Ben Higgins on reliving 'The Bachelor' season: I was "embarrassed" by it and watched through my fingers
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/24/2020
Ben Higgins admits he felt "embarrassed" watching back his season of The Bachelor in the three-hour The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons -- Ever! episode that aired Monday night.
"I had my hand on my forehead peeking through my fingers the whole time," Ben told Good Morning America on Tuesday.
"I forget a lot of that experience because life has moved so fast since then and there's been a lot of changes. Some of the small interactions, limo entrances I had forgotten or it had sparked memories."
Both women were madly in love with Ben and believed at the time they had won his heart, but JoJo was blindsided and dumped in the finale before Lauren accepted a marriage proposal from the conflicted Bachelor.
"It was really hard watching it back," Ben admitted.
"Mostly because I just remember 26-year-old me and how much I felt the world was falling in on me. And then how much I felt like these women were going to be hurt."
Ben also apparently received some heat from fans after the show aired, revealing on GMA, "I've gotten messages from people fired up over the final choice I made, and we're four years out!"
While Ben could barely watch the recap episode featuring highlights and memorable, dramatic moments from The Bachelor's 20th season, which aired in 2016, his fiance Jessica Clarke from Tennessee chose not to watch at all.
"I just think it's a big risk to have somebody you're so in love with and watch them kiss other people on national television. I don't think that's a great scenario," Ben said with a laugh.
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Ben and Lauren made their relationship work for over a year and starred on a Freeform spin off titled Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?.
Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? featured the former couple planning their wedding and getting settled into a new life together in Denver, CO, after Lauren agreed to move away from the home she loved in California.
Ben, however, came down with a case of cold feet when Lauren was diving into the wedding plans, and it was clear their relationship was laced with issues.
Reports swirled before their split that Ben and Lauren were constantly fighting and Lauren was unhappy with her lack of career, life in Denver in general, and the fact Ben had also professed his love to JoJo Fletcher on his The Bachelor season.
Ben later proposed marriage to Jess at her parents' home in Tennessee while they were quarantining with each other in March 2020.
Ben gushed about Jess, who is reportedly the co-owner of fitness companies SweatNET Nashville and SweatNET Denver, and the positivity she brings to his life on GMA.
"It's been freeing for me. She's caring, supportive -- she's empathetic towards my faults and weaknesses and love me through them. I don't know how, but she did and I can't be more grateful," Ben shared.
"I wish the world could know her more than they know me because she is something special."