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HOME > The Bachelorette > The Bachelorette 9

'The Bachelorette' bachelor Michael Garofola: I think Chris Siegfried was the best fit for Desiree Hartsock

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/15/2013 

The Bachelorette star Desiree Hartsock eliminated Michael Garofola during Monday night's broadcast the ABC reality dating series' ninth season.
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 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. To begin reading what he had to say, click here and here. Below are some additional highlights from his call.

Check back with Reality TV World soon for more.  

So you guys obviously all spent a lot of time together living in the house, and I was wondering did Chris Siegfried, Brooks Forester, Drew Kenney or Zak Waddell ever talk about their past relationships, and if so, what did they say?

Michael Garofola: The four guys left, did they ever talk about their past relationships and what did they say?  You know, I can't -- you know, I don't really know specifics off the top of my head. But certainly we talked about them.  We're all very good friends, you know?

I consider Brooks to be one of my best friends in life, not just on the show. And so, you know, he and I have had talks about our past relationships and insight into them, but I don't, you know, I can't -- I don't have any specifics really about them.

Just in general, you know, sometimes little anecdotes would come up like, "Oh, I went through that before when this happened and that happened," and we all sort of shared those stories in building our friendships.

If you had to pick one of the four guys left for Des, who would you pick and why?

Michael Garofola: Well, gosh.  I mean, if we're talking about for Desiree... Look, you know, I'm watching these episodes obviously for the first time as well. And based on the last episode, it seems to me that Chris might be the best fit for her at this time based on what I've just seen.

But I will tell you that being there and what I've witnessed and observed, there was no sort of getting around the undeniable chemistry between Des and Brooks. I mean, I just felt like she looked at him differently and acted differently around him. 

I could tell from very, very early on, I will say, that when -- that it was just a different -- a different sort of look, a different sort of voice.  It was just, I mean, you could just tell.  You could just tell that Brooks was sort of a frontrunner from the beginning and I have nothing but great things to say about Brooks. So I will just say that I guess, you know, Des has good taste.

While you were there, did it feel like, "I'm getting a one-on-one very late in the game and this is probably going to be hard for me to compete with these other people who have had one-on-ones already," or were you so wrapped up in the moment that you didn't even notice you were pretty far behind?

Michael Garofola: When I was there and going through that moment, I was devastated and I felt extremely rejected. Although I think everyone who watched the episode might think, "Well, obviously Michael's going home," I certainly did not -- I was certainly shocked and surprised because I did think my one-on-one date with her went so well.

So when Zak's name was called and not mine, I did feel like my heart exploded in my chest.  I did feel like I was shot with a harpoon in my heart.  So I was definitely shocked, I was definitely devastated. I felt rejected, you know?  You have the double-edge of feeling rejection from someone you were starting to develop strong feelings for and you also have this feeling of disappointment.

I was so looking forward to bringing her to New York to meet my family and spend -- and we were, you know, planning a day in New York City too for that purpose, and I was looking forward to that. And yes, it was bringing back feelings, a flood of emotions that I was still, I guess, that I [wasn't] able to completely put behind me that feeling of a girl you like rejecting and essentially choosing another man over you.

And in this case, Des chose four other men over me.  And so, I was certainly rejected and that was not -- those were not crocodile tears.  Those were real, you know?  I don't often, you know, I'm not the guy that often sits there and cries all the time. So that was real, that was genuine.

But now that I've seen the episodes and I've seen where I was, you know, it's clear to me that her relationships and feelings were just further along with the other guys. I had no idea how behind I was until this Monday when I watched the episode. 

As far as whether or not I had a disadvantage because my one-one-one date came so late, I think there are two sides of that coin.  I think first, I would say, it's nice to have a one-on-one sooner because then you feel like you get over that hump and you're not -- you don't feel like it's your first date anymore and you feel as though you can just build on a relationship that's already there.

And it's clear that that's what Brooks and Chris were doing and, you know, to a little bit of a lesser degree, Drew and Zak at least in that Portugal episode.  On the other side of the coin, when you get to know someone... due to the constraint of a television show, a lot of my one-on-one time wasn't seen with Desiree.

But I did feel very comfortable around her at that point and I felt like, "Well, if there's a good time to get a first level on it, it would be now in the Top 5," you know?  I felt like I had momentum in my corner after Barcelona.  And so I thought, "This could work to my advantage in a way."

Is part of the hindsight that you realize you guys weren't meant for each other or do you still feel like looking back, had things progressed differently, she could have been the one for you? Do you think everything worked out the way it was supposed to?

Michael Garofola: Well, I mean, I think that the fact that we're here now and in fact she did not choose me, I think that can only lead to one conclusion, that she was not meant to be the one for me and I was not meant to be the one for her.

Look, I mean, I'll put it this way: Whether it's 25 guys; 250 guys; 2,500 guys; 25,000 guys; 250,000 guys; I think the person that I'm going to end up with would ultimately choose me.  And the fact that Desiree, you know, felt stronger for four other guys over me out of this group, you know, just tells me all I need to know about whether or not she really was the one for me.

Now, whether or not she had all the qualities I would want in someone, of course.  Of course she did.  I mean, I wouldn't have been there that long.  Look, I was the oldest guy left on the show.  I mean, I'm 33-years-old right now. 

I'm not going to waste my time going through this if I think -- you know, I'd be better served getting back home and going back into the dating pool, you know? I mean, I really thought she had so many amazing qualities.  I think she's a great girl, I still do, and I wish her the best. But I now know that she was not meant to be.

Since you're a federal prosecutor, do you feel like you were making a case against Ben Scott kind of like you would in court?

Michael Garofola: No, not at all.  I was acting solely as a human being with a very strong sense of right and wrong.  I was not acting as a federal prosecutor with a bed of federal agents to help me investigate.

The legal jargon and the comments that I made, I mean, look.  They were all puns and like sort of self-deprecating, you know, poking fun at myself. I mean, I do that, and I think some of that might get lost in translation. But you know, I wasn't really taking it seriously.

I was being very sarcastic when I would talk in sort of legal terms, you know?  There is no comparison between Ben Scott and someone who's guilty of carrying a firearm and further into drug trafficking crimes. (Laughs) 

So any sort of comparison that was made on the show was meant solely as a joke and had me laughing, had the other guys laughing, had producers laughing. I mean, it was meant as a joke.  So no, no, no, not at all.  I was there as a human being. I was there as Michael, not as a federal prosecutor.

So why did you feel that no other woman would ever be able to compare to Desiree, and do you still feel that way?

Michael Garofola: That was one of those things that was said at a moment of very, very fresh rejection and heartache and something that I meant when I said it. And now, looking back, I realize that that may have been, you know, sort of the word of someone who's just feeling very sad that the girl he was falling for is now rejecting him.

I no longer think that. What I said earlier was more true, is that Desiree opened me up to be hopeful that I will find someone with all of those qualities.  I think Desiree -- and I said this and I made a joke about it, saying [she has 48 of the 47] criteria that you look for -- that Desiree has 48 or whatever goofy thing I said. I mean that.

If you had to look down a checklist, I think Desiree has all of that.  I think, you know, one thing that I think is being lost in translation a little bit is that she had a very witty, funny sense of humor and that's very important to me.

She just had all these different qualities and, you know, at that time, I was feeling a little down, like, "Wow," you know?  "She does have all these different qualities. Will I ever find someone like that again?" And I will say that look, you know, I'm in a great city of Miami. 

There are many beautiful, talented, intelligent women here. And, you know, I'm from New York and there are women there that fit that mold, and, of course in Los Angeles too -- I mean, in any of these places.  So I am hopeful and I no longer think that I will never find someone that will live up to Desiree. 

Above are some additional highlights from Michael's Thursday conference call with reporters. Check back with Reality TV World soon for more.  

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