Although he boasted that he was "born at night, but not last night" after his The Bachelorette experience ended, eliminated bachelor Wes Hayden is now suggesting he was just born yesterday after all.
While he works in the entertainment industry and remains "good friends" with ex-girlfriend Laurel Kagay -- who was already familiar with show's negative potential due to a prior four-year relationship with former The Bachelor star and fellow Austin, TX resident Brad Womack -- the 32-year-old musician says he is a naive victim of leading interview questions and false editing by the show's producers.
"They're clever man. They really are, I have to give it to them," Wes told KHFI-FM's "Bobby Bones Show" radio program during an interview with the Austin, TX station on Tuesday.
"I kind of feel like all gloves are off right now... I don't care -- the contract that I signed to go on that show was very, very thick. They said 'Hey, we can use your likeness as we see fit, that helps the needs of the show, okay.' And there's like clauses, like mental distress, and using you in ways that is untrue to your character, and this is that. Basically when you sign up for a show like this you pretty much relinquish every right that you have. And I can understand them taking me and basing their ratings around me -- because they did it for eight shows, and they never let up from the day I set out of the limo [on the premiere episode]."
Based on his comments, The Bachelorette viewers also probably shouldn't expect to see Wes on the season's The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All reunion special which will air on Monday, July 20.
"They want me on the reunion show but I am scared to death to go on there and open my mouth and I told them that," Wes said. "I said 'Look, if I trusted y'all I would go on the show.' But there's no telling what they're going to make me out to sound like. If the show was live -- like we're sitting around right here -- and it was live to tape [I'd go]."
Unsurprisingly, Wes used the interview to reiterate his previous The Bachelorette show comments that despite fellow bachelor Jake Pavelka's claims that he had repeatedly said he had a girlfriend back home, he was no longer dating Laurel when the fifth season the show was filmed this spring.
"That is a bold-faced lie, I did not have a girlfriend," Wes said. "I had a girlfriend last summer. She's still a very good friend of mine, I mean every now and again we'll go out and to lunch or something like that. I mean, I did some work for her mom, I'm good friends with her family."
Without specifically mentioning him by name, Wes also brushed aside Jake's more recent claim that Laurel is "in cahoots" with Wes and agreed to put their three-year romantic relationship on "the back-burner" so he could appear on The Bachelorette to promote his new country music album.
"What kind of guy, No. 1, would go on with a girlfriend as well?" Wes said. "You know what, I wouldn't have gone on if I had a girlfriend and made-out with a chick. And I definitely wouldn't have said last night 'Let's hang out in the fantasy suite.'"
According to Wes, several of the comments the show's broadcasts featured him saying were taken out of context -- including his Monday night exit interview quote in which he seemed to admit to having a girlfriend back home.
"They [didn't] play what I say after that. I said, 'I'm the only guy in Bachelorette history to make it to the final four with a girlfriend' [and then] I said 'Get real dude, if I had a girlfriend, I'd be home with her right now and I wouldn't be putting up with this,'" Wes told the station. "They said stuff like that all the way through, all the way through like that. They can take whatever they want and just play what they want."
"I can understand that you're basing the ratings around me, but don't put words in my mouth like at the very end last night, saying I have a girlfriend."
Monday night's pre-Rose Ceremony segment in which he was shown telling the other bachelors he would be "back home having lots of sex" if he didn't receive a rose at the ceremony was also taken out of context, according to Wes.
"You know, that was three guys up there and unfortunately they don't show any of the other guys doing anything bad, but trust me we were all guys and we all sit around and BS each other just like that," he told the station. "It didn't just come out of nowhere, I mean Kiptyn had actually said something before that and I was just saying it to be a joke, [to be] quite honest with you,"
In addition to taking some of his comments out of context, Wes also alleged The Bachelorette's producers created some of his broadcast quotes via "frankenbiting" -- a controversial editing practice in which editors combine pieces of various soundbites to create new but purportedly representative quotes.
"There's also several other instances, you know three or four shows ago, when I said 'I can taste the fame and the fortune, it comes inside of me,' 'I can feel it, I can taste it, it comes inside of me.' You know what I was actually saying? There was a producer behind the camera and they're asking the questions [and he asked] 'So Wes, what's it like when you write a song?' and I said 'Man, it's different every time, sometimes it takes five minutes, sometimes it takes it takes days, but when it starts to happen I can feel it, I can taste it, it comes inside of me, it comes out on pen and paper.'"
"So they can piece whatever they want to piece together. I mean it's not rocket science, that's how they get their drama. Because I promise you, I do have a career. I have been a musician for 14 years and I would never go on national TV and sink myself knowingly."
According to Wes, his final date withThe Bachelorettestar Jillian Harris also didn't go as poorly as Monday night's broadcast -- which appeared to clearly show Jillian in tears at one point during the date -- suggested.
"The end of date that we had, it didn't end like you saw it on TV. It was actually a very good date that we had," he told the radio station. "It wasn't like that at all. We sat there and had dinner for about an hour and a half and we chatted, we laughed, we BS-ed each other."
"And when I left, I remember telling Jillian, 'We're buds, right?' [and] she goes, 'Oh yeah. We're more than that, Wes.' And I was saying 'Okay, because that's the most important thing to me is our friendship, and that we're honest with each other.' I told her I didn't have a girlfriend. The actual conversation was based around was I here for my career or not."
"And I'm just saying hypothetically -- I can't say if this really happened, but just say it did happen -- just say I had a meeting with the head producer that day about how our date was gonna go and what I was supposed to talk about. Totally hypothetical. 'This is supposed to happen' -- I'm just saying, I'm making this whole thing up. So that what I talked about during the date and then this came out like I had a girlfriend, like it was my great confession. Totally a lie."
"The date was going great, or else when the fantasy date [card] came out I wouldn't have said 'I think maybe we should,'" he added later in the interview. "I would never have said that. I mean I can get a hint. If a date is going like I saw it last night there'd have been no way I'd have asked to spend the night with her."
While Monday night's broadcast showed him telling Jillian that his manager had told him he "needed to go" on the show, Wes also denied he had gone on the show seeking to boost his career. However in the process, he also seemed to contradict his previous suggestion that he hadn't been aware that his The Bachelorette contract would -- as is standard in many reality TV participation contracts -- allow the show's producers to potentially distort his actions.
"Actually, trust me, if I was there for my career I wouldn't have gone on a reality show like The Bachelorette," Wes said. "No. 1, I never signed myself to go on the show. I never watched it before. I would have gone on like Nashville Star or American Idol or America's Got Talent. I wouldn't have gone on a reality show to try and promote something when I know that my likeness and my character can be distorted."
"There was two to three different times on that show where I was ready to go home. And trust me, it's not what you think," he added later. "If anybody wants to go on any kind of reality show they really need to consider what could happen to them, and think about it long and hard. And if you do go on, don't say a whole lot because they can pretty much do what they want. If I went on there and said, 'I don't hit women,' they could take [the] 'don't' out and say, 'I hit women.'"
"Look, there had to be drama. There had to be ratings. They picked me for it. And if not the show would have been boring, it'd have been 25 different guys saying 'I'm in love with you.'"
Despite spending the first private dinner with Jillian, living in her The Bachelorette mansion for a few days, accompanying her on several group dates, and enjoying one-on-one dates with her in both Spain and his Austin hometown, Wes said he spent only a few hours with her during the show's entire production period.
"I honestly -- in the two months I was there, I spent maybe less than four hours of alone time with Jillian," he said. "On the group dates I'm with her but... I didn't really even battle for the attention because I thought it was pretty cheesy to be honest with you. So I just kind of sat back and just hung out."
"Jillian's very cute. She's a cute girl, she really is," he added later. "She's not a dog, but I mean what makes her....she's a cute girl but what makes so cool is that she's got a really good personality. She's kind of like the kind of girl who you can go out and have three or four beers with and hang out with the guys."
In addition, Wes also said he hadn't gone on The Bachelorette expecting to fall in love with Jillian.
"I went in honestly with an open mind thinking I'm leaving my mind open to falling in love. I didn't go in there thinking there was no way it could happen. But I didn't think I was going to get married, no, not after six weeks."
Instead, he admitted being outright skeptical and doubtful about the show's concept.
"I think everybody needs to remember that this is a TV show, and it is for entertainment ratings and nothing else. And the moment that people I think need to realize it's a TV show is look, if this thing is true, I want to see somebody get married at the end of it," Wes said. "That's kind of what I want to see. So if there's a marriage at the end of this thing, I'm a total liar and this thing is built around love. I mean, you can get one girl to make out with 30 different guys... for two months and then whittle this thing down and 'Let's get married.' I'm just saying, I'd like to see it."
Although he alleged some of his comments were "baited," Wes -- who seemed to alternately say his The Bachelorette experience lasted "six weeks" or "two months" depending on whether he was trying to note how brief it was or was or stress how much he had endured -- said he stood by his decision to bash Jillian's three remaining suitors during his exit interview.
"They talked trash about me for eight episodes, all the guys. As soon as I stepped out of the limo, they were already accusing me of things and saying, 'Wes is a snake. He's here for the wrong reasons' this and that, this and that. So, you know at the end of the show I was a little ticked off, to be quite honest with you," he told the station.
"A lot of that is baited questions, you know. I might not have said 'Reid couldn't get a nimble where I come from.' Maybe the producer behind the camera asked me that question and then I repeated the question after him. I'm just saying it works a lot different than you think it works. And it's the only time in the whole show that I said anything negative about any of the guys. I took it, I took it for two months from everybody."
"I rode around in that limo for over three hours, man. With the [air conditioning] off because the noise was messing with the mics and the sound. So it was hot, it was miserable, And I remember finally I said, I just started drinking -- I was like 'You know what dude, I'm going to at least enjoy myself for the last time that I'm here, I'll never be in Spain again.'"
However according to Wes, he still remains friendly with the season's other bachelors -- including Reid.
"To be perfectly honest with you -- and I know I'm going to get calls from ABC about this -- but I've got in my phone about 30 text messages from the guys," he said. "We were all really good friends. None of us didn't like each other at all. I mean we call each other almost daily. I've... I can't tell you how many times I've talked to Reid, if any. But hypothetically, I could have spoken to him a few times."