Bachelor Pad contestants Nick Peterson and Rachel Truehart were crowned the competition's winning couple during Monday night's finale broadcast of the third season of The Bachelor reality franchise spinoff in which 15 former bachelor and bachelorettes and five "Super Fans" competed for a $250,000 cash prize.
Nick, a former seventh-season The Bachelorette bachelor, and Rachel, a former sixteenth-season The Bachelor bachelorette, defeated former eighth-season The Bachelorette bachelor Chris Bukowski and former eleventh-season The Bachelor bachelorette Sarah Newlon to win Bachelor Pad's $250,000 grand prize. Rachel and Nick received votes from everyone in the cast expect Kalon McMahon, David Mallet and Erica Rose.

However, Nick, a 27-year-old trainer from Tampa, FL, was the only real winner of the game, as he decided to "keep" all the money for himself in the end and leave Rachel -- a 27-year-old executive assistant from New York, NY, who had opted to "split" the money with her partner -- without cash or a boyfriend.
During a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Nick talked to Reality TV World about his Bachelor Pad experience and shocking third-season victory. To read what he had to say, click here. Also, read our exclusive interview with Rachel, click here.

Below are some additional highlights from the rest of Nick's call -- including whether he had a change of heart in regards to his decision after watching the finale back on TV and hearing the public's reaction, how he ended up on Bachelor Pad in the first place, whether he believes he'll be an outcast in the Bachelor family going forward now, and whether he's currently single or dating.

How sure were you that Rachel was going to pick "share?" Like you said, it was a pretty big risk to even choose "keep."

Nick Peterson: It is. It's very risky, but we had talked about it. We met before the finale, like I said, because we had about a month in between filming. So we talked about it and agreed upon it, and you know, I thought, "We'll definitely share this. There's no reason not to." And then, like I said, in the last second, I get to see these episodes.

And I was like, "Wow, really? I can't believe you said all those things. You really didn't want to be my partner." So, yeah, I was pretty sure [she'd choose "share"] but I wasn't 100% percent going into that [room] that she's pick it.

How did you end up going on The Bachelorette and how were you approached to do this show? What made you decide to go ahead with it?

Nick Peterson: Well, as far as The Bachelorette goes, just like anybody else applying, I had a lot of friends who were like -- and my mom as well -- they were like, "Nick, you're always single. Why don't you apply for The Bachelor?" And I was like, "Well, that would be a great experience," so I did and it was a great experience.

I, of course, didn't win, but that's okay and [J.P. Rosenbaum] and [Ashley Hebert] are happy. So, that's great. And then it turned into this opportunity, which I had said before, ABC and the producers asked me if I'd be interested, and I said, "Absolutely." But this time around, I wouldn't be going for love. I'd be going for money.

How have you felt about the public reaction? I know the finale just aired last night, but how have you felt about that? And also, what do you think about Chris Harrison and all the ads calling the finale "disturbing?"

Nick Peterson: Yeah, I didn't understand how it was disturbing. I don't think that the wording was right there. Maybe they were looking for another word other than "the most dramatic," you know? They needed something different this year. I don't think it was disturbing. Some people may. I haven't seen a lot of the public reaction yet aside from the feedback I've gotten on Twitter.

Of course a lot of people responding to me are probably following me because they like me, so most of it was positive. A lot of my friends and family were positive as well. But of course there are people out there who aren't happy with my decision and maybe they just don't see my side of it.

So you didn't have a change of heart at all after seeing the finale last night and observing people's reactions?
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Nick Peterson: No, no. I was there and I saw all of it. Was it tough sitting next to her crying? Yes, but at the same time, after the way she made me look and what she did to me, no I didn't really feel that bad.

You just said some of the reactions from your fellow castmates were pretty positive. But what was it like right after the finale ended? When people came up to you, were they congratulating you or yelling at you?

Nick Peterson: Everybody was pretty much supportive and the ones who weren't just -- didn't really say anything, you know? The only person that was pretty vocal was Rachel, and she wasn't happy about it obviously, as you saw. What happened in the back there and then the after party, she wasn't very happy. (Laughs) But that was about it. Everybody else was pretty quiet.

So you're not going to be an outcast amongst the Bachelor alumni now, right, or are you?

Nick Peterson: No, I don't think so. I think a lot of people, after thinking about my move and thinking about my reasoning, agree with me. People like Donna Zitelli, at first, Donna was not happy with what I did because she liked Rachel.

And then I talked to her a little bit and explained, and she said, "You know what? You're right. That was the right move." So I think, especially after last night's episode, a lot of people are going to -- like I said -- agree with me.

Would you ever go on Bachelor Pad again like Michael did or do you think there's no way to win the show twice because everyone's just going to come after you?

Nick Peterson: Well, would I do it? Yeah, I would do it. But is anybody going to want to be my partner now? (Laughs) I don't know, probably not. (Laughs) That was never my plan. I never came into this saying, "Hey, I want to be a villain." I never had that in my mind.

That was a last-minute decision based on what I saw. So, you know, yeah I'd do it and I'd have a lot of convincing to do. But I'd probably come back to find a love interest more so than the money.

So you don't have a current love interest in your life? Are you still looking?

Nick Peterson: Still single. Still single. Still looking. I'm not rushing it. It'll happen, I'm sure.

Did you watch the finale on TV?

Nick Peterson: We did, we watched it at one of -- Chris is opening up a new restaurant soon. And so at one of his partnership restaurants, we watched it live.

At the end of the finale episode, they ran clips of cast members trashing you throughout the season, basically justifying why you made the decision you did. Did those comments hurt you at all or did they just fuel your fire? What was your reaction to all of it?

Nick Peterson: I think it did kind of build my case and they never were on my side. One thing I'm tired of hearing is, "Nick who? Nick who? We don't even know who this guy is. He doesn't deserve to be here," and all this stuff.

I don't know where people like [Jaclyn Swartz] have room to say that I don't deserve to be there. I don't understand. So, I'm glad that they showed all those things. It made my decision look better, yes.

One point you made was that you didn't have a solid partner throughout the game -- that you were working on your own. If you had your choice of girls in the house, who would you have liked to work with from beginning to end?

Nick Peterson: As far as just a partnership in the game, strategically?


Nick Peterson: Ooh. That's a good question. Honestly, I don't know. A lot of people played a different game, you know? Some of the girls were just there looking for love, and I feel like [Lindzi Cox] was there, and she met Kalon, and that was pretty much it. Her ballgame was over. She was there just to be with Kalon, and that's great. That's cool.

Some people, like Jaclyn, a little bit more hardcore. I don't know. [Blakeley Shea], I know that she was eliminated and the whole situation with her and Chris, but she was a great competitor and was great in the competitions. She's strategic. She's a powerful player in the game, which you want in a partner.

I didn't have that from the start, so I had to go a different route and pretty much stay under the radar. So, not saying that my strategy would work for everybody on Bachelor Pad 4 next year, but it worked for me.

Although Rachel didn't support your decision to "keep" the money, she ultimately supported your plan to vote Jaclyn and [Ed Swiderski] out of the game prior to the finale. And since she and Jaclyn are good friends, a lot of people are saying that she got a little bit of karma. What do you think about what happened to Rachel? What's your opinion on that?

Nick Peterson: Honestly, it was my decision and I had to really talk her into it. It's not like -- Jaclyn and Ed have zero room to complain at all. Jaclyn and Ed have zero room to complain just because they didn't take the singing competition seriously at all. Had they taken that seriously and won that, they probably would have won the whole entire show.

They would've had the decision on who they could take to the finale. It could've been us they would've taken, and they probably still would've won. If they were smart, they would've taken Chris and Sarah, and then they definitely would've won. So, you know, they have zero room to say anything.

Do you think Rachel experienced some karma? What are your thoughts on what happened to her?

Nick Peterson: No, I don't think it's necessarily karma. I was the voice of reason and I had to step in and say, "Hey, we have to take Chris and Sarah." So it wasn't that she decided to stab her friend in the back. That was my decision and I needed her to see that like, "Hey, we're here to win the money now."

And she just didn't see that. She was playing with her emotions too much with Michael and with Jaclyn. It's just, I thought she wasn't in it to win with me. And so, that's why I didn't feel like I owed her anything.

Did you have any romantic interest in any of the girls since viewers didn't get to see very much of you early on in the season?

Nick Peterson: No, you saw me kiss Donna and that was about it. That was it, and what was going on was I wanted to partner with her. And when they showed it, I told her, "I'm going to try to keep you safe."

And I did try to keep her safe, and I knew it was going to be between her or Blakeley. So we tried to get Blakeley voted off and keep Donna, and that didn't work out. So that was the end of anything I thought there.

And then I realized, "You know what? Everybody else is partnered up and everything. I'm not going to try and -- I'm not going to whore myself out on national television." I think that would be a bad move, you know, because you're going to make somebody mad if you do. So I kept it in my pants and I played smart, and I was just keeping my mind on the money.

What are your relationships like now with the other cast members?

Nick Peterson: I keep in touch with most of them. The ones that really don't talk to me, obviously, are Rachel and Jaclyn and Ed. I think Ed sided with Jaclyn there, but I pretty much stay in touch with everybody else.

Above are some additional highlights from the rest of Nick's call. Click here to read what he had to say to Reality TV World. Also, to begin reading our exclusive interview with Rachel, click here
About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.