'Bachelor Pad's Erica Rose: I admire the way Chris Bukowski plays, I want him to win
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/27/2012
Bachelor Pad contestant Erica Rose and returning second-season champion Michael Stagliano were eliminated during Monday night's fifth episode of Bachelor Pad's third season in which 15 former bachelor and bachelorettes and five "Super Fans" compete for a $250,000 cash prize.
Erica, a 29-year-old law student from Houston, TX, who previously competed on The Bachelor's ninth season and Bachelor Pad's second season, was eliminated based on votes cast by Bachelor Pad's 12 remaining third-season cast members after host Chris Harrison announced a twist at the end of the episode in which all the males and females in the house would individually vote to eliminate one woman, who would then in turn get to choose one man to leave with her.
After falsely learning from Michael that Chris Bukowski had been plotting against her and rallying votes to get her out of the house -- which was a move Michael made in the hopes Erica would get eliminated and take down Chris with her out of spite -- Erica quickly determined Michael had betrayed and lied to her. As a result, Erica chose to remove Michael from the game and unloaded on him prior to leaving -- calling him a bad person and a bad friend amongst other personal insults.
During a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Erica talked to Reality TV World about her Bachelor Pad experience and fallout with Michael. To read what she had to say, click here.
Below is the concluding portion of Erica's call with reporters -- including which contestant was her closest ally in the game, whether she felt bad at all for bashing Michael, how her relationship progressed or regressed with Kalon McMahon since the start of the show, and which couple in the house she believed lasted on the show because of strategy not chemistry.
When did you suspect Michael was lying to you and had you trusted him up to that point?
Erica Rose: Yeah, I started suspecting Michael was lying to me based on his reaction when -- well, first of all, when he told me that Chris voted for me and then Chris came up and was like, "I haven't voted yet and I'll take you into the voting room right now and show you that I'm not voting for you," and I was like, "Okay, then Michael's probably lying."
When I came out of the voting room with Chris, I could tell Michael was really upset about it. And so, then I knew something was up, because if he hadn't voted for me and didn't want me to leave, he wouldn't have cared that Chris took me in the voting room.
Do you accept the fact you have to lie onBachelor Pad, and if so, why were you so upset at Michael for lying to you?
Erica Rose: I can understand that you might have to tell some lies, but the reason I was so upset with Michael in particular lying to me, is because he even said, he was like, "Well, I'm going to try to get rid of my dear friend, Erica Rose." And we really were good friends, or so I thought, going into this, because we were both on Bachelor Pad 2 together.
And aside from that, we have hung out a lot over this past year. We'd go out a lot to concerts or just doing different things that friends do. And also, before the show, I literally have text messages from him, saying, "I'm going to have your back. I'm going to help you win this time. We're in this together, love you" -- all this stuff.
And so, that's why it was so hurtful. If it was someone that I just met this season, who lied to me, like [Ed Swiderski] or someone like that, I don't take it as personally. Because of my friendship with Michael, that's why I felt so betrayed.
Who would you say was your closest ally in the game?
Erica Rose: Well, my closest friend in the house is definitely [Sarah Newlon] because we were really good friends going into the show and we're still -- the whole thing has made us even closer even though we had to deal with some arguments or whatever.
But actually, in terms of being an ally, I would say [Nick Peterson] was my closest ally just because we would vote consistently together every single week. We'd agree on what girl and what guy to vote for, and we'd always do it.
We were going to be partners had I not been eliminated, because [Rachel Truehart] was going to be with Michael and I was going to be with Nick. So he was probably the only person who would tell me, "This is who I'm voting for," and we would always do it every single week. When I watched, I saw that he was always true to his word and I was always true to mine.
When you left Bachelor Pad, you definitely had some harsh words for Michael. Did you feel bad about what you said afterwards or did you feel like he deserved it based on his actions towards you?
Erica Rose: Yeah, that's the weird thing about it, is you know, I really spoke my mind and that was everything that I was thinking at the moment and then the moment came out. I still agree with the things I said, but yes, my only thing is maybe you don't always have to say whatever you're thinking.
And in that moment, I wasn't hearing, "Oh my gosh, these are such mean things to say to him." Do I think [Holly Durst] made the right decision with [Blake Julian]? Of course, 100% percent. They couldn't be happier, and I do think that Blake is a more genuine, honest person that Michael.
I've gotten to know them both very well, and while Michael can be friendly and fun and a good time, he hasn't proved to me that he's an honest, genuine person. And I miss that.
So it's hard for me to know whether I should apologize, because I do think the things I said are true. But I'm sure some people always think things and they just don't say them. So, I'm not going to apologize for thinking them, but I guess I could apologize for saying them.
At the start of the show, you mentioned you didn't get along with Kalon already. Did your opinion of him change after being on Bachelor Pad with him?
Erica Rose: Well, I thought that we did get along well on Bachelor Pad, and I thought that we were friends. But then when I watched it back, he said some pretty rude things about me. And whether or not he was trying to be funny or whatever, in two different episodes, he basically called me fat. And that was what our whole fight was about in the beginning -- years ago.
I just don't understand why he has such a fixation on my appearance. Like, yeah, I know I'm not a size zero like [Lindzi Cox] and that's his type, and that's fine. But I'm a size six and the average American woman is a size 10 or something. So it's like, by insulting me and calling me fat, he's basically calling half of American women fat.
I never ran around saying, "Oh, I'm so thin!" I'm not trying to be a model. I just graduated law school and I'm going to be an attorney. So I'm not one that sits around, fixating on my appearance, and I'm happy with my appearance. It's not a source of insecurity for me, so I just don't appreciate him constantly making jabs at it.
And so, I can't really think of someone as a friend even if he thinks, "Oh, it's all in good fun," like, it's not. If it's not fun to me, I don't think any girl would think those types of insults are in good fun. So no, I don't consider him a friend at this point, definitely not.
We're starting to see some relationships develop on the show. So what's your take on them, do you think they're genuine or strategic?
Erica Rose: I think a lot of them were strategic -- like for example, with Michael and Rachel, I personally definitely think that that was strategic. I'm not going to say what I know, but everyone will see what's going on with that relationship at the finale and find out whether or not I'm right.
I do think [Blakeley Shea] and [Tony Pieper] when they first partnered up was a strategic thing, but now, I think the relationship is definitely genuine. They're still dating. And it was surprising, like random couples now completely make sense. And then Kalon and Lindzi I know are still kind of seeing each other too, and so that will be interesting to see if that lasts.
Now that you've seen a lot of this season's episodes, is there anything that you kind of regret doing or saying?
Erica Rose: No, not necessarily things I regret saying. But I do regret trusting Michael so much, just because if I would've caught on earlier to the fact that he was lying to me, I could've said, "You know what Michael? If you eliminate me, I'm going to take you out with me." And if I had told him that, then he would've scrambled his little alliance together and not voted for me to save himself.
So, that was something where I was like, "Oh, if I would've caught onto that faster, I could've probably prevented myself from going home." So that would be the only thing I regret, is just really honestly, trusting Michael, because he was one of the few people in the house who I did think I could trust.
There's been a lot of buzz about fans wanting you to have your own reality show. Is that something you'd be interested in?
Erica Rose: Yes, definitely something I'd be interested in. I think people say it every single season. I have filmed some pilots before in the past but nothing's ever came to fruition, but I would totally be open to it. It's not the kind of thing you can personally pursue, you know what I mean?
You have to just be approached by a production company, but I would love to do kind of like a Legally Blonde-reality show, because I have gotten a job at a law firm recently and I'm going to start working.
So I think it'd be cool just to do one with me in my regular life, like my family's interesting, my dad's a plastic surgeon. He's operated on three people now from The Bachelor world. His most recent person was [Trista Sutter] and my mom's definitely entertaining too. So I think there's some great material there, it's just the right person has to come along and know what to do with it.
At the time, you didn't know the extent of Michael's plan to get you out and make you think Chris was behind it. Watching it back and seeing how well thought out it was, did that piss you off all over again?
Erica Rose: Yeah, because even at the house that night, I didn't know the extent of it either. I never even thought Michael masterminded it, you know what I'm saying? I thought that Michael -- it was enough for me to think that Michael had betrayed me as a friend by being onboard with such a plan, [nevermind] the fact that, you know, he was the one that literally got everyone to do it.
Because going into it, Blakeley and Tony were like, "Oh, we're probably going to vote for Sarah." No one even had my name out there. It was between Sarah and Lindzi really, so the fact Michael was the one who threw my name out there, and then the fact that he was literally like ecstatic about it -- he's like, "Oh yes, we're dear friends and gosh, this is so devilish!"
He was like giddy with excitement over it -- like excited to be betraying a friend. That's what really got to me, and that's why when some people think I should apologize, it's really hard for me to want to apologize after seeing all that.
How do you think you would've felt if you had taken the bait and taken Chris out with you to only find out later Michael was the mastermind behind the plan?
Erica Rose: I would've felt so stupid, honestly. Because I do think that Chris deserved to be there just because he was playing the game. He broke off from the main alliance, which I respect, by becoming partners with Sarah and doing his own thing. And I appreciate that and respect that so much more than someone who just sticks to an alliance and can't think for themselves.
You know, Michael controlled the game the same way last year, and I knew that, because he even told me like some of the same things he did last year -- like by letting everyone think [Kasey Kahl] and [Vienna Girardi] were running things, but really, it was Michael behind the scenes doing it.
And so, I just would've been so angry with myself if I let Michael get away with the same type of stuff again and make it to the finale again, because I'd rather someone -- Chris was completely honest the whole time in the game and that's what pissed people off. I'd rather someone make it far out of honesty rather than dishonesty.
Did you think going on the show would have such a personal impact on you? Did you ever think it would ruin your friendship with Michael?
Erica Rose: No, I honestly did not. Because like I said, going into it, when Michael and I found out we were doing it, we were so excited. And I was like, "This is so good, I have one of my close friends in the house. We're going to have so much fun like we did last year!" And I was excited about it, and then it was like, we were set to go on and make new friends, but you don't expect to lose any.
What's next for you personally and professionally?
Erica Rose: Well professionally, I just graduated law school in May, and I was just planning on taking my Bar Exam this summer and working as an attorney, but then I got the option to doBachelor Pad 3. I don't want to say that I regret it, but nothing super positive came out of it for me.
But the whole thing did make me realize that you know what? I'm ready to focus on my law career, so I got a job at a law firm in Houston and I've been in L.A. for the summer, but I'm really ready to get back to Houston and just work at this law firm.
My long-term goal is once I work with a firm and I pass my Bar Exam, and then I really want to have my own court show or be like Nancy Grace. But I need to work to get to that level. I can't just graduate law school and think that I'm ready to be Judge Judy, you know?
Who are you rooting for at this point to win it all?
Erica Rose: At this point, I'm definitely rooting for Sarah and Chris. Because like I said, Sarah was my really good friend going into the house, and I think we're even closer now. And I really admire the way that Chris has played the game. I think he's the only one that took risks, I think he's the only one that's been thinking for himself, and you know, putting everything on the line.
He's a risk-taker, and so I would love to see someone who isn't -- like I said -- this would be the first time, if they won, that someone who wasn't in the main alliance wins after all three seasons. And so, I really want them to win.
If for any reason Bachelor Pad asked you to come back again, would you?
Erica Rose: Oh my gosh, I don't think I would want to come back again as a contestant. Because even this season, I just realized this game isn't for me. I'm too honest of a person. I take friendships too seriously. I'm not all about alliances.
I do think I would probably come back as a judge and I'd love to judge a challenge or something fun like that, but coming back as a contestant, I'd just rather move on with my life, you know? I hope that maybe I'll be in a relationship by next summer. I'm not even trying to come back again.
Which season did you enjoy being on more, Bachelor Pad 2 or 3?
Erica Rose: Definitely last season just because, I don't know, I liked the people overall better. I just felt like it was more of the type of people that I'd want to be friends with. We had some really cool people like [Jake Pavelka] and [Gia Allemand] and [Michelle Money] and Holly and Blake, you know, people that I'm still really good friends with.
This year, I feel like it was more kind of a snake's den with so many deceitful people and it was just a completely different season last year. There were not really that many couples there, and so, there were a lot of people around just to hang out with, whereas this season, it was all about couples. I don't know. I just definitely enjoyed last season more.
What was your favorite competition?
Erica Rose: My favorite competition this time was probably the "Hot Sludge Funday" just because that was so funny and fun. It was just a really unique challenge.
Out of all the people in the house, was there someone you surprisingly got close to whom you never thought you would?
Erica Rose: Yeah, I mean, I really like [Jamie Otis] a lot. Going into it, I thought, "Oh, this girl is kind of weird from [Ben Flajnik]'s season." But I think she's a really genuine, kind person, and a great girl. I really like her.
Did you expect to be leaving soon in the game even though you might not have expected to go home this week?
Erica Rose: Yeah, I didn't feel like it was going to be this week, but I did feel like, "Oh my God. I finally have to win next week's challenge." And I had a really good feeling about it. I was like, "Okay, I can do it." I'm 0-10 in terms of challenges counting last year and this year, and 11 is my lucky number. So I thought I could win Challenge 11. But I knew if I didn't win the next challenge, I'd probably be going home.
Now that you know next week's challenge is a Spelling Bee, do you think you would've stuck around longer?
Erica Rose: Yeah, I was an English major, so I think I would've done well at that one.
Above is the concluding portion of Erica's call with reporters. To read what she had to say to Reality TV World, click here.