Ed came into the house clearly looking to have a good time, as he got wasted the first night and did little strategizing prior to the second third-season Rose Ceremony. After a resentful Reid Rosenthal, who lost Jillian to Ed during The Bachelorette's 2009 season finale, put together an alliance in attempt to vote Ed off during Monday night's episode, Ed received a quick reality check and realized it was time to put on his thinking cap and really play the game to win.
Ed, a 33-year-old technology consultant from Chicago, IL, barely escaped elimination but managed to survive and still remains on the show. The former bachelorettes voted off Ryan Hoag instead, and Ed got to live in the house another week alongside Sarah Newlon -- who had hooked up with him but then regretfully cast a vote for his ouster.
During a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Ed talked about his Bachelor Pad experience thus far and hinted at what viewers can expect to see coming up -- including whether he was surprised to discover Reid was plotting against him as a form of revenge, why he respected Chris Bukowski's controversial gameplay, whether he insisted he would make a good boyfriend, and what he claimed Jillian Harris had to say about his portrayal on the show so far.
It seems like you're having a really fun time on Bachelor Pad right now. Did you take the competition seriously or was your laid-back fun behavior a strategy?
Ed Swiderski: (Laughs) Well, it's kind of a blend. I never really took The Bachelorette seriously until I realized I actually had a chance. I'm treating this literally the same way. I think with this week coming up, you're going to see that this is kind of a turning point and you're going to see a different side of a lot of people.
Were you surprised Reid was still bitter about the Jillian Harris situation and brought those feelings into the house?
Ed Swiderski: I was definitely surprised that Reid still brought up the baggage and old business -- I call it old business -- from years ago, because we were good friends and I didn't even know this was happening behind my back.
And so, while I definitely respected him for playing the game, I think that he had a hard time playing it and he made some bad moves early on. But Reid's a great guy and we're probably going to remain friends for a long time, but he really made some bad moves.
Did you compete on Bachelor Pad for love or money this season?
Ed Swiderski: I definitely wasn't there for love. I was absolutely there to win. I treated it just like any competition, and I had someone at home that I have always kind of had feelings for even though I was single on the show. So, I wasn't really there to look for anybody, but I made some great friendships and I'm happy for that.
You just mentioned you had a girl back home, however, you hooked up with Sarah Newlon during this last week's episode. Did you have some explaining to do?
Ed Swiderski: You know, we weren't together and we made an agreement that we were not going to -- I wasn't going to go in this obviously to find a relationship, but we agreed that I was going to be single. If I'm going to go there to play the game, it certainly involves having whatever you want to call last week.
The situation was fun and Sarah is actually a great friend, and I think she realizes that. I made it very clear to her about having somebody at home. But when you're in that environment, you're just sort of there to play a game and it's all part of it.
Were you really as worried about going home during Monday night's episode as the show made it appear?
Ed Swiderski: Every bone in my body thought that I was going home without a doubt. I absolutely thought that I was going home, and it was the weirdest feeling ever, because (laughs) -- it sounds egotistical -- but I never felt that way on The Bachelorette.
I was really shocked because I thought that these people were trustworthy and I actually didn't want to be there. I was packing my bags and I didn't want to be there, and I was thinking like, "Maybe this isn't the right place for me." So it turned out for the better, but I was totally shocked.
Did the scare change how you played the game going forward? How did it affect you?
Ed Swiderski: Well, I think that next week is going to be a turning point for me. I think I go from me being there to have fun and then realizing like, "Wow, I can actually go pretty far in this thing. I can actually win money." This is when I start taking it seriously. It's a tough challenge and actually a little demoralizing, but I think that I realized I needed to step up my game or I was definitely going home.
Once you found out Reid had gathered an alliance to vote against you, what happened? Did things come to a head for you two?
Ed Swiderski: Well, I didn't really learn about Reid's hand in the results last week until, I think it was just right before the Rose Ceremony. I'm not one to go and contrive a huge plan and try to dig out people or anything like that. But it was everyone else, actually, that were telling me, "We want to get rid of Reid because of what he did to you."
And I didn't realize he was doing that behind my back, so at that point, I was pissed and I wanted him gone. Even though he's a friend, he really lost my trust and he played the game poorly.
Ed Swiderski: Yeah, I mean, Chris and I go head-to-head a little bit, and I would say we were the closest guys there. Even between the girls, I think him and I were pretty close. He's a very kind of alpha-male type of personality and I'm kind of the middle of the road guy kind of, but I was following his leadership.
I disagreed with some of his moves too, but at the end of the day, we had a great team and a great alliance. Sometimes, you're going to step on people's toes and it's just part of the game.
Is there a funny moment that occurred while you were in the house that didn't air or probably wont air you could share?
Ed Swiderski: (Laughs) To be honest, it was an ongoing saga between Blakeley and Chris, and what you didn't see was just 100% percent more of what you did see -- like a 1000% percent more. Blakeley was upset. I think Chris is right now looking like a jerk, but he is a good guy and he knows how to play the game. He's serious about winning the money, so I have to definitely respect him for that.
Were there any friendships or pairings that came out of the show that really surprised you?
Ed Swiderski: Like I said, you're going to start to see some real "romances" start. [Kalon McMahon] and [Lindzi Cox] was a total surprise. I think that they really hooked up and I believe they're going to be together for a little while. I don't know how long, but they had a solid relationship. But they were also a little isolated too because of that. So being in that relationship kind of alienated them.
And then [Rachel Truehart] and [Michael Stagliano] were forming a relationship too, and everyone was kind of questioning that because they just seemed like they had different personalities. Beyond that, I think we were all pretty much teams, right?
I mean, I wasn't in a relationship with [Jaclyn Swartz]. Jaclyn and I were just like best friends and we were on the same team. It was a great partnership because we weren't letting romance get in the way of what our goal was.
Where do you and Reid stand now, are you still friends?
Ed Swiderski: You know, the minute I got home, him and I chatted and it was water under the bridge to be honest. I have to respect his style, I guess, because he was not included in our alliance. It wasn't deliberate. He just wasn't participating in it. So, I think he was trying something different and I respected that, but it was a bad move in the game. We're going to be friends for a long time.
Do things really heat up between you and Reid on the show? Can you give us any hints about what to expect from your relationship with him?
Do you think the veterans in the house kind of bullied the "Super Fans?"
Ed Swiderski: I think the girls really led a lot of it. I think that they led a lot of it as strategy, and because of that alliance that they built early on in the season, they were not interested in having the girls there. And obviously the twins [Brittany Taltos and Erica Taltos], they did not belong there. (Laughs) I didn't even say two words to them.
But the other girls were okay, we just never got a chance to know them, because the other girls really alienated them right away and they didn't have a chance. It wasn't that we were bullying them.
It's just that we knew -- and from my perspective, why would I even want to strategize at this point? Because the girls are running the show and I'm on their team, so why do I need to? I'm on a great team and I can just party my ass off and have fun. (Laughs) Until it really comes down to me [getting in] strategy mode.
What is your take on the whole Chris, Blakeley and Jamie love triangle?
Ed Swiderski: I think that Chris was in a tough position believe it or not. He had what he thought was a great teammate, but they were great teammates separately. They were great teammates for someone else. And Blakeley's an awesome person. She's a huge competitor and she worked hard and she's smart, actually.
They just weren't a good fit, and so, Chris is kind of playing this switcheroo until he found somebody. And actually, because of me, he found somebody that was a good teammate eventually. But I don't blame him for the pattern that he took because he was in a tough position. I had it pretty easy. I had a great partner out of the gate, so I mean, it was all luck. It wasn't like me being intelligent or playing the game.
Did Chris ever mention Emily Maynard to you in that maybe he wasn't over her yet or was treating women on the show a certain way simply because he was still hurting from that breakup?
Ed Swiderski: Yeah, I mean, he definitely mentioned it early on because it was still kind of fresh for him. But honestly, I'm pretty sure he was over it. (Laughs) Yeah, he was over it. You can't really think about anyone else while you're there.
It's hard to, you know? It's like, as much as you want to, you have to focus on the game because there's always something going on. Constantly, you have to monitor and listen, and you can't really think about that stuff. I think he just got over it quickly.
What originally made you decide to compete on Bachelor Pad after doing The Bachelorette?
Ed Swiderski: That's a good one. You know, I asked everyone that was close to me in my life -- mentors and family -- and the majority of them said, "Don't do it." But a couple of people really influenced me that I respect, and they said, "You have the opportunity of a lifetime to go on The Bachelorette," and obviously a win was incredible.
But this is another life experience I thought would be too good to pass up, and I'm running my own company now. It was a great time for me to go because I just finished a book and I just had some time to do this. So I figured, "Why not? It'd be a great time to try something different, I guess."
What's the most important lesson you learned about yourself while on both The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad?
Ed Swiderski: Well, I think that coming off The Bachelorette, I think I definitely got an ego out of it and I'm not a very egotistical guy, which is surprising. I think you can ask anybody I know, I'm a pretty down to earth guy. I'm not too fancy or anything like that.
But I think I really had to check my ego when I came into this, because I really thought I was bulletproof. And then a couple of times, I get knocked down really hard. And mentally and physically, I'm just like, "Wow. I can't believe it. I may not be here."
So I really had to check my ego, and I think that it just made me kind of look particularly at my personal attitude. And when I got home, I was really exhausted and just kind of reflected on the whole thing. I was like, "Wow, okay. Maybe I'm not the coolest guy in the world!" (Laughs)
Would you say Jillian dodged a bullet with you? (Laughs)
Ed Swiderski: Yeah, I mean, Jillian knows me better than everybody. She actually blogged about all the comments about me and everything. The thing is, that's part of the reason why Jillian, I believe, that she liked me. Because I am a pretty grounded guy and I don't really take reality TV seriously. As dumb as it sounds, I just don't.
If you do, then I just think you're weird. Honestly, I'm not a fan. I don't watch reality TV. I don't look down on it, but you kind of take it tongue and cheek. And so, Jillian knows that and that's why we connected. So she blogged about it and said, "No, that's the reason why I love Ed, because he's a fun guy! And when it's time to be serious, Ed's serious. But in this environment, come on," you know?
Would you say you're a good boyfriend?
Ed Swiderski: Well, I'm still not dating anybody. I have somebody that I've always sort of like, kind of had a crush on, just a couple years after Jillian obviously. I don't know. Maybe it'll come to fruition one day. I think that she definitely thinks I'm a good person and she would probably agree with Jillian.