The Bachelorette’s Jake Pavelka seemed to have jumped off the cover of a romance novel. The handsome pilot was honest, thoughtful, and dependable. The guy’s biggest flaw was that Jillian thought he was perfect. When Jillian shockingly dumped him before the hometown visit, Dudley Do Right decided he had to let Jillian know Wes had a girlfriend. Was he sincere? Or was it all producer manipulation? In a press conference, Jake seemed as painfully earnest and wholesome as The Simpsons’ Ned Flanders. He made a point of addressing all the journalists by their first name, in a tactic straight out of the Dale Carnegie handbook. The guy must be the first reality contestant to praise the editing, and claim that Mike Fleiss’s producers are good people. Yet, by the end of it I was humming, “I’m holding out for a hero.” Jake, call me.
How did you feel after seeing Monday’s episode? Wes’s family implied you were just jealous of him.
Absolutely. I hope your family would stand behind you. Families are supposed to be biased and protect their own. I do care about Wes. I know he’s probably having a little bit of a hard time right now. I didn’t do it to hurt him. I had that discussion with Jillian to help Jillian.
Why do you think Jillian’s making so many bad decisions?
When you’re following love, who is to say it’s a bad decision? I think she’s just following her heart. Unfortunately, a lot of what I observed is that people tend to stick with what they’re comfortable with and what they know. Sometimes you have to jump out of your skin. The bad boys are going to keep women single. If that’s what makes you comfortable then it’s an uphill battle to have one of those happily ever after type relationships.
Would you like to be the next Bachelor?
After seeing how the show works and just how much love the producers have for their work and how comfortable they make everything, I would consider it… The most popular question I get from friends is, “How much of this is real?” It is absolutely, 100 percent. They don’t throttle you. They just say, “Jake when you feel something, let us see it.” They just let your emotions develop as naturally as they can in such a short amount of time. I’m not sure how the show ends, but Jillian started to have some genuine feelings for people. I think the girl may end up married. I think it’s a terrific way to find somebody.
If you were the Bachelor, what sort of girls would you like to date?
I’ve dated a certain type of girl my whole life and that has kept me single. It’s something we’ve probably all dealt with: the girl that won’t call you back or that plays a lot of games. They’re a lot of fun, and they keep you on your toes, but it’s not the kind of girl that you end up marrying. I would date the girl that I’d possibly consider not my type. I think that’s [my advice for] Jillian. Her type has kept her single for 29 years. I don’t think I was her type, but I do believe I could have made her happy. I just needed to get a home town where I could have let down my guard a little bit, show her that I don’t know why I’m being labeled as perfect, but it just isn’t true.
Who do you think is best for her?
Kiptyn is a solid guy. He’s honest. He doesn’t tell her things just to stay on the show. I think that Jillian and Kiptyn would probably make a pretty cute couple.
Do you still think that Wes and Laurel were together when the show was filming?
Definitely. I’m one hundred percent positive. I think they’re still together right now… She’s actually dated another Bachelor. Brad Womack introduced them. Wes told me
Laurel spoke with People. She backed up what Wes said: that they broke up a year before the show.
They had an agreement, and this came from Wes, that they were going to put his relationship on the backburner so he could go on there and sell CDs. What I was wondering was , what are you going tgo do when it gets to the final two and you guys go behind locked doors? Is that okay with Laurel, because evidently she’s cleared you to kiss her, but I bet it’s not okay to do anything else… His biggest fear was he makes it far enough that they have to go behind closed doors. He was so worried about that because Laurel wasn’t going to be okay with that. This is the stuff that came out of his mouth.
You still believe he was with Laurel?
I don’t believe it. I know it. … I’m a God fearing man. I tell you what, let God strike me down with lightning – I’m not trying to go all religious on you because I’m not a religious guy by any means – but if I am mistaken may lighting strike me right now. He told me he loved her. We had multiple conversations. It wasn’t him just telling me. It was a dialogue. He told me he loved her. I’m just sitting over here going, “Why are you telling me this? I am falling in love with Jillian, and you’re breaking her heart.”
What was your reaction when he told you about Laurel?
I was disappointed because I was there for the right reasons. I think Wes was there to sell CDs.
Do you regret your decision to go back and talk to Jillian?
Not at all. I care about the girl. She’s just awesome. I think the world of her. Wes just had her snowed. One thing I do want to tell you is that the way people are coming across on this show is how they are. The producers aren’t editing to make people look bad. Everybody is how I’d describe them in real life. Wes said those things. They didn’t edit them in there.
Was it your idea to go back, or did the producers call you?
It was my idea because I saw that she was going down this road. There was a lot of drama around episode four and five. Somebody’s got a girlfriend. I stood up at that rose ceremony and said, “If I find out who it is, I’m going to out ya.” I thought I owed it to her. On the date with Martina McBride, we just developed a level of respect. I think Jillian would have done that for me if the roles had been reversed. What Wes did to her is wrong. The conversations Wes and I had were not, “Hey Jake, I have a girlfriend.” They were, “Jake, I have a girlfriend and I don’t know what to do.” I said, “Wes are you in love with her? If you’re not in love with her, you may fall in love with Jillian.” He said, “Jillian’s not the girl for me.” That’s why it was so serious, because Wes had someone back home he cared about. He wasn’t even available to be on the show.
How did you manage to go back? Did you call the producers and arrange it?
I had the privilege of getting to know several of the producers. They would call me every once in a while just to make sure I was doing okay, because I took it pretty hard. It hurt because I really went on there to fall in love. I was really giving it a good shot. One of the producers called me and I just broke down. They said, “What is it?” I said, “I still need to tell her some things. Would there be any way that I could talk to her again?” They said, “We don’t do that. What do you need to tell her?” So I kind of ran through it with them. With their help, they made it happen. It took some throttling on my part. I was laying in bed thinking, “I should have told her before I left. I should have told her at that rose ceremony. I should have stopped her when she took Mike aside and told her the whole thing.”
Why did everyone keep protecting Wes? Jillian kept asking who had a boyfriend, but nobody said anything. Was it Dave’s “guy code” in action?
I don’t believe in guy code. What does that mean? Is it lying to somebody? I didn’t know for sure that he did [have a girlfriend] at that point. I don’t think most people can comprehend how much stress and pressure is on the Bachelor or the Bachelorette having to look in someone’s eyes as you send them home. You really devastate some people.
Why would Wes tell you he had a girlfriend? If I had a hidden agenda, I’d keep it hidden.
I think Wes had a hard time. We would confide in each other. I would tell him some pretty personal things. He would tell me some pretty personal things. I struggled with that information for a long time. I was kind of the go-to guy. I think I got that from my Mom. People just felt comfortable talking to me. Wes was talking to me during the final episodes about bowing out of the show. He had already gotten what he was looking for, to sell CDs. Each rose ceremony I was thinking, “He’s going to go.” When she started sending guys home that truly were starting to feel like they might fall in love with her that’s when I took it on my part to expose it because she can’t see it. The producers, whether they knew it or not, cannot tell her. .
How do you feel about Jillian now?
I think she’s a doll face. I don’t have anything bad to say about her. The most important thing I had in mind when I went down to Austin was her happiness. She’s just a great girl, looking to fall in love and have somebody worship the ground she walks on. With Wes it was going to be an uphill battle. The girl loves country music and the man makes it. I can see from her point of view how intriguing that would be.
How did you feel about Ed’s return? Did you wish that you’d asked for a second chance, too?
I didn’t go down there to get back on the show. She made her decision about me and that was that. When I saw Ed coming back I just thought, “Wow. She had such a bad week,” because I knew I was going to hurt her by telling her, but it’s not going to be nearly as bad as if she’s standing in the final two and Wes won’t put a ring on her finger. She liked Ed. They just clicked. Ed’s a super nice guy. He’s an open book. It made me happy. Inside, I could tell Jillian was glowing because Ed came back.