The Bachelorette‘s Juan Says He Lacked Chemistry with Jillian
General contractor Juan Barbieri, 36, got plenty of attention as one of the suitors trying to earn the heart of The Bachelorette‘s Jillian Harris. Unfortunately for him, a bulk of that attention came not from Jillian but from man code enforcer David Good. PEOPLE talked to the Los Angeles resident about his nemesis, his much-discussed age and not making a love connection. — Carrie Bell
Dave made it clear that he did not like you from day 1. Why did he target you and how did it feel to have a house nemesis?It was difficult, I’m not going to lie. It wasn’t something I really prepared for. Going into this, I prepared to meet her, make some friends and go on adventures. It was an extra layer of things that I had to deal with that a lot of the other guys didn;t. It wasn’t easy and there was definitely tension.
He accused you of breaking the man code. Did you know you were breaking it at the time when you didn’t drink the shot?I was trying to pace myself because this was an opportunity to make a second impression with Jillian. I didn’t want to come across sloppy or drunk. I think the man code thing is silly. I am a 36-year-old man, I enjoy a beer and a cocktail as much as anybody else. But there is a time and place. You’re representing yourself and your family on TV.
In his exit speech, Dave wondered if you’d sabotaged him, but clearly you clearly did not. How did you leave things?By the third episode, we had reconciled and worked things out. So all the tension had dissipated. We have different backgrounds and interests, but I’d have a beer with him. We’re cool.
Were you surprised Jillian let you go when she did?I didn’t expect it. I don’t know if I expected to stay until the very end as it is clear she had greater chemistry with some of the other guys. I was just being myself and doing the best I could under difficult circumstances. I think she and I lacked chemistry. I don’t think it had to do with the girlfriend thing. I didn’t have a girlfriend or anyone waiting back home.
So to your knowledge, does someone have a girlfriend or was it a case of Tanner blowing a comment out of proportion?It would be difficult to maintain a girlfriend when you’re out of touch for three weeks. You could say you’re on a business trip, but I don’t know any business trip where you don’t have access to a phone, Internet or text message. So when that came out at the rose ceremony, I was shocked. No one at any time had mentioned anything about having a girlfriend.
Were you surprised by how much your age was harped on?I don’t consider myself old. I don’t look or act 36. When I am with friends, I’m silly. Jillian is coming up on 30 soon so I wouldn’t say it’s not age appropriate. Dating in L.A. is tough. There are a lot of distractions and most of my friends are not married at my age. Hopefully I won’t be single for too much longer. I would love to settle down, find someone and start the next chapter in my life.
In the first episode, your mom seemed very hands-on in your life and desperate for grandchildren. What did she think of Jillian?She is not hands-on with my dating life at all. She doesn’t get to meet a lot of the girls I date. I only bring home who become important to me. And at the end of the day, I have to live with the person. She liked Jillian. Before I went on the show, I pulled up some YouTube videos and she thought she had great energy. She thought that she was cute and she got a positive vibe from her. Kevin Foley/ABC