Justin Rego: I had a girlfriend back home on 'Bachelor Pad' too!
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/10/2011
Former sixth-season The Bachelorette bachelor Justin Rego came onto Bachelor Pad with the big ambitions of body-slamming the competition and being a major strategic player.
However, pint-sized former fifteenth-season The Bachelor bachelorette Alli Travis proved to be Justin's downfall, leading to his elimination during Monday night's premiere of the second season of The Bachelor reality franchise spinoff in which 18 former bachelor and bachelorettes compete for a $250,000 cash prize.
During a Tuesday conference call with reporters, Justin, a 27-year-old former wrestler turned salesman from Toronto, Canada, talked to reporters about his brief Bachelor Pad experience -- including whether he would do anything differently if given a second chance to appear on the show, who he hoped would win Bachelor Pad, whether he hated or thrived off of his "jerk" image, and why his current dating situation is deja vu of his prior stint on The Bachelorette.
Did you know going into the show how much strategy was going to play a role?
Justin Rego: You know what? I did know that you have to have some game, kind of, coming on here. That was the part that I was looking forward to the most, was actually getting involved, getting mixed up and forming alliances to see how I can possibly take control of that house.
If you could do it again, would there be anything you'd do differently?
Justin Rego: Yes, I wouldn't have opened my big mouth to Alli. This is one. Alli getting me into trouble is another. What's going on here? No, yes, definitely. It will be just that one move.
But yes, it's definitely that one moment where I actually spilled the beans to her and she went literally, five minutes later running to Graham kind of telling him what I said. So definitely I regret that -- that of anything.
Did you really think you could play both sides? If you thought that Alli was going to be trustworthy, when you told her that, were you shocked at what happened?
Justin Rego: You know what, I was actually doing -- unfortunately you don't. There's only three hours, and even in those three hours, there's so much wrong going on in that house that you couldn't see everything. And I did build a solid alliance. I had [Gia Allemand], [Jake Pavelka] with me and everything, and then Alli was kind of a flip-flopper.
And I remember that night so distinctively where, you know, I was talking to her and I'm telling her, "Hey, you know what? They're going to try and flop you," and we needed her vote to make the majority to us and kind of pick off the other guys one-by-one. But in the end, it was a bad decision trusting that girl.
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You had a little talk with Jake when he and Jackie Gordon were trying to decide what to do with the Immunity Rose and you told him it would be the worst decision in Bachelor Pad history to give it to Vienna. Do you still stand by that?
Justin Rego: Yes, Jake the Snake. Wrestling pun in there for you guys. I still think it was a major mistake because that changed everything, because out of the girls, Vienna was supposed to go home.
And he went ahead and tried to be, I don't know, Mr. Superman over there and try to save her, which is a bunch of B.S. And you know, I still think that's the biggest mistake that was made in the game and we're going to see what happens to him. But I'm sure it's going to bite him in the butt later on down the road.
Justin Rego: I'll be honest, I never met the guy before Bachelor Pad. I heard some not so nice things from him, from a bunch of people, including Dancing with the Stars people that did not like him at all.
So, I had a negative impression of him. Then I started talking to him, like kind of gave him a chance because of Gia, because me and Gia are somewhat close. And yes, but as time went on in the house, it's just that I never got know him. I always got to know this outer shell of him.
I never, you know, we never had any deep conversation. It is always -- seems like he's always -- I know I'm ironically saying this, but it seems like he was always pulling this little front, this little fake image.
Justin Rego: I, to be honest with you, out of all the guys, it will be a toss up between [Kirk DeWindt] -- because he was on my season and because he is truly a great, great human being -- and another awesome individual is [Ames Brown].
You know, [Ames] is as sweet as he seems, I'll put it that way. And then out of the females, I would say two of like the nicest people inside the house, were Jackie and Holly. Holly is an absolute awesome person.
Who do you think is going to win?
Justin Rego: Oh man. You know what? It would have to be someone in that little core four alliance, either Kasey and Vienna or Michelle and Graham because they're strong competitors. As much as I hate to admit it, they know what they are doing in the game and they are doing it well.
There were a lot of rumors that spread and bad things said about you after your stint on The Bachelorette. Were you worried at all when you agreed to go onBachelor Pad that your reputation would follow you? Were you ever concerned about putting yourself out there again or were you relishing the idea of getting another chance to say your piece?
Justin Rego: Okay, going -- Okay, let me start off by saying in the last year of my life, I've been doing nothing but defending myself and my actions on The Bachelorette. And to be honest with you, it's an up and down battle.
Some people will always continue saying, "You know what, I hate you no matter what you say." So, I've kind of learned to love the villain character that I've been portrayed to be. And there's people that I might have changed their minds and other people that, no matter what I do, will never change their minds.
So I'm going to give The Bachelor fans exactly what they wanted. They want to see Justin the Rated-R jerk, villain, whatever you want to call me -- I'm going to give it to them. And I think [Monday] night's episode definitely gave it to them. I definitely made things entertaining and put a whole bunch of humor in that episode.
Do you think being on Bachelor Pad was a better fit for you than The Bachelor?
Justin Rego: It definitely was a better fit. I can tell you personally right now that I enjoyed that. Even though I was on Bachelor Pad for one episode, I enjoyed it so much more than The Bachelorette.
I'm not the type of super soft, mushy-mush type of guy that you kind of need to be on a show like The Bachelorette. But Bachelor Pad, honestly, I think I was made for Bachelor Pad. And, if I was given a choice to do Bachelor Pad every single year, I would come back over and over and over again.
Are you fine with the idea of people calling you a jerk again based on your actions on Bachelor Pad?
Justin Rego: You know what, I am fine with that. If The Bachelor fans want to go ahead and tell me I'm a jerk -- I'm this, that, or the other -- and talk negatively about me, that's fine. I'm okay with that. Because me, as a contestant on that show, I wanted to be entertaining.
I wanted to get an emotion out of that viewer watching. Regardless if you love me or hate me, I got an emotion. I got a reaction out of you and that's exactly what I want. If it's Wrestling 101, I was there to entertain the viewer watching at home and that's exactly what I did.
What surprised you the most when watching the show back? Did anything surprise you about the editing?
Justin Rego: Besides Ames and Jackie making out right away? Which I was shocked, I'm like, "Man I'm the jerk. So shouldn't I be the one making out with all these girls?" But anyways, the one thing I was shocked about is just the way -- how the voting went. It, from watching the show, kind of seems like Gia was the deciding vote. That's the reason why I went home.
So, definitely at the reunion show, I want to clear that air. I want to see whose vote sent me home. And I'm actually surprised [Blake Julian] -- all the props to Blake, you know -- he tried his best to try and keep me around and try to scramble and get Kasey out of there. So I have a lot of respect for him as well. You know, all in all, I'm happy with the edit of the show.
Are you still wrestling out in Toronto at all?
Justin Rego: Actually, unfortunately I'm not wrestling. I haven't wrestled -- believe it or not -- in over four years. And that was -- it's kind of more like an image of the wrestler was shown on [Ali Fedotowsky]'s season of The Bachelorette. And yes, you know, unfortunately I'm not wrestling.
I don't want to break anymore bones. I've already suffered a concussion, bruised sternum, broken hand, and broken foot -- so no more broken bones. I'm more focused on the stock market right now.
Was there anyone that you might have been interested in dating, had you been able to stick around a little longer?
Justin Rego: The thing is like, now that I know all of them, it's a little bit different. But I'll be -- when I first walked into the door, who I was hoping was in that house was definitely Michelle Money. I definitely have a little crush on her watching her season on The Bachelor. And yes, she's a really pretty girl and I definitely was interested in getting to know her a little bit more.
You were in really intent on getting Kasey out of the house. Was your desire to eliminate him for the better of the house or for a personal reason?
Justin Rego: It was -- the reason why I wanted to get him eliminated so quickly is because I know how manipulative he is in real life, and I know that he's very, very good at getting people on his side. I knew he would be a threat. I definitely knew, for my safety, I needed him out that door and I came into the game to play and to play hard.
And if I was going to be eliminated, it's because I went after the biggest personalities in that house. The one worry that I had is being one of the quiet guys not really shown -- not really that entertaining, and I definitely want to go in there, stomping my feet and making my presence known. And also, I'd been pretty funny getting rid of Kasey both times on The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad.
Were you open to love at all going into the show or was it all about winning the money?
Justin Rego: Damn it, I was hoping to avoid this question. You know what, unfortunately, I was not open to love at all on the show and I strictly want it for the money. Currently, I'm currently dating somebody back home in Toronto. And ironically this time around, I'm back on Bachelor Pad with the girl from back home.
So yes, now I'm dating somebody who makes me very happy and I've been dating for several months. Well going into the house, I did tell them I was single just for the option of using that to my advantage. But on the other hand, that's another reason why I was kind of happy that I left home early, because I don't want to do anything to jeopardize the relationship that I have with the person I have back home.