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12/15/2011

Full Transcript of Ben's Interview

Here is the full transcript of the interview that Ben did the other day.  He talks about his nude scene on the beach where he does a little skinny dipping and tells you a little bit about the mysterious older woman we've been seeing in the previews.  The questions I asked him along with his answers are in PURPLE.

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Question:            Well, I’ll just get to my question.  So, did you find love?  I know you can’t reveal too much.  But tell us about – about that part of the show.

 

Ben Flajnik:         I, obviously can’t tell you that.  But, you know, I'm happy with my decision in doing – in doing the show.  You know, another good experience, another cathartic therapeutic adventure for me.

 

 

Question:            Can you talk about maybe your favorite date of the season?

 

Ben Flajnik:         I can’t reveal too much.  I mean, they're all.  You know, you know, how they are.  They're all kind of over the top and outlandish.  But I kind of found the ones to be the most normal to be my favorite.  You know, the almost – closest to everyday kind of life.

 

Question:            OK, so first question.  It’s been awhile since you've been with Ashley.  Looking back do you think you were really in love with her?  Or just caught up in the moment of being on a reality T.V. show?

 

Ben Flajnik:         No, I had – I had genuine feelings for Ashley, you know.  I worked through a lot of stuff on my own.  I think that my self-discovery was something I didn’t expect.  And Ashley was there, you know, for support, and, to help me get kind of through all that.  So, I don’t take anything away from it.

 

Question:            Good.  You know, the interesting thing of watching a bachelor go to – a bachelor go to be the Bachelor is that you love them as a contestant on the Bachelorette.  But then you watch them on the show as the person picking and you just wind up hating everything they do.  How did you maintain your integrity during the process so that we still like you as much as we liked you on the Bachelorette?

 

Ben Flajnik:         You hate me?  Really?

 

Question:            No, it’s.  It’s whenever somebody becomes the person who picks, it’s just that …

 

Ben Flajnik:         No, I know.  I know what you mean.  I know what you mean.  I think that – I think there’s always going to be critics no matter what decision I make.  You know, there were critics last time on the Bachelorette for me.  So, it’s something that – it doesn’t really get under my skin.  It doesn’t bother me.  I'm such – kind of a laid back dude anyway.  That – that part of the experience really isn’t something I ever think about.

 

Question:            Did you change your process any with picking?

 

Ben Flajnik:         Did I change my process?  No, and I mean, I'm just.  I went in open, honest, and ready for a new experience.  That’s about all I took into it.  Obviously, some things changed along the way.  But that's the (inaudible) – it seemed to work out just like – just like the Bachelorette in the same way that I approached the situation.

 

Jennifer Matarese:         So, could you describe what you were thinking and feeling that first night when the limo started pulling up?

 

Ben Flajnik:         You know, normally I'm very cool, calm, and collected.  But (inaudible) that first limo pulled up, you know, sheer panic and terror kind of set in.  It took, you know, the first few ladies in meeting them for me to really kind of settle in.  You know, your heart’s racing.  It’s nerve wracking on both sides.

 

Jennifer Matarese:         Would you say that your first impressions of a lot of the ladies are pretty accurate based on, you know, pretty much what goes on during the season?  Or, you know, were you surprised by what you learned about some of them as it went on?

 

Ben Flajnik:         Well, obviously, you're surprised about what you learned.  We don’t.  You don’t get to learn too much about them in that – in that first moment.  But, yes, I mean, you need – you need more time to make – make those decisions.

 

Jennifer Matarese:         Was it hard to let people go that you felt like maybe you didn’t really know all that well that first night?

 

Ben Flajnik:         No, you know, you know, I have no regrets about anything that I did.  I felt like all my decisions were well thought out.  And yes, kind of leave it at that.

 

Ben Flajnik:         Thanks, Jennifer.

 

Question:            So, the whole world, you know, saw how heartbroken you were after Ashley did not pick you.  And I think that's when we – you know, we fell in love.  And we’re hoping you'd be the next Bachelor.  But, you know, after going through the same process as Ashley did, do you understand how it might be possible to fall in love with more than just one person like she did?

 

Ben Flajnik:         Yes, I do.  I mean, you're obviously trying to figure out a lot of things along the way.  And it’s a difficult situation.  This is easily the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my entire life.  You know, that the hours are long.  And you're – you're always – you're always thinking about, you know, the relationships you have, and each individual relationship; where it’s going, where it’s not going.  And I don't know, it’s difficult.

 

Question:            And would you say you're.  I know you can’t, you know, give us too much info on how it ended.  But would you say you are happy with the outcome?

 

Ben Flajnik:         I can’t tell you that.  I'm happy with the experience.  I'm happy that I decided to become The Bachelor again.  Or for the first time, I should say.

 

Question:            Good.  So we saw Brad Womack eliminate girls early on who started drama, while Jake Pavelka was dismissive of Vienna Girardi’s behavior with the other women in the house, only to basically end up having those same type of issues surface  in his own relationship with her after the show.  How much weight do you put on how the girls interact with and get along with each other when deciding to keep – or who to keep around?

 

Ben Flajnik:         That’s interesting.  That a good question actually because – excuse me.  I think that women are very different around each other and big groups when they are with me.  And, you know, and in any case if there was something that I thought was pressing or so serious I would address it.  If it was something that continued to be an issue, that person probably wasn’t going to be around much longer.  It’s not that I did a pretty good job of that handling myself.  And it’s hard to compare me to, you know, the last couple of guys.  Because we’re all – we’re all very different.

 

Question:            Sure.  And ABC put out a preview video last week.  And it looked like there was a point in the season in which the producers kind of surprised you with the return of an ex-girlfriend or something.  What was your reaction when that happened?  Does it frustrate or bother you when the producers do something like that?  Or do you feel like that's just part of the show and it should be considered fair game?

 

Ben Flajnik:         You know, those are difficult moments.  Those are difficult situations to be put in.  And, yes I understand that it’s a part of the show.  I understand that’s, you know, what I signed up for.  But if it help – it helps kind of exorcise relationships and everything that is encompassing of that, then I understand that now.

 

Question:            My first question is just about control.  What’s it like being in control this season as opposed to last season?  Where – where somebody else is in control.  And you just kind of had to react to what she was deciding?

 

Ben Flajnik:         The control thing is interesting.  Because, you know, I like – what I tried to do from the first night was just being – being equal.  Be on that level and not kind of have – you know, be on a high horse.  And pretend like I was in control.  I wanted – I wanted to stress to the women that, you know, I was going to be open and honest.  And if they had questions come to me.  I had been in their shoes before.  And that, you know, hopefully we can all get through this together.

 

Question:            OK, and as a follow-up, just going through this list of ladies.  There’s a lot of them in the medical industry, either nurses or in dentistry.  Was that something that they did, the producers came up with?  Or did you have input into – into who they were – the types of jobs that these – these ladies had?

 

Ben Flajnik:         It wasn’t so much the actual specific job they had.  But I’d ask for, you know, a professional woman -- a working woman – someone that was experienced and worldly.  Those are things I find very valuable in a woman and in a relationship.  So, they did a really good job in selecting the women this time.

 

Question:            This is kind of a follow-up for the last question.  What else were you looking for in the women?  Did you have any qualities in particular you wanted when you went in?  And did you find that changing as the – as the journey went on?

 

Ben Flajnik:         No, I mean, I kind of stuck to my guns in what I – what I was looking for.  But it’s important for me to be with someone who’s well rounded, cultured, and inflexible.  You know, and not someone that is so used to routine.  Because my life is very sporadic.  You know, being in the wine industry.  No two days are the same.  So that – those were other important qualities that I looked for.

 

Question:            And we’ve seen on your list of bachelorettes that one of them is described as a sprite senior citizen.  And I was wondering what your impressions of her were on the first night?

 

Ben Flajnik:         Drop dead gorgeous.  A beautiful, stunning older woman.

 

Question:            Did you?  Was she there for real?  Did you take her seriously?

 

Ben Flajnik:         I wasn’t sure what to make of it.  You know, she was there, you know, the first night.  And, you know, I won't go into too much detail.  But she is there for a specific reason.

 

Question:            Good morning, Ben.  We have three Southern Cal.  There are three Southern California women among the Bachelorettes; Dianna from – non-profit director from San Gabriel; Samantha, an advertising account manager from Los Angeles; and Shira, an actress from Los Angeles.  Just want to know, you know, what you thought of them?  What – what were they like?  Anything you could – anything you could add about them?

 

Ben Flajnik:         The Southern California women are – I mean, that everybody was really, really enjoyable that first evening.  It was nice to get to know everyone.  You know, super cordial and open about, you know, what they did.  And what their – you know, what their life was like.  So, you know, all good things, really.  I mean, it really – it really was an incredible group of women.

 

 

Question:            Hey, wondering – being from Michigan.  Obviously, we watched Molly Malaney and Jason …  (Inaudible) any former bachelors about the experience and what they?  Any advice they might have for you?

 

Ben Flajnik:         No, I didn’t actually.  I kind of wanted to make this my own.  And, you know, I spoke to friends and family more than – more than Bachelor family.  I tried – I tried to kind of separate myself from the whole Hollywood, L.A. thing.  And, you know, I just – I haven’t had a chance to, you know, get their phone numbers, or e-mail, or what.  So, I mean, I'm sure they're good guys.  They're just – you know, kind of want to make this my own thing.

 

Question:            And I'm at – I'm (inaudible), no.  What is the one thing, you know, looking back at the season now.  What’s the one thing you learned about yourself that was – you know, that you didn’t realize about – about Ben?

 

Ben Flajnik:         I think the biggest thing I learned this time around was patience.  The last time was really kind of refining my relationship skills.  And when you're in the driver’s seat, you have to be very, very patient.

 

Question:            Hello.  I was wondering, did you go out on any dates between filming Bachelorette and Bachelor?  Or were you on a completely clean slate going into the Bachelor?

 

Ben Flajnik:         I wasn’t dating anyone serious by any means.  You know, I – it was mostly when I got home from the Bachelorette.  It was just I kind of threw myself back into work.  And it was around friends and family back in my same old routine.  And it was really nice.  And then they approached me to become the Bachelor.  And I thought long and hard about it.

 

Question:            Cool, and I know one of the other women on this call mentioned that she had sampled your wine a few days ago.  How has that impacted your business?  Have a lot of fans come up to your winery?

 

Ben Flajnik:         Yes, I mean, because we don’t have an actual physical location.  You know, we have a facility where we produce wine from.  We don’t allow, kind of, people in there, unfortunately.  It’s just logistically doesn’t work for us.  But, you know, we – we’ve always sold really well.  We score really well.  We just scored 90 points on our Pinot last week.  So, you know, we’ve – we’ve always made really nice wines.  And I think the majority of purchase is because – because of to show our novelty purchases.  You know, one bottle at a time so they're not, you know, serious – serious wine consumers.  And so, we really try to differentiate business from – from Bachelor and Bachelorette related – related things because we do take our business and our wines very seriously.

 

Question:            So you just said that you thought long and hard about being a Bachelor when – when the produces approached you.  And I'm wondering, you know, in lieu of Ali and Roberto just breaking up.  And, you know, just the track record obviously not being great.  I mean, how did you kind of tell yourself that this was going to work just by the odds, which are really not in your favor?

 

Ben Flajnik:         It’s interesting.  You know, I don't know Roberto and Ali personally.  And it’s hard because, you know, relationships end whether you're on a T.V. show or not.  And so, I don’t know, it’s – it’s tough – tough to say.  It’s hard to say because, I think, you know.  If you look at a big pool of people, this is a very, very small number.  And unfortunately, you know, some haven’t worked out and some have.  You know, there – there are some celebrated relationships on this show.

 

Question:            So you looked at the couple that have worked out, and that gave you faith that it could work for you?

 

Ben Flajnik:         Yes, you know, and for me, I'm an opportunist and optimist.  And, you know, I feel like really you can find someone in any way, shape, or form.  It doesn’t matter if it’s on a T.V. show or on an airplane, or, at a restaurant, you know.  It comes in many forms.

 

Question:            I'm good, thank you.  My first question for you is what makes you so different from all the Bachelors that will make your viewers want to tune in?

 

Ben Flajnik:         What makes me different?  Well, I keep them pretty real.  You know, I'm pretty honest and open.  And at times maybe – maybe a bit too open, I suppose.  Yes, I have a good time with this, too.  You know, I take it seriously, but in the moments where I'm having fun.  I'm having fun, and I'm goofing around, and kind of a jokester. 

 

                So unfortunately, I haven’t watched many of the other seasons.  So I don’t really know all that much about them.  Except for what, you know, producers have told me in the past.  So, I don't know, it should be – it should be a fun season.

 

Question:            OK, and what would Ben be surprised to know about you that they're not going to see on the show?

 

Ben Flajnik:         What would Ben be surprised to know?  I don't know, I think.  I think the show does a pretty good job of encompassing me and my life, you know.  So far America has seen my bare butt.  And I have no problem with male nudity.  And, you know, being a bit of a jokester.  And being serious and actually taking this process very serious, too.

 

Question:            Good.  So you mentioned that you're not into the whole Hollywood, L.A. thing.  But after the Bachelorette rap there was a whole bru-ha-ha about Jennifer Love Hewitt getting in touch with you.  And coming to the winery.  What was that all about?

 

Ben Flajnik:         Yes, I mean, she had reached out.  And wanted to come up to the winery with some of her friends, which she did.  So my business partners and I showed her around the winery.  And she tasted some wines.  And we went out to dinner and just kind of chatted about, I don't know life and the experience.  And all that kind of stuff.  And, you know, a nice – a nice girl.  But I wasn’t. 

 

                You know, I just – it was right in the middle of the time where I was deciding if I was going to be the Bachelor or not.  And I don’t really.  And after all this is said and done – I just - I want to go back to my life in Northern California where most people really don’t know who I am.  And I – and I’d prefer it that way.  So, ending up with – ending up with a Hollywood celebrity is not something that I ever imagined doing.

 

Question:            OK.  And what do your friends and family think about this?  Because you are, you know, a reality star at this point.  Do they sort of rib you about it?  Or are they like, “this is so cool.”  Like, I can’t believe this is happening.  What is their reaction to it all?

 

Ben Flajnik:         You know, there’s not that much of a reaction.  I think, I’ve surrounded myself with really down to earth people my entire life.  So, you know, we talk about it every now again.  And, you know, the occasional like, “man that's pretty cool.”  But, you know, other than that, it’s weird.  I block it all out.  And I maintain, I don't know, the integrity that I had before all of this.

 

                And so, I don't know, really, it doesn’t effect me oddly enough.  I don't know.  I don't know how I do it to be honest with you.  And probably because I don’t see it.  And I – really when I'm not in Los Angeles, it goes away.  It really goes away.

 

Question:            Hi, Ben.  So, your proposal to Ashley obviously didn’t work out the way you were hoping unfortunately.  So going into this season, do you feel it had an impact on you?  And that maybe you were hesitant to do the same thing again?  And if so, did you overcome that during the course of the season?

 

Ben Flajnik:         I don't know if I was hesitant.  I said, you know, to the producers before I went on.  You know, I'm not going on this show to propose.  If it so happens that I meet someone that strikes that chord.  And I see myself with, then there’s a strong possibility.  But I was still open to it going into the experience.

 

Question:            OK.  And you're final conversation with Ashley on The Bachelorette was pretty memorable.  So when you cut girls during your own season, do you feel the need to quote, unquote “sugarcoat” things when you were talking with them afterwards?  Or would you say you were more direct?

 

Ben Flajnik:         No, I do – do a little bit more sugarcoating.  I mean, obviously it’s a different position, you know.  And like someone asked earlier, there is like this stigma that being in a power position.  So you have to be, you know, sweet about it.  And it’s difficult.  No one wants to, you know, be sent home.  Or, you know, given – not given the chance to spend any more time with you.

 

                So, you know, I was on the other side.  So my heart goes out to the, you know, the women that I had to say good-bye to.

 

Question:            Sure, absolutely.  And did any of the girls kind of react as strongly as you did when Ashley had rejected you during her season?  And if so, what was your reaction?  Like, were you understanding?  Or as upset as Ashley was about the situation?

 

Ben Flajnik:         I don’t remember anyone getting all that.  I don’t remember anyone get that upset.  Obviously, you know, there’s – there’s plenty of prying.  And a lot of it – a lot of it unfortunately I don’t see.  You know, because they're kind of – they're kind of out of there pretty quick.  And then, you know, I guess I’ll find out when you guys do too watching, you know.  When they're in their ITMs and things like that after the fact.

 

Question:            Hey, Ben.  You brought it up, the unity part.  And I got to ask.  I mean, you know the cameras are on.  And you have no problem, just you know, taking it all off on the beach?

 

Ben Flajnik:         No, I mean, like here’s the thing, my friend.  When a – when a beautiful woman asks you to go skinny dipping on a beach, you – you don’t say no.  And that's kind of – I think that any guy would be crazy not to.  And, you know, granted there are cameras around.  And I realize that.  But, you know, a bare butt, it’s not the end of the world.  It’s not that big of a deal to me.

 

Question:            It was worse than a bare butt, obviously.  But, I mean …

 

Ben Flajnik:         Yes.

 

Question:            You're not going to send fireworks to the house in the situation with everything else.  I mean, you have to stay a little reserved.  Don’t you?

 

Ben Flajnik:         Yes, yes, at times.  But, you know, at the same time, you know.  I'm – my – I treat my relationships individually.  And so, I kind of left it as that.  And if one wanted to move faster than the other, that's the point.  So you have to kind of be open and – to self-discovery really.

 

Question:            So you want the girl to take the lead?

 

Ben Flajnik:         Yes, it wasn’t my idea.  But, you know what?  I was – I was glad to oblige.

 

 

Question:            Thanks.  Hi, I just (want) …  Said about you'll be finding out whenever we do how the girls were really feeling in their interviews.  Are you looking forward to watching the show play out week by week?  Or are you feeling at all nervous or apprehensive about watching yourself and the whole process on T.V.?

 

Ben Flajnik:         No, you know, I'm not nervous about it.  I mean, I really – I feel good about the way I conducted myself and handled myself.  Obviously, you know, difficult at times.  But, all in all, another good experience.

 

Hugs, Kisses & Roses,

Jennifer Matarese

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