Ben Flajnik explains why he chose to do 'The Bachelor': 'I thought long and hard about this decision'
After Ben Flajnik was rejected on national television by Ashley Hebert on the season finale of "The Bachelorette," Flajnik had to give a lot of thought about going through the process again as the bachelor.
"I thought long and hard about this decision and how it was going to shift and change my life," Flajnik told OnTheRedCarpet.com recently. "In the end I have my family and friends and support and the people that matter to me."
"They encouraged me to do it and I had such a great experience with the last one and really working with Chris and the producers and everyone," he added. "It is a big family and it's like coming into a big family and they make you feel very comfortable."
Flajnik was confirmed as the bachelor for season 16 in September. The 28-year-old winemaker from Sonoma, California had fallen for recent "Bachelorette" star Ashley Hebert and made it down to the final two. He proposed but she picked J.P Rosenbaum over him. They are now engaged. (Check out a recap and photos from the finale.)
Now Flajnik will take a chance on finding love through the reality show and have his pick of 25 women to find "the one." Meet the 25 contestants here and check out some sneak peek photos from the premiere.
"The Bachelor" host Chris Harrison said that because Flajnik was a little reluctant, he knew Flajnik was the right person to fill the bachelor spot for the show's 16th season.
"It would worry me if someone wasn't skeptical and wasn't worried about coming in. If we said, 'Hey do you wanna come in' and they said 'Of course I'd do it!' That's not the kind of person we're looking for," Harrison said. "This was a long process to get him to be the bachelor but I very much respect that and I very much worry about a man or a woman that didn't think twice about doing this."
Harrison also said that fan input is important to the show.
"One example of listening to fans is sitting right next to me. There's a reason he's the bachelor," Harrison said. "It's a delicate little waiting proposition where you gotta listen to the fans but at the same time they don't necessarily know exactly what great TV will be and so, you know, the fact that they did choose Ben and there are certain things they want more of, you try and appease them but at the same time you have to stick to your guns and you know what good television is."
The host also dished about one of the older contestants seen in the promotional ads for the show. "People should know we take his journey very serious and we would not take up an entire spot on the show as a gag or a bit," Harrison said. "And you should know while it seems sensational in the ad, the purpose behind it is romantic and very sweet ... and Ben does hook up with her."
Flajnik quipped, "Yeah, I'm into older women. I'm into much older women."
"The Bachelor" season 16 premieres on January 2 at 8 p.m. on ABC. Check out scenes from the upcoming season in the video below.
ABC is the parent company of OnTheRedCarpet.com.
Reporting by Cari Skillman of KABC Television, which produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).