Here are the highlights from returning Bachelor Brad Womack’s conference call from yesterday, in which reporters grilled him about feelings, very much in the same way that the women on The Bachelor will grill him about feelings on the first episode. He’s getting good at this! Questions in bold. Brad’s answers in non-bold. My commentary in italics. Good ol’ slanting italics, like ready-made sarcasm.

Did you feel that pressure going in and throughout filming the show that “if I don’t pick someone at the end, I’m screwed”?
Brad Womack: No, not at all. You know something, I almost sound like a jerk when I say this, but you know, love and all of it, I take that very seriously, and not a chance would I let anyone pressure me to make any kind of decision like that, any decision at all for that matter. So, I definitely make my own decisions and felt no pressure. I can truthfully say that. […]  Even though I would have been publicly exiled, I would have walked away again. So I didn’t feel pressure, but I’m happy to say I did fall in love and I’ve very, very happy. So I’m grateful to have had a second chance.

Brad thinks he sounds like a jerk for saying that he takes love seriously, and would never let someone pressure him into proposing. I think he’d sound like a jerk if he said the opposite. Romance reality television is still weird. Also, “publicly exiled”? As a public, we should probably reassess how and why we exile, you guys. That sounds way too extreme, even for us.

For viewers who are sad or disappointed with the last outcome, what would you say to them to get them to watch this?
Brad: I’m so happy to be able to say this, but one, I can promise you there is a very happy ending. I did find somebody, I did fall in love and so for the viewers that do want to see that happen, no matter who the guy is or the girl for that matter, that it happened, a true love story happened, so for no other reason. That’s a great reason to watch, because it worked.

Another great reason to watch: What else are you going to watch? I mean, c’mon. Seriously. You know you’re addicted to this show. He can give away the ending and you’re STILL going to watch. (You=me.)

What do you think is different about you that made this experience different?
Brad: Very expensive therapy. No, I’m kidding. OK, I try to be funny, it just doesn’t work. No, I, on a serious note, I look back. I really did go though very intense therapy and all that good stuff. I just wanted to come in on the show and be my true self and let people in, and it worked, and so that was what was so different. I wasn’t closed off at all. And again, it worked. I’m a very happy person right now.

“Very expensive therapy,” haha, just kidding! Except not really. I did do a lot of therapy. And it was very expensive. And it helped, a lot. Wait … what’s a joke again?

Back in 2007, you said, “I wouldn’t do this again, because I didn’t like being scrutinized.” So why did you choose this process again to fall in love? Because like it didn’t go very well the first time.

Brad: I’ve learned to never say never. I believe that this process can work and that’s the only reason I decided to do it again.

Is Brad’s therapist Justin Bieber?

Why, with all the beautiful and exciting girls in Austin, and you being a bar owner no less, did you ever feel the need to go mate hunting on TV?
Brad: I never mix business with pleasure, ever. And so whenever I got to work at the bars, people think that I’m the guy that goes in and tries to pick up the women, but it’s anything but that. And so as you know, Austin, it’s a big city, but it can also feel quite small at times, and I thought this is an incredible way to break out of that mold and meet some women that I never would have met before in my normal day to day life.

OK, well that just makes sense. Whether he’s telling the truth or not, I’m glad he does not openly use his bars to pick up women. That would be creepy. But you know what else is creepy? Whenever anyone uses the term “mix business with pleasure.” Yeesh.

I was reading about the intensive therapy and painful soul searching you went through after the first run. I was just wondering, instead of beating yourself up about commitment issues, did you ever consider that maybe you were just simply following man’s natural instincts to propagate the species with multiple mates?
Brad: Great question, man. I don’t know. It’s one of those things that, yes, looking back I will admit this. I know it sounds like I just continuously beat myself up, but I will admit that I had commitment issues. I am not a guy that runs around and tries to wind up with multiple women. So by walking away last time, yes, I looked back with a little reflection and realized there were some issues there. So I just want to fill them with just one woman, and that’s it.

“Man’s natural instincts to propagate the species with multiple mates”?
Don’t you just love when guys use this as an excuse for sleeping around? (No. No woman likes that.) So way to go, Brad, for not taking the science bait.

The Bachelor tends to attract a lot of women who are pretty young, you know, early 20s, mid 20s. Was that a concern of yours going in, that it would a really big age difference between you and most of the bachelorettes?
Brad:  I’ve never thought about age until now, because I’m beginning to realize I’m an old guy. But no, age has never been an issue. I think that age is just a number, but I’m more concerned about maturity level and things like that. So age never bothered me. I don’t know if it bothered any of the women. It was brought up a time or two in a joking matter, but that’s about it. So no, age doesn’t matter to me at all. It’s all about a woman’s maturity level, that’s all I care about.

A 38-year-old man who isn’t worried that all the women competing over him are in their early to mid-twenties? Well, now I’ve seen it all.

Was the slap in the promo real?
Brad: I will tell you this, the slap, unfortunately, was very real. So, now I don’t know if it’s a trailer of what’s to come, because everyone calmed down a little bit. It shocked me, of course, but we moved on. We talked about it. We laughed it off and moved on. So but it was a very, very really slap, no doubt about it.

So yes, it was real, but no, it wasn’t so real that they couldn’t laugh about the violence immediately afterward. Got it?

Did Madison (slide 20) wear her fangs all the time?
Brad: She did remove the fangs once, but my God, it was just strange. She is very attached to them, both literally and figuratively. She wears them proudly. It was some interesting conversation every time I had the chance to talk to Madison. But for the most part she was always with fangs.

“Interesting” = Code for crazy. Later, when asked whether she tried to bite him, Brad gets interrupted by the ABC publicist, who says he cannot answer that question and should just “leave it up to people’s imaginations.”

Brad: Well she was an interesting girl, I will say that. A very, very interesting girl.

Again, “interesting” means crazy. Let’s all remember that. 

Would you ever consider having your wedding on ABC or on TV?
Brad: I’m not so sure about that. If and when I get married, that day is going to be all about my wife and so it’s up to her. Again, I said this before, I’m kind of – believe it or not kind of a shy person and that day is very sacred to me. But again, it really is all about her and what we would decide. I really haven’t even though about that.

Translation: Yes.

What kind of woman did you find/were you looking for?
Brad: OK I’ll say this. I’ve always wanted to wind up with somebody that is just genuinely sweet, and that is just as much of a friend as anything else, and so I found that. It’s someone that makes me want me to be a better person.

So it’s not Madison.

You sound pretty sold on all of this. Where is the controversy left in this show?
Brad: That’s a good question. I don’t know, I don’t know if it takes controversies to sell this show, I have no idea, but I’m happy to say you know, not too much drama is heard. There are some really, really good women and we all had a great time, and so I hope that doesn’t make for a boring season. I know it was exciting for me and I’d like to think for the women as well.

No drama? SAY IT AIN’T SO!

Brad, later: I was told there was drama happening back at the house when I wasn’t around. So it’s going to be interesting. I’ll watch it exactly when you watch it, you know what I mean. I mean I have no idea, but there were murmurs of drama going on back at the house that I just wasn’t aware of at that time.


The Bachelor and Brad Womack return January 3 at 8pm on ABC. Did you see the photos from the first episode yet? How about these? And the slideshow of all 30 contestants, including their likes, dislikes, embarrassing date moments, and whether they have tattoos, and where? Check it out:

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.