The Bachelorette bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr. has emerged as one of the frontrunners to win the heart of Bachelorette Emily Maynard.

Emily seemed to confide in Arie and didn't mind showing him affection in front of the other guys or stealing him away for some alone time on group dates. However, after Kalon McMahon referred to Emily's daughter Ricki as "baggage" and Arie didn't step up to the plate and immediately relay the news to Emily, The Bachelorette star began questioning how strong her relationship with Arie really was and whether he'd have her back going forward.

During a Friday conference call with reporters, Arie talked to Reality TV World about his experience thus far on The Bachelorette and how he will be "breaking the rules" during tonight's broadcast. Click here to read what he had to say.

Below are some highlights from ABC's transcript of the rest of Arie's call -- including whether he thought Kalon's apology was sincere, how strong or nonexistent his feelings are for Emily right now, what viewers can expect to see soon from Ryan Bowers, and which particular bachelor in the house he had built a lasting friendship with.

So, I was wondering about the whole situation with Kalon the other day. Did you think that he was sincere in his apology to Emily or did you really think that he meant what he said and Emily did the right thing sending him home?

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I definitely think that Emily did the right thing sending him home, and it was interesting to me because Emily really gave him an opportunity to apologize and he never really did. 

So, that's what really surprised me, and I think all the guys were very disappointed in Kalon. And I do think though, Emily really handled herself in a manner which was unbelievable, and that's why I didn't step in to -- to really help her out -- because I felt like she had really handled that well.

It hasn't been shown on The Bachelorette yet, but there's a lot of rumors in the tabloids and everything about you having dated a producer who works on the show. Can you comment at all on that?

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: All I can say is that it is addressed on the show, so it is something that we'll see in the future and I'd love for you guys to watch it play out on TV.

Do you think it's harder to be on The Bachelorette this season given the fact that Emily's looking for a father as well as a husband?

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I don't think so because, you know, I haven't watched previous seasons. And as far as from my experience, I was ready to be in that role and I have dated a woman that had two children before, so I know that it's a tough situation but I was definitely prepared for it. I just don't know if everyone else in the house was. 

So along those lines, now that Kalon is gone, do you think that there are other guys left that aren't ready to be fathers or aren't in it for the right reasons? 

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Yes, I definitely think that at this point, there are still some guys, you know, on the show that are not there or not ready to be a father figure and are not there for the right reasons.

Are you willing to give us any names?

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: No, I can't, but you'll watch it all unfold, you know? I think that this week you will definitely see a lot of [Ryan Bower]'s true colors and that's something that you'll see play out this week. 

I don't know if you happened to see Emily's tweet yesterday about Kalon being on Bachelor Pad's next season, but it was pretty vicious. Michelle Money had also commented negatively about his participation. Did you know about that?

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: No, no, I didn't happen to catch that. I did see the news about Kalon yesterday and I also thought that was interesting that he was on Bachelor Pad.  But I did not see Michelle Money or Emily's tweet about that. 

It appears that you developed really strong feelings for Emily while you were on the show. How difficult is it to now watch the show back and see her intimate moments with other men that you couldn't necessarily witness in person? 

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I think that I knew going into the show how, you know, how she would have other relationships going on at the same time.  So for me watching the show, I keep that in mind and it doesn't seem to bother me because I really feel like I still feel as I did when I was on the show -- that we have a connection that sets us apart from everybody. 

So I noticed that you kind of made fun of Doug Clerget before his one-on-one date with Emily. Was that intense and do you have anything against him or did you like and get along with him? 

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: It was intense and it was more that everyone was poking fun at him. He seemed really tense before his date, and it's nothing mean spirited against Doug. Doug and I got along on the show, and I think you kind of saw that in the last episode when, you know, after the Shakespeare moment when we're reciting Romeo, Doug and I kind of hugged.

It was just kind of a funny moment, because the previous week, we were kind of going at each other a little bit.  And on the show, Doug and I definitely got along. 

How strong are your feelings for Emily right now? 

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Still as strong as they were while I was on the show. 

I kind of felt like Emily unfairly went after you guys about Kalon's "baggage" comment, because a lot of you had not actually heard the comment until right before Doug said something. I felt like she was really particularly unfair to Doug because he actually did tell her and then she was like, "No one had my back, no one told me anything," and she flipped out. I realize she was just in the heat of the moment though.

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: And I think what you have to look at is that she has a very tough position and, you know, she's a single mother and she's very protective over Ricki. So, you know, was it irrational?  I don't think so. 

I just think that she's very protective over Ricki although a lot of us got called out for not standing up for her, and because of Kalon's comment, it was unfortunate. But I don't think it really was an overreaction just because she is a single mother.

And being on the show, she's got to be in a tough position because she's not in the house. She doesn't see what goes on, you know, all hours of the day and night while she's not there and people's comments and sort of the personalities that play out while she is on a date. 

So I think for her, you know, she's looking to the guys of the house, like myself, to let her know if someone's intent is not to be on the show to be there for her, and I think that's what she was upset about. 

Do you think it's fair to say the female versus male reaction to Bachelor or Bachelorette drama is very different? It seems like the guys tend to say, "Let's just focus on our relationship and ignore what's going on the house," while the women are like, "Why didn't you tell me?! You need to stand up for me."

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Like I said, I haven't watched previous seasons, but I just know from being in this situation that I was in.  I wanted to like absorb every moment with her, and I wanted to spend it talking about us and our future and if we were compatible or not.

And I didn't really want to dwell on the drama in the house.  So for me, that's kind of the standpoint I took, and that is also what I told her at the cocktail party. And I still stand by that, because you have such a limited amount of time that you really just -- you want to concentrate on your relationship and not talk about what's going on in the house all the time. 

So it's unfortunate that I -- that, you know, she looked at me to stand up for her, but I feel like she handled it so well and she said like the perfect thing to him and basically gave him an opportunity to apologize which he didn't.  And, you know, I felt like -- I was very impressed by her inner "mama bear" and I just let her do her thing, and I felt like she handled it well.

Ryan's been super competitive with you during his confessionals, and I don't know if you've seen any of that either while on the show or watching from home, but what is your reaction to his sort of intense competition with you. 

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: You know, Ryan's a very competitive person in his daily life. As far as what you will see from Ryan, you'll definitely see it, and you will see it in the next episode. I really feel like his true colors come out and all those questions will be answered at that point, so you'll have to check it out for sure.

Did you know he was having this intense competition with you like in his head? 

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Yes, I can tell. I know just from my sport in racing. I'm also a very driven competitive person, but I think that you'll see that Ryan's personality, being a competitive person, can be a drawback, because it's not a competition. It's to see if you are compatible with somebody, and I think that you'll see a lot of interesting things and, you know, that's really all I can say about it. 

I talked to a couple of the other guys in the house and they all talk about you as being the funny goofball. Would you say that's accurate?

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Totally. I'm always -- I think you see some of that. You're starting to see more of that on the show, but I like to have a good time.  I was friends with everybody in the house. There's, you know -- although I have some moments with some of the guys, I think that's natural because you are all in the house together and your spending so much time with everybody. 

But in general, I had a really good time and the show just gets better and better and better. And I've built some really good relationships with the guys out of that whole deal, because we had such a good time. 

Your attitude really comes across on the show. I'm wondering if you could give us any sort of "behind the scenes" pranks that you did with the guys or like goofy things that happened? 

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I don't really know. I can't really remember because it was just -- there were so many things, but I definitely was really good friends with [Michael Nance] and definitely really good friends with [Jef Holm].  And it was just kind of funny how you had like a little separation in the house.

You had like the what we called "the football team," and then it was like Jef and I versus everybody. It was kind of interesting because you really had so many different types of personalities, but we all meshed together pretty well. 

That's great. So do you think your sort of goofy jokey personality maybe ever rubbed some guys the wrong way and caused any drama, or was it all good? 

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I don't know. I just feel like they didn't expect me to have the connection I did with Emily, so that kind of caught people off guard. But I don't know, adding a little humor to the house can never be a bad thing, you know? So I think that I just really had a relaxed attitude and really didn't go in with any expectations, and it made it a really enjoyable experience. 

Should you wind up with Emily, you got a little taste of Charlotte, NC. Would you be interested in relocating there to live with her and Ricki or would you be more interested in having them relocate to Arizona?

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Those are all things that are definitely talked about on the show, but actually when I was in Charlotte, I didn't even get a date in Charlotte.  My date was in Tennessee because we flew to Dollywood, so I didn't get to see much of Charlotte actually, and it's still somewhere I'd love to visit. 

You said you haven't really seen too much of past seasons, but when people have come forward to tattletale on somebody, it wound up being the demise of their relationship. Is that kind of what held you back from telling Emily about the "baggage" comment in that you were afraid drama might ruin what you and Emily had?

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I think from my standpoint, at this point, I really felt like I needed to just concentrate on us, so I didn't really want to talk about things in the house. But then in London, she really made it a point to say that she didn't feel that anyone had her back. 

So, that sort of changed my opinion a little bit. But at this point in the show, I really felt like it wasn't my place to say anything about what was happening in the house. 

You briefly mentioned something about a fiancee. I know you can't say if you are with Emily or not, but are you single or are you definitely taken at this point by somebody?

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I can't say that.  You'll just have to watch it all unfold. The storyline this week is just -- it really turns things up, and for me too emotionally, and I think this is definitely a turning point for me this week. 

Yes, you keep hinting on major things. Could you possibly be hinting at a proposal prior to the finale from you? 

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I don't think that would happen this soon. It's only week five or week six in Dubrovnik, and I will say that Dubrovnik was one of my favorite locations. It was such a beautiful city and I definitely want to go back there someday. 

Were you nervous to tell her that you were a race car driver once you found out her past?

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I was nervous just because I took a big risk going on the show in general, and I think that would either be something that we would connect on or could be a conflict. I wanted to tell her like right away so that we could either move forward or, you know -- or if it was something that was going to bother her then I would have known right away. 

So yes, I definitely was nervous and you can kind of see that when I'm oncamera, because I'm usually very funny and sort of relaxed. And I definitely was tense in that moment. 

You mentioned that you were close to Jef and he seems like a frontrunner right now. Did you guys have any competitive edge towards each other? 

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Not at all actually. Jef and I had a pretty cool relationship because we could really talk about what was going on in the house pretty openly to each other, whereas some of the other guys in the house, it was difficult for them to hear about the dates that we're going on. And so yes, Jef and I had a pretty cool relationship, the friendship going.

So far, what's your fondest memory up until this point in Croatia?

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Oh God, there, that's a tough one.  I'd have to say my first day at Dollywood was literally the best date of my life, and it was -- You meet so many people in your life and it's very rare when you connect with somebody in a way that's, I feel, very meaningful and very right off the bat.

I feel like that's what we at Dollywood had. We had just this most amazing date and I'd say, as a whole, that that date was probably still the best date of my life.

It seems like the show's dates would allow any couple to immediately fall in love. Do you think if you just went to a local pub in Arizona with Emily you'd feel the same way?

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Literally, this is what -- it's kind of a bummer that it wasn't shown, but when we got picked up and we were in the limo together -- and she comments about it on the show -- immediately we were like laughing, and I literally could have driven around in that limo all day. 

It didn't matter where we were or what we were doing, just being together and talking and laughing and getting to know each other was far more special than flying in a plane and being at Dollywood. It was just the connection that we have. 

So I know that it's hard to really believe, but when you connect with somebody, it really doesn't matter what you are doing, right?  And that's what we had on our first date. We really could have done anything and it would have been great. 

Were you ready to be a dad and a husband and all that stuff when you were on the show?  

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: I think in general, you know, going into the show, I was ready for that next step to be married and to have kids. I was in a relationship where I took kids to school with a single mother that had a few kids, and it just made me grow up and mature in ways that I can't really explain. 

But when that relationship ended, I knew that I wanted that. And, you know, I am 30-years-old, and I've grown up around adults my whole life.  I feel like an old soul and I really, really was looking for that. For me, that's not even a question.  It's total fact. I definitely want to get married; I definitely want to have kids. And hopefully, the sooner the better. 

If it can't be you, and I know this is a difficult question if you have feelings for her or if it is you, but if it can't be you which other bachelor do you think is the best fit for Emily? 

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Well all I'll say is that there's a lot of really good guys there and a handful of very good individuals, and it's not that anyone's better than the next guy. It's the relationship -- if the relationship is strong and the feelings are strong, and I think that you'll see that all unfold. 

But there is definitely -- I don't have that feeling to where [Chris Bukowski], [Sean Lowe], Jef -- whoever's left on the show -- couldn't make for a good father or a good husband.  And, you know, the guys that are there now are all very good individuals. 

Except maybe Ryan.

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: You said it, not me! 

If you were to plan a date with Emily and Ricki, what would you plan and why?

Arie Luyendyk Jr.: Oh my God, you are putting the pressure on me right now. The cool thing about Emily is she's very, you know, she takes enjoyment out of very simple things.

So I feel like going with her and Ricki to a pottery-painting place and painting pottery and doing cool intimate things like that would just be fun, you know?  I think that the crazy exciting dates are behind us, and if I were to plan a date, it would be something simple like that. 

Above are some highlights from ABC's transcript of the rest of Arie's call. Click here to read what Arie had to say to Reality TV World.
About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.