Thanks to the scandalous affair between a contestant and a staff member, this season of The Bachelor has already been a bumpy, dramatic ride. And it seems things are just getting started. As the passion heats up and the number of ladies vying for Jake Pavelka's heart decrease, we talked with the Bachelor himself about breaking protocol on Monday's episode, the in-fighting between ladies in the house and his take on Rozlyn's relationship with one of the show's producers.
TVGuide.com: On Monday's episode, you decide to "clean house." What prompted that decision?
Jake Pavelka: I'm starting to get close with some of the women, and it's lulling with some of the others. So I don't know if Chris [Harrison] would let me do it, but I make some odd requests to break up the protocol of the show and break the standard model that they normally like to follow.
TVGuide.com: How much has your experience on The Bachelorette helped you?
Jake: It helps so much, especially at the rose ceremonies. Standing on the risers at the rose ceremony, [I didn't] really understand what Jillian [Harris] was going through emotionally to get through that. As the Bachelor, if you've not been standing there, you don't get how hard it is. It's a useful tool to bring into a season — to actually get to come back when you've lived one side of it and then live the other side.
TVGuide.com: Did you hesitate about sending Michelle home in the middle of the group date and then not giving Elizabeth a rose in last week's episode?
Jake: Oh yeah. I would always drag things out until the very last minute so I had more time to think about it. What am I getting ready to do? Am I getting ready to send a potential mate home? ... You have to play chess 15 moves ahead and it's stressful.
TVGuide.com: How much do you let the some of the women's opinions about other contestants on the show affect your decisions?
Jake: The most important thing was me. I want to see things for myself. I know what to watch for. They were telling me these things about Vienna. The problem with that is it's starting to get so out of control, even women like Ali are starting to get into it. It's like I've got 15 minutes with you. Do you really want to throw all these other girls under the bus when you're spending time with me? I'm seeing some true colors here.
TVGuide.com: Speaking of Vienna, you looked terrified on your bungee jump date. How much of your input goes into planning the dates?
Jake: When we were talking about doing that date, I didn't have a particular girl in mind. There was some conversation when I heard her say, "I'm so afraid of heights." I thought, "Uh oh. I know what I'm doing with you." [Laughs] When the dates get planned, once the girls are cast and everything ... I throw some things out there that I've done that have really worked out for me in past relationships. Then, they kind of modify it a little bit. So it's really great getting to be involved. It's really me.
TVGuide.com: What has been the most surprising part of being on The Bachelor?
Jake: How bad I am at group dates. I've never done that. I am a one-woman guy. When you have ten girls on one date, you've got to split their attention. Do you hug all of them the same? What if you kiss Gia's cheek but you don't kiss Ali's cheek? Girls notice that! That was a shock. Guys, they just don't give a crap. Girls notice that, and it got me in trouble a lot of times. So you can look forward to that.
TVGuide.com: What can you tease for viewers about the end of the season?
Jake: I think the ending is probably going to puzzle a lot of people, and I think some others are going to go, "Ok, yeah. If you look back, you could see this."
TVGuide.com: Have you been following the Rozlyn scandal in recent weeks?
Jake: She made some terrible decisions. It happens to everybody. This was just a very public one. I hope that she and the staff member are in love, and I expect an invitation to the wedding because it was really costly for the both of them.