Former 'The Bachelor' star Jake Pavelka talks about 'Bachelor Pad'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/04/2011
Former The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love star Jake Pavelka will be one of 18 former The Bachelor and The Bachelorette contestants competing on the second season of Bachelor Pad, which premieres Monday at 8PM ET/PT for a special three-hour episode.
Pavelka will be returning to the site of his infamous post-breakup face-off with former Bachelor fiancee Vienna Girardi, and will be reuniting with her on-air for the first time since they were seen together engrossed in a heated exchange on television.
During a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Pavelka talked to Reality TV World about his Bachelor Pad experience -- including whether an attempt to get closure with Vienna was his only reason for participating in Bachelor Pad, how he intended to break the ice when he first saw Vienna upon his arrival at the house, who he believed was his biggest Bachelor Pad competition was, and whether he'd ever consider giving Bachelor Pad another shot in the future.
Reality TV World: Was Vienna's participation the only reason you decided to appear on Bachelor Pad or were there other reasons as well?
Jake Pavelka: No, it wasn't the only reason, but I mean, taking a poke at that $250,000 -- that's a motivating factor. But the main reason was Vienna. If I do end up winning the $250,000, I'm going to be able to change lives with it. I'm going to give every bit of the money away to charity. I'm not going to keep a cent of it.
Reality TV World: How did you plan to react to Vienna and the awkward situation upon arriving at the house? How did you hope to break the ice, leading into that conversation you hoped to have with her?
Jake Pavelka: I mean there was a big moment -- there was an organic moment that kind of made it natural to get back into it and see, and we just kind of let the cards fall the way they fell. All we needed to do was just kind of finish up that conversation that happened that night in what was it? July of last year.
Reality TV World: Who did you consider to be your biggest threat or biggest competition and why?
Jake Pavelka: My biggest competition on there, by far, [Michael Stagliano]. It's all about challenges, mental games. Mike is smart, he's an athlete, and he's the one that I was the most worried about during competition.
Reality TV World: Were there any contestants you were shocked to see or surprised were competing and also, was there anyone you were excited about being on the show and could see yourself forming a connection with?
Jake Pavelka: No, (laughs) not at all. It's Bachelor Pad. I know it kind of sounds like an oxymoron, but the same guy, Mike Stagliano. We were on [Jillian Harris]'s season of The Bachelorette. We got to be real good friends there and then kept in touch.
Jake Pavelka: I think people are fools when they say never, but you know what? That's not in my plan. I don't think so. That's a tough show.
Reality TV World: Any particulars on why?
Jake Pavelka: Yeah, there's a bunch. It's a tough way to meet somebody because there's $250,000 on the line, but on the flip side, what you have to do in order to win that $250,000 is a lot of manipulation. It's a lot of backstabbing.
You kind of have to work your way through problems and strategize, and sometimes it ends up that you hurt other people, and that just doesn't feel good to me. That's not who I am, and so when you get down to it, there's no amount of money -- especially that $250,000 -- it's just not enough money.
Also in the call, Jake told reporters whether he knew Vienna was going to be appearing on Bachelor Pad before he signed up for the show, what went through his mind when he first saw her, what he planned on doing with the $250,000 prize money if he won, whether he was open to finding love again, and who he thinks should be the next star of The Bachelor.
Jake Pavelka: I knew that she was going to be on it. Absolutely. I think she started Twittering about being on Bachelor Pad in February.
How did you feel about doing the show with Vienna on it? Did it influence your decision to go on the show?
Jake Pavelka: It was a big motivator. The point of me going on was because she was on.
Jake Pavelka: We started a conversation about a year ago that we didn't get to finish. I've reached out to her several times throughout the year, but she wouldn't take my calls, she wouldn't see me, she wouldn't talk about it. And so this was my opportunity to get back in front of her and finish that conversation to get closure for myself, offer her closure, and definitely finish that conversation for America.
What was going through your mind when you saw Vienna again for the first time?
Jake Pavelka: You know what? I wanted to see what her reaction was. I was kind of thinking that she would be surprised. I don't think she was though.
Did you have a strategy going into Bachelor Pad to try to win the prize money?
Jake Pavelka: My goal, well first off, it's no secret. I didn't go there to win $250,000. I went there to have a conversation with her, but I also feel like a badass. They haven't determined the winner yet, but if it does fall in that direction, every penny of that $250,000 is going to go to disaster relief.
Is there anything about you viewers might see this time around that they haven't seen from you in the past on TV?
Jake Pavelka: Well, I don't know -- probably my competitive side. I don't know if I came across as being real competitive on The Bachelor -- maybe a little bit on Dancing with the Stars, but I am a born competitor.
Did anyone in the competition stand out because of their strategic gameplay?
Jake Pavelka: You know what? There was one other guy that I thought was a really good competitor and that's Mike Stagliano, but I knew that coming into it. That kid's an athlete. I shouldn't say kid, I mean, he's my age. That guy's an athlete.
Are you worried about how the media and viewers will perceive the conversation you had with Vienna, especially because that was the main reason you went on the show?
Jake Pavelka: No, not at all. It was a way for me to get closure for my life so that I can move on to another relationship. Put that -- you know, The Bachelor, the breakup special and everything -- to bed. But don't get me wrong, I competed and I competed to win, but $250,000 for some of the things you have to do to other people on there -- manipulation, backstabbing -- $250,000 wasn't enough.
Were you open to finding love?
Jake Pavelka: Absolutely, yeah. I was absolutely open to it.
Was there anyone in particular you had your eye on?
Jake Pavelka: No. Other than Vienna, I had no idea who was going to be on there until I walked in the front door.
How has your acting career been going?
Jake Pavelka: Acting is fun. It's a good thing... I am going to auditions.
You said you wanted to have a conversation with Vienna and that's why you went on the show, but do you think she wanted to have that conversation as well?
Jake Pavelka: Um, I can't speak for Vienna. Obviously we did talk several times. I don't know if the goal was achieved, but I can't speak for her.
What was it like seeing some of the girls again who were on your The Bachelor season?
Jake Pavelka: (Laughs) Oh, yeah I had a crush on a couple of the girls. I did. I think your talking about Gia and [Ella Nolan]. I love Gia. She is such a great friend. Gia and I are close to best friends, and there's a pretty dynamic relationship because she has a boyfriend. There's a pretty dynamic friendship on the show and I think that'll be interesting to watch.
When did you start becoming very good friends with Gia?
Jake Pavelka: We've been friends ever since The Bachelor ended, and Ella, it was really great to see her because we needed to have a conversation as well.
You were clearly friends with Gia going intoBachelor Pad, but did you have anyone else you were close with?
Jake Pavelka: Um, I don't really know. I mean, I think you can see a trend in the show from the opening clips that when I walk in the door, it's very cold -- very, very cold.
Were you expecting people to be cold to you when you got there?
Jake Pavelka: Yes. I'm not going to lie. The entire experience was just really tough. It was really tough.
Was it weird for you that Vienna had her new boyfriend Kasey Kahl on the show with her?
So I guess it's safe to assume you and Kasey got along fine?
Jake Pavelka: You know, I think probably had Kasey and I met under different circumstances, we'd be really good friends. At least on my part, there's no animosity.
I think unfortunately, Vienna filled Kasey's head with some things that aren't true, and he's basing his -- when he met me, what he kind of had in mind was a lot of the things that Vienna had told him about me that were unfortunately not true -- or fortunately not true -- how about that?
Were you happy with the closure you got from Vienna while on Bachelor Pad?
Did the conversation you had with Vienna work exactly as planned or did it go differently?
Jake Pavelka: For me, it went how I planned it. I don't know what America is going to expect and I don't know what Vienna will expect, but I'll tell you, the greatest thing about Bachelor Pad is -- when people are on The Bachelor, it gives them the opportunity to put their best foot forward, especially when you're around The Bachelor or The Bachelorette -- that one person who you're vying for an opinion.
Then some layers fall off during the airing of it. That's when Vienna and I kind of went wrong. I saw a completely different person watching The Bachelor with her and now on Bachelor Pad, it is true colors. No best foot forward anymore. Everybody is really themselves.
Who do you think the next Bachelor will be?
Jake Pavelka: I think [Ryan Park]. They've got a couple of good choices. The guys that seem to have really successful seasons on The Bachelor are the guys that are vulnerable and will talk about their feelings. They've been raised in a way where they're comfortable with women kind of opening themselves up a little bit.
That allows America to follow how the guy is feeling. I think probably the guy who has his heart in the right place and is ready to fall in love and can be in a fruitful relationship is probably Ryan. So, I hope it's Ryan.
The previews showed you saying something like, "No one in that room likes me" upon your arrival. Do you think people were already siding with Vienna at that point and why do you think that?
Jake Pavelka: Vienna knew she was going to be on The Bachelor if you go back to her tweets since February. She hangs out -- a lot of those people are her friends.
They hang out on those cruise ship rendezvous and stuff like that, and so she's had a year or two to fill people's heads with whatever she ends up saying. So people had a lot of preconceived notions that I was a monster, or whatever she said in the tabloids. So, that's kind of what I was up against.
Do you think it's possible you and Vienna could ever be cordial to each other?
Jake Pavelka: Absolutely. Absolutely. I'm there and I'm ready. I'm taking my step and now she needs to take her step, and that just might happen on the show.
You're on Famous Food right now. Do you plan on doing anymore television in the future?
What was your reaction to all the tension in the house when you began Bachelor Pad?
Jake Pavelka: I got out of that limo knowing that that's how it was going to be. So, I kind of mentally prepared for a cold welcome, but I knew that if I was just myself -- I didn't have to tell anybody anything. I wanted to show them that I could possibly turn it around.
Would you ever consider starring on The Bachelor again?
Jake Pavelka: I don't know -- never say never. I don't know about that. They have not asked, but if they did, I would say not right this minute.
Vienna recently had a nose job. Any comments on her surgery?
Jake Pavelka: I knew that she had gotten some surgery done, but I haven't seen any pictures. She looked fine before.
So, you don't think she needed it?
Jake Pavelka: I didn't say that. But, whatever makes her happy.