nick Uhlenhuth, a fellow Circle alum and Palacio’s match, chose to pursue a connection with Ines Tazi from The Circle: France.
Despite her early exit, Palacio isn’t too worried about her love life moving forward. She’s dating around until she finds a connection worth committing to — and guys seeking casual hookups can go ahead and step aside. “I demand time and respect from someone,” she says. “I don't care how rich or good-looking you are. You’ve got to wine me, dine me, then 69 me, in that order.”
Below, Palacio reflects on her experience and her best advice for finding your own perfect match.
Elite Daily: How are you feeling about Perfect Match being out?
Savannah Palacio: I'm excited about the show because I was true to myself the whole time. I’m very slow-moving when it comes to relationships, and I like to be friends with someone first. So my ultimate goal was to find a friend, and then we could build off of that. Nick was the only person I knew well in advance, so when I looked around at the guys, I decided to choose Nick because I trusted him the most out of everyone. Also, at the end of the day, I wasn't going to pretend to like someone else for clout.
ED: You and Nick coupled up on a friendship basis, but did you ever consider anything romantic with him?
SP: Absolutely. We had some pillow talk and it was really sweet. Even though he's not my type, I tried to put that aside and dig deeper into the person he is. I love Nick so much — even to this day I think he's an awesome guy — but it didn't work out with us because I like my men a little rougher around the edges. He's very clean-cut and polished, and I love that for him. I just didn't really think our personalities went together.
ED: You and Francesca had a big confrontation on the show. Have you spoken to her since then?
SP: Not really, no. My life was great before I knew her, and it’s still going to be great after. I think it was just a lot of show drama, but if it bleeds into real life, it's no skin off my back.
All the relationships I made on the show were genuine. Anne[-Sophie Petit-Frere] is actually at my house right now. Ines and I also talk all the time, and I love Nick. I want to find him a girlfriend, because he was a really good kisser on the show. I was so pleasantly surprised by that. I even asked him at one point, "Do you want to make out after this?"
ED: It’s been about a year since filming. In hindsight, is there anything you would have done differently?
SP: I definitely would've dyed my hair back to its natural color. I did not like that blonde — I feel like my hair looked like ramen half the time. But no, there's nothing else I would change. I'm very happy that I didn't try to fake “like” someone for more screen time.
ED: Is there anyone you wish you had matched with that you didn't get to?
SP: No, there's absolutely no one from that cast who was worthy of me, period. When I saw the roster, I knew my exit was going to be premature. The quality of men that I date when I'm home is not comparable to what was in that house. So I’m not mad about how things worked out.
ED: What has your dating life been like since the show?
SP: It's been busy. I don’t go on too many dates, but when I do, usually there is a second date. I like to meet men in person, because I want someone who is going to see me in public and have enough guts to come and talk to me. I know I can be a little intimidating, so when someone can do that, it helps break down my walls.
I've never been on a dating app, but I know there have been a couple of fake profiles of me out there. I'll get DMs from guys saying, "Oh man, I got so excited because I thought I matched with you." But it'll be photos of me and a name like, “Marissa, age 23.” I’m really flattered. I hope Marissa gets a lot of matches.
ED: What’s your current relationship status?
SP: I have so many boyfriends right now I can barely keep up with myself. I’ll have a breakfast date with boyfriend number one, then he and boyfriend number two do a drop-off situation so I can go to lunch with the second one. [Laughs] I’m openly dating right now, so there’s nothing super serious. I like to keep my options open.
ED: What’s your best piece of dating advice?
SP: Keep an open mind. When I was on the show, I had to remind myself to do that. Even though the guys weren't necessarily up to the caliber of men I would’ve liked, I still put myself out there. And in doing so, I made friends.
My mom used to always tell me, “Just have friends, Savannah. When you have a lot of friends, you can pick whichever one you want [to date].” I love that advice because it kept me from going too far with men when they didn't deserve it, and it also kept me in the dating game enough to allow people to get to know me first.
ED: Who’s one celebrity couple you admire? Why?
SP: Lionel Messi and his wife, Antonela Roccuzzo. They were childhood sweethearts who knew each other from a very young age. They were friends first, and now they've had a super long marriage. You can tell they genuinely care about each other to their core, and they'll support each other's dreams no matter what.
ED: What’s one misconception that you think people might have about your love life after seeing you on TV?
SP: I'm worried that people will think I compete for love. I don't fight for guys in real life, and I would never pretend to “like” someone to stay on TV. There was a lot of that going on during the show. People were saying, "Oh yeah, I really like this person." But then what? The next week when someone new came in, you left them for someone else, so I guess you really didn't like them that much.
ED: What does love mean to you?
SP: Love to me means a ride-or-die type of situation. I have so much love for my friends and family, and love in a romantic way would only mean that times 10. Being there for someone, loving them until they're old and wrinkly and vice versa. Without limits, with no capacity.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.