Ousted 'Bachelorette' suitor Ryan Hoag dishes on his experience
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/30/2008
Ryan Hoag will most likely be remembered by viewers for being The Bachelorette's fourth-season virgin, however that's something that DeAnna Pappas didn't know while he was still in the competition for her heart.
"To be honest, the limited amount of time and interaction I had with DeAnna, that particular comment never came up. So I can't say that affected [her decision to not give me a rose]," Hoag told reporters during a Thursday conference call.
"Now looking at the show and knowing her a little more and seeing how she did respond to the fact that I didn't drink and the fact that I didn't swear, it may have been a factor. I don't know many girls that would necessarily frown on a person being a virgin. So I can't speak for DeAnna in that sense."
Hoag said Pappas might have "inferred or deduced" he was a virgin, and he had every intention of organically telling her had he remained longer.
"I wanted to make it as realistic as possible. I can't say I've ever gone on a first date and said, 'Hey, I'm Ryan Hoag. I'm a virgin,'" he told Reality TV World during the conference call. "Although it's something that's important to me, I don't think it's necessary to bring that out in the first or second conversation I have with somebody. Once it manifests itself as per the relationship, that's when it usually comes out. [DeAnna and I] never had enough time together in order for it to get to that point."
While Pappas was never aware of Hoag's virginity, several of the other fourth-season bachelors were, and he said they were "amazing" about it.
"It was one of the best conversations I've actually ever had with a group of guys about that kind of thing," he said.
Hoag explained that his virginity is just one aspect of his strong faith.
"I think I set myself apart from the guys first and foremost because of my faith and religious convictions," he said. "There were other guys on the show that were believers, but I think I wear my heart on my sleeve and was the most open with my faith and the fact that it came first in my important relationships. I wasn't afraid to admit that and make that evident from Day 1."
Still, Hoag said he "wasn't sure" where Pappas stood on the issue of faith prior to going on the show.
"I was aware that she held a number of the same values as I did, but she never talked about her religious convictions I guess," he said. "I was looking forward to getting into that, but we didn't necessarily have that talk."
Hoag said his faith and convictions first came out when he was on a group date with Pappas and six other suitors during Monday night's episode and he was the only one not drinking alcohol.
"She's like, 'You're so good and I'm so bad.' So I kind of knew from then on," he explained. "Anybody that has that mentality when things like that come out, that red flag comes up."
The group date also saw Hoag question fellow suitor Twilley's sincerity after he told a long-winded fairy-tale type story.
"At that point I felt it was appropriate to bring out the fact that, 'Hey, there are a number of guys here who are here for the right reasons. I don't know if you are Twilley. I really question that especially after seeing you do things like this and always having to be the center of attention,'" Hoag told Reality TV World. "Plus I was a little curious because he had mentioned he had been an actor in the past. I didn't know where he was going with that... 'Are you really here for the right reasons? If not, save us the headache and admit it.'"
Hoag said following the group date he and Twilley "had some good conversations" and "ended up patching things up."
"He'll attest to this, he's the type of person that if there's a conversation going on and he's not a part of it, he'll make himself a part of that conversation. He kind of has to be the center of attention," Hoag told Reality TV World. "I still question whether or not he truly had the mind set of going in there, meeting somebody and ending up getting married. We'll leave it at that."
Hoag also exchanged words during Monday night's episode with Jeremy -- a suitor who received one of Pappas' first-impression rose boutonnieres and also claimed one of Monday's coveted group date roses.
"There were resounding concerns regarding Jeremy. I know speaking personally, the thing I had a problem with was that DeAnna kept seemingly giving him alone time and roses," explained Hoag. "Yet her and I had a conversation where I was saying, 'I'm not here to win your heart. I'm here to see if there's a mutual connection.' I wanted her to know that there were 25 guys here but not necessarily every guy's ready to marry [DeAnna] right now."
In addition, Hoag said he tried to be himself and "not put on a front," and was unsure if Jeremy did the same.
"Jeremy was trying maybe a little too hard," continued Hoag. "There's a fine line between being a gentleman and racing to the front of the line to try to make her realize that he's doing this and that for her. That was the biggest problem I had, but she obviously was eating it up. I saw right through it personally, and that's why I called him out on it."
Among the various grievances Hoag said Jeremy was responsible for were welcoming other guys to his house; claiming he took a dive in the push-up contest; constantly carrying Pappas' purse; and instructing the guys to be quiet so he could make an announcement when a date box arrived.
"I felt degraded, like he was talking down to me," said Hoag. "The character you're showing me right now isn't the same character you're showing DeAnna. I'm wondering why there's that inconsistency."
At one point during Monday night's episode it looked like Hoag and Jeremy's disagreement would come to physical blows, however Hoag said that's not the type of guy he is.
"It may appear I'm a confrontationalist as was shown on TV, but I'm really not the type to fight," he explained. "I will speak my mind and at the end of the day I'm confident if somebody were to be aggressive with me, but I don't feel it would have ever gotten to that point. I'm not there to create a Jerry Springer-type atmosphere. I'm there to have fun, live a once-in-a-lifetime-type experience and meet a pretty cool girl at the same time."
Despite his own problems with Jeremy, Hoag realized Pappas is apparently smitten with him.
"She definitely seems to have a good connection with Jeremy," he told reporters before naming some of the other remaining bachelors Pappas has a connection with.
"I think in terms of from the moment I met Jason, he was just an incredibly engaging person and just there for the right reasons. He's just one of the nicest people you could meet. I think Graham is up there. I'd like to see if he's whole-heartedly in it to win DeAnna's heart or not. The two other guys absolutely there for the right reasons and I think will go far are Brian and Fred -- who haven't gotten a lot of face time -- but are incredible guys and would fit very well with DeAnna."
While Jason may be one of Hoag's front runners -- he has a hurdle to clear, as he still hasn't told Pappas that he's a single father of a 3-year-old boy.
"I support how Jason went through that," said Hoag. "Here's a situation where you never really get more than 10 minutes of quality time unless you have an alone date. So it's kind of awkward to meet somebody and say, 'Hey my name's Jason. Oh by the way, I'm divorced and have a kid. I'm a single dad.'"
Hoag described it as "different strokes for different folks," as fellow suitor Ron came clean that he's divorced the first time he talked with Pappas. While Hoag said there might be "potentially negative connotations" with being a single dad, he thinks it's "unjustifiable."
"His son means the world to him. He's an incredible father by just the limited amount of exposure I had to him," said Hoag. "I don't foresee DeAnna really having a big problem with it because she's such a family-oriented person. All you need to do is spend a few minutes with Jason and see how his face lights up when he talks about [his son] to know this makes him who he is. Jason's probably okay with if she did have a problem with it, than that's not the girl for him anyway."
Hoag said he was cast for The Bachelorette's fourth season after a friend nominated him and he went through the interview process.
"My thought process was 10 years from now, would I regret not going on the show? I thought I might, so that was kind of the first step," he explained. "Then when I did start researching DeAnna and what she was all about, obviously she's beautiful girl, and I felt that the things she was looking for were similar to the things I was looking for... I said, 'Why not go do this, have a little fun with it and see where it goes.'"
While Hoag said he was aware there would be "some level of competition" because the show puts "a bunch of guys together and there's only one girl involved," he tried to take a different, less competitive approach.
"My thought process going into it was, 'Hey, this girl got her heart ripped out on national television by [The Bachelor eleventh-season star Brad Womack]. This is the last person we should be even thinking about trying to win her heart," he explained. "If you're not in it 100%, you need to get out because you can't put that girl through that on national TV again.'"
Hoag chalked up his approach to The Bachelorette to his "nurturing-type behavior."
"I knew that at some point if I was on the show and I wasn't 100% fired-up about it, I would have myself leave if need be," he admitted. "I don't know if I got to that position because I wasn't there long enough to make that decision. But I think DeAnna and I just didn't have that spark needed to continue."
Still, Hoag does think he should have gone farther because he felt a "connection" with her.
"You saw in the second episode, I said, 'She knows me at this point better than anybody else. If she doesn't give me a rose, then I'm not going to get one at all.' I truly felt that because I let her know where I was at," he said. "I'm not going to be heartbroken because at the end of the day, if we're not a match -- which we obviously weren't -- than we're not a match."
Hoag is currently single, and said he doesn't think participating in The Bachelorette will change his approach to dating.
"I really haven't had the opportunity to do much dating because there's certain things we can and cannot do until the show [airs]," he said. "But my mentality really hasn't changed much."
As for what's next, Hoag said he's putting his teaching degree to use before hoping to land a job in the NFL this fall.
"I have my teaching degree and right now I'm subbing at my alma mater high school until the end of the year. We have two weeks left," he said. "I'm fielding calls, and it looks like if I'm going to end up with an NFL team, it's going to be Jacksonville or Dallas or the Oakland Raiders."