Ousted 'Bachelorette' suitor Richard Mathy dishes on lack of chemistry
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/06/2008
Even if he was given another chance, Richard Mathy said he's unsure if he'd be able to spark a romantic connection with The Bachelorette fourth-season star DeAnna Pappas.
"You can't really describe how to come up with romantic chemistry. You pretty much go out there, you show her who you are, she shows you who she is, and if it clicks it clicks. If it doesn't it doesn't. That's the idea of the show," Mathy told Reality TV World during a Thursday conference call. "I always said I wasn't going to be upset if I got dismissed from the show because it's DeAnna's show, and she's definitely making the right decisions for her."
The 27-year-old science teacher from Binghamton, NY was one of three Pappas suitors who failed to receive a rose during Monday night's episode -- and it was difficult to stomach since it occurred on a do-or-die one-on-one date.
"Monday was kind of like watching a really bad horror flick. You knew that the guy should not go in the basement and he just goes in the basement anyway and he still acts surprised when he gets killed," Mathy told Reality TV World.
Despite having a hard time watching his rejection, Mathy said in hindsight he was able to realize that the romantic chemistry he thought he had with Pappas wasn't there.
"I was watching from a perspective that wasn't right next to her," he explained to Reality TV World. "You see, 'Well, there wasn't that much of a connection there on both our parts.' Those are things you can pick-up and see when you're in the third person."
While he knew the importance of receiving a rose on the one-on-one date or else his The Bachelorette journey would come to an abrupt end, Mathy said he "didn't really want to focus on the rose."
"I didn't want it to be about DeAnna and I and the rose because to me that kind of made it more like a competition," he told Reality TV World. "I really wanted the evening to be more about just seeing what worked with her and what didn't work with her. I mentioned to her that I really didn't want to talk about the rose at all because this isn't supposed to be a competition, we're supposed to be seeing if there's any feelings here for each other. So I tried not to focus on that. I just tried to focus on DeAnna."
Mathy also wanted to test the romantic waters with Pappas by going in for a kiss, however he was never able to bring himself to do it.
"At the moment where I kind of brushed her hair back, I was trying to see if there was any physical connection," he told reporters during the conference call. "There really wasn't anything that I thought was there. So at that moment I said, 'I might be on a sinking ship.' Then another part of me said, 'Maybe it's just going so well I don't want to push things.'"
In addition, Mathy said he also went into the competition with some slight concerns about how he'd be portrayed since he is a high school teacher.
"I did have some worries about how things would go on. I do actually have a morality clause in my contract at the school. The more I got going with the show, the less I thought about it," he said. "I knew if I just stayed true to myself, I really wouldn't have to worry about it too much."
Mathy said he ended up on The Bachelorette when somebody nominated him and he got a call from casting asking for him to submit a video.
"I said, 'What the heck. I'll waste four bucks on a VHS tape.' I sent one in figuring it wasn't really going to go any farther than that," he told Reality TV World. "But I kept going onto the next stage I guess you could say, and I ended up on the show."
Going into the show, Mathy admitted he didn't know much about Pappas -- but added that it was by choice.
"I didn't want to know too much about her," he told Reality TV World. "So I did some minimal [online research], and it said she's an avid camper with her friends. So I said, 'Okay. That's my one thing that I'll know about her going out there.'"
Mathy added he was also aware of Pappas' "tragic" past -- however he was referring to the death of her mom when she was only 12-years-old, which certainly puts being rejected twice by The Bachelor eleventh-season star Brad Womack into perspective.
"She's obviously a very beautiful person who unfortunately has a tragic story from early childhood," Mathy told Reality TV World. "That just makes her such a strong and independent person. That's really one of her most attractive features -- how strong she is."
Once he was cast for the show, Mathy said he "cleared" his participation with the superintendent and took an unpaid leave of absence so a certified science teacher could be brought into cover for him. Even after he returned to school once filming was complete, Mathy said he didn't let his students know where he had gone.
"I definitely kept it secret for a while. I was kind of nervous myself about how they would take it," he said. "I found out they knew one day when a kid came back from New York City and had a picture of a billboard. I was kind of like, 'Oh... This is going to be really hard to lie about.' Luckily two days later they announced [the cast]."
Mathy added the grief he received for his participation in The Bachelorette was not as much as he expected.
"The kids were actually really great... They all supported me. Even the day after I was dismissed, they were really great about it," he said. "I did let them know that hanging out in the house is very similar to teaching 25 freshmen."
After fretting that he'd trip exiting the limousine on the first night of The Bachelorette's fourth season, Mathy was able to stay upright and even nabbed one of Pappas' three first-impression roses. He told Reality TV World he was "absolutely" surprised to receive the rose.
"If you go back and watch the first episode, you can actually see me trying to get out of her way so she can go give that rose to somebody else," he added with a laugh. "So when she asked me if I would take it, I was kind of like, 'Really? Okay.' It was definitely a shock to me. I really didn't think I came across that well during my one-on-one time with her that first night. I guess I surprised myself with that."
Mathy subsequently got to stay in Pappas' mansion for the first few days of the competition instead of in the suitor-described "outhouse" the other bachelors had to call home.
"I've got to root for my two fellow first-week villa guys -- Jeremy and Jesse," he said. "We got to bond right away by moving into [DeAnna's mansion] that first week."
Mathy described Jeremy as a "great guy," a comment that should surprise viewers since he's been rubbing the majority of the other suitors the wrong way.
"I think what happened with Jeremy is the fact that we moved into [DeAnna's house] right away -- me, Jesse and Jeremy got to bond and the guys down in the outhouse got to bond," explained Mathy to Reality TV World.
"Because of that disconnect, Jeremy wanted to bond with the other guys and wanted to be okay with the other guys. So he kind of wanted to break it with him -- as guys often do with each other -- and they didn't see it as bonding. They just saw it as him taunting. I think the rift just got larger and larger for him from there. Then for him to get the rose the second week too and for him to continue living in [DeAnna's house], he really didn't get any chance whatsoever to explain to the guys, 'I'm just kind of joking around.'"
Mathy went as far as to call Jeremy "absolutely one of the most sincere guys that I've met in a while."
"To know Jeremy the way I met him, he's absolutely a sincere, down-to-earth guy," he said. "I think the world of the guy. He's a great guy."
As for what's next, Mathy said he's currently preparing his students for their final exams and also has his sights set on getting back into the dating pool.
"I'm not currently dating anybody, but I hear Carrie Underwood's single," he told Reality TV World. "If anybody knows her number and wants to send it my way, that's cool."