Bachelor No. 19 on confronting 17 exes: "Could you see me sweating? I was sweating!"
Chris Soules is The Bachelor! After a bittersweet exit from Andi Dorfman’s season of The Bachelorette, the farmer from Arlington, Iowa, is searching for love once again on ABC’s hit franchise. Chris, 33, will be blogging for PEOPLE.com every week about the women, the dates and the difficult decisions he’ll make on his journey to love. So check back every week, and follow Chris on Twitter.
Women Tell All. That’s what they call it, and that’s what it was. Those women told ALL! This was very much their show, and – because of that – I’ll keep this blog short and sweet.
Now, contrary to what you might think, I wasn’t in the audience or hanging around behind some curtain watching it all go down. I was back in my dressing room, throwing on a tie, leisurely checking out a copy of Chris Harrison‘s new book and wondering which one of my beautiful ex-girlfriends was going to make me sweat it out there on the stage. I had no idea it would be more nerve-racking than I could have ever imagined. Have you ever been confronted by 17 of your ex-girlfriends? Yeah, didn’t think so! It was rough!
Let’s start with the fun stuff. Crashing the viewing parties was a blast. I’d seen them do it on previous seasons of The Bachelor, and it was something I was really excited about. Boy do these Bachelor fans go all out with these viewing parties. Oh, and what you didn’t get to see is that a couple of my brothers-in-law came with me. I think they might have enjoyed themselves as much or more than I did!
Okay, the Women Tell All. Let’s talk. These women really went after each other. It was eye-opening seeing all of that, especially because most of the time during the course of the season I really had no idea what these women were saying to each other when I wasn’t around. I mean, I knew there was friction between Britt and Carly, but I really had no idea it was that bad. Whose side am I on? No way am I going to choose a side; I refuse to get in the middle of that one! More on Britt later though.
So much talk about Kelsey that I don’t even know where to start. As I’ve said before, I don’t think Kelsey is a bad person. Did she use her story to maneuver herself a little here and there? Yeah, probably. But she’s also been through so much that I don’t think I can possibly understand how I would respond in her situation. Hearing her say that she feels like she is grieving all over again is heartbreaking. I guess I just choose to give her the benefit of the doubt, no matter what anyone says.
Ashley S. Still beautiful. Still a little crazy. As they say, there are many layers to an onion. And to a pomegranate. And Ashley S. has many, many layers. I know I’ll never quite get to all of those layers, and that’s okay. I love onions. And pomegranates. Regardless, I think she is a great girl!
Okay, let’s get back to the serious stuff. Backstage, I was sweating it pretty good. I remember taking a couple extra breaths before I went out there, knowing how hard it was going to be to see all those women there. And when Britt came up and sat down next to me, I knew things were about to get very real. Could you see me sweating? I was sweating!
Then it was Kaitlyn’s turn. When my favorite girl from Canada started in, the sweating turned to something more like a deluge. I did my best to explain why I let her go that day in Bali, but I was just grasping for words, thoughts, anything. “Throwing darts at a dartboard in the dark?” I don’t even know what that means! I just know saying goodbye to Kaitlyn was brutal. We had an undeniable connection from the very beginning, and saying goodbye to Kaitlyn was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
When I woke up that morning after spending the night with Kaitlyn in the Fantasy Suite, I could not have imagined a scenario where I would be sending her home at the end of the week. It simply was not a consideration. But somehow, at the end of the week, my feelings for the other women were simply stronger. Kaitlyn is beautiful, smart, strong and sensitive. Any man would be lucky to win her heart. I know a lot of people think she should be the next Bachelorette. If she is, there will be some lucky guys pulling up in the limos that first night.
Just when I thought I was in the clear, Jade came and sat down next to me. So continued the sweatfest. It was so hard watching her so tearful. And yes, I did mention in the blog here that her hometown date was "disturbing," but that was a poor choice of words. I was more “taken aback” than I was “disturbed,” and that had nothing to do with the risqué photos and videos she showed me. Her family just told me so much about this other side of Jade, a side I’d never seen even though we had been dating for a couple months. Jade, I wasn’t “disturbed,” and I’m truly sorry I didn’t choose my words more carefully.
When I finally got backstage after the Women Tell All, I just sat down and poured myself a drink. I needed it. Those women did not hold back, and nothing could have prepared me for that. While I was sitting there sipping my whiskey, the publicists kept asking me if I was ready to do a few interviews, and all I kept saying was, “Give me a few more minutes.” Eventually I gathered myself, finished my drink and headed in to meet the press. The women gave me their best shots, and, while a few of them stung, I eventually recovered.
Next week everything comes to a dramatic conclusion. I bring both the girls back home to Arlington to meet my family. My family and their opinions mean so much to me. Bringing the girls home to meet them was definitely something I needed to help me in the conclusion of this journey. Will I get down on one knee? And, if I do, will she say yes? Yeah, you guessed it – you’ll have to stay tuned to see what happens!
As always, thanks for reading,
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