The last times fans of The Bachelor saw Jake Pavelka was on a televised special where he and former fiancé Vienna Girardi spouted off about their breakup, ending with Vienna storming off in tears. On Monday, the duo will be back in front of the cameras on Bachelor Pad, and Pavelka insists the opportunity to see Vienna again is the prime reason he decided to do the show.
Did you know up front that Vienna was doing the show?
Jake Pavelka: Absolutely … I think she started twittering about being on Bachelor Pad in February. It was a big motivator. The point of me going on was because she was on. We started a conversation about a year ago that we didn’t get to finish. I reached out to her several times throughout the year, [but] she wouldn’t take my calls, wouldn’t see me, wouldn’t talk about it … This was my opportunity to get back in front of her and finish that conversation — get closure for myself, offer her closure, and definitely finish that conversation for America.
So you’re not really in it to win it?
Jake Pavelka: I didn’t go there to win $250,000. I went there to have a conversation with [Vienna], but, you know, I also competed like a bad ass… Some of the things you have to do to people on there in order to win — manipulation, backstabbing — $250,000 wasn’t enough. If I do wind up winning the $250,000 in the end, I’m going to be able to change lives with it. I’m going to give every bit of the money away to charity. I’m not going to keep a cent of it.
In the promos, you arrive at the Bachelor Pad house expecting a bad reception. What was it actually like?
Jake Pavelka: When I walk in the door, it’s very cold. I’m not going to lie. The entire experience was really tough.
It appears that a lot of people were siding with Vienna over you. Why do you think that was?
Jake Pavelka: Vienna knew she was going to be on Bachelor Pad, if you go back to her tweets, since February. And she hangs out a lot [with The Bachelor franchise] people. They’re her friends. So she’s had a year to fill people’s heads full of whatever she winds up saying. People had a lot of pre-conceived notions that I was a monster… That’s kind of what I was up against.
Did you have a plan to turn that around?
Jake Pavelka: I knew that if I was just myself, I didn’t have to tell anybody anything. I wanted to show them that I could possibly turn it around.
Was it awkward having Vienna’s new boyfriend, Kasey Kahl, there?
Jake Pavelka: Not at all. Kasey is like a big teddy bear. I think probably if Kasey and I had met under different circumstances, we would be really good friends. On my part, there is no animosity. I feel, unfortunately, that Vienna filled Kasey’s head with some things that aren’t true… When he met me, that’s kind of what he had in his mind.
Vienna seems to have had a lot of allies in the house. Did you have any?
Jake Pavelka: Gia [Allemand] and I are close to best friends. [It’s] a pretty dynamic relationship. I think that will be interesting to watch.
As far as the competition in the house, who was the stiffest in terms of strategy and bold moves?
Jake Pavelka: There was one other guy that was a really good competitor and that is [Mike Stagliano]. That guy is an athlete. It’s all about challenges, mental games… Mike is smart, he is an athlete, and he is the one that I was most worried about during competition.
Will viewers see a different side of you on this show?
Jake Pavelka: Probably my competitive side. I don’t know that I came across as being a real competitor on The Bachelor. Maybe, a little bit, on Dancing with the Stars. But I’m a born competitor. The [bigger] the challenge the better.
So when all is said and done on Bachelor Pad did things go as you had hoped regarding getting the closure you wanted with Vienna?
Jake Pavelka: For me, it went how I planned it. I don’t know how or what America is going to expect and I don’t know what Vienna was expecting, but the greatest thing about Bachelor Pad is… When people are on The Bachelor, they give them the opportunity to put their best foot forward; especially, when they are around The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. Then, some layers fall of during the airing of it. That’s where Vienna and I kind of went wrong. I saw a completely different person watching [her on] The Bachelor. And now, on Bachelor Pad, it is true colors.