It’s week 2 of The Bachelor, and we’re in for a treat: Instead of the remaining women settling into the Bachelor Mansion in L.A., winemaker Ben Flajnik takes them to Sonoma. “That was an idea of mine. I talked to a lot of the producers saying, ‘I like Los Angeles, but Los Angeles isn’t home,’” he says. “For the women to get a really good sense of me and a sense of place, I thought going up to Northern California would be a really cool idea.”
In the video interview below, Ben talks more about the kind of women he told producers he was looking for, why he gave Jenna a rose that first night, why he felt comfortable skinny-dipping with Courtney (as seen in the promo for what’s coming up this season), and how we haven’t heard the last of him playing David Gray’s “This Year’s Love.” For the record, he assures us he has no desire for a recording career.
More from our chat with Ben:
• On his reaction to seeing Monica flirt with Blakeley while watching the season premiere: "Sheer shock, actually. I don't know how far that went. I don't know if the cameras stopped rolling and there was more that went down, or if that was the extent of it, or if it plays out through the rest of the season. I don't know."
• On what he liked about Courtney: "What I liked about Courtney that first evening was she's traveled the world and she's got some worldly experience. I always look for someone who's relatively cultured and a little bit artsy. I play the piano and I'm a winemaker. My sister's an artist. So we're a very artsy family. Courtney's profession, modeling, is relatively artsy. I had my doubts about her that first night. Great, she's a model. Like everybody, the immediate reaction to hearing this person's a model, you're like, 'Oh boy.' But in my conversations with her, she helped put that at ease that first night."
• On watching the promo for the season and seeing how Courtney behaves with the other women: "That's hard to watch because throughout the season, people were open and honest with me, Courtney included. So a lot of the stuff that the women were seeing, I was hearing about on my own. It's not something that comes as a huge shock to me, because the women let me know that these things were going on."
• On the woman from his past who returns: "I will tell you when that woman comes into the picture, she really stirs the pot and it makes for probably the most intense evening you will ever see in the show's history. [Laughs] It's crazy. There's more than just lots and lots of crying. There's a woman who faints, there are the glares from the other women that are just brutal. [Laughs] I'm not gonna disclose too much because it's just a crazy, crazy, night." So it causes issues for him with the women on the show, in other words? "Lot of them," he says, laughing again. "That's why it was such a tough evening."
• On how much control he really has over the dates: "I do [write] the date cards, and I have a lot of input into what the date is going to be, and I absolutely pick who is going to be on that date. I'm able to pick and choose the women I feel like I'll get the best experience with on that date. I think that's the most important part, more so than planning the whole thing. [Laughs] It takes a lot to do those kind of things."
• On his preferred glass of wine on a hot summer day: "I'm sauv[ignon] blanc all the way."