jake pavelka bachelor 320 'The Bachelor's' Jake Pavelka: The women were 'very high caliber'Jake Pavelka’s season of “The Bachelor” is taking off in just under three weeks. What did this pilot have to say about it?

Fasten your seatbelts, “Bachelor” fans. The passenger manifest has been released and the 14th season is ready for takeoff. Are you ready to fly the friendly skies with Jake Pavelka?

What surprised you the most about being on the other side? Do you feel more empathy for Jillian?
I definitely have a new respect for what Jillian and Jason Mesnick and other past bachelors have gone through. I don’t want to say you’re judging anybody, but it almost feels like that.

Did you find someone special on the show?
I don’t want to ruin the ending but I will say I stayed true to myself. From the very beginning, I went in and said very honestly if I find love, I’ll come out engaged. If I don’t find love and don’t have that feeling, then I won’t. I didn’t promise a ring at the end of this and I stayed true to myself and didn’t necessarily do what everybody wanted me to do.

What were the girls like?
All 25 women were absolutely amazing, very high caliber. All walks of life. Just incredible journeys. I’m sitting here just running different girls through my head and they were all amazing, really amazing.

The track record of the show is less than stellar, so were you confident going in that you would find somebody?
If I wasn’t confident at the beginning, then why would I go through the journey in the first place? It’s kind of like getting set up by one of your good friends. The producers and the casting department, they know me. They really do know me and psychologically they know what type of girl I’m going to be attracted to and that’s the way they cast. If there’s just not that magical spark, it’s never gonna work.

What was your reaction when you were approached to be the next bachelor?
I did a back-flip on my front lawn. I was so excited. I was just really flattered and humbled to be considered and have it actually happen. I still can’t believe that all of this happened.

Everybody’s saying you’re the hottest bachelor yet. What is your reaction to that? Do you think you are the hottest bachelor so far?
No, I don’t. My reaction is that’s really sweet of everybody. I hadn’t heard that. I don’t know that that’s true. The show tends to ask good-looking people and I don’t think I’m by any means top of the scale.

How has your attitude changed this time around?

I formulated my opinions about the show when I went through with Jillian. I saw the way they cast for her temperament and her love language and what they knew about her and it worked. Jill and Ed are such an incredibly perfect match. They’re so perfect for each other, it’s almost like a shot in the dark. The [man] that makes all this possible, Mike Fleiss, has such a passion for putting all this together and creating a couple. Just how much passion they have for this journey. I went into it on cloud 9 and basically came out the same way.

Did you expect to be such a fan favorite when you went on “The Bachelorette?”
No, no at all. I knew a little about Jillian from Jason’s season but I did that same back-flip when I found out she was going to be the bachelorette. I went on there to see if we were a good match. I had no idea how I’d be received.

What made you decide to do the Bachelor? Was there any one deciding factor?

The one deciding factor was how well Jill and Ed were matched up. Casting and producers knew Ed really well, they knew and loved Jillian with a mad passion. The way it feels when you’re going through this journey is like your best friend that knows you setting you up with the perfect girl. In this case, it happens to be 25. You know how a lot of times in life, your best friend knows you but also knows this girl over here and they make a match and it ends up working. That’s exactly what I saw in Jill’s season and that was the determining factor.

Jillian very famously had some steamy scenes during her seasons that she said she had to apologize to her dad for. Are you in the same position to apologize to your parents for any steamy scenes?
In a normal dating relationship, would you get into a hot tub in a swimsuit with a girl? Yes. I’ve done that in past relationships. Why would I not do that now and give the relationship every chance I can? I don’t think I have anything to apologize for. I’m very confident with how I handled myself on the show.

What qualities were you looking for in a woman?

I was looking for someone that is adventurous and intelligent, athletic, compassionate, romantic, something that I see that is lacking in relationships these days is finding a girl that is protective. When you bundle all that together, that’s what makes it.

ABC has released that Ed and Jillian make an appearance on the season premiere. Is this the first time you’ve seen them since “The Bachelorette” wrapped? How was that?

It is the first time I’ve seen them. Getting to see Jill and Ed together, they complement each other, it’s unbelievable. It was really a testimony to me to see such a successful relationship because they had some pretty hard mountains that they had to climb getting everything started. But to answer your question, it was really good to have them around and be a part of this season.

You also famously came back to confront Wes on Jillian’s season. Have you spoken with him or seen him since the show wrapped?

I have not. I wish the guy well, I don’t know that we’ll ever be the best of friends. He’s a talented artist and I hope he does well. Other than maybe just coincidentally bumping into him somewhere, we’re probably not going to do a lot of hanging out.

So there you have it. It sounds like Jake had a great experience. We can’t wait to see “The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love,” premiering Monday, Jan. 4 on ABC.

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Photo credit: ABC

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."