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HOME > The Bachelorette > The Bachelorette 9

'The Bachelorette' bachelor Michael Garofola: I really thought Desiree Hartsock was into me


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/11/2013 

The Bachelorette star Desiree Hartsock eliminated Michael Garofola during Monday night's broadcast the ABC reality dating series' ninth season.

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Michael, a 33-year-old federal prosecutor from Miami Beach, FL, was ousted traditionally during the seventh episode's Rose Ceremony right before he would've received a hometown date. He was sent packing right after he had finally embarked on his first one-on-one date of the season with Des.

During a Thursday conference call with reporters, Michael talked to Reality TV World about his The Bachelorette experience and emotional exit. Below is what he had to say. Check back with us on Friday for more.

Reality TV World: Chris Harrison wrote in his blog this week that you were put behind the eight ball going into your one-on-one date with Des because she already had two incredible dates with Brooks Forester and Chris Siegfried, solidifying how strong her feelings already were for them. Do you think had you gotten your date before the other guys things might've turned out differently? It almost seemed like Des was stuck comparing what she was developing with you to two relationships that had very much been established. 

Michael Garofola: Yeah, that's an interesting point. I think [Chris Harrison] obviously is the guru here and he has a lot more insight into those types of things than I would have in my position, so I would trust what Chris says. As far as whether I agree or not, I don't think it really mattered at that point, to be honest, the order the dates were in once we were in Madeira.

[Chris Siegfried] and Brooks were ahead as far as I could tell just from watching. They were far ahead of the pack at that point. So I don't think having my date first that week would've made much of a difference.

In fact, if my date were first that week, then one could argue that I would've been an after-thought once she went out with Chris on that boat and then Brooks in the clouds, and so much time would've passed until the Rose Ceremony that maybe -- although Des and I did have an incredible date and had a great time together -- that it might not have been enough for her to even remember how great of a time we had by the time the Rose Ceremony came around.

Reality TV World: Chris Harrison also said you could see in Desiree's body language and hear it in her voice that she wasn't really falling for you -- that something was off I guess. When you were on that one-on-one date with her, did you get that vibe? Could you sense she was a little standoffish or maybe not affectionate as she might be with a guy whom she's really invested in?

Michael Garofola: No, you know, I didn't actually. I think that unfortunately part of a television show is that not everything makes it into the final cut. And I think there was a lot more of back and forth conversation between myself and Desiree that obviously by watching the show, it looks like I'm just talking to her and she's just kind of like "yes-ing" or whatever, but she also shared some things.

And I think at the time, I felt that she was touched by what I was sharing with her and that I was sharing with her what my feelings were and that because of her, I was feeling hopeful again about falling in love now. My feelings of hope about falling in love eventually turns out were nothing compared to guys telling her that they in fact loved her or were on the verge or prefaces of doing that.

So I just think, look, I think my relationship had just not progressed as far along as it had with the other guys whether or not that's because I didn't have my first one-on-one until Portugal or what -- or just because of the chemistry she felt with the other guys, I'm not really sure.

But I didn't think that she wasn't into me, but now that I see the way she is with Brooks and Chris for example, I can tell that she was not as into me as she was those two other guys. (Laughs) And so that is why... I can't really blame her for the decision she made in deciding to send me home.

Reality TV World: James Case has obviously been a very controversial figure this season. What was your take on James this season while you were in the house and has your opinion of him changed since you've been able to watch the episodes unfold on TV?

Michael Garofola: Yeah, I'll say this, James was one of my good friends when this started in LA back in the mansion. James and I shared a room. I was in a room with James and [Mikey Tenerelli] and a few others. And James and I hit it off. I will say that -- let me put it this way, different people handle stress differently.

I think one way I personally handle stress is I joke a lot. Sometimes they're bad jokes, but you know, there's some of us -- a contingent in the house of people that maybe joked too much, and I think that some other people get cranky and a little bit irritable in stressful situations and feeling the pressure of it all.

So maybe the people who joke didn't exactly, you know, they were starting to annoy people who didn't. (Laughs) So I think that there was that sort of thing starting to happen, and I think -- I look at the situation with James as two roommates who start to eventually get on each other's nerves and then something happens and then things explode. That's sort of how I look at it.

I mean, there were other -- I'll say there were things that led up to that. I will say the whole thing wasn't completely out of the blue or random, but looking back, that was really [Kasey Stewart] and [Drew Kenney]'s battle to fight.

And I was sort of there in a support role for those two guys because I trusted them. I trusted what they heard at the time, and it's true that I wasn't there, so I don't know if James actually said those things.

But you know, James in his explanation -- or whatever you want to call it -- or his response I guess and argument, he sort of admits that he said those things and then sort of tries to justify it as being the reality, "Someone is going to become the next Bachelor," or whatever he said.

But I'm not really sure and I'm not clear, and I guess that'll be for James to handle as to whether or not his position was that he said those things -- and then he's trying to explain why or that he was misheard or misunderstood.

But you know, looking back, I'll say that I felt that that was something that needed to be confronted, that James was being very sort of one way in front of Des and in front of the cameras -- that he was so in love and had such a strong connection with her -- and then being another way when the cameras are off and he's in the back of a bus in Munich.

That's something that needs to be brought to the forefront, I think, at the time. Because that's not fair to the other guys. That's not fair to Desiree, who was establishing a connection with James. But at the same time, you know, I probably got a little too involved in that situation. It was really Kasey and Drew's battle.

Reality TV World: Would you mind sharing your thoughts on each of the remaining guys -- Zak Waddell, Drew, Brooks, and Chris? What is your general opinion on the great qualities they have that could potentially be great for Des?

Michael Garofola: Okay, sure, yeah! Let's start with Zak. Zak, it's funny. Zak is a guy that we all wanted to hate on Night 1 because he didn't have a shirt on. I mean, the guy comes in without a shirt on to the cocktail party and yet you spend five minutes with the guy and you're like -- it was almost like he forgot to wear a shirt and someone just forgot to tell him, "Hey buddy, you forgot your shirt," because he was not acting like a dude that would show up to a cocktail party without a shirt on.

So that was No.1, that I knew there was more to him than some sort of meat-head guy showing up without a shirt. And then from there, I really got to know him. He's a Renaissance man. He draws, he sings, he writes poetry, he writes music, he was into sports.

He's just an all-around good guy and has a good heart and also supported me, I guess you could say, and supported all the rest of the guys who had issues with [Ben Scott] and James at times in the house. Zak was very outspoken about that as well and had a very strong moral compass, I would say. So that's Zak.

Drew, there's a lot more to Drew than meets the eye. I'm hoping that more of that will come out in future episodes. Drew has a great sense of humor actually. He's very funny, a very funny guy. I think a lot of it was a lot of movie quotes that are not going to make it into the show. We were constantly throwing out quotes, and Drew was always around laughing.

And more than that, his hair is obviously always perfect -- never a hair out of place. We would joke that when Drew wakes up in the morning, he looks just as perfect as he does at 8PM on his date with Des. So he just can do no wrong. And he's very deep. He has a very compelling back-story and family life and he's a man of faith. He's a great guy and a great friend.

I'd say I was closest with Chris and Brooks in the house. I mean, those were the guys that I formed the strongest friendships with. Chris, I had no idea that he was doing these poems all the time, but he's obviously a very talented poet -- a great athlete, that came out as well when he was throwing these dodgeballs at 92 mph for the Blue Team.

I was glad to have him on my team. Also, he's an incredible soccer player out of nowhere. He's just an all-around great athlete, good guy, very goofy -- a very goofy, unassuming sense of humor -- and he had a very funny laugh that was contagious in the house. He would always sort of say these off-the-wall comments. He was very funny and kept all of us laughing. He's just an all-around good guy.

And Brooks, Brooks was probably my best friend in the show and will be a best friend going forward in my life. Brooks, there's just so much -- first of all, I mean, he's extremely witty. We share the same sense of humor. We were the guys who were sort of completing each other's sentences. I feel like he's a friend I've known for a long time.

There's also a lot of depth to him. He's very deep and very sort of insightful and thoughtful about what matters most in life. I'm happy to have met guys like these essentially in the house.

Above is what Michael had to say to Reality TV World about his The Bachelorette experience and emotional exit during a Thursday conference call with reporters. Check back with us on Friday for more.

(Photo credit ABC)


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