New Interview with Tony on Emily Eliminating Him
Tony Pieper spoke with reporters the other day about Emily surprisingly eliminating him after he had a VERY hard time being away from his son. He said that he didn't see that coming, although he was probably going to bow out of the competition anyway...sure, sure. I tend to think it was a strategy that backfired, although I definitely do not doubt his love for his son one bit! Anyway, below is the transcript of his interview.
Question: You really struck a chord with everyone, I think, on your - on the show. Do you - do you think if you - if you had been able to push through missing your son if you would have eventually felt a stronger connection with Emily?
Tony Pieper: You know, it's kind of something I've thought about and, you know, we just had so much in common and I really didn't get that much time with her off the bat. So - I mean, I think we would've grown closer. There was an initial connection there, but just because I didn't really have that much time and obviously my son was kind of the only thing I could think about, and the tough part is that when - you only get a certain amount of time with somebody and days feel like weeks just being away from my son.
It was just hard because after, you know - after a good amount of time passed, I was missing my son so much and I'm, like, "well, I haven't really had time to get to know this girl." So, you know, maybe if I did, it would've - it would've been easier for me to really think to myself, "hey, this could be the love of my life and I could, you know, be able to start a family with her" and - which would benefit me and my son and everything would be great because we'd be a family, but I just don't feel like I had enough time with her to really make that decision.
Question: Yes. Do you think you were at the point that if she had not sent you home that you may have just walked away anyway?
Tony Pieper: Yes, I definitely was at that point. And, like I said, I mean, I just - I just didn't - I didn't know enough about her. I just didn't have that much time with her. So I was thinking to myself I don't know if I could've lasted another week being there just because of how much, like, I missed my son and everything. I probably would've gone home on my own very soon after.
Question: So my question for you is I'm sure you knew leaving your son initially that it was going to be hard, but when you were actually there and being away from him, was it a lot tougher than you thought it was going to be?
Tony Pieper: Yes, you have no idea. Yes, it was definitely much tougher than I ever imagined. I mean, I - yes, you're right. I did go on the show and, you know, I actually thought about it for a long time, like, is this the right thing to do, should I go on this show? I know that, you know, I could be gone, you know, 10 or so weeks or however long it was and being away from him - I've never been away from him for more than four to five days.
So I knew going into it, it was going to be tough, but how I kind of - what I told myself is that, you know, I'm looking for a family, I'm looking for love and I know my son wants that too and he sees that, you know, I'm happy, he's happy, but there's just one piece missing.
And to me, it was worth it to go try and find if maybe this is the missing piece to make our family whole and make everything better, and I just didn't realize when I was on the show, you know, how much it would affect me that I couldn't see him.
And then I could talk to him and he was, like, the cutest thing in the world and he's, like, "I love you, miss you," and, I mean, that just gets to your heart, you know? It's - it just - it made it all better, but at the same time, it just made me a little sad, you know?
So it was a lot tougher than a - than I had ever imagined.
Question: Totally understandable. And then my other question is, you know, a lot of the guys really go out of their way to be very competitive for Emily's attention and competitive to win this competition. You seem to have more of a laid-back approach, which I liked, and I was wondering if that's sort of your approach in real life too that you're not overly aggressive when pursuing a girl?
Tony Pieper: Yes, you know, it totally depends on the situation as far as dating and yes, being aggressive, you know, to ask a girl out or something like that. Usually, I'm a little bit more laid back in that aspect.
I grew up playing sports. So as far as competitive, I mean, I'm one of the most competitive people you'll know, but yes, I didn't want to be that overly aggressive guy and it just wasn't, like - it wasn't, like, human nature just to, you know, start, you know, pushing guys out of the way to get to Emily. Just that's not what I do in normal life.
And so that was a little difficult for me, but I'll tell you one thing, I mean, I was - I was there for the right reasons. And so maybe that was one thing. I know a lot of the guys were too, but maybe some of them just, you know, were in it for the competition. So that made them a little bit more aggressive or whatnot.
But to me, I mean, everything happened for a reason and I was just going to go in there and be myself and see what happens.
Question: So when you were sitting outside with Emily and she was giving you her little speech in which she understood how badly you were missing your son at home and everything, it seems like maybe you didn't know Emily was eliminating you until the very end because she was, like, so nice about how she went about it.
So was that accurate, I guess? Like, did you know right away that her speech was going to end up with her ultimately sending you home or did it come to a surprise to you when she finally said she was eliminating you?
Tony Pieper: To be honest with you, I wasn't quite sure. I didn't know right off the bat that she was going to eliminate me. I mean, we were talking and she obviously saw that, you know, I kind of - I kind of, you know, broke down a little bit when we were - when we were talking on our one-on-one at the cocktail party and she knew that I was obviously missing my son, but when she came out, I was just, you know - I didn't - I didn't really know what was going to happen, and I have no clue I was going to get eliminated at that point. But when she started going more into it and "how I see you miss your son" and, you know, it all kind of - kind of made sense and I respected her for that.
And, you know, I was most likely going to be probably voluntarily leaving anyway. So I think she kind of saw that with me and saw how hard it was for me. So it did come at a surprise though. I didn't expect it.
Question: OK. Sure. And when you got home and you got settled into your normal life again, did you regret leaving the show and not giving yourself more of a chance to get to know and fight for Emily or do you think you made the right decision for yourself in the end?
Tony Pieper: You know, I thought about that a lot and I had the same answers every time I thought about it and it was that I think even if I would've had a little bit stronger connection with Emily or even if I had - I had a lot more feelings for her, it was just too hard for me to be away from my son, you know?
I had the what ifs, you know, what if I fought for her, what if I hid my emotions a little bit more and she didn't see that, but all in all, I don't think I - I don't think I could've lasted another week just being away from my son. It was just so unnatural.
Now, if I could've seen my son or if they would've flown him out and I could've hugged him and kissed him and told him I loved him, then that would've been totally different.
So, you know, if something like that happened to where, you know, I could've seen him or just - I know he was OK, but it was just so different being away from him because, like I said, I was - I had only been away from him for four to five days ever.
So it just wasn't natural for me and I don't think I have any regrets because I don't think I would've done anything any different even if I had stronger feelings if I was away from my son.
Question: Do you think that it's harder for a single mom or a single dad today or is it about the theme? On conference calls in the past, Chris Harrison kept stressing that he felt there was a stigma against Emily for starring as the Bachelorette as a single mom versus Jason Mesnick being a bit more embraced being the Bachelor as a single dad.
Tony Pieper: You know, I don't - I don't think there's a huge difference. I don't think it's tougher. I wouldn't look at it being tougher to be a single dad versus a single mom. I mean, we both go through the same obstacles and the same, you know - same issues with being single parents. I wouldn't look at it any different personally.
I mean, it is - it is tough just because, you know, society - you know, society says that, you know, you're a single mom, you should always be around your kids and, you know, you probably shouldn't be away for a long period of time and as a single dad, you know, it might be a little bit different just because the motherly, you know, role in society is a lot stronger, but I don't - I wouldn't see any difference in it personally.
Question: And what was the reunion with your son like once you got back to Oregon?
Tony Pieper: Oh, it was one of the best days of my life. I mean, he came running up and I hugged him and kissed him and it's like he grew, like, 5 inches in, like, three weeks and yes, it was - it was the best thing. One of the best days of my life to be honest with you, I was just - it was happiness. That's all I wanted to do. That's all I could think of and yes, I was - it - I can't even describe it. It was just, like, a piece of my heart was back, you know?
Question: So I just wanted to ask you it seems, you know, as the viewers that Emily is definitely prioritizing her daughter when it comes to picking the guys. So I wanted to see if you felt that way when you were there with her and if you think she's making good choices so far now that you're watching?
Tony Pieper: Yes, I think she's making fantastic choices. You know, one of them is making sure that not all the guys meet Ricki. I mean, it's just something that you don't - you want as little confusion with your son or daughter as possible and I think she's done a great job there.
I think she's done a great job, you know, putting Ricki, like, in the Muppet Show and letting Ricki have a lot of fun with this as well, but also not confuse her and not bringing her along on dates and doing things like that.
So I think she's done a fantastic job myself.
Question: And do you have any opinions on the best guys for her?
Tony Pieper: The best guy I might have a little bit of an opinion. He was - he was the guy - he was my kind of best buddy in the house and I grew really close to him and that's Sean and I think as far as, like, Sean's morals and values, I think Sean is a person - is just a fantastic guy and yes, I think - I think they - I think they'd be a great couple.
Question: Hey, you were talking about this a little bit earlier, but I just kind of wanted to go back to how did you decide to do this in the first place and what was the process?
Tony Pieper: Well, I had actually just gotten a divorce. It was a couple of months after and I was just with one of my friends and we were watching The Bachelor. And she's, like, you know, "I'd be great on this show. So I'm going to apply." And she's, like, "You know what? You would be great on that show. You should apply, too."
And so I'm, like, "Yes, OK. I'll apply. Yes, you know? This - we'll see how it goes." And so I applied and I got a call months and months down the road. It was a while and I - to be honest with you, I kind of forgot that I had applied and when I got the call, they said, "This is so and so with The Bachelorette" and I'm, like, "Bachelorette? Bachelorette party? What? I don't understand." And they're, like, "No, the television show." And I'm, like, "Oh, OK. Yes, that's right. I did apply."
And so, like, I had a half an hour interview about it and - you know, and they liked me and I actually had a twin brother down in L.A. who I was going to visit. And so I met with the casting people of The Bachelorette and we just kind of hit it off and they're, like, great, great people and they were - they liked me and they - it - they kind of made me think of, well, you know, would you really want to do this?
And so I started thinking because it started getting more serious. Like, wow, I could really be a part of this show. And so I'm thinking about it and obviously the hardest part is that I have a five-year-old son and he's my life. I mean, he's my everything. And the biggest issue was, well, can I be away from him for, you know, 10 weeks at max?
And I had a lot of sleepless nights about it, talked with a lot of my family members and just kind of came to the conclusion that, you know, I'm like everybody else. I'm - I want a family. I had a family once and it was - it was the greatest thing ever and I wanted a family and I wanted my son, you know, to be - to have a family as well with me and, you know, I wanted to find love.
And I thought, hey, you know, this - it's a - I'm taking a risk, but at the same time, I could get rewarded with, you know, the love of my life, you know, with a family and that would ultimately be rewarding to my son as well.
So I came in there not thinking "oh, this is a competition and I'm going to win and I'm going to do this and that." I came in hoping that I would have a connection and, you know, could possibly find, you know, true love out of it and that's why I did what I did.
Question: And how long were you gone total?
Tony Pieper: I was gone about three weeks.
Question: OK. Now, so are you going to keep looking for love here - back here at home in Beaverton?
Tony Pieper: That is the goal, yes. I'm - yes, I'm not going to take any time off, you know? It's just - if something comes up, then, you know, I'm still looking. I'm still out there. So yes, I'm just in Portland now. So...
Question: You're seriously such a sweetheart.
Tony Pieper: Oh, thank you very much.
Question: But anyways, I know you said you were close to Sean in the house, but it also seems like you - it seems like you were close with Doug and that you would forward advice. Was it because he had a kid, too, and he understood what you were going through?
Tony Pieper: Yes, most definitely. Actually, Doug was the first person I told in that house that I had a kid and he - me and him, I mean, we could just - we could relate to so many things and that being the toughest thing, you know, that was going through my mind while I was there, it was great to go to somebody, and Doug is just such a nice guy. And he's such, like - he's, like, a big teddy bear father-type, you know?
And so I'd come to him and we actually shared, like, a really close moment when I told him I had a son and then he talked about his son and - so we definitely had a bond there. And then whenever I was going through some issues or he was going through some issues, we were there for each other.
So I wanted him to make sure that he knew I was there for him, too, because I was the only buddy who could relate to his situation. And so yes, we had a - we had a good bond, he's a great guy and I'm rooting him for him, too.
Question: Good. And then my next question is, is Emily really as sweet as she portrayed on the show?
Tony Pieper: I would have to say yes. Every - I have nothing at all bad to say about her. She was very sweet, very genuine. She was definitely a sweetheart, you know, because I kind of was thinking the same thing. I'm like, oh, this might be a little too good to be true, but no, she's definitely very, very sweet, caring and genuine person and I saw that when I was talking to her and yes, she was great.
Question: I'm wondering if you think any of the guys on the show are there for the wrong reasons?
Tony Pieper: You know what? To be honest with you, I liked every guy on the show.
Question: Even Kalon?
Tony Pieper: Well, here's the thing about Kalon, OK? I think - I think he's a good person, but I just think he was raised differently than all of us. I mean, he's kind of the rich kid and, you know, he was actually a bunk mate of mine and when a lot of people were kind of shutting him off, I was, you know, kind of there to be a friend to him.
And he seemed like a pretty good guy. Now, what I didn't mean is the stuff that's on TV now, you know, because what I got is just me and him, you know, face-to-face and he seemed like a decent guy to me. He just has, you know - he's kind of grown up, you know, a little bit, you know, like, the rich kid and, you know, everybody kind of wanted to make him the outcast and everything.
But what I saw on TV was a totally different side of him. And so that was a little interesting when I saw him on the last show and I thought he was - I was kind of defending him a little bit because (inaudible) were, like, "Oh, Kalon, you know, he's a bad guy, antagonist" and this and that and I'm, like, "Well, he seemed like a pretty good guy to me."
But now, I see him on TV and kind of in a different light and now, I think if there was one person that was there for the wrong reasons, I think it would be him, but at the same time, do I think he wants to find love? Sure, 100 percent.
Question: That's really interesting that you saw different things on the show than when you were there. Do you - do you see anything different about yourself watching it back? Did you learn anything about yourself, you think?
Tony Pieper: You know, the one thing is is just I live for my son. As a parent as soon as you have a child, you just - you live for them, you know? You live - you want to make them happy, you kind of stop everything you're doing to make sure that they're happy, they have a roof over their head and, you know, you're giving them the best life you possibly can give them.
And when I was on the show, you know, a lot that came out was my son, my son, my son and, you know, when I'm back home and I'm dating in Portland or whatnot, it's, like, "yes, I have a son. He's the best thing in my life, but let me tell you about me and get to know me."
And so when I was on the show, a lot of times, you know, I'd be talking to Emily and it'd be about my son or how great, you know, hanging around kids and this and that, but I didn't really give her that much of myself.
And so something that I kind of looked at was that I still need to be the best dad in the world. That's my number one priority, but I also need to step into the role of really giving myself to somebody so they can see me as a person and me as an individual and that's kind of something I took from that that I need to do.
But other than that, what you - what you saw was me. I mean, that - they portrayed me - that's how I was, that's who I am.
Question: Good morning. I had a question. You know, we were - people talk about guys being there for the wrong reasons and I don't - I feel like most of the guys that are left anyway seem fairly genuine that they, you know, want to find love or that they're interested in seeing if they can find love with her, but I think you and Doug have a unique perspective because you are guys with kids.
Tony Pieper: Yes.
Question: Do you think that there are guys left that think they're ready to step into a step-father role that maybe aren't?
Tony Pieper: Yes, I think there's guys there that are going to get a little bit of a shock when they - when they step into that role, you know? That was talked about. You know, actually me and Doug kind of brought that up to everybody in just that is everybody here ready to step into the fatherly role.
And I think some of these guys even, you know, one night I said, "Hey, you know, who here has dated somebody with kids?" This was the first night. And in this circle of people, no one raised their hand. And I'm, like, Wow. Not saying that these guys aren't capable, because I think a lot - most all of them are, but it's just it's very different and I don't know.
Until you're put in that position, you know, it's hard telling them to say, hey, you're going to be a good father or you can even handle it. So yes, I think - I think a lot of the guys are going to get a little shocked being placed into that role right away and I just hope it works out for Emily because, you know, I think the same thing, you know?
In the past when I've dated after my divorce and everything, it was, like, well, you're a great girl, this and that, but how would you deal with my son and then, you know, I kind of look at that and sometimes they're not ready, they think they're ready or I just - I really hope whoever she picks is just going to be great in that role because it's tough saying when you're not actually in it and you don't actually have a child.
Question: Right. Yes. I mean, it just - it's - it sort of just seems like saying it one thing, doing it is something completely different and...
Tony Pieper: Exactly.
Question: ... but guys are still pretty young and they seem like, you know, they just - they're, like - even - like, even the guys that went on the first date, you know, with the building climbing, he was, like, "Oh, no, I'm ready. I'm totally ready, I'm - you know, and I was, like, "God, I hope so because you're getting in this," you know?
Tony Pieper: Exactly. Yes, that's what I thought the whole time. I mean, a lot of these guys said, like, "Yes, I'm ready" and "Sure, let's - you know, I'd be a great day," but until you're actually in the role - I mean, and that's the one thing. It's going to be hard because me being a - being a single dad, I mean, if I was the Bachelor and all these girls, you know, were around me, I would not bring my son into it until the very, very end.
And the - but the one problem with that is you wouldn't get to see how they interact with the number one thing in your life.
And that'd be the toughest thing because - and that's why I'm kind of interested to keep watching and see how Emily does at the end and see how much she let's her daughter into these guys' lives because there's two different sides: One is that, you know, you want to protect your daughter. You don't want to confuse her.
You don't want to bring her around all these guys until you know in your heart that that's the one for you, but at the same time the only way you're going to know in your heart if that's the one for you is if they're going to be great with your daughter, the best thing in your life, you know?
Question: You briefly touched on what you would do if you were the Bachelor. The show is very accommodating in letting you have cell phone conversations with your son during your time on the show and they more than accommodating for Emily to move the show to her hometown and also tape Ricki in upcoming episodes around the world traveling with her.
If they made - bent the rules for you as well, move the show to Oregon and then allowed your son to travel with you and the production team, would you consider doing it?
Tony Pieper: You know, I did see how accommodating they were for Emily and, I mean, everybody on the show has just been absolutely awesome not only for me, but it looks like for obviously Emily too, but, you know, if I got that kind of treatment, I would - I'd really consider it. I mean, I think that's kind of a - that's kind of a dream come true.
I mean, if they would accommodate everything. I mean, that's the hardest part, I mean, with - I'd have to think about it, but I think that would - that would be something that would be, like I said, I mean, a dream come true.
But it is - it'd just be - I mean, that - I definitely have - that's - sorry, that's kind of a tough question just because, you know, he has school and, you know, a lot of other things that I'm sure took her a long time to really think about and see if it was really right for her.
So, I mean, that definitely would have to be something that I'd have to think about for a - for a while, but just shooting from the hip, I mean, it - I mean, I think it would be a great experience.
Question: And yesterday on my TV show, Entertainment Tonight, we did a story about celebrities finding love via online dating. Is that a route you're possibly going to take as you try to find a wife and stepmom?
Tony Pieper: You know, I've never - I've never done online dating before, so I don't - I don't know if I - if I would give it a shot or not. I mean, I don't have anything against it, but it's just something I'm not really used to.
So I don't - I don't know. I'm not ruling anything out. I just want to, you know, find love like everybody else does and just hope someday I can find that whether it be online or as, you know, the next Bachelor or just being me in my hometown, you know?
Question: So in Emily's People blog this week, she said that she eliminated Alessandro not only because he called a life with herself and Ricki a, quote/unquote, "Compromise," but because he took her to the backyard and showed her all these crosses and things to basically ward off vampires.
He apparently told her he was a vampire detector. So, I guess - did you know that was happening while you were on the show and did you know that's what he believes himself to be? Like, what do you think about all that?
Tony Pieper: You know, I did know that was going on in the show. I had no idea what to think about that. I didn't know if it was a joke. I didn't know what was going on there because Alessandro came in as the Brazilian guy who didn't speak English. I don't - I don't know if they really showed that on TV, but he came in and, you know, I met him and he started speaking Spanish and I'm kind of, like, "Oh. OK." And everybody's, like, "Oh, he doesn't know English" and I speak Spanish.
So, you know, I kind of felt bad for him, so I started speaking Spanish with him and, you know, like, everywhere he went, he kind of followed me a little bit because I spoke Spanish and Alejandro also spoke Spanish, but - so we were speaking Spanish all night because we thought this guy couldn't speak any English.
Well, he got - he came to Emily and all of a sudden he could speak English. So it was kind of a joke that he did. And so knowing that, I was, like, "Is this guy serious?" I don't know how anybody, you know, could be afraid of vampires or setting out crosses. To this day, I don't know if that was real or serious or fake.
I don't know. Maybe you could tell me. I don't know.
Question: So Alessandro apparently also told Emily he thought that one of the guys in the house was a vampire. Clearly, you don't know whether he was joking or serious and whatnot, but do you have any guess as to who he might be talking about?
Tony Pieper: Yes, I have a pretty good guess.
Question: Would you mind sharing?
Tony Pieper: I think he - I think he was talking about Stevie.
Question: Do you have any idea why?
Tony Pieper: I have no - you know, I don't know. Alessandro and Stevie - Stevie kind of rubbed a lot of guys the wrong way. And so I don't know if Alejandro he just rubbed him that way or what, but, you know, he's got a little vampire looks to him, Stevie, a little bit.
Question: OK. Fair enough. And when I talked to Joe last week, he said Emily was looking for a guy who was financially stable, and he repeatedly said that Jef would probably end up with her or at least he had a good shot to, both because he believed that Jef was a good guy and because he apparently also has money.
So I want to get your thoughts on that. Would you agree or disagree with Joe and do you think, you know, someone with financial stability really is that important to Emily?
Tony Pieper: You know, I think you have to be somewhat financial stable. I mean, you've got to support her and her daughter and, I mean, it's a pretty big deal because there's a child involved too to be stable. Not - you know? And financial stability is pretty big when it comes to families.
So I definitely - I think she was looking for somebody who was financially stable, but I don't know her lifestyle. I don't know how - what - the difference between my financial stability and hers could totally vary. She might think that, you know, a million bucks a year is financial stability where I might think, you know, $100,000 or $200,000 might be, you know?
I'm not sure how she rates the financial stability, but, you know, I know when I look for somebody, I mean, I definitely want somebody - I don't - I don't care if you have a lot of money or anything else, but just that you have goals and that you're - that you're stable, like, you have - you have a job that you kind of, you know, work toward, you know, that raise or work toward, you know, a management position, just something where, you know, you have goals, aspirations, dreams and stuff like that.
And I think that's probably more what she's looking for then, like, oh, this guy has to have a million bucks in his pocket or something like that. I don't - I don't think that she's that type of person.
Question: OK. Sure. And my last question for you, Tony, is I know you mentioned that you thought Sean might be a really good match for Emily and you talked a little bit about Doug as well, but she seems to really be clicking with Arie, Chris and Ryan at least in these first few episodes.
So, I guess, what do you think about them? Do you think they might be solid potential matches for Emily as well? You know, who do you see besides, you know, Sean and Doug sticking around for a while, basically?
Tony Pieper: Yes, I see, you know - with Ryan, Ryan was a really good guy. He's got really good - I like his morals and values. I like that. Just seeing him on TV, he seems like he might be a little bit taken by the fact that she's going to be having connections with other people and I don't - I think that's going to ultimately kind of put - break them apart. It's just the fact that I think it's going to be tough for him.
Chris, I knew Chris pretty well. He seems like a really great guy. Like, Chris, he's just a good - he's a good person and I like that about him. I - he's 25 though and I don't know how much time he's had with children. I don't - I don't - I don't think he's had a whole lot.
So I think he's a great guy and I think he's a good match for her as far as, you know, two good people being together, but the kid thing might weigh, you know, to the point of she's not - he doesn't have the whole package.
Jef, I liked Jef. He was - I think he's a little younger, but, you know, he is - he is a CEO. I mean, he's got financial stability, I guess. He was kind of - I didn't really see her totally clicking with Jef. I don't know why, but it looks like just in watching everything that they had a really good connection and could go pretty far.
And, you know, Jef had said something about how he as dated girls in the past with kids. So that - I know that's obviously something that Emily's looking for. And so I could see him going pretty far. I just - I didn't really know too much about Jef. He was a little bit more reserved, but...
Question: And now, how about Arie?
Tony Pieper: Arie? Yes, Arie seemed like a good guy. He was kind of, like, the goofy guy. He was - he was kind of, like, the fun, you know - the fun, happy-go-lucky guy. So I - yes, I think Arie could go far.
I mean, it seems like they have a very good connection and I know Arie's had girlfriends with kids in the past. So yes, I think Arie has a really good shot, I think, going far with Emily and making a connection.
Hugs, Kisses & Roses,