Season 23 of “The Bachelor” wrapped up this week with an unprecedented finale: Main man Colton practically give up the present when he was dumped by contestant Cassie. He ended up getting a second likelihood along with her, the couple reunited, and ended the finale in a relationship, however with no proposal and engagement.

Usually, “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” finish with a proposal as a result of that’s been the ultimate step within the sequence’ format, ever because the hit ABC actuality present debuted in 2002.

“At occasions, you type of get caught on this groove and going by means of the motions of what ‘The Bachelor’ is meant to do. In earlier seasons, the Bachelor is simply purported to fall again on his plan B,” Colton informed Selection in a latest sit-down interview, alongside Cassie. “That is my life. And that is any person who I fell in love with and I cared for deeply and I wasn’t prepared to let that stroll away with out seeing if we might make that work with out the cameras.”

Bucking the system, Colton’s actions acquired polarizing opinions on social media from Bachelor Nation with many critics (full disclosure: together with this reporter) heralding him as probably the most lifelike “Bachelor” the franchise has ever seen.

Additionally not like earlier “Bachelor” stars? Colton is a virgin. His virginity was used closely as a advertising and marketing software to promote the season, and each single episode made some extent to remind viewers at dwelling that he’s nonetheless a virgin.

“I don’t suppose it was exploited in a damaging means. Do I believe it was overplayed? Sure. That’s what I can say,” Colton says. “However exploited? No.”

Earlier contestants on “The Bachelor” franchise, together with fan-favorite Ashley I., have been open about their virginity, however no different solid member’s intercourse life has acquired the highlight fairly like Colton’s.

Now that he’s fortunately courting Cassie, the couple has declined to disclose whether or not or not Colton misplaced his virginity, however whereas talking to Selection, they did weigh in on the double commonplace on illuminating a person’s virginity on nationwide TV.

“I really feel like with a woman, it most likely wouldn’t have been talked about as a lot, honesty,” Cassie says, including, “Or possibly the jokes wouldn’t have been as excessive.”

“I can inform you, if it was a woman, it wouldn’t have been as in your face,” Colton chimes in. “I might positively say that.”

Right here, Colton and Cassie sit down with Selection to debate their glad ending, their future engagement, and their ideas on the following “Bachelorette.”

Throughout your look on “Jimmy Kimmel Stay,” you got an engagement ring from Neil Lane. Cassie, you’re clearly not carrying it, so the place is the ring? And do you propose to make use of it any time quickly?

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COLTON: The ring is in a secure spot. We’ve some conversations that we’re going to have, and we nonetheless have a number of steps earlier than we get there. We’ve been speaking about it. We’re very assured in the place our relationship is now, however we’re having fun with courting, we’re having fun with taking this daily nonetheless, similar to you noticed after we left the present. We’re having enjoyable. We’re in love. And we will’t wait to proceed to push our relationship.

CASSIE: We don’t essentially have a timeline, however we’ve talked about our future. It’s positively going to occur, however we simply don’t know when.

While you get engaged, would you need your marriage ceremony to be televised by ABC?

CASSIE: That’s one thing we haven’t actually thought of at this level.

COLTON: One step at a time. It relies upon the place we’re at in our lives and what’s finest. All of our selections right here on out … is what’s finest for our relationship. If it’s finest for our relationship — I don’t know what circumstance that will be — for it to be televised, then nice. But when not, a small intimate vacation spot marriage ceremony sounds actually good to me, too.

CASSIE: Yeah, similar.

Do you suppose that you just two not getting engaged will change the format of the present, and put much less strain on contestants to undergo with a proposal and engagement on the finale?

COLTON: I believe all people has their very own means of how they deal with “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” and for me, I used to be prepared to throw the entire whole present and being the Bachelor to the facet for Cassie and for our relationship and to do what was finest and do what was proper.

Do you suppose that the format of the present, by way of anticipating a proposal on the finale, is unrealistic and wishes to alter?

COLTON: No, I don’t. I used to be very grateful and really humbled by being named “The Bachelor” and also you’re put in a novel place that nobody’s ever been put in earlier than and also you attempt to maintain your choices for so long as you possibly can, and happily for me, I couldn’t maintain my choices open any longer — she had my coronary heart.

What do you say to individuals who say you possibly can’t discover love on actuality TV?

COLTON: I believe one thing for me that I’ve spoken brazenly about is that I had an understanding of what I used to be moving into. I had an understanding that we have been making a TV present, and I can separate the 2, of creating a very good TV present and nonetheless discovering my particular person or discovering love — they aren’t mutually unique, so you are able to do it. For me, I wasn’t going to sacrifice a relationship and love, simply to go together with a format of a present.

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Colton, your virginity was the centerpiece of the season. Do you are feeling like your virginity was exploited?

CASSIE: I believe there was some extent the place the entire subject on Colton’s virginity bought just a little out of hand, however I believe Colton’s dealt with it rather well and being open and trustworthy about that — that’s one of many issues I really like probably the most about him, that he’s so himself. We’ve determined to sort of shut that door and never focus on it as a result of it’s bizarre having the whole world discuss your intercourse life

COLTON: [Cassie] was like, “You’ve been very open, you’ve been very candid. You gave them just a little and so they’ve taken loads — they’ve taken it and ran with it, so it’s your proper to take it again everytime you need and have management over it.” I don’t ever remorse it. Do I believe it was exploited? No, as a result of I can’t inform you how many individuals have reached out to me and stated, “Hey, thanks for speaking about this, thanks for opening up about this since you’ve allowed me to be comfy with who I’m and the choices that I’ve been making in my life.” I might have by no means guessed these individuals would have been reaching out to me and speaking to me. For me, I’m prepared to be a voice, I’m prepared to face out and take some criticism if I’m serving to anyone.

CASSIE: I really feel like it doesn’t matter what you say, responding to somebody, whether or not it’s saying “sure” or saying “no,” except you cease speaking about it, individuals are simply going to proceed to speak about it, till you simply cease.

COLTON: I grew up as an athlete. I grew up with the locker room banter. I take into account myself to have thick pores and skin — I can play together with a joke and I can go together with it. I can take it. And I believe the they type of learn that — the present would have by no means put me in an uncomfortable state of affairs. They knew proper off the bat, even with the popping the cherry and all of that, that they by no means took it too far. [A contestant popped a “cherry” balloon on the first episode of the show.]

Cassie, have you ever had damaging response towards you on social media with individuals saying you’re not really in love with Colton, because you walked away from him on the present?

CASSIE: I believe individuals’s opinions are actually break up, principally as a result of they didn’t actually perceive what was happening as a result of I wasn’t essentially excellent at articulating it, however for me, I got here in right here with intentions of probably getting engaged to Colton … however I didn’t notice, coming into being on “The Bachelor,” how little time you’re going to get and the way it works. You don’t have any thought till you’re in it. You see {couples} come out of it fortunately engaged so I assumed it have to be potential, however for me, I wasn’t capable of get there in time.

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Colton, let’s discuss in regards to the night time that you just jumped the fence. Had been you really ready to utterly go away and give up the present?

COLTON: Yeah. I used to be performed. In that second once I took off my microphone, I used to be performed with being the Bachelor. I had some conversations and it was an extended night time, there wasn’t plenty of sleep, and everybody was attempting to determine the place will we go from right here. … It was a second the place I spotted, it’s over. I don’t know the way you’re [production] going to wrap this up and the way you’re going to finish this, however tonight, I made up my thoughts. I don’t wish to proceed with out her. They did an excellent job of permitting me to a minimum of have an opportunity to ask for her again and doing the precise factor, permitting me to observe my coronary heart, discovering any person that I wished to spend the remainder of my life with.

Chris Harrison stated on “Good Morning America” that you just have been upset with him and with manufacturing, when you have been filming. Why have been you upset?

COLTON: I believe the place my frustrations got here in that particular state of affairs was the time issue and realizing we would have liked extra of it. Sadly, we simply weren’t getting there, and I used to be extra pissed off with the place our relationship … like, now she’s leaving, so it was extra of a frustration of like, we didn’t get it. However we had a dialog, we troubleshot it, and we’re right here now and that’s all that issues. That’s what I informed them [production] — as irritating and as upset as I used to be in that second and as heated because it was, you guys allowed me to alternative to fulfill any person who I name my finest pal that I’m head over heels in love with.

What do you consider Hannah B., as “The Bachelorette?”

CASSIE: We’re actually excited for Hannah B. I’m excited to observe her season.

COLTON: It’ll be a really attention-grabbing season. She is tremendous herself, she’s very assured, she’s one-on-one. I’m rooting for her. I actually am.

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