Colton Underwood's virginity was a major plot point on his season of The Bachelor, but ABC reality chief Rob Mills says that's part of what made things so dramatic
“Was it too much? Absolutely. But is The Bachelor the poster child for overkill? Absolutely. And I think that’s why we love it. It’s over-the-top and fun,” ABC reality chief Rob Mills told The Hollywood Reporter.
“Look, we have to own it. We know it’s true,” he added, speaking about the show’s uber-dramatic tendencies. “You saw a lot of people saying a week ago after the fence jump, ‘Wow, they said this was the most dramatic thing and for once they were right.’ We know there are times where it’s obviously not he ‘most dramatic’ and we hype things up and sometimes over-hype them, but that’s kind of the fun of the show.”
Continuing, he said, “It’s such a social show for people to think: where does this rank? Was it the most dramatic, the second most dramatic, the last dramatic? And I think that’s where everything with all the virginity talk came from, too.”
Addressing Underwood’s coy response during the series finale about whether he lost his virginity after getting back together with finalist Cassie Randolph, Mills said he believed Underwood “inferred” that he had.
“Chris [Harrison] said, ‘Well, I’ll just take it as a yes.’ ”
Though they ultimately ended up together, Underwood, 27, and Randolph, 23, didn’t get a traditional Fantasy Suite date earlier this season because she left the show before the two were supposed to spend the night together in Portugal. Heartbroken, Underwood sent home the two remaining contestants, Tayshia Adams and Hannah Godwin, before making one last ditch effort to woo Randolph.
She agreed to give it another go and the two headed off to Mallorca, Spain, where they finally got to stay in the same suite during one last date.
After kicking out the crew and taking their mics off, Underwood and Randolph pointedly hung a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, and the following morning Underwood said the pair had “an amazing night.”
- For more on Cassie and Colton, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday
After Tuesday’s finale, Underwood went on to share a shirtless photo of the couple in bed, writing that Randolph had “changed” his life.
“Whatever I write will never fully articulate the feelings I have for you,” Underwood captioned a photo of himself and Cassie in bed. “You are the most incredible person whom I have ever met, you have the kindest soul and the sweetest heart. You changed my life for the better and made this year the best year of my life.”
Opening up about her change of heart to PEOPLE in this week’s cover story, Randolph said, “I thought I made the right decision in leaving.”
“But Colton fought for me. And he has shown me what a healthy relationship looks like,” she added.
For his part, Underwood doesn’t harbor any hard feelings about Randolph initially walking away.
“Resentment would be the last thing I feel for Cassie,” he told PEOPLE. “I have so much love and respect for her, and I have no doubts about how she feels about me now. Our story might not be like anyone else’s on The Bachelor. But I wouldn’t change anything about it.”
RELATED VIDEO: Cassie on Her Relationship with Colton: ‘We’re Still Here Because We Took It At Our Own Pace’
Sitting down with PEOPLE ahead of his season premiere, the former football player said he never intended for his virginity to become such a talking point after he revealed it on Becca Kufrin‘s season of The Bachelorette last year.
“I had no plans to share that I was a virgin,” he said. “It was something in the moment with Becca. It was important for her to know. I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal but obviously, a lot of people latched onto that.”
And though he was “grateful” for the support and fan reactions he received after he opened up, Underwood was quick to point out that being a virgin is only a “small part of who I am.”
“It’s a decision I consciously made, but it’s just something that makes me into who I am,” he said. “There is a stigma around athletes and I think the more that us as humans can do to break those, the better.”