'Bachelor' star Andy Baldwin ready for real world love with his woman
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/17/2007
U.S. Navy Lieutenant Andy Baldwin reassures viewers that his The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman journey does have a happy ending -- or a happy beginning -- depending how you look at it.
"All I can say is that the woman I propose to at the end most definitely says yes and we're very happily engaged right now," Baldwin told reporters during a Wednesday conference call. "We know each other so much better now then we did at the finale... it's just gotten better and better. We've seen each other three times since the finale and we talk for hours and hours everyday on the phone. It's great. It's wonderful that it's going in that direction and not the other. I think that's why we're so excited and happy to finally be able to go out in public as a couple. Kind of like fall in love with each other all over again in the real world."
Officer and a Gentleman's special two-hour finale is scheduled to air on Monday, May 21 at 9PM ET/PT on ABC, with the competition for Baldwin's heart down to Bevin Powers, a 28-year-old clinic research coordinator who currently resides in Palo Alto, CA, and Tessa Horst, a 26-year-old social worker who currently resides in San Francisco, CA. While Baldwin offered no hints as to which he selects, suffice it to say he's excited for his choice to be revealed.
"I'm bubbling with joy... I just can't wait. How many days are left? It couldn't come soon enough," said Baldwin. "I'm counting down the days. It's so hard right now -- not only on her -- but on me. We're watching [the show], and once we got to Hawaii, all the time we got to spend together, we hadn't gotten to spend that much dedicated one-on-one time together. It instantly brings me back to the situations where Tessa and I were on the hammock and Bevin and I were in the waterfall or dancing at the luau... all these emotions just come back. We're tired of watching what happened in the past, and we're so looking forward to moving on as a couple in the future. All I can say is our love for each other has grown more and more and more since the finale."
Other than helping to build the anticipation for when he's reunited with his bachelorette once and for all, Baldwin said watching Officer and a Gentleman's eight-episode run play itself out has put the experience into perspective.
"I wouldn't have done anything differently, but it's helped put all the pieces together," he said, adding that some scenes can be difficult to watch. "It's definitely hard. I mean I know what I did, but the reason it's so hard for her, obviously, is because all she really lived out was her time with me. I did my best to prep her and let her know what she's going to see. Then I tell her, 'Listen honey, put yourself in my situation. The method to the madness and the way this The Bachelor format works is you are dating several women down to the end. Although I know how I feel about you know and how I felt about you in the end -- that's what counts now -- and let's focus on the future and not the past. That's the process we needed to go through to get where we are and let's be so thankful we found each other.'"
Baldwin acknowledged he's also learned a bit about himself by watching Officer and a Gentleman.
"I cringe every time I say 'amazing.' I'm like, 'Do I really say that that much?'" he asked. "But I mean there were times when I would use big words and [producers] would say, 'No. You can't say that. You've got to say it another way. People won't understand what that means.' Maybe there was a little bit of that going into it. But a lot of the cheesy lines are my cheesy lines. I'm a romantic, emotional guy... that was all me. People can make fun of me as much as they want to."
Starting with 25 bachelorettes, Baldwin narrowed them down over the course of the season but said it became most difficult when it was down to Horst, Powers and Danielle Imwalle, a 25-year-old graphic designer who currently resides in Bethel, CT.
"It got really hard with the last three, with Danielle, Bevin and Tessa. I wasn't acting," said Baldwin, who was visibly confused about which to eliminate before finally sending Imwalle packing. "There's a reason that those three were the last three. They each had a lot of different qualities that I liked that I thought would be compatible with me. That's when it became real and my emotions were just overwhelmed."
It didn't get much easier for Baldwin as he then had to choose between Horst and Powers after they traveled to Lancaster, PA to meet this family. While it was tough on him, it was also apparently just as grueling for the two final suitors.
"[Tessa] and Bevin were best friend in the house and so that interaction wasn't really shown on the show but it came to play-out coming down to the end," he said.
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Baldwin's proposal to either Horst or Powers will mark the first time in four seasons and only the second in its last seven editions that The Bachelor will end with its bachelor proposing to his final bachelorette. However Baldwin said he and his choice have decided to take it slow.
"No wedding date set," he said. "As I've said all along, we both know the first step is her moving [to Hawaii] and us being together, living together in the real world... living a somewhat normal life outside The Bachelor world. We'll see how things go, but we're both very happy and optimistic."