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Brad Womack talks about his "happy" 'The Bachelor' experience


By Christopher Rocchio, 09/18/2007 

Only once in the last four seasons and twice in its last seven editions has ABC's long-running The Bachelor reality dating series ended with its star proposing to his final selected suitor.  That trend is not lost on Brad WomackThe Bachelor's eleventh-season star.

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"I am very well aware of the success rate of the past Bachelors -- some have worked and some haven't," Womack told reporters during a Tuesday conference call.  "Quite honestly, I didn't even let that enter my mind.  I just thought, 'This is my experience and only my experience.'  I wanted to go into it with an open mind, and I did just that."

However, Womack, a 34-year-old Austin, TX bar owner, wouldn't tip his hand as to whether he does indeed pop the question to his final bachelorette during the already filmed conclusion of The Bachelor 11.

"All I can say is I'm extremely happy with the turnout of the show -- I know that's a generic answer, and I wish I could give you more -- but I'm very, very happy with the turnout," he said.  "It's very, very easy for me to keep quiet about everything."

Womack said he's also "always been a very loyal person," so it should be easy for him to remain faithful to his selected suitor while being away from her over the course of The Bachelor 11's broadcast run. 

"It's of course a little different in the aftermath [of filming The Bachelor]," he explained.  "But I think if a connection was made, then it's easy to keep it, for me anyway."

After spending eight years working in the petroleum industry's oil fields -- an eight-year journey that took him to Louisiana, North Dakota, California, and all over Texas -- Womack said he and his twin brother Chad decided it was time to enter a new line of business.

"Chad and I both jumped headfirst into [bartending] together," he said.  "We both started bartending around the same time, bought our first bar [with their third brother Wesley] about eight months after we got into the business, maybe seven-and-a-half years ago."

Womack said it was a staff member from one of his four Austin-area bars that recommended him to ABC as an ideal candidate for The Bachelor.

"I was really excited about the opportunity," explained Womack.  "People think that it's so easy to meet people in the bar business.  As many good people come into the bar, I really am always at work... As much as I talk to customers, I'm really just in a different state of mind.  I'm just here to work.  It's pretty tough.  I might see a woman that sparks my interest, but I may never see her again because it's just not my nature to go up to a girl and flirt when I'm working."

The self-described "workaholic" said that may be one of the reasons why he's 34-years-old and still without a mate.

"I really hate to sound one dimensional -- and maybe this contributes to my being single for so long -- but for the past five or six years, my soul focus was work and my career," he said.  "It's almost a character flaw that I haven't broadened my horizons in anyway whatsoever.  I'd like to consider myself a pretty good businessman, but I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who are far better at business than I am."

Because of his "very strenuous work schedule" Womack said he "actually [doesn't] drink that much at all," but is "very well versed" in how alcohol affects people.  It may have helped him deal with bachelorette Melissa, a 28-year-old event planner, who tosses back a few too many in The Bachelor 11's premiere and goes on the hunt for a lost breast enhancer that doesn't actually exist.

"I don't know for better or worse, but I think any alcohol brings out the truth in people for what it's worth," said Womack.  "Sometimes it's a good thing, sometimes it's not such a good thing.  But it never fails.  Anytime anybody has alcohol in them their inhibitions go out the door."

Womack said he was "pleased to see some of the ladies put themselves out there" when he first met his 25 The Bachelor 11 suitors.  Some of the ladies put themselves out there more than others --  such as Mallory, a 24-year-old nanny who strips down to her bikini and jumps into the pool, as well as Lindsey, a 25-year-old model who presents Womack with a yellow rose before singing "The Yellow Rose of Texas."

"The bikini was very unexpected just because we were all in formalwear... but it was a nice surprise," said Womack.  "The yellow rose actually meant a lot to me because it obviously touched a special place because I am from Texas.  It meant a lot to me.  Both of those surprises were very unexpected but also very pleasant at the same time... I don't think that I was kind of shocked by anything because I knew it wasn't going to be picture perfect."

Overall, Womack said ABC did "an incredible job of finding 25 really, really good women" to compete for his heart on The Bachelor 11.

"First of all, [I like a girl who's] down to earth.  I know that's cliche.  I love a beautiful woman, someone who takes care of themselves, but more importantly is sweet, very honest and loyal of course.  Just kind of a beautiful-girl-next-door-type," explained Womack. 

"[The producers] asked what I liked and what I didn't like as far as personality types.  Looks-wise... I think someone out there said I prefer brunettes.  I don't know how that got out there, because it really doesn't matter.  I explained that I just like low maintenance, down-to-earth girls... I was extremely satisfied and happy [with the bachelorettes].  I actually felt lucky."

While he was pleased with the women competing for his affection on The Bachelor 11, the suitors were presumably pleased with the guy ABC has been billing as "a sincere, sexy, successful self-made man who may be the series' hottest guy yet." 

"I don't consider myself the sexiest Bachelor ever," he said.  "It is laughable -- they've had some great guys in my position -- it's a great title.  It's more laughable for my guy friends than anything."

Over the course of the competition Womack gets to know some of the women better -- taking them on dates such as a rendezvous in San Francisco and a helicopter ride to a secluded rooftop -- not typically the kind of outings he takes girls on.

"Of course this show is very extravagant, but quite honestly, that's just not my style at all.  I'm a little bit... almost a little too laid-back," he said.  "Ideally, if I had the resources to take a girl somewhere on the beach and just her and I hang out and have lunch on the beach and just relax... But if I was in Austin, just a very casual lunch on a lake, maybe spend some time in a boat on the water.  Extremely laid back where we can just relax and be ourselves and simply talk."

One of the things to discuss might be if Womack is willing to uproot himself from Austin to be closer to his selected suitor.

"I would never say never.  But even in the show I explain that I've developed some pretty strong roots in Austin -- not just for business reasons -- but for community reasons," he explained.  "I genuinely love the community of Austin.  I feel lucky to be a part of it.  Maybe I could say that I would love to convince anyone what a great city Austin is."

Because Womack is such a familiar face with Austin residents, he expects them to tune into his dating adventures on The Bachelor 11 when it premieres Monday, September 24 at 9:30PM ET/PT. Just don't expect the show to be on television in any of the bars he owns.

"It's pretty tough to put The Bachelor on in a bar when Monday Night Football is going on," said Womack.  "So let's face it, I'm up against some stiff competition.  I'm sure there will be private gatherings in people's homes and whatnot, but unfortunately for the most part I'm going to be out of town."

Womack said he's "unsure" about the majority of his schedule during The Bachelor's eleventh-season broadcast run.  However he's "excited" to have to miss the show's first episode, as he'll be in the Dancing with the Stars' fifth-season audience when the show premieres live prior to The Bachelor 11's debut

While he won't say which suitor wins his heart on The Bachelor, Womack's not shy about pulling for Dancing with the Stars 5 celebrity participant Mark Cuban, who owns the NBA's Dallas Mavericks franchise.

"I give him a great chance.  The guy seems to never fail at anything he does," said Womack, apparently forgetting that Cuban starred in ABC's short-lived The Benefactor reality series.  "I'm of course going to be rooting for him just because he is a fellow Texan.  I'd love to see him take the entire thing."

Unlucky in love up until this point in his life, Womack said he was happy to star in The Bachelor, even if it took him away from his beloved businesses.

"I would have not ever even considered it if it was any other show aside from The Bachelor, and I mean that," he said.

(Photo credit ABC)


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