Exclusive: Rachel Truehart talks more about 'Bachelor Pad,' Michael Stagliano and Nick Peterson
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/13/2012
Rachel Truehart and Nick Peterson were crowned Bachelor Pad'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.
Rachel, a former sixteenth-season The Bachelor bachelorette, and Nick 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 who previously competed on The Bachelorette's seventh edition, 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.
In an exclusive interview on Tuesday, Rachel talked to Reality TV World about her Bachelor Pad experience and previous relationship with former love interest Michael Stagliano -- including whether she regrets competing on the show to begin with considering how things ended for her, why she argued Nick definitely didn't play a "brilliant" game and how she believes Chris and Sarah would've dealt with their $250,000 winnings had they been in her and Nick's shoes.
Reality TV World: Since you obviously left the show broken-hearted because things with Michael didn't work out and you walked away without a part of the cash prize, would you say you got anything positive from yourBachelor Pad experience or did it just get so bad for you in the end you regret ever competing on the show to begin with?
Rachel Truehart: You know, when it first happened, a part of me was like, "Why did I do this? This was stupid. It wasn't worth all of this." But at the end of the day, I don't want to regret my time there, because I really did have an amazing experience while I was there filming the show.
I had a blast with my friends, I made some new friends along the way. Yes, I did get my heart broken and yes I did get betrayed and robbed a little bit, but at the same time, it's all an experience and I think it just makes me stronger in the end.
And, you know, maybe I'll have my guard up a little bit more about my trusting issues -- which could be a good or a bad thing -- but I don't regret doing it. I did have a good time while I was there, and luckily, I still have my best friend at the end of the day. That means a lot to me.
Reality TV World: Nick argued he played the game brilliantly by staying low-key and avoiding drama, you came back at him and said he just "lucked out." Would you mind elaborating on that a little bit? How much of a role do you think luck played in Nick's victory, and how much of his victory would you attribute to his intentional strategy?
Rachel Truehart: I think it's pretty laughable that he said he played brilliantly. I highly doubt that he came into the game saying, "I'm just going to try to scrape by." I mean, you know, you're trying to ally up and make friends, and each week, he kind of was on the chopping block and trying to keep himself alive. I don't think that was really in any way, I mean, nothing about the game was really like brilliant per say.
A lot of it is luck, and yeah, I do think it's luck. I think it's luck that Erica took Michael out when she did. If I was the other guy, I think I'd be a little bit upset that he's saying that no one got him there when I think Erica was a big reason that he's there.
When the two of them were partners together, people really didn't see them as a threat because they weren't winning challenges. But I think that was a reason that they were kept around and then, you know, with Erica taking Michael out, that just totally put him in cruise up to the finale.
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Reality TV World: Chris apologized to Jamie Otis repeatedly for his behavior and suggested his family and friends were very disappointed with him because of how he played and treated some of the women in the house. Do you think he really meant what he said and felt terribly for those actions, or do you think that was another strategy on his part to kind of gain sympathy votes from everybody and ultimately win the money -- which had been his goal all along?
Rachel Truehart: No, I think he meant that. I'm friends with Chris and I've talked to him since filming, and I know he does feel bad about how he behaved. I think it was tough. I think the time he came on was right after his season, and I think his ego might've been a little bit bruised and everyone acts differently within that game and you can't really control how you're going to act around other people.
So I think he just got a little caught up in the game. I mean, same with Michael. I think Michael got a little caught up in the game. I think everyone gets a little caught up in it, and I do think he's sorry. I think it's hard to have your family watch that and be disappointed in you. Nobody wants their parents to be disappointed in how they act on TV.
Reality TV World: If Chris and Sarah had won, do you think they would've had a similar outcome to you and Nick in that either Chris or Sarah would vote to keep the money or do you think they had a relationship strong enough to split the winnings fair and square?
Rachel Truehart: I 100% percent think they both would've shared it. I know both of them and they're both friends, and yeah, they don't have that character in them to do something like that.
Reality TV World: There was a portion of the finale when Kalon and Lindzi Cox were opening up about how they were still seeing each other. And then Erica kind of slammed Kalon, saying she had seen him with other girls being affectionate and stuff like that. So based upon Erica and Kalon's bad history, do you think that she was kind of blowing up his spot or do you actually see Kalon being capable of doing something like that to Lindzi at this point?
Rachel Truehart: I mean, I don't know if I can comment on that. I'm not really close friends with them. I don't know Kalon all that well. We're friends from the show but I haven't talked to either of them that much after the show.
So, I'm not really sure. I kind of wasn't even out there when that happened. So, I saw it last night, but that was kind of all I even knew about that. I didn't even know that that went down until I watched it last night.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction to Tony Pieper and Blakeley Shea's engagement? Some viewers have said they're moving too fast considering Tony has a young son at home, and others are just wondering whether they'll last in general. So what are your thoughts on all that?
Rachel Truehart: I'm nothing but happy for them. I think that if they're in love, which I know that they are, they're both friends of mine and they're happy, they're in love, and they're ready to take the next step. I don't think anybody should be judging if it's going to last or not.
I think that if they really love each other, it will, and I hope it does because I want to go to aBachelor Pad wedding! (Laughs) We always kind of joked about it, so it's really funny that it's happening now.
Reality TV World: Obviously you and Jaclyn Swartz are still best friends, but she did announce during the finale that she was torn about whether she was going to vote for you and Nick in the end or not. However, she said she wanted to remain playing a loyal game and therefore sent her vote your way. Did that surprise you? Did you actually think she was going to vote for Chris and Sarah?
Rachel Truehart: No, I really did know that she would've voted for me. It's been a tough journey for us. It obviously took awhile for us to patch everything up, but I knew that we had and I really did trust in her friendship.
She knew how sorry I was and we are trying to put it behind us. It's still there. It's one of those things, like she said, you forgive but never forget. So, I was very confident that she was going to vote for me.