At the end of Fox’s “Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer,” Steven McBee and Kurt Sowers walked away with love — or so it seemed. McBee chose Calah Jackson on the finale, and the pair are still going strong nearly four months later. Sowers, on the other hand, chose Amanda Pace, and while they tried to date when the show wrapped in October, they broke up during the first week of December.
“Things are just a lot different when you are dating in the real world. It’s difficult to hang out and stuff. We snuck around and hung out a little bit, and I just think we both realized after the show we’re not really a good fit for each other,” he tells Variety. “We have very different lives, I think, in general, and our futures look a little bit different.”
Below, Sowers opens up about his up and down relationship with Carolyn Moore, the pressures he felt during the show and “The Bachelorette” having two leads for the first time.
A large part of your journey included Carolyn. Her exit was a bit dramatic and she was pretty upset about it. What was your relationship with her after the show?
Kurt Sowers: Yeah, her exit was pretty dramatic, and she’s still being pretty dramatic. I tried to reach out to some of the women post-show, after Amanda and I broke up. I definitely kept it respectful, I would not have reached out to any woman while Amanda and I were together. We were all in this weird boiler cooker together. We’re all kind of trauma bonded, so I’ve been able to maintain a lot of friendships with some of the women after the show. And now with Carolyn, I thought that maybe we can be cordial as well. It seems that she’s trying to manipulate that situation a little bit right now and I don’t really know what her end goal is. Maybe her end goal is just to keep a little drama going, I’m not real sure. There’s no future for her and I either. That has and will always be off the table.
Did you understand why she was so thrown off by the elimination? She thought she was your person from day one.
Sowers: I can understand why she was shocked. The whole time she was there, I think she thought she was the only woman there, so I can understand why she was a bit shocked at the end. At the same time, we did have a strong bond but it was quite evident watching back there were questions that just never got answered and things that I was very unsure of. So I think it was in my best interest to avoid that relationship. I just didn’t see it being a very long relationship. It’s unfortunate; the relationship with Amanda obviously was not very long either.
What was the toughest part of this process for you?
Sowers: It was very difficult to try and date multiple women and be genuine to them. It was just a strange situation. I think when I was there, I almost felt like you had to maybe pick somebody… if you think about it, you get to know them for, like, a week. The filming process was seven weeks, but the time you actually spent with these women — especially ones that make it to the end — if you calculate all the time and put it together, it’s maybe like a week worth of time. So you’re having to make this dramatic decision off of not knowing these women whatsoever. So it’s maybe not the best recipe for success.
Now, we see “The Bachelorette” is doing two leads, maybe taking a page out of the “Joe Millionaire” book. What do you think about that?
Sowers: I think they’re absolutely taking a page out of the “Joe Millionaire” book. Here’s my question: Will it work with two women? Can two women vs. two men… can cooler heads prevail, or will they be at each other? How will that work?
Well they can’t pit two women against each other, but there is a chance they’re interested in the same man.
Sowers: You hope that it would work out as well as it did with Steven and I. That’s my question: Can two women be as close friends and date the same man easier than two men? That’s the question!
Was it surprising to you how close you and Steven became?
Sowers: It was surprising to me. I think it was a testament to the type of man that Steven is and the type of man that I am. I think the success of “The Bachelorette” with the two women is going to really depend on the type of women and the character that they have. Steven and I didn’t have any egos to save. We weren’t very prideful, and I think that was maybe the recipe for success. We could pick on each other and we could pick on ourselves. We were able to work together. I was nervous about that because if you have two men, it’s natural for them to be competitive with each other. So it was really unique that we did get along and that we weren’t out there to compete with each other, but yet, establish a bromance.
Do you have any regrets, or maybe something you wish had gone differently?
Sowers: I think looking back, hindsight is 20/20. If I had known how quickly the relationship with Amanda would have ended, I would have probably just preferred to maybe choose nobody and walk away without anybody and say, you know, I gave it a shot. I don’t regret not choosing Carolyn. Like I said, that relationship would not have worked either.
Did you consider picking no one?
Sowers: I did. I mean, it was definitely in the back of my head for sure.
Obviously, the show would prefer you pick someone.
Sowers: That was the pressure I felt too, and I wanted to do what I came there to do, I guess. I was definitely having reservations and thinking, is this going to work long term with any of these women? I was very unsure about that.
Would you do more reality TV?
Sowers: I would never do a dating show. I would maybe do reality. I would do, like, “Dancing With the Stars” or anything along those lines. Sign me up. But yeah, I would be very hesitant to do anything dating. I can do maybe lifestyle. I would love to do something in and around the construction industry as that’s my forte, that’s my specialty. It’s what I know. So I’d be open to the idea of it, but no dating. Absolutely not.
This interview has been edited and condensed.