Bachelor fans were surprised to see Ben Higgins keep Lace around following her post-rose ceremony meltdown, but the Midwesterner is sympathetic to her situation.
“I get that it’s hard,” Ben told EW during ABC’s Television Critics Association press party on Saturday. “So when anybody brings something up to me I appreciate that. She was incredibly honest and open with me [on] night 1 and that’s something that’s attractive to me.”
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Read on for more from Ben about the upcoming season, including his thoughts on Olivia being framed as the villain after being awarded the first impression rose, and why the twins intrigue him.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You made it through premiere week! How was it?
BEN HIGGINS: Well, now I can start helping my family and friends relive my life from the past three months. I think the reaction has been positive, but it’s hard to tell. I get my Ttwitter comments, but they come so fast that I cant keep up. The last week has been insane.
How were you so patient with Lace that first night?
Patience is how you should confront any situation. It’s a long day, a long night, you’re walking into a house with a bunch of women you just met and trying to wrap your brain around the whole situation and I get that it’s hard. Right away I noticed she didn’t want to hold in her feelings and thoughts, she wanted to express them, and that helps me out to know where everybody is at.
Why keep the twins? That cannot end well.
They might look the same but they’re two different women who on night 1 I had two different conversations with and I got to know. They both intrigue me and impress me. On night 1 I looked at them and I said, “Okay, from here on out yes, you’re sisters, and I might get you mixed up sometimes, but you’re two different women and we’re going to treat it that way and figure it out.”
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Are you surprised to see Olivia might get the “villain edit” based on that season preview?
First off, after watching my season of The Bachelorette, the reason I did The Bachelor with confidence is because the storylines play out how they happen. Anything that is seen actually happened during the experience. Everyone is going to learn a lot about each of these women and when it comes to Olivia there’s a lot to learn. But I don’t want to stereotype her or put a label on her yet.
Now that the season is here what are you most excited for?
I hope viewers see that I really invested myself into this. Emotionally it wasn’t easy and when the viewers watch I hope they can relate if not with the ups and downs, then maybe with my feelings. I did this experience with intention and I hope that intention is shown.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.