Exclusive: Rachel Truehart talks 'Bachelor Pad,' Michael Stagliano and Nick Peterson (Part 1)
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/12/2012
Rachel Truehart and Nick Peterson were crowned Bachelor Pad's winning couple during Monday night's finale broadcast of the third season of The Bachelor reality franchise spinoff in which 15 former bachelor and bachelorettes and five "Super Fans" competed for a $250,000 cash prize.
Rachel, a former sixteenth-season The Bachelor bachelorette, and Nick defeated former eighth-season The Bachelorette bachelor Chris Bukowski and former eleventh-season The Bachelor bachelorette Sarah Newlon to win Bachelor Pad's $250,000 grand prize. Rachel and Nick received votes from everyone in the cast expect Kalon McMahon, David Mallet and Erica Rose.
However, Nick, a 27-year-old trainer from Tampa, FL who previously competed on The Bachelorette's seventh edition, was the only real winner of the game, as he decided to "keep" all the money for himself in the end and leave Rachel -- a 27-year-old executive assistant from New York, NY, who had opted to "split" the money with her partner -- without cash or a boyfriend.
In an exclusive interview on Tuesday, Rachel talked to Reality TV World about her Bachelor Pad experience and previous relationship with former love interest Michael Stagliano -- including whether she'll consider becoming friends with Nick again, what the status of her relationship is now with Michael, and whether she has come to see Nick's perspective on things now that she's had some time to reflect on what went down between them.
Below is the first half of our interview with Rachel. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: I'm sorry about the way things ended for you!
Reality TV World: I know, so what's the status of your relationship with Nick now? Did you guys end up talking things out? Do you think you have a shot at becoming friends again?
Rachel Truehart: No, we have not spoken at all since the finale aired. You saw us take off [the stage]... You saw me swearing at him in the hallway. So I reached out to him the next morning, just asking to talk to him, and I didn't get a response from him. That's the only time I tried because, I don't know, there's not really much to say to him right now, I guess.
I think what's done is done and there's not really a salvageable friendship there. That was just a little too harsh and I don't think that's a person that I want to keep in my life.
Reality TV World: I talked to Nick earlier today and he had said that he was kind of waiting for things to settle down before trying to talk to you and mend things, so do you think he was being sincere, and if so, it sounds like you're not open to it anyway right? (Laughs)
Rachel Truehart: I don't think he's being sincere. I don't really think anything he does right now is sincere. I think if he really wanted to try to mend things over, he would've tried to contact me by now. It's been at least two weeks now, and I haven't heard a word from him. I just don't think anything about him is sincere.
Reality TV World: In Chris Harrison's blog this week, he said nobody -- especially in your alliance -- "gave a damn about Nick" and didn't think he had a chance to make it to the finals because he was expendable. He said you didn't really respect him as far as the game goes. So now that you've had some time to think about those points since the finale taped over a week ago, can you kind of see that perspective and understand Nick's reasoning a little more or do you still have the same take on it you had when you were first blindsided by his decision?
Rachel Truehart: I mean, I think him saying that he was expendable, I think he was just honestly not very good at any of the challenges. I don't know if they ever showed it, but he pretty much came in last place for just about everything. And it wasn't only that, it was just he wasn't really a frontrunner in the game.
A lot of us were winning challenges here and there and really putting forth more effort, so we saw more stronger competitors I think. So I think that was more along the lines of why we didn't really see him winning.
He was never part of an alliance, and I think this year, they really stressed having alliances that just broke down in the end. No one that was in the same alliance in the beginning ended up in the same alliance at the end.
Reality TV World: So all those alleged pushups and eggs didn't seem to pay off for Nick then huh? (Laughs)
Rachel Truehart: No, (laughs) not so much. Even in the first challenge, he fell first. I think most of the challenges weren't really strength-based, and yeah, he just wasn't very good at them. (Laughs) He's this big muscular guy, so you think he's going to be really great at all these challenges. But a lot of them didn't really come down to the brawn of it.
Reality TV World: The editing of last night's finale made it look like you really pondered what you were going to do while in the room where you had to pick the "share" or "keep" poster. So how accurate was that? When did you actually make the decision to "share" the money? Was it a last-minute decision?
Rachel Truehart: No, I had made the decision to share the money ever, ever since Nick and I won the challenge months ago when the show was [taping]. We never for a second talked about keeping it. Him and I talked about it many times right up until the day before the finale. So at that time, it was a little bit more, you know, you kind of have to make everybody wonder.
When I gave my speech, I kind of made it seem like, "Oh, maybe I will say 'keep,'" and even when he gave his, I kind of thought he was just doing the same thing and we were both just kind of trying to build up a little bit of anticipation. But in the end, I still thought we were both going to stay true to our word.
Reality TV World: When I talked to Nick, he said he pretty much decided to keep the money going into the finale. Does that surprise you?
Rachel Truehart: Yeah, it does surprise me. I just think that's a little bit of a cop-out for him to say that those last two episodes really changed his mind that much. I mean, there are plenty of things -- not so nice things that he said about me as well. He didn't want to be partnered with me.
He called me a widow I think, so he didn't exactly have the best things to say about partnering with me either. So, I just think it's funny that he's judging me so much about saying I didn't want to partner with him when it was just a little bit hypocritical because he clearly did not want to be my partner either.
Reality TV World: When you chased him down at the end of the finale, you clearly put a lot of stock into how you two had vowed to each other to split the money. But did you ever wonder whether he was just lying to you like everyone had been lying to each other throughout the whole game? Was there a part of you that was thinking, "Maybe he's just telling me that because he has to tell me he's going to split the money to either get half or all of it in the end?"
Rachel Truehart: I really didn't. I thought that him and I had become good friends. Obviously, we got off to a very rocky start, but by the end of that challenge, we were just so in sync with each other. We were really trusting each other. I mean, I even trusted him enough to not take my best friend into the finale with me, and instead, trusted that he was right and we did need to take Chris and Sarah.
And that was hard for me to do, but he was my partner and I realized that he was 50% percent of it, and I was in no way telling him, "I get to make the decision because I got you here." So I just kind of expected him to show me the same respect in the finale.
Reality TV World: Although you and Michael clearly exchanged some emotional words with each other during last night's show, in the end, he stuck up for you and said Nick was basically ignoring the fact a girl was heartbroken and crying on the stage. He said he hoped you'd walk away with the money, so what was your reaction to that? Were you kind of thinking, "Oh shut up Michael," because you were pissed off at him or did it make your heart melt a little that he had your back?
Rachel Truehart: Yeah, you know, that was actually really nice to hear that he did kind of still have my back a little bit. Michael and I have talked a number of times since, and if I wanted to talk to him today, he would talk to me -- unlike Nick, who won't give me the time of day.
So I think that's the difference of like, I think Michael is sorry, and I know he is sorry for leading me on and what not. But he wants me to be happy and he knows that I did deserve the money just as much as Nick did. And so, it felt good to know that he had my back.
And even after the show, I talked to him a couple of times and he wanted to talk to Nick and say his piece to him about how upset he was for me. But at that point, it just kind of seemed like a lost cause. But yeah, you know, I appreciate him trying to stick up for me. It is what it is, I guess.
Above is the first half of our exclusive interview with Rachel. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion.