'Bachelor Pad's Chris Bukowski: I'm not sorry for my behavior and don't have regrets
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/20/2012
Bachelor Pad contestant Chris Bukowski decided to give the reality competition a chance after failing to win the heart of Emily Maynard, whom he fell in love with and introduced to his family, during The Bachelorette's most recent eighth edition.
Chris, a 25-year-old corporate sales director from Chicago, IL, paired up with Blakeley Shea at the very beginning of Bachelor Pad's third season but was slowly turned off by her super-competitive edge and the possessive partnership she was requesting of him. To break free from her control, Chris decided to make out with Jamie Otis, which then led her to become smitten with him.
Chris continued to hookup with Jamie but quickly realized he wasn't interested in her for any other reasons besides having a kissing buddy in the house. He then dropped Jamie for a date with Sarah Newlon in which the couple ended up spending the night together in a hotel. Caught in a crazy love-square, Chris wanted to vote out Blakeley -- who had turned on him and stopped trusting him -- for his own safety. However, his closest allies didn't follow through on their word and Jamie got kicked to the curb instead.
During a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Chris talked to Reality TV World about his Bachelor Pad experience thus far and his love-square with three girls whom had all vied for his affection. To read what he had to say, click here.
Below are some additional details from ABC's transcript of the rest of Chris' call -- including whom he would've been interested in partnering up with had Blakeley not been in the picture, what his reaction was to viewers lashing out at him in recent weeks, how his family has reacted to the new side of him and his "sexualized" behavior, and whether he'd like to make up with and/or reach out to Jamie in attempt to start reconciling.
You did say on the show that eventually you wanted Jamie and Blakeley out so you could kind of do your own thing and have fun again. So, it doesn't seem like she was really wrong in saying you were going to have regrets and treated women in the house poorly, or was she? I mean, why were you so shocked that she said that, was it just because you didn't know how aware of things she really had been?
Chris Bukowski: Well, I mean, I really was shocked when she called me out for that. I did want to get Blakeley out just because obviously our partnership fell apart. And I did, you know, I was attracted to Jamie and stuff, and we did talk about how we didn't want to get emotionally involved in the show.
I mean, that was a big part of me -- as far as how I was going to have a chance at winning this game. I didn't think being emotionally -- too strongly involved with a girl was the best strategy, and we talked about that. She was there for the money just as much as I was.
And I think we just, I don't know, kind of had a little misunderstanding obviously. She was going to be part of the strategy if she stayed around. It just didn't work out in my favor or her favor. So, she was obviously upset and rightfully so.
You initially were partnered with Blakeley, but you clearly came to regret that. If you could do it over again, who do you think you would try to partner with right off the bat and what would you have done differently?
Chris Bukowski: Right. You know what, honestly, I don't regret being partners with Blakeley. We became partners by chance and I was lucky to have her as my partner. She is probably the most athletic girl that was on the field.
And as far as from a competition standpoint, I thought that was going to be perfect, especially early on in the physical competitions. I was happy to have her as a partner, but she just -- it just kind of got -- it started not being fun for me. There was a lot of work.
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So, you know, if I had to pick a different partner, I mean, from the very beginning, I think it's tough to say, because I really didn't know anybody going into that season except for a couple of the guys. I don't know, there's probably a couple of girls, maybe like [Rachel Truehart] or [Sarah Newlon]. So, yeah, maybe the two of them.
Are you surprised by the reactions you've been getting from Bachelor Pad fans? Because they're kind of violently reacting to you, similar to the way they had responded to Kalon McMahon's behavior during Emily Maynard's season of The Bachelorette. So what's your reaction to it all?
Chris Bukowski: You know, I can see where they're coming from. It doesn't look good, but I really want people to differentiate the two shows. I mean, The Bachelorette is a love show and Bachelor Pad is a game show. I mean, if we were all going to sit there and be nice to each other, I don't know (laughs) if anyone would even win or if anyone would even want to win. I mean, we can do that on our own.
We can go to someone's house and just hang out if we wanted to, but this was a game show. You can't be nice to everybody. I'm sorry, I am -- like in my real life, I am not a mean guy, but I was on a game show and it presented the opportunity to win a lot of money. So, I'm going to do what it takes to have that chance to win the money.
You came into the house knowing some of the other guys from your season of The Bachelorette. Based on your experiences with them and then, your experiences with everyone in the house, is it hard to separate real life from the game for you? And then, do you think it's hard for other people in the house as well?
Chris Bukowski: I think it's a little tougher for others. Well, for me, I can separate the game from real life very, very simply. I don't even consider Bachelor Pad as it being part of my real life. Obviously, it was an experience. It was on TV, but it was a game show.
Now, The Bachelorette is something different. That was something that was very, very serious to me as far as love over money any day, and I almost had that with Emily.
So, Bachelor Pad is, it's a game and just like playing any, I don't know, playing on Wii or something and you beat your friend, an hour after you beat him, you're going to be friends again. That's how it is, and I can definitely separate the two easily.
How is your family, including your two sisters, responding to this new "dirtier" side of Chris -- your kind of over-competitive, sexualized new attitude?
Chris Bukowski: Right. Obviously, it's not easy from them to see that, but I warned them and they all know that I'm very competitive. And obviously, they don't like to see me hurt anybody's feelings, because that's just not the way I was raised.
But at the end of the day, I'm going to continue to say this, that it is a game and I am -- I can't be sorry. I can't really be sorry for it, because that's what I was doing. I was playing a game and I guess that was what I signed up for.
So it's not easy to talk to my parents about it, but at the end of the day, they know who I am and the game is not going to change their opinion about their son. So I'm not really worried about that, and they're going to love me no matter what. It's a game, like I said.
I think the issue is girls tend to define "a game" differently than guys. Jamie clearly had developed real feelings for you and Blakeley seemed to fall for you at first, and I know you used the analogy of, "An hour after you play Wii with a friend, you get over it." But when you're hooking with people and stuff, I think it gets deeper than that. So have you talked to them since then to kind of clear the air, or are you waiting until the finale tapings to do that?
Chris Bukowski: I don't know if I can really talk about if I've cleared the air with them, but obviously I guess that's a bad analogy, because obviously people's feelings are on the line. But to be honest, Blakeley and Jamie, you didn't see this much as me saying it, but they were there 100% percent -- and they'll tell you -- that they were there for the money too.
Blakeley was 100% percent there for the money and so was Jamie. It just didn't turn out that way for them as far our partnership that was involved, and I was attracted to Jamie, and I was being held back by Blakeley and I was being held back by other people in the house.
That's why it was critical and strategic for me not to partner up with her when I really wanted to, because I felt like I would've gotten voted off a lot earlier.
It is true that because it's a game show, people must decide between sparing people's feelings or winning the prize money.
Chris Bukowski: Right, and you know what? I honestly didn't see myself going on to Bachelor Pad finding the girl of my dreams or falling in love. You know, I felt like I had laid that all on the line with Emily, and it was really close. So, I just didn't feel like this was the right time and place for me to find that girl.
There's millions of girls out there that could be the right girl for me, and maybe out of the 10 or 11 girls on Bachelor Pad, what are the chances that they are the right girl for me? So I was there focused on winning the money.
Well I hope for your sake that the millions of other girls who weren't there understand why you did what you did.
You seemed especially mad at Kalon and Ed Swiderski when you felt like they lied to you or did lie to you because of their own strategy the other night. But earlier in this call, you admitted you've got to lie to people for strategy on Bachelor Pad...
So could you reconcile that anger toward them given that?
Chris Bukowski: One million percent. And a question earlier was if I can separate my life and the game, and that's something that I understood right away -- that these guys -- everyone has the same right to play the game as I do.
So you know what? Of course I'm angry because Kalon and Ed are just good friends of mine. And in your real life, you don't expect to be lied to by your real friends, but I've come to the realization that these guys are trying to win the money just as much as I am.
So it is what it is, and you kind of just -- you try to brush it off. It's just tough when you're in that house with everybody and they're the only people that you're seeing all day and you gotta see their faces over and over when they just lied to you. It's not easy, you know? But I understand that it is a game and they're playing the game as well.
Do you feel like you were wrong to share so much of your strategy with Michael Stagliano that night?
Chris Bukowski: You know what, from day one, I thought Michael was the best person to go to as far as strategy-wise just because he won last season. Yes, maybe it was and maybe it wasn't. You know, I tried to include him on everything. I tried to include everyone that was kind of in my alliance on everything that I was doing just because I wanted them just to know what I was doing.
And maybe in the end I will regret it, but I told him everything and you don't see a lot of it, but we told each other pretty much everything as far as what we were going to do going into elimination nights.
Your plan to get Blakeley out backfired and it put a target on your back. How did that affect your strategy going into next week's show? Did you think about forming new alliances or what was your game plan then?
Chris Bukowski: You know, honestly, my strategy was to get Blakeley out and it was to break up the main alliance just because I felt like everything was going kind of in a direction to having someone win besides myself. So, I felt like I was going to make a bold move, vote Blakeley out.
And I felt like going into the next week that Jamie would be on my side and in my alliance and then there would be kind of a new alliance formed. And I think we would have the majority of the people. And I was trying to do something bold.
I'm not going to really talk about who I was going to try to get to vote out for next week, but it didn't work out. So, (laughs) yes, absolutely, I have the biggest target on my back. And right now, it's pretty plain to see that I have the biggest target on my back, but I was just taking a chance in trying to change the game up a little bit.
It looks like in the previews, you have a big confrontation with Ed. Can you tell us anything about what happens there?
Chris Bukowski: Yes, I mean, we briefly touched on it that Ed swore to me that he was going to vote for Blakeley in the last episode. And he didn't. So basically, I confront him about it and that's what the argument is about.
Obviously we've seen you with Jamie and then Blakeley. So, with Sarah Newlon, was that a strategy thing again or did you have real feelings for her? Was there a genuine emotion involved in that?
Chris Bukowski: With Sarah, it was kind of everything. It was something I wanted to do to -- I thought for what I've know of Sarah from being on the show, I thought that we would have a great time on the date.
Strategically-wise she was very, very, very neutral in the house. She was kind of on both alliances. So I felt like strategically, and for the sake of my sanity, she was the best person to pick on the date.
You said that you went on the show not expecting to fall in love and not looking for that, but do you think if you had met Jamie or Blakeley or Sarah outside of the show or any other way that something real could've happened with them -- like a real future?
Chris Bukowski: One hundred percent, absolutely. I think without -- you know, with Blakeley in the game -- Blakeley is a very competitive person, and I respect that. Outside of the show, I don't know. I can see us being friends. But outside of the show, I think I can really see something maybe with Jamie and Sarah.
Jamie is a sweet girl. She's gorgeous too. She's a very pretty girl. And Sarah, she's like -- would fit into my group of friends like perfectly. She's very outgoing, not shy, very honest, and she's just fun. And see, out of the two of those girls, like I definitely see something -- if I met them outside of the show, something happening.
Do you have any regrets for anything that happened on the show?
Chris Bukowski: No, I would -- I don't -- I really don't have regrets because you can't really changed what has happened. You know, I think about it, but at the end of the day, I did it for -- at that time, that's what I wanted to do. And I did it, and hopefully, it's going to work out in my favor.
Do you think that you'd ever go on Bachelor Pad again, like Michael did?
Chris Bukowski: Ugh wow, it depends. I feel like people go on -- go back on the show for the wrong reasons sometimes. And it depends how this all finishes up. But yes, I would definitely consider it. You know, I would lie if I didn't say it was probably one of the best experiences that I've had, it was fun.
You know, you're in a house with a bunch of people for a long period of time and you hang out. It gets competitive, but at the end of the day, it's a lot of fun and you meet a lot of good people.
Was there a special fun memory or something that really stayed in your mind that we haven't necessarily seen on the show, whether or not it has aired, that you could share with us?
Chris Bukowski: Honestly, my favorite part -- this might sound kind of lame -- but my favorite part was, as you all saw me, I was the first one to walk into the mansion. You know, being on [Emily Maynard]'s season, I was in Charlotte, so I never actually got to see this mansion, whereas, pretty much all these people got to see this mansion before.
And I'm walking in the house -- I was in that house by myself for a good hour before [Lindzi Cox] came in. So, I was like -- I was sitting and talking to the pillows, and I was just taking it all in. That was a great experience for me just because, I guess, there's a lot of history that's happened in that house.
Is there one person in particular that you feel you made a real friend with during the show or someone that you really want to stay in touch with?
Chris Bukowski: You know, I think, yes. I became really good friends with Ed, and he's a Chicago guy. And I knew of Ed prior to being on the show. And then, with him, we just kind of, as you say, hit it off. You know, he's a Chicago guy, we're both Polish and we get along pretty well.
So, yes, I can definitely see Ed and even like [Jaclyn Swartz] and some of these people that you don't see us communicating too much on the show, but I've definitely made some good friends from the show.
Do you think you'll make up with Jamie?
Chris Bukowski: Um, I hope so. You know, I hope so. I don't -- I didn't think it was, you know, when it's happening, you don't really know how bad it really is. You know, you don't see everything. And I didn't -- I honestly didn't know it was that bad for her, because we did talk about how we did not want to have this relationship on the show.
And then we talked about if there were something -- after the show, if there was something there, then definitely we can consider pursuing it. Yeah, I do, I feel for her, and I'm sorry. But at the same time, it's just what I did. I did it and I can't take it back.
Now that some time has elapsed since The Bachelorette ended, do you think that Jef Holm and Emily are a good couple?
Chris Bukowski: Absolutely, 100% percent. I was -- obviously, I got to know Emily pretty well. And Jef was, I would say, probably one of my best friends in the house. And I got to know him very, very well. And I feel like they're very compatible.
It was kind of weird, but I heard a lot about the relationship while I was still on the show with him, and I just felt like they're very compatible. I mean, they look great together. And I really do believe, I really do believe, it could work out between the two of them. I hope it does, I hope it does.
Have you been keeping in touch with Jef and Emily?
Chris Bukowski: You know what, I keep in touch with Jef. And I haven't really talked to Emily too much, but she has supported me on Twitter, and I thank her so much for that.
And I keep in touch with a lot of the guys from the show. I keep in touch with [Arie Luyendyk Jr.] a lot. And so, yes, I talk to Jef once in a while. But they're obviously pretty busy doing a lot of things and helping out the world. So, I'm definitely supportive of what they're doing.
Has Jef said anything to you about him and Emily or not so much?
Chris Bukowski: No, I mean, me and Jef communicating is basically just between me and him pretty much, you know? It is kind of weird still talking about it with them, like, "Oh what are you guys doing today?" But, no, yes, I mean, we exchange emails and what not and we keep in touch. So, he hasn't really said anything interesting about the relationship.
Would you reach out to Jamie or do you think at this point, it's just best to have her reach out to you or just like leave it as is?
Chris Bukowski: Will I reach out to her? Yes, I would. But I know, I think right now, I think I would like to leave it as is and kind of let everything play out. And I feel for her and I think about her, I really do, I think about it everyday.
And I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, and I obviously hurt her feelings. But as I touched up on earlier with someone else's [question], if there was no game and if it was just me meeting her out some time, I do think that something could be there.
I mean, I can't be judged on how I am with relationships from being on a game show, I just can't. That's just not the way I am. I was just playing a game and she was part of it. So, yeah, I would definitely like to patch things up with her eventually.
You were spotted in Maryland? What are you doing there?
Chris Bukowski: Well, I'm actually considering a move out there just for an opportunity for a job. And it would be -- yes, it's like the suburb, like Gaithersburg, Rockville area... I think it's great already... So, we'll see what happens with that.
Chris Bukowski: I will -- there's no strong feelings for her as far as romantically. You know, those went away after it took some time actually for them to go away after she sent me home, but we're friends now and I think she's a great girl.
And I think her and Jef are very, very good for each other. And I'm glad that they found each other because I'm friends with both of them. I think they're very compatible, so no, there's no romantic feelings towards Emily anymore, no.
What's been your favorite competition so far in the show?
Chris Bukowski: My favorite competition has probably been -- I really liked the game show from the last episode. You didn't get to see all of it, but it was a pretty -- it was pretty interesting, and it was a good game.
And as much as I hated the "Hot Sludge Funday" one, when I was actually doing the competition, now that I look back on it, that was a lot of fun -- especially being able to beat Ed at the last second there.
Why do you want to leave Chicago for Maryland?
Chris Bukowski: I love, you know what, honestly, I love Chicago. It's my favorite city in the whole wide world. And I just moved there from New York actually about a year ago, but I grew up there and I bought a place, all this great stuff, and then, when The Bachelorette happened and all this stuff happened, I had to -- I rented my place out because I was carrying a mortgage.
So now, I have all these opportunities as far as what I'm in. I'm in sports marketing and stuff. So, a few opportunities have come up and I just had to really keep my options open. I don't want to leave though.
How would you feel about being the Bachelor?
Chris Bukowski: Well, I just, I would -- it would definitely be a great opportunity. I just don't think, right now, it would be the right time for me to be the Bachelor.
I think maybe in a year or two, I'd be more ready to really take on that role of really putting my heart out there and really committing to a woman and having her be my wife and starting a family with her. I just don't think right now is the right time to be the Bachelor, The Bachelor: Chris.
Above are some additional details from ABC's transcript of Chris' call. To read what he had to say to Reality TV World, click here.