During the show’s debut, the liquor distributor from Long Beach, N.Y., imbibed to the point of incoherence and anger before passing out on the patio furniture and then being carried out and driven home before the first rose ceremony.
McCormack, 35, bravely faced questions from reporters via conference call about his public intoxication, his thoughts on Jeff (a.k.a. the masked man) and whether he thinks the antics will haunt his future dating life.
How are you feeling after watching the episode?
I started to watch it but it was nauseating. I turned it off. It was not very good barometer of who I am. I went on [the show] to find love. I’m at a good place in my life. The only thing missing is the romantic aspect. It’s disgusting how this all transpired as far as the way I acted. I was a man acting like a kid who had his first drink.
Had this ever happened before?
If this was an everyday occurrence, I should be checking myself in somewhere. It was a one-shot deal. Unfortunately, it happened on a night I’d been anticipating for a long time. It was not my intention to go through the whole casting process and get on to meet Ashley to pretty much put myself out of the race from the moment I got out of the limo. It really is a shame because she’s drop-dead gorgeous, a great girl and seems like fun.
How did it get that bad? What and how much did you drink?
I really don’t know how I got that bad. I didn’t even look good getting out of the limo. Alcohol has never affected me like that before and I work in the industry. I can’t tell you the exact number of drinks I had but I definitely wasn’t in my hotel room drinking all day. I had a toast or two in the limo. I had some vodka cocktails. Someone told me I was drinking a beer. Maybe I mixed too much. Maybe it was adrenaline or nerves. But the idiot came out to play. Going to sleep was not a conscious decision. It was a bodily reaction to what I put in my system.
If you were sober, would you have reacted differently to the masked suitor?
I would have curbed my tongue more and just left him alone. I’m too old for fighting, but I found it creepy. I don’t like masks or Halloween. Dead sober or not, I would have found it extremely odd that somebody would wear a mask when you’re trying to make a nice first impression. But it’s like throwing stones in a glass house at this point.
How was the morning after? What’s your hangover cure?
The next morning was a giant fog about what happened the previous night. My cure was enough Gatorade to fuel a football field.
Do you have anything to say to Ashley?
A giant apology. I would like the chance to get out a complete sentence without slurring or stopping to figure out what I want to say. I definitely did not come to waste her time. I’m the one who really lost out by not getting a chance to get to know her. There are a lot of girls out there who would have absolutely blasted away on me for my belligerent behavior, but she handled herself with a whole lot of class.
Worried your TV debut will affect your dating?
Talk to me in a few months. Everyone who knows me knows that is not anywhere remotely close to the behavior I put out there with friends, family or at work. They know that’s not me. But people who don’t know me just saw a guy who went bananas, so I don’t know how much it’s going to affect my dating life. I’m 35. I can’t waste too many years cleaning this mess up.
Will you change your drinking habits?
It’s not like I’m never going to drink again or I haven’t since I left the show, but [maybe I’ll stick with] club soda on first dates.