Yahoo! TV Q&A: 'Bachelor' Sean Lowe happy he returned to the series but 'won't be pulling a Brad'
To celebrate 25 seasons, 1,231 accepted roses, and 47 helicopter rides, last week producers, television critics, and past "Bachelor" and "Bachelorette" contestants (including Trista Sutter, Jason Mesnick, and Emily Maynard) reunited at the Southern California mansion that has seen it all.
[Related: See photos from the reunion]
Yahoo! TV took the opportunity to pull aside the Season 17 contender, Sean Lowe, a 29-year-old insurance agent from Dallas whose televised quest to find love started airing on ABC on Jan. 7, for some exclusive scoop on his journey, the ladies, and whether it was hard to come face-to-face with Maynard at the estate where their love affair began last year.
How does it feel to be back where it began for you, especially knowing that your ex-girlfriend is just a few feet away?
It's weird being back in the rose-ceremony room. I've spent a lot of emotional nights here. But I have good memories. And as for Emily, I don't hold a grudge. She's a great girl, and while I was heartbroken, I don't blame her for making the decisions that were right for her. Having been on her side of the show, I sympathize more.
At the "Men Tell All" reunion last year, when it looked like you were a lock to be the next bachelor, you told us you weren't sure whether you were interested.
When they first asked me to be the bachelor, I said, "I don't know. Let me think about it." Because I really wasn't sure I wanted to go through it all again. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about being back on the show where I met Emily because my feelings for her were real and my heartbreak was real. I think I took a week to decide. I talked to my family and friends. I prayed about it. And I came to the realization that my feelings for Emily were very real, the situation can work, and I am ready to fall in love, get married, and start the next part of my life. I don't know how God works, but I feel like he opens doors and it is your choice to step through them or not. I know "The Bachelor" gig is a crazy door to open up, but they say God works in mysterious ways, right? So I said, "Why not? I owe it to myself to give it a shot, and maybe I'll find love again." I would never know unless I tried.
In hindsight, now that you have lived to tell the tale, are you glad you did it?
Yes. I definitely won't be pulling a Brad Womack, though. I won't ever do it again. It was so much more than I thought it would be in good ways and bad. It was physically exhausting which I wasn't anticipating. I was running on fumes the entire time. It was emotionally taxing. I didn't know, and this is going to sound stupid of me considering every bachelor and bachelorette has said it, that I could develop feelings for more than one person at the same time. But it happened. "The Bachelor" is the only situation where I think that is possible. But it happened, and it played with my head. All that being said, I still enjoyed the experience.
You've also said many times that you are going to propose once in your life.
That's the goal, anyway.
Did you feel pressure, either from yourself or from producers, to make it work or settle? Or did you always feel like you could walk away empty-handed if you couldn't see forever with one of the women?
The production team was great. I know they have a TV show to make and they want the season to be interesting, but I never felt like they didn't have my best interests at heart. They never pressured me to go one way or the other. I commend them for that. And I didn't pressure myself, either. I made a conscious decision to judge every individual relationship on its own, to give everyone a fair shake, and to always be true to myself and make the decisions that were best for me. It was really hard to send people home every week, because I don't like hurting people's feelings, but in the long run people would be less invested if I let them go as soon as I realized we weren't right for each other. Everything worked out for the best.
The first night, did anyone immediately strike you as not right for you?
"Fifty Shades of Grey" girl. Definitely. I don't know much about that book, but I can put two and two together. When she pulled the tie out and insinuated that she wanted to tie me up or vice versa, I was taken aback. You're just announcing to me and ultimately to the world that you're a bad girl. I would prefer that be revealed over time. You need a little mystery in your relationship. Good for her that she knows what she wants, but it isn't my thing.