Matt Grant dishes on upcoming 'The Bachelor: London Calling' finale
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/06/2008
Matt Grant was nervous he'd make mistakes as The Bachelor: London Calling's star -- and while he admits he might have made several slip-ups along the way, he added the end result was spot on.
"I was worried going into that I would be looking back and regretting. I'm just a bloke on a TV show. I could have made mistakes," Grant told reporters during a Tuesday conference call.
"But as far as the important decision, I didn't make any mistakes. I definitely know the one I'm with is the right one. If there were a few mistakes along the way then I made them. But ultimately -- fundamentally -- I made the right decision."
Viewers will get to see the 27-year-old financier make that decision between either Shayne Lamas or Chelsea Wanstrath during The Bachelor: London Calling's pre-taped finale broadcast next Monday at 10PM ET/PT on ABC.
While Grant told reporters he's "not a big advocate" of love at first sight, participating in The Bachelor made him a believer.
"I knew when I first saw her that I was in trouble in a good way and that it could be [love]," said Grant of the woman to whom he presents his final rose -- and a marriage proposal -- during London Calling's finale broadcast.
"We're both looking forward to next Monday evening when we can go out together and start life normally. We've got what it takes," said Grant before adding they won't be walking down the aisle anytime soon.
"Time is important as well, and obviously the worst thing you can do is rush it. Things have been kind of rushed already, so it's time to just take a deep breath and work out our plans and our future -- whether it be in the U.S. or U.K. -- and then when the time is right, get to the alter."
Always the comedian, Grant joked if he'd be considered "the Super Bachelor" if he and his selected suitor do eventually get married, and added "it would be wonderful for Anglo-American relations." In all seriousness, he said he's not discouraged by the show's recent trend.
"I'm not bothered by it. That's their lives. It has nothing to do with me," said Grant. "I'm always an optimist, and half-full is not completely full. We're just going to give it the best shot we can, but I'm confident we'll survive, we'll succeed."
One reason Grant's optimistic his relationship will be successful post-The Bachelor is because he's kept an open line of communication with the bachelorette he chose.
"I didn't want to fall into this trap [of not communicating with the woman I picked]," Grant told reporters. "I [had] heard that was an issue in the past."
"We have spoken every single day... We both really pushed and the [ABC and production] guys have been really, really helpful in setting up lots of secret rendezvous. So we've met up loads of times."
Despite their constant communication, Grant said he and his selected suitor have yet to determine which side of the Atlantic they'll ultimately call home.
"We haven't really finalized that yet," he said. "Either way it's going to be tricky, just because it's not easy for an American to go live in the U.K. and it's not easy for a Brit to come live in the U.S.. But we'll sort it out."
During the conference call, Grant was very careful not to tip his hand as to whether he presents his final rose to Lamas or Wanstrath.
"They've got some similar qualities and some very different qualities," Grant told Reality TV World. "Both were just good fun to be around. I think that comes across on the show when you're watching it at home."
Grant said Wanstrath, a 24-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative from Durango, CO, appealed to his sporty side as a guy.
"With Chelsea, it was very much because she's very sporty and outgoing and athletic, and I love that side of her," he said. "The connection with Chelsea was always fun."
However he did admit that it was difficult getting past the fact that Wanstrath exhibited difficulty with PDAs -- public displays of affection -- before he finally got her to physically open up on their Fantasy Suite date.
"I was very skeptical of her," explained Grant. "It's a bit weird she can't hold someone's hand. My ex-girlfriend was always kind of funny with PDAs. I didn't want that again, and you could see that sort of came out."
Grant said he was attracted to Lamas, a 22-year-old actress from Malibu, CA, because she's "very feminine," describing her as "a real kind of lady's woman."
"But most importantly with Shayne it was very easy right from the start," added Grant.
That comment is a bit confusing considering Grant also aknowledged he was "very tough" on Lamas in the beginning since he was "skeptical" due to her background as an actress.
"You obviously saw that scene in Las Vegas where she starts kicking off on a tantrum, just falling into my vision of what I thought she was," explained Grant. "And then I started to see her on the date at the winery in California -- there was more depth and substance, but I was still tough on her."
Grant said it wasn't until he went skiing in Idaho that he started to look past his preconceived notions about Lamas.
"I just saw this side to her -- she was talking about her family a lot, she was talking about her friends a lot. I really saw this completely different side to her, quite far away from this sort of Hollywood girl that I thought was there," he said. "The icing on the cake for me was the hometown visit, when I realized she was kind of the keystone to the family -- the key person in the family, and fundamental to the stability of the family and the success of the family. Looking after her sister and her mother. She's very caring."
In addition, Grant assured reporters that he "did have feelings" for both Lamas and Wanstrath before adding "love isn't just black and white" and he "ultimately had more feelings for one person."
However he added that the fact he had feelings for both Lamas and Wanstrath was a point of conversation with the woman he presents his final rose to.
"I did have feelings for [both of] the Final 2 [women], and that's something that we as a couple have to sort of go beyond," he said. "We've talked about it. We understand that we were put into an unrealistic situation, albeit it's reality television. We had to accept it wasn't going to be easy afterwards. We had deep and frank conversations about what was going to be shown and how things are."
Grant described both he and his selected suitor as "realistic" when it comes to how they met.
"It's not the ideal way to meet, but we had fun doing it and we've got the relationship and the communication just to laugh a lot of it off and let all the important stuff through and get over it," he explained.
While Grant doesn't have any regrets about his final two bachelorettes, some viewers apparently have questions as to why he rejected Amanda Rantuccio.
"I didn't get death threats, but I got some fairly harsh words thrown at me about the whole Amanda thing," he told reporters.
"I can understand it in a way, because people watch it week to week and they see the first-impression rose went to Amanda. People get built up, and I understand that. But hand on heart in all honesty, it just wasn't anywhere near enough. I can completely see she's a great girl -- very attractive and family oriented and a nice person. A genuine, warm, sincere, nice person. But quite simply she just wasn't for me and I wasn't for her."
Grant also reiterated comments he made during last night's The Bachelor: The Women Tell All special about how he was reluctant to present a rose to Rantuccio because she had failed to use the word "love" when talking about her feelings for him.
"It really did just come down to the fact that with [Lamas and Wanstrath], the 'love' word would come-up a lot. With Amanda, I realized it was just 'like' all the time," he told reporters. "Quite simply, it just wasn't there. I know it's frustrating because you always need information and exact reasons for why something hasn't worked out. I can't give a detailed report on exactly why emotionally it wasn't there for me. But it wasn't."
In addition, Grant said he was hesitant about Rantuccio since it seemed she had never really been in a long-term relationship before.
"It didn't feel like there had been a long relationship -- a decent relationship -- with Amanda in the past," he explained. "I was just thinking -- ironically because she's the oldest-- but, 'Are you ready to settle down?'"
Overall, Grant said he felt facing 15 of his previously eliminated suitors during The Women Tell All special went "better than I thought it would."
"I didn't want to come across as someone I'm not. I didn't want to come across as arrogant and loose and not giving a you-know-what about these women, because I did," he told reporters. "The hardest part of the show was dealing with the rejection side of it. You kind of moved on, and then two months later you're brought back into the fold and everything is sort of rubbed back in your face again -- not just for me, but the women as well. It was difficult. But it was nice to see them."
Grant was also sporting a new David Beckham-esque shaved head during the special and told reporters it isn't uncommon for him to loose his British locks once it gets warmer outside.
"I always do it in the summer," he said. "I like the look. I think some people like it, and some people don't. You're never going to please everyone in life."
Prior to appearing as The Bachelor's star, Grant had never seen an episode of the long-running reality series. While he said he watched the majority of his season unfold, there was one broadcast he couldn't bring himself to watch.
"There was one [episode] I chose not to watch -- the [two-on-one date with Holly Durst and Marshana Ritchie] -- just because I felt that was really difficult," he said. "That was one of the hardest things for me, that double date. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. That should be against [United Nations] law."
Now that he's gotten a taste of the reality dating series genre, Grant told reporters he's actually caught a couple other shows similar to The Bachelor.
"I watched [Rock of Love with Bret Michaels] and [Flavor of Love], and I just couldn't stop laughing," he said. "I know if I had ever been asked to go on one of those two, I never would have done it. For all the tea in China, you wouldn't have got me on those shows. They're crazy!"