During a recent episode of former The Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe's Off the Vine podcast, Kaitlyn and Colton discussed why they both chose to appear on ABC's reality dating franchise to begin with.
"With the show now, obviously people know going into it they're going to become somewhat recognizable and, I don't know if 'famous' is the right word, but Instagram is it's own level of fame," Kaitlyn said.
"The show creates monsters," Colton noted.
"Oh absolutely! I know a few," Kaitlyn admitted.
"I know your concern was people being there for 'the wrong reasons,' and that whole thing, but that's I think a fear of every lead who goes into it, like, 'Are you actually here for me? What do they want out of this?' But do you see the other side of it now with social media?"
"Yeah, but see... that's not mutually exclusive," Colton said. "I don't mind if you understand what you're getting yourself into."
Colton then explained why he initially signed up to appear on The Bachelorette's fourteenth season with Becca Kufrin last year.
"I'm going to let you know, I signed up for The Bachelorette to have a fun time, to give it a shot, and I knew at the end of it, I'm probably going to have a platform and it's going to be a fun time traveling and experience," admitted Colton, who also appeared on last summer's edition of Bachelor in Paradise.
Kaitlyn pointed out "falling in love is just a bonus."
"Right!" Colton agreed.
Kaitlyn admitted she had initially competed on Chris Soules' edition of The Bachelor "to build a brand," not to find love, and her adventure ultimately led her to star on The Bachelorette's eleventh season.
FOLLOW REALITY TV WORLD ON THE ALL-NEW GOOGLE NEWS!
Reality TV World is now available on the all-new Google News app and website. Click here to visit our Google News page, and then click FOLLOW to add us as a news source!
"People are shocked and are just like, 'Oh, he's fame hungry,' and it's like, 'No, I'm aware of what I'm doing,'" Colton reasoned.
Kaitlyn argued it takes a brave person to give him or herself appear on the reality dating franchise and not everybody can handle it. She called fame from the show "a blessing and a curse" because one can raise awareness but scrutiny comes along with it.
"It doesn't have to be viewed as such a negative thing, but I think with your group of girls, people are really -- and I'm guilty of it too -- going towards the age thing," Kaitlyn shared.
The pair pointed out, however, how JoJo Fletcher was 24 when she starred on the series and Ben Higgins was 26, yet both of them left the show in mature, serious relationships. (JoJo is still engaged to her winner, Jordan Rodgers, but Ben split from Lauren Bushnell in Spring 2017).
"This is one thing I learned from this past year -- you can only speak from your experiences in life," Colton reasoned. "So until you get to know someone, you can't judge them."
Colton said while Kaitlyn might not have been ready for an engagement at age 26, he's "completely ready."
"I have a lot of room to grow, but I'm at a point in my life where I want to be engaged and I want to be married and I want to be a dad and I want to be happy," Colton insisted.
Kaitlyn told Colton he has an amazing opportunity to raise awareness and money for his charity, The Legacy Foundation, which was created for children with cystic fibrosis. Colton agreed, saying his platform has grown significantly from his brief pro football career in which he was a member of the practice squads of a couple of NFL football teams.
"I was still making the most of my small platform. I probably spent too much time focusing on my platform than my career, which is why I never stepped on the field in a regular season," Colton said.
"But that's what I was passionate about, and you can't blame me for my passions."
Colton, however, is trying to live off Ben's advice to allow The Bachelor to enhance his life rather than be the focus of his life.
"I of course wanted to build a brand, but I was genuinely ready, and you are allowed to do both," Kaitlyn said.
Colton wrapped up the conversation by thanking Kaitlyn for "breaking the fourth wall" with him.
"People get this perception we are sneaky and fame hungry, but it's like no, I'm here building something for me... If I'm going to sit here and have to take half the comments I read prior to me being announced as the Bachelor, and I'm going to have to take the criticism, I am for damn sure going to make the most out of this," Colton said.
"You best believe that. You want to sit there and criticize me? I'm going to take this and run with it."
The Bachelor's 23rd season is heading into the women's round of hometown dates on Monday, February 25 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC.