‘The Bachelor’ Winning Couple Talks ‘DWTS,’ ‘Bachelorette’ Diversity & TV Wedding

The Bachelor Lauren Ben
Courtesy of ABC

The Bachelor” wrapped up its 20th season with Ben Higgins proposing to Lauren Bushnell on Monday night’s finale, and now that the newest reality TV power couple is allowed to speak freely, the engaged couple had one of their first public experiences: a press call with reporters.

Higgins and Bushnell spoke to Variety and other outlets early Tuesday, the morning after their big episode aired.

“My feelings for Lauren were very strong right away. I was still going to be open to the process. Lauren definitely caught my eye from night one,” Higgins said at the top of the call, talking about the dramatic storyline that saw him telling the two finalists, Bushnell and new “Bachelorette” JoJo Fletcher, he loved them both — something that had never been done on the show.

Very cheerful on the call, the pair answered reporters questions about last night’s fake-out wedding on “After the Final Rose,” the possibility of having an actual TV wedding, their thoughts on “The Bachelorette’s” diversity saga, plus, will Higgins compete on “Dancing With the Stars?”

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“Dancing With the Stars”:

Higgins says he will not compete on ABC’s reality dance competition because he wants to focus on his engagement — but he did allude to an offer.

“My focus is not on what’s next. It’s on Lauren and I. Any decision that was made post show was based on what was best for us, and I believe that what’s best for us is to really concentrate on what’s best for us and to really spend as much time together as possible,” Higgins said.

Asked by Variety if he received an actual offer, “The Bachelor” tried to explain, saying, “Right now, a lot of those requests come down through the ABC pipeline so, I don’t want to call it offers, but just people asking if I’m interested comes down from a group that is separate that me. Was I asked? I’m sure it was talked about.”

However, the couple will be watching “DWTS.” They agreed, “It’s a great cast!”

Thoughts on the new “Bachelorette,” Higgins’ runner-up, JoJo:

“I hadn’t talked to JoJo until last night,” Higgins said, confirming that he hadn’t spoken to his runner-up, after he proposed to Bushnell. “It was really nice to see her. She’s very supportive and she’s obviously in a headspace where she’s able to move on and I’m able to move on. It sounds like she’s doing really well and we’ll all see how well she’s doing here in May.”

Bushnell said that she and Fletcher have spoken a few times on the phone since production wrapped. “She was always really supportive … We just wanted to let each other know that we both have a great level of respect for each other and that didn’t change no matter what the outcome was.”

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Reaction to “The Bachelorette” diversity debate:

Fletcher is half-Persian, but still, many critics and fans have been quick to slam the ABC franchise, which lacks in diversity. When asked by reporters what they thought about that, the couple stayed mum.

“First off, JoJo as the bat, I think she deserves it,” Higgins said. “How they decide on ‘The Bachelorette’ is not up to me. I didn’t even know I was in consideration to be the next ‘Bachelor’ until they called me.”

When Bushnell was asked if she had anything additional to add, she \avoided the question. “No, I think Ben pretty much summed it up,” she responded. “Neither him or myself have anything to do with the decision-making.”

Later in the call, another reporter re-asked the question, which was deflected again.

Will they have a TV wedding?

“We haven’t ruled anything out and all of the support from everyone has been so amazing that it would be something that we would consider,” Bushnell said. “It’s not ruled out, but we also don’t know what opportunities are going to present themselves, but all we know is that we want to get married.”

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Why didn’t they just get married on TV last night when Chris Harrison presented the opportunity? (Higgins’ pastor was there after all…) 

“For me, as much as I want to marry Ben tomorrow, I would also like a big celebration that’s planned with my family and my friends, so for me, I don’t think I thought too much into it, but it was tempting,” Bushnell said, to which Higgins replied, “It just wasn’t really an option, but it was a good try.”

Will they be live-tweeting JoJo’s season of “The Bachelorette,” like other alums of the franchise have done?

“I’ll be a fan of the show,” Higgins said. “Let’s talk about that in May and see how we’re doing with that because it does take an emotional toll,” he said, explaining that watching Fletcher’s journey will be difficult to watch, but also exciting. “I think we’ll see.”

The new season of “The Bachelorette” has headed into production, and premieres on May 23.

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  1. Freedom says:

    I am elated we finally have a couple that are not
    Looking for a spotlight of fame but want to just enjoy their engagement & plan their wedding. They are a true loving couple. SORRY REALITY STEVE YOU are wrong !!!! They will marry & live happily after.

  2. Cindy says:

    Everyone loves drama. They needed it so he provided it. It was Lauren from night one. And unlike what someone wrote he didn’t tell Lauren about JoJo cause he never was as confused as they showed. Anyone watching could see it was always Lauren. I think JoJo knew but was in denial.

  3. S says:

    I find it interesting that Ben could speak to Jojo about loving two women before the final day and not Lauren till after the proposal. He knew who he was going to let go and he didn’t have as much to lose with telling Jojo but with Lauren he must have been afraid she would walk away. Honesty and trust have to exist in this old or new relationship and it all should have been fully disclosed and what gets swept under the rug will hurt them in the future.It was selfish of Ben the day before and during the final day to listen to Jojo tell him how much she thought of him and how much she had prayed and had faith and would never walk away. His tears and his answers don’t ring true and he has used some of the same words on the other women. How can you say so hurtfully that you love someone MORE, that isn’t just honesty, that is cruel to tell someone and compare them like this. The most selfless monolog by Jojo to a selfish man who should have left her go and not involved her in this, just for drama, even if there will be consolation. Nothing is worth this damaging behavior on his part. I don’t care if they signed up for this or knew what to expect or they say they forgive each other and have moved on. Scripted and edited till it doesn’t represent reality anymore, it is still destructive for young viewers to see and think that it is any way acceptable to treat someone like this and not uphold your word your only sense of honor. Not christian, no way.

  4. What I don’t understand is how JoJo could be so in love with Ben and immediately agree to be the next bachelorette. Not saying she’s wrong, but things like this let you know these reality shows are mostly scripted, and typical of fairy tales.

  5. Aundrea says:

    So happy Ben & Lauren found love! They are an adorable couple. Wishing them a long happy life together. :)

  6. June says:

    Will see how long that engagement will last..

  7. Nelly says:

    Lots of spelling errors.

  8. Bubbles says:

    He wanted JoJo, but the Brothers Grimm ruined her romance. Only a Big football playing line backer Mafia looking type of guy could put those two in their place.

    • Gwen says:

      I completely agree. When you marry, you marry the family as well and I totally think her “protective brothers” ruined any chance she had.

  9. Typical stringing along the one that is in second place…deja Nick being strung along and giving a heart felt speech on the bridge only to be shut down. Why humiliate them like that? I was disappointed in Ben for not stopping Jo Jo early in her speech.

    • David Powell says:

      I think Ben got a pass on a lot of his actions on the show. As for not stopping JoJo, Ben decided pretty early on to be a “talking mouth” for ABC and to be a “good soldier”. I can’t say I blame him because being on the “Mr. Rushmore” of Bachelors will net him $$$$ in the future. He was bailed out from a lot of criticism when JoJo became the Bachelorette.

  10. Doug says:

    Great season, best one so far.

  11. Figures says:

    They are such a lovely couple. Can’t it to see the wedding on live tv THIS FALL. lol

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