Juan Pablo Galavis might have been gutted when Desiree Hartsock eliminated him on season nine of, “The Bachelorette,” but look at him now! As the new star of season eighteen of the hit ABC reality dating competition, “The Bachelor,” he has begun the search for a woman he could potentially end up engaged to by the end of season. The premiere episode, which aired last week, was received with much fanfare due in part to the fact that he is the first ever minority bachelor chosen in the shows history. His good looks, charm, and charisma had women lining up at castings in record numbers, which influenced producers to increase the number of show participants from 25 to 27.
We spoke to Juan Pablo recently about his new status as the most eligible Hispanic bachelor in the United States, what he looks for in a woman, and whether or not he’s working with David Beckham to bring soccer to the city he calls home— Miami, Florida.
We’re excited to finally see a Latino on “The Bachelor!” However, there seems to be a lack of Latinas in the contestant pool. Were you involved in the selection process?
“I didn’t have any part in the pre-selection process, I met the women for the first time when we shot the first episode. It was up to [casting agents] to select women who they think would fit into my life and that I would be interested in. There was a good mix of nationalities including Cuban and one woman who was half Mexican. I was really happy with all the women they picked out for me.”
As much fun as you look to be having in the premiere episode, you must have been a bit overwhelmed. What qualities stood out from the women you gave roses to in the first round?
“It was the conversations we had, what they do for a living, first impression and how they expressed themselves that really stood out. Who I felt attracted to was also an important factor. It was hard to select who would stay and who would go— I had to send home nine people when I didn’t really get a chance to know them that well. It is what it is and I just went with my gut. I don’t look back and think whether I should have given roses to any of the women who got sent home instead of to some who did and it didn’t work out with. At the end of the day, I have to think of who will fit best in my life and my daughters life.”
In the preview we saw for the season, we see a lot of drama is coming up. You even break down and cry at different points. What was going through your mind?
“This is my life, my daughter, and my decision but don’t think the process was easy. I hate hurting people and I hated the moments when I had to say goodbye to anyone. Going into this, I knew that I would be saying goodbye to a lot of people and it just made me very emotional at times.”
There has been a lot of buzz behind David Beckham’s interest in bringing a professional soccer team to Miami. As an ex-footballer, and a Miami resident, are you involved at all?
“Right now I am not involved at all in the process. But if there’s going to be an MLS team in Miami, I would like to have a lot of involvement in it.”
In what capacity?
“If it happens soon, I’d love to play. If it doesn’t happen soon then I’d love to help in the recruiting of players from all over the world in the league.”
So your roots are firmly in place in the Magic City, will the woman you pick consider relocating?
“I still don’t even know where I’m going to be at the end of this whole adventure. I have to wait until March to figure it all out. For the job that I do, there are other places I could do it from that might even be easier. But I’m the type of guy that goes with the flow and I am not thinking about what I’m going to do next. Let’s wait until the show ends and then I’ll figure it out.”
We can’t let you go until you answer the most important question of them all. Boxers or briefs?
“Boxer briefs! I wear the ones that look like spandex. I have them in pink, yellow, blue, and black.”
Much like in life, you seem to like variety?
New episodes of “The Bachelor” air on Monday nights at 8pm on ABC.
Watch Last Week’s Season Premiere: