Exclusive Interview: Kiptyn Locke On Using His 'Bachelor' Fame for Good
Exclusive Interview: Kiptyn Locke On Using His 'Bachelor' Fame for Good
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
"I'm #1 at being #2."

Leave it Kiptyn Locke to see the silver lining in his perpetual runner-up status.

After losing the hand of Jillian Harris on The Bachelorette last year, Locke returned to ABC's reality romance franchise on Bachelor Pad, and last week fans watched as he and partner Tenley Molzahn (a former Bachelor runner-up herself) lost the $250,000 prize to fellow Bachelor alums Natalie Getz and David Good in a group vote.

Fortunately, it's not hard to see the silver lining here. Locke and Molzahn, fan favorites for their good natures and sportsmanship, were the only contestants to leave with the show's other, arguable even more valuable, prize: A blossoming new relationship.

And Locke, a philanthropist and event coordinator, hasn't let a lack of prize money keep him from moving forward on his latest charitable project: Hope Rose, a gift-giving service that also gives back.

We spoke to Locke this week about Hope Rose, his experience on Bachelor Pad and his future with Tenley, and were happy to find that he's just as gracious and goodhearted as we all saw on TV. Here's what he had to say.

What is Hope Rose and how does it work? How did the idea come about? What are your goals for the project?
Hope Rose is a business that a friend and I have been working to develop for about eight months. It's an online business where you can send someone a gift (a single rose or a dozen roses) as well as a contribution. The recipient receives the rose(s) and a gift card with a redemption code that can be taken back online to a site where they can browse dozens of charities. Ultimately the recipient chooses the charity of their choice, and 100% of the contribution amount funds go directly to the nonprofit organization and/or specific highlighted project. The goal is to grow this business to a place where we are making a significant positive impact on several dozen or more causes every single month. The big picture is changing the model of giving while also empowering people. Think pay-it-forward.

When can we expect the project to get up and running online?
I'm hoping to have the business live around November 1, 2010.

Any other projects you're currently working on?
There's one more philanthropic business that I have in the works. I'm hoping to be able to talk more about this one towards the end of October as well. Big hopes here!

Even when you're on TV, your philanthropy work always seems to be at the forefront of your mind. How has your notoriety from The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad influenced your work with charities?
I'm doing a lot of the same things as I've done for years but the big difference is now having a larger platform to meet others and together make a more significant impact. The hard part about philanthropy is many times you're asking for people to get involved with nothing in return other than feeling good about helping others. With more visibility it's been easier to advocate for different causes and then let people choose for themselves what causes they want to get involved with. It feels good to be able to direct the visibility away from myself and towards a cause.

What made you decide to come back and compete on Bachelor Pad? I know you've said you were initially on the fence about whether it was the right move for you. Are you happy you did it?
I definitely wrestled with the idea of participating in Bachelor Pad. In the end I'm glad I was a part of the show. It would have been nice to win the money and launch this charitable movement a bit sooner, but hey, when it comes to being #2, I'm #1.

What were your favorite and least favorite parts of Bachelor Pad?
My favorite parts were all the times laughing until the point that it hurt. Some of the things that went on and the conversations that we had were priceless. Unfortunately, most of that didn't make it to air. My least favorite part was all the strategizing and game play that went on. This was a competition where every statement and motive had to be questioned, and that's just not my nature.

What did you think of the Dancing with the Stars challenge? You seemed pretty worried about your ballroom skills ... or lack thereof.
I actually loved that! The fox trot was pretty challenging, but it was fun to learn. I was pretty sick that day, and then also spent the second half of the day totally nauseous after spinning Chelsie and Tenley consecutively for twenty minutes while we learned the closing spin. The truth is I actually love dancing, but ballroom was a brand new thing. Some production (using the worst teaching footage; asking me to say things about how much I dislike dancing and am bad at it in interviews) and editing (changing the scores that aired, etc.) really helped pump the storyline of me struggling. That's it, I'm calling Dancing With The Stars. I need redemption.

They made you wait such a long time between initial Bachelor Pad filming and finding out who would win the money at the reunion! What were those two months between filming at the mansion and the reunion like?
It was tough not knowing how things were going to end. On the other hand, Tenley and I had just started a relationship, so we hid out for a couple months and got to know each other better. In the future I think Bachelor Pad won't have this long wait between filming at the mansion and the reunion.

Were you surprised at how things panned out for David and Natalie at the finale? Did you expect to get more support from your cast mates?
Honestly, I kind of did expect to get a bit more support. We chose to bring Dave and Natalie to the finale because we felt they played a good game, and our other cast mates would have wanted it that way. I felt a loyalty to all the people who put their lives on hold to come participate in this show. It was also clear that there was a stigma around being a couple. Tenley and I were put in that category before we ever crossed into that territory. Jesse and Elizabeth were the only other two people who suffered from that stigma as well. Tenley and I chose Dave and Natalie because we thought it was the honorable thing to do, so it wouldn't be the "couples" in the end. We hoped our peers would respect that and maybe reward us for playing the game with integrity. In the end it was probably not the strategic thing to do.

The strategic thing to do would be to level the playing field and bring the other people who suffered from the same "couple" stigma. I followed my heart, but I should have been thinking strategy. I told you it wasn't in my nature.

I know you and Tenley have already answered a lot of questions about your relationship, and that you're probably ready to see where things go between you out of the public eye. But what can you tell us about what the future holds for you romantically?
I think we're learning a lot about each other and finding that we're both positive people so I'd say we're optimistic.

Many of your cast mates have come out and said they think you and Tenley will get married someday. How do you respond to that?
I think the most important thing to both Tenley and I is to be real with one another and take things at a real world pace. I would however say thank you to the cast mates for the vote of confidence.

Will you consider future TV opportunities in the future?
I consider all opportunities in life. I've learned that doing the unexpected and taking chances sometimes yields the greatest rewards. I'd consider future TV opportunities as long as they were in line with something I feel good about being a part of.

If you could produce and star on a future TV show of your own design, what would it be?
It would be something that opens eyes, changes perspectives and inspires people to get involved with something doing good. I've actually had some pretty amazing ideas swirling around in my head lately, and I can't seem to dismiss them.

Over the years I've met and become friends with a number of artists, mostly in the music industry, and athletes in a wide array of sports from extreme sports to mainstream sports. Since the shows I've been honored to meet celebrities in all different areas through opportunities I never thought I'd have. Often times the conversation turns to philanthropy and what I've learned is many of these "celebrities" feel very strongly about certain causes. Some of them are involved in various charities and causes. Others want to get involved but don't know where to get started. I'm blown away by the true desire to do good. Meanwhile, I've been in contact and involved with probably well over 100 different nonprofits while supporting different causes.

I have an idea in my mind that ties all these components together and creates a really entertaining and comical show while keeping it very positive and inspiring. I can't give away too much right now, but maybe someday it will come to life.

For information regarding appearances, interviews, and opportunities with Kiptyn Locke, please contact his publicist, Penelope Jean through her website or email at Penelope@PenelopeJean.com.

(Image courtesy of ABC)