In his only press interview post-The Bachelor, Juan Pablo Galavis wanted to set one thing straight…
“I’m not a bad guy,” Juan Pablo told People. “People who know me, know who I am.”
Throughout the 18th season of The Bachelor, Juan Pablo’s public reputation deteriorated due to his offensive comments, perceived double-standards and refusing to say “I love you” to his final rose winner, Nikki Ferrell. (When she told him those words during the finale, he responded “thank you” and kissed her on the forehead. Even under Chris Harrison’s scrutiny at the After the Rose Special, Juan Pablo avoided the L-word.)
Perhaps worst of all — at least in the minds of ethical viewers — when runner-up Clare Crawley told Juan Pablo she loved him during a would-be romantic helicopter ride, he reportedly responded “I love f**king you but I don’t know you.”
These behaviors caused everyone from former Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants to viewers to declare Juan Pablo the Most Hated Bachelor ever. Even Chris Harrison struggled to conceal his disdain for Juan Pablo, commenting at the end of the live special, “Another season of The Bachelor has come to an end… I’m not going to lie — I’m okay moving on.”
Responding to the newly formed hate clubs, Juan Pablo told People they’re just reacting to “a character on TV.”
Nikki also defended her boyfriend’s on-air actions — specifically his decision not to propose.
“Had he gotten down on one knee, I absolutely would have said yes. But having a ring on my finger wouldn’t stop us from breaking up,” she said. “What’s going to keep us together is having a real relationship. I’d rather have him propose when he feels it’s right.”
Separately, Juan Pablo posted an unusual music video to YouTube on Tuesday night. It features moments from his and Nikki’s journey on The Bachelor set to a song he commissioned.
He said in the description, “Thanks for these INTERESTING 4 months of HIDING, now that the CHARACTER of ‘The Bachelor’ is OVER, it is time for US to live our life for REAL. Te ADORO.”
As for where Miami-based Juan Pablo and Kansas City-based Nikki will go from here, he didn’t give much of an indication to People: “It’s our start now. We can get to know each other fully. We’re not in a rush.”