After eight weeks of roses, revelations, and Ray Bans, the Maclean’s Bachelor Panel had a few burning questions about the people and the process behind Canada’s very first Bachelor series. Sonya Bell put them to the happy couple themselves, Brad and Bianka. Here’s the full interview, edited for clarity, but including Brad’s every use of “douchebag.”
Sonya: Guys, my first and most serious question is: what do you do for dates now that you don’t have access to a private jet or even a helicopter?
Brad: Oh, geez. She’s slowly realizing that she’s slipping into the mediocre circle of – she’s going to get Wendy’s, a ’93 Corolla, and possibly, possibly have to settle for matinee Tuesdays to save six bucks on movies.
Bianka: We’re so easygoing. I ask him, do you want to go out for dinner tonight? And he’s like, let’s just go back home, put our pjs on, and crash on the couch. And I’m like, deal.
Sonya: Going back to the beginning. Had either of you watched the Bachelor series before? Or did you do so for research purposes before you started?
Bianka: I used to watch it before, I think in the first four years that it was on, and then I kind of got tied up with work, and I didn’t have so much time for TV. But I was always a fan of it.
Brad: I wanted to see, personally, what kind of level of douchebaggery I was getting myself into.
Sonya: What did you conclude?
Brad: I’m up there with one of the bigger ones.
Sonya: Did you take away any tips from what you had seen?
Brad: Yeah, how not to act. I mean, I wanted to be myself, I wanted to be genuine.
Sonya: Bianka, I read on your Bachelor blog that signing up for the Bachelor Canada was sort of a why-not lark. But having dated a public figure [Kris Humphries], and watched him go on to become a sort of cautionary tale on reality television, why sign up for a reality show yourself?
Bianka: You can’t even compare what they [Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian] went through to what we have. There’s not even a comparison.
Brad: Yeah, but she’s asking about the initial want to do it.
Bianka: Um. God, I was so hesitant up until the day that I left. But you know, I went for the experience and the hope that they would have a great guy there and you know, if there was a connection, great. And if not, then at least I gave it a shot.
Sonya: Why didn’t we see you on the bachelorette tell-all episode?
Bianka: Just because normally they don’t have the last two women come out. But they made an exception for Whitney, just because of…
Brad: She’s so polarizing.
Bianka: Yeah, and there’s a lot of girls who had unanswered question.
Sonya: Are you staying in touch with anyone from the show, or would that be weird?
Bianka: No, I developed real friendships in the house with the other girls, just because we spent so much time. I have a soft spot for Ana, Nicole, Laura B. and Chantelle, that were really good, genuine girls.
Sonya: And Brad?
Brad: Am I? No, I’ve got my girl.
Sonya: Still on Brad right now. You’ve been in our living rooms for the past eight weeks, but there’s still some very basic things we don’t know about you. What do you do for a living?
Brad: Well, before I was on The Bachelor I legitimately ended my last season with Edmonton. So I was going to go back and play football, but The Bachelor offered me a great segue. But outside of that, I do have a private life, and that’s the best part about it, is I’ll be fine for myself.
Sonya: Okay, so, you are not revealing what you do for a living?
Brad: Nope. I can easily say things that would make me sound like a bigger douche than I already am, but for me my purpose right now is getting to have a relationship in public with the girl of my dreams. And that’s my focus right now.
Sonya: Is football on the table, or off the table?
Brad: Off the table. I would never put B through that kind of situation, where you have to watch, and it’s really an emotional roller-coaster, especially with injuries and stuff, and getting traded, and uprooting her life. It’s a part of my life that I gladly left behind to do something like find Bianka.
Sonya: What’s it been like watching the series? Here, I have an analogy. Is it at all, for you as an athlete, like watching game tape and seeing all the things you did wrong?
Brad: Yeah, you can equate it to that. I don’t know if I would go as far as saying all the things I did wrong. I think I acted as appropriate as I could, given the situation I was under. I don’t regret any of the decisions I made because it led me to the spot where I’m sitting here with B talking to you, you know?
Sonya: Did viewers see a different Whitney than you saw? You kept her around several episodes longer than people might have expected.
Brad: Put it this way. B was Bianka, I was myself, and Whitney was herself, and we were all portrayed in different ways. But in saying that, never did the producers come up to me and say keep this person here, or don’t, or told any of the girls to say anything, or say you like Brad, or say you love him. So everything that was said on that show was uniquely said by the people who said them.
Sonya: I thought I did read somewhere else though, that you did keep Bianka around a little bit longer on the advice of a producer.
Brad: A producer who’s one of my good friends right now. Bianka’s method of getting to know me was making me come and talk to her, which at the time, when there’s so many girls, was so tough, that I didn’t think she wanted to be there. So when I said, when we made a list from 16 to 12, she was 13. And this is a guy who had done my backstory and everything, and been in the casting process, he said, you know, I just have a feeling about her. He was invited to our party last night as the saviour.
Sonya: The final two that you had with you, Whitney and Bianka, they were the two that you had identified fairly early on as being kind of emotionally withdrawn. I’m wondering, as someone who really emphasized communication throughout the whole series, what attracted you to that quality?
Brad: No. That was said on a television show. Was Bianka emotionally withdrawn in real life? No. Not whatsoever. The most substantial conversations I had with anyone were from Mexico on with Bianka. I wouldn’t just go on physical desires. I made sure I asked and did every single thing I could with every single person, and iIf they didn’t show that, that’s not my fault.
Sonya: So going forward, are you guys planning to get married soon, do you want to take your time? We know there’s a low rate of long-term success of Bachelor couples.
Brad: Yeah, but there’s zero per cent proof that it wouldn’t work on the Canadian edition, you know?
Bianka: We would like to do it sooner than later. We don’t have a date set just because we were able to share all the news with our family and friends yesterday. So it’s definitely going to be in the talks.
Brad: You can take this as genuine as you want, but I’ll go outside right now and marry this girl.
Sonya: Falling in love on a reality TV show – it’s a deeply personal experience, and you’re sharing it with lights and cameras and I imagine that was a bit much, psychologically. Would you recommend that others looking for love sign up for next season?
Brad: I recommend that the guy that they pick, he should try to act the same way I did, which was be serious towards it.
Sonya: And Bianka? Would you recommend that other women do it?
Bianka: I would say to do it if you’re true to yourself, and you can handle, you know, being in that situation. Seeing the one guy you’re dating date several other women.
Brad: You just have to be secure. And that’s the toughest spot to ever be secure in.
Sonya: Okay, that’s all. I appreciate your time.
Bianka: Thank you!
There’s still one more episode of the Bachelor Canada next week, which the Maclean’s panel will duly weigh in on. “After The Final Rose” airs Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT (8 MT/8:30 CT) on Citytv.
Friday, November 23, 2012