'The Bachelorette' bachelor Tony Pieper: I probably would've left the show anyways
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/31/2012
The Bachelorette bachelor Tony Pieper, a 31-year-old lumber trader from Beaverton, OR, was eliminated along with two other suitors during Monday night's broadcast of the ABC reality dating series' eighth season.
Tony was ousted during the group date because The Bachelorette star Emily Maynard knew he was missing his son at home terribly, while fellow bachelors Alessandro and Stevie were eliminated during the third episode's cocktail reception and Rose Ceremony respectively.
During a Thursday conference call with reporters, Tony talked to Reality TV World about his short-lived The Bachelorette experience -- including whether he had any idea Emily was eliminating him when they were discussing his struggle with being away from home, what his impressions were of some of the stand-out guys so far this season and whom he believed the vampire was that Alessandro was claiming lived among them in the bachelor mansion.
Below is the first half of Tony's call. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: When you were sitting outside with Emily and she was giving you her little speech in which she understood how badly you were missing your son at home and everything, it seemed like maybe you didn't know Emily was even eliminating you until the very end because she was so nice about it. So is that accurate? Did you know right away that her speech was going to end with her ultimately sending you home or did it come as a surprise to you when she finally said she was eliminating you?
Tony Pieper: To be honest with you, I wasn't quite sure. I didn't know right off the bat that she was going to eliminate me. I mean, we were talking and she obviously saw that I kind of broke down a little bit when we were talking on our one-on-one at the cocktail party, and she knew that I was obviously missing my son. But when she came out, I didn't really know what was going to happen.
I had no clue I was going to get eliminated at that point, but once she started going more into it and how, "I see you miss your son," it all kind of made sense and I respected her for that. I was most likely going to be -- probably voluntarily leaving anyway. So I think she saw how hard everything was for me, so it did come as a surprise though. I didn't expect it.
Reality TV World: When you got home and got settled in your normal life again, did you regret leaving the show and not giving yourself more of a chance to get to know and fight for Emily, or do you think you made the right decision for yourself in the end?
Tony Pieper: You know, I thought about that a lot and I had the same answers every time I thought about it. It was that, I think even if I would have had a little bit of a stronger connection with Emily or even if I had a lot more feelings for her, it was just too hard for me to be away from my son.
I had the "what ifs." What if I fought for her? What if I hid my emotions a little bit more and she didn't see that? But all in all, I don't think I could've lasted another week just being away from my son. It was just so unnatural. Now, if I could've seen my son or they would've flown him out and I could've hugged him and kissed him and told him I loved him, then that would've been totally different.
So if something like that happened where I could've seen him -- where I'd know he's okay. But it was just so different being away from him. Like I said, I've only been away from him for four to five days ever. So, it just wasn't natural for me and I don't think I have any regrets, because I don't think I would've done anything any different even if I had stronger feelings if I was away from my son.
Reality TV World: In Emily's People blog this week, she said that she eliminated Alessandro not only because he called a life with herself and Ricki a "compromise," but because he took her out to the backyard and showed her all these crosses and things to ward off vampires. He apparently told her he was a vampire detector, so did you know that was happening while you were on the show and did you know that's what he believed himself to be? What do you think about all that?
Tony Pieper: (Laughs) You know, I did know that was going on in the show. I had no idea what to think about that. I didn't know if it was a joke. I didn't know what was going on there, because Alessandro came in as the Brazilian guy who didn't speak English. I don't know if they really showed that on TV, but he came in and I met him and he started speaking Spanish.
I'm kind of like, "Oh okay," and everybody was like, "Oh, he doesn't know English." And I speak Spanish, so I kind of felt bad for him, so I started speaking Spanish with him. Like everywhere I went, he kind of followed me a little bit because I spoke Spanish and Alejandro also spoke Spanish. So, we were speaking Spanish all night because we thought this guy couldn't speak any English.
Well, he came to Emily, and then all of a sudden he could speak English. So, it was kind of a joke that he did. And so, knowing that, I was like, "Is this guy serious?" I don't know how anybody could be afraid of vampires of setting up crosses. To this day, I don't know if that was real or fake. I don't know, maybe you can tell me! (Laughs) I don't know.
Reality TV World: Alessandro also apparently told Emily he thought that one of the guys in the house was a vampire. Clearly you don't know whether he was joking or serious, but do you have any guess as to who he might've been talking about?
Tony Pieper: Yeah, I have a pretty good guess.
Reality TV World: Would you mind sharing? (Laughs)
Tony Pieper: I think he was talking about Stevie.
Reality TV World: Do you have any idea why?
Tony Pieper: I have no idea -- I don't know. Alessandro and Stevie -- Stevie kind of rubbed a lot of guys the wrong way and so, I don't know if he just rubbed Alessandro the wrong way or what. But he's got a little vampire look to him!
Reality TV World: (Laughs) When I talked to Joe last week, he said Emily was looking for a guy who was financially stable and he repeatedly said Jef would probably end up with her -- both because he believed he was a good guy but also because he had money. What are your thoughts on that? Would you agree or disagree with Joe and do you really think financial stability is that important to Emily?
Tony Pieper: You know, I think you have to be somewhat financially stable. I mean, you've got to support her and her daughter. And it's a pretty big deal, because there's a child involved too, to be stable. And financial stability is pretty big when it comes to families, so I definitely think she was looking for somebody who was financially stable.
But I don't know her lifestyle. I don't know how -- the difference between my financial stability and hers could totally vary. She might think that a million bucks a year is financial stability, where I might think $100,000 or $200,000 might be.
I'm not sure how she rates the financial stability, but you know, I know that when I look for somebody, I definitely want somebody -- I don't care if you have a lot of money or anything else, but just that you have goals and that you're stable, like you have a job that you kind of work toward that raise or work toward a management position -- just something where you have goals, aspirations or dreams, and stuff like that.
I think that's probably more what she's looking for than like, "Oh this guy has to have a million bucks in his pocket," or something like that. I don't think that she's that type of person.
Reality TV World: You mentioned how you think Sean might be a really good match for Emily and you talked a little bit about Doug being a good guy as well. But she seems to really be clicking with Arie, Chris and Ryan -- at least in the first few episodes. So what do you think about them? Do you think they might be solid potential matches for Emily too? Who do you see sticking around for awhile?
Tony Pieper: I see with Ryan, now Ryan was a really good guy. He's got really good -- I like his morals and values. I like that. Just seeing him on TV, he seems like he might be a little bit taken by the fact that she's going to be having connections with other people, and I think that's going to ultimately kind of break them apart.
It's just the fact that I think it's going to be tough for him. Chris, I knew Chris pretty well. He seems like a really great guy. Chris, he's just a good person and I like that about him. He's 25 though, and I don't know how much time he's had with children. I don't think he's had a whole lot.
So, I think he's a great guy and I think he's a good match for her as far as two good people being together, but the kid thing might weigh to the point of he doesn't have the whole package. Jef, I liked Jef. I think he's a little younger but he's a CEO. I mean, he's got financial stability I guess. He was kind of a -- I didn't see her totally clicking with Jef.
I don't know why, but it looks like just from watching it, that they had a really good connection and could go pretty far. And you know, Jef had said something about how he has dated girls in the past with kids. So, I know that's something obviously that Emily's looking for and so, I could see him going pretty far. I didn't really know too much about Jef. He was a little bit more reserved.
Reality TV World: And how about Arie?
Tony Pieper: Arie seemed like a good guy. He was kind of like the goofy guy. He was kind of like the fun, happy-go-lucky guy. So, yeah, I think Arie could go far. I mean, it seems like they have a very good connection and I know Arie's had girlfriends with kids in the past, so yeah. I think Arie has a really good shot, I think, in going far with Emily and making a connection.
Above is the first half of Tony's call. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion.