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HOME > The Bachelor > The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love

Jake Pavelka: Jillian and Ed the "deciding factor" in 'Bachelor' decision

By Christopher Rocchio, 12/17/2009 

Jake Pavelka claims that The Bachelorette fifth-season star Jillian Harris and her selected suitor Ed Swiderski played a pivotal role in his decision to star in The Bachelor's fourteenth season.

"The one deciding factor was how well Jill and Ed were matched up. Casting and producers knew Ed really well, they knew he loved Jillian with a mad passion. I saw that when she would interact with producers," Pavelka told reporters during a Wednesday conference call.

"The way it feels when you're going through this journey, it's like your best friend who knows you setting you up with the perfect girl -- in this case it happens to be 25. You know how a lot of times in life those types of relationships, your best friend knows you but also knows this girl over here, and he or she makes the match and it winds up working? That's the way it felt to me and that's exactly what I saw on her season. That was the determining factor."

The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love will premiere Monday, January 4 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC and follow the 31-year-old commercial pilot from Dallas, TX as he whittles down a group of 25 bachelorettes with the goal of finding love.

"I didn't do this to make a television show," Pavelka told reporters. "I felt like when I came out of The Bachelorette that I had a lot of friends that really cared and asked me, 'Would you like us to see if we can get you set up? Coincidentally, we're going to film a show about the whole process.' I went in just to fall in love."

While Pavelka added he "didn't promise a ring at the end of this," he said he is at a point in his life where he could see himself getting married.

"I'm at an emotionally really good place in my life," he said.

Pavelka described the 25 women competing for his heart as "absolutely amazing" and of a "very high caliber" before revealing some of the qualities he was looking for.

"The qualities that are important to me, I was looking for someone that is adventurous and intelligent, athletic, compassionate, romantic -- something I see that is lacking in relationships these days is romance," he explained. "For me, when you bundle all that together, that's kind of what makes a heart of gold."

While viewers who saw Pavelka on The Bachelorette know that spirituality and religion are important to him, he told reporters it doesn't impact his chivalrous nature.

"I don't necessarily know that my spirituality or religion dictates opening car doors and protecting 25 women that I'm dating," he said before adding that his respect for women is often confused for perfection, which is how he was painted on The Bachelorette.

"I think what's confused as being perfect is just common respect for women -- that's been my platform in life -- chivalry, respect, perfection for women you care about. The way I was raised, that's what I believe women deserve."

During the premiere, Pavelka receives some help in handing out his first-impression rose and deciding the first 10 bachelorettes to cut from Harris and Swiderski.

"It's the first time I had seen them," explained Pavelka.

"Getting to see Jill and Ed together, they compliment each other -- it's unbelievable. It was really a testimony to me to see such a successful relationship, because they had some pretty hard little mountains that they needed to climb getting everything started. It was really good to have them around at the party."

Pavelka said his feelings about ABC's reality dating franchise were formulated when he appeared as one of Harris' suitors earlier this year on The Bachelorette.

"I formulated my opinions about the entire show when I went through with Jillian. I saw the way the producers worked with her, I saw the way they cast for her temperament and love language -- and it worked. Jill and Ed are such an incredibly perfect match, there so perfect for each other it's almost like a shot in the dark," said Pavelka before describing how he approached his own The Bachelor stint.

"I went into it on Cloud 9 and basically came out the same way. I guess my opinion of it hasn't changed at all. I feel like through the process, I was never asked to say anything -- I was told to be myself the whole way through."

In addition, Pavelka said he thinks he did a pretty good job just being himself.

"When I get down on my knees and pray, I'm not asking forgiveness because I did this on the show or I did this on the show," he said. "Some people may disagree with some of the decisions that I make. But in the end, I felt like I was myself and that's all I wanted to do."

Pavelka said it was easy for him to be himself because he doesn't "have anything to hide."

"I don't have a girlfriend. Coincidentally I'm not married and don't have any mistresses -- pardon me Tiger Woods," he said.

"I mean everybody's got skeletons in their closet, it's just impossible to live life in the 21st Century and not have some sort of skeleton in your closet. But if I could think of anything that I thought would shock everybody, I would get it out there right now and fess up and be honest. But I can't think of anything to say."

Pavelka memorably tried to unleash the alleged skeletons of fellow suitor Wes Hayden during The Bachelorette's fifth season.

Pavelka was rejected by Harris right before the hometown dates, however he returned to the show in an attempt warn her about fellow Hayden, claiming he had a girlfriend back home.  Hayden subsequently denied the accusations when confronted by Harris and Pavelka, and he reiterated his denial following his ouster.

"I have not seen or spoken with him," Pavelka told reporters when asked about Hayden.

"I wish the guy well. I don't know that we'll ever be best of friends. But he's a talented artist and I hope he does well. But other than maybe just coincidentally bumping into him somewhere, we're probably not going to do a lot of hanging out."

Since Pavelka accused Hayden off being on The Bachelorette for the wrong reason -- to promote his career as a musician -- he was asked if he felt any of his bachelorettes were there for the wrong reasons.

"I thought about that a little bit before we started," he answered. "When we actually began production and I got to meet the women, I didn't actually think about that again... It absolutely was not a concern of mine."

Hayden isn't the only former The Bachelorette suitor Pavelka has lost touch with.

"I haven't had any contact with any of the men from The Bachelorette in a pretty good little while," he told reporters.

"I think those guys were in some ways too worried about how they were going to look on TV or their image or this man code thing, and it got in the way of them actually being able to put themselves out there and fall in love, or allow the fall to take place."

Pavelka told reporters that when he was approached about starring in The Bachelor, he did a "back flip" on his front lawn.

"I was so excited," he told Reality TV World during the conference call. "I was just really flattered and humbled to be considered, and then to have it actually happen. I actually still can't believe that all of this happened."

In addition, Pavelka said serving as the show's star gave him insight into how Harris felt when he was one of her suitors.

"It's hard to make eye contact with people because you know what the goal is: to find love. Any type of rejection -- whether they show it or not, guy or girl -- it hurts people's feelings and it wears at you," he explained.

"So I definitely have a new respect for what Jillian and Jason Mesnick and past bachelors and bachelorettes have gone through. You can't really tell someone what that feels like to stand there and -- I don't want to say judge somebody -- but I've been on both sides and it feels like that."

While Pavelka declined to reveal details about how his The Bachelor season turns out, he thinks fans of the show will be pleased.

"I think it's going to be really entertaining," he said. "There's some stuff that happens... Wow."

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