Cupid Jonny Fairplay Masterminds Survivor Romance
Johnny Fairplay has been called many things, and “matchmaker” is not usually one of them. But Fairplay’s biggest move on Survivor: Micronesia — Fans vs. Favorites happened behind the scenes. Fairplay befriended “fan” Mary Sartain, 29, a real estate broker from Emeryville, Calif., and after the series wrapped production, introduced her to his Pearl Islands buddy Ryan ‘Ryno’ Opray, 35, on Dec. 9. Sparks flew and two weeks ago, Mary and Ryan were engaged. This Valentine’s Day, the pair will pick up their rings, and at the upcoming wedding, will have the knot tied by All-Stars veteran and ordained minister Lex Van Den Berghe. PEOPLE caught up with the lucky couple, who have immunity from all but each other’s charms! –Cynthia Wang
Why did you hit it off so well?
Mary: Johnny Fairplay is the one who introduced us and Johnny was saying, “You have to meet my friend Ryno. You guys would be perfect for each other. You are the female version of him.” And I’m just like, “All right, Fairplay, I’ll meet him.” So we ended up meeting and I think Johnny’s right. We are versions of each other and by the third or fourth date, we were inseparable. We have the same interests and likes and dislikes. We do have some differences, but we are so alike in so many different ways.
How did you meet?
Mary: After Survivor [wrapped], I stayed in Los Angeles for a while and I met Johnny and Ryan at Scorpion Bar, a little bar in Hollywood.
Ryan: I walked out!
Mary: I guess he was tired. Whatever! So I got his information from Fairplay. Johnny and Ryan ended up talking that night and saying, “You’ve got to give me her number.” He called me that night and we talked for an hour and a half on the phone. We had so much to talk about.
Ryan, what had Johnny told you about Mary and how did the set up happen?
Ryan: It was kind of weird because Johnny had been talking her up and at the time I didn’t want to be in a relationship. I couldn’t care less about that, and she was kind of in the same place, too, but Johnny’s like, “No, no, no. You’ve got to meet her.” So basically I went out and she was supposed to meet us at 9. She shows up three hours later and I’m like, ‘”I’m tired and I am leaving.” I ended up calling that night and we saw each other for Christmas.
How did the proposal happen?
Ryan: I am not a quitter — I am very persistent. I asked her at the top of Runyon Canyon, which is basically in the Hollywood Hills.
Mary: That’s one of our favorite places to go running and hiking.
Ryan: I had a bottle cap ring and I put it on her finger and she kind of smiled and laughed.
Mary: I said yes. From the moment I met him, I kind of knew.
Ryan: We are picking up a real ring from Masterpiece Jewelry in San Francisco.
After having gone through Survivor, would you entertain the idea of a beach wedding?
Mary: Absolutely! That’s what we want. We want the whole beach wedding.
What does this do for Fairplay’s image?
Mary: Johnny is actually a really nice guy “off-camera,” I like to say! He’s kind of like me — a prankster! We kept on getting in trouble with each other.
Ryan: He actually thinks he’s Chuck Woolery but here’s the deal and why I think Johnny hooked me up: He got dropped on his head by Danny Bonaduce [at the FOX Reality Really Channel awards in October] and I was the first friend that he could call in L.A. to take him to the dentist, so I’m at this dentist for six to eight hours holding his hand. He’s all, “You’ve got to come in here. I’m getting three root canals, you have to come in.” So I’m holding his hand and he’s putting his claw marks in me and I am bleeding! He’s like, “Thank you, bro. I owe you.” But he’s officially paid up! http://peoplefalltv.wordpress.com/2008/02/14/cupid-jonny-fairplay-masterminds-survivor-romance/