Men and women of ‘The Bachelor” recall their worst dates ever
Thursday is Valentine’s Day, which means a lot of pressure to plan the perfect date.
Some of you will pull it off. Others will crash and burn. The latter group can take solace knowing they’re not alone.
During a recent TV critics gathering at the “Bachelor” mansion in Agoura Hills, Calif., I asked some folks with copious courtship experience — present and former cast members of the ABC franchise — to dish on their worst dates ever.
They had some doozies (that often doubled as #humblebrags), which should make you feel better if this V-Day doesn’t go off quite as planned.
If you happen to be single, don’t despair, said former “Bachelor” hopeful and “Bachelorette” Ali Fedotowsky (pictured below). She spent last Valentine’s Day solo, crashing at a girlfriend’s house in Pasadena, Calif., while said girlfriend and her fiancé celebrated their love in Las Vegas.
“I sat there and ordered Chinese food and watched the movie ‘Bridesmaids,’ ” said Fedotowsky, who hosts the lifestyle show “1st Look” on NBC. “I was so happy and so content. It was the best Valentine’s Day of my life.”
Here are the worst dates of other “Bachelor” alums’ lives:
“The worst one I ever had was in high school,” said Lowe, the current “Bachelor” catch. “I had a crush on a girl. Really wanted to take her out. We finally go on a double date with her and some friends. We go to the movies. The previews start to play and I feel a rumbling in my stomach. I had to dart out of the movie theater. I threw up everywhere: my pants, my shirt, my shoes. I got in the car and left the poor girl at the movie theater with the other couple. She called my cell phone, and my mom had to explain what happened.”
“It’s been a while since I’ve been in a relationship on Valentine’s Day, so usually I’m wearing black and celebrating with my daughter,” said Maynard, the first and only single mom to be “The Bachelorette.” The show has resulted in two broken engagements for Maynard; the first to Brad Womack on “Bachelor” season 15 and the second, more recently, to “Bachelorette” winner Jef Holm.
Maynard’s worst date was a first date she went on a couple years ago.
“The guy was unbelievably rude to the waitress. That’s a telltale sign of a bad person. He left her very little tip. I went back the next day, apologized and gave her a big tip. I never talked to that guy again.”
This former “Bachelor” finalist spent more than a year living in Chicago with her then-fiance, Ed Swiderski, whom she chose in “The Bachelorette.” She moved back to Vancouver after they split up. Canada is where Harris had her worst date with a man who was short in stature but long on devotion.
“I worked at this restaurant, and he would come every day and bring me roses,” Harris said about her admirer, who was “about 4-foot-6.” “He wanted to take me out on a date and I always declined.” One day, she gave in. “We go to this little Indian restaurant way in the south of Calgary in the middle of nowhere. After dinner he stood up and said, ‘I’d like to make an announcement: I’m in love with this woman.’ I wanted to die.”
Robertson, the recipient of the final rose from her now ex-fiance, “Bachelor” Ben Flajnik, recalled a scary setup orchestrated by a mutual friend. “I was living in New York modeling at the time. A mutual friend set us up right around Halloween. I went to the bathroom, and when I came back he had this ‘Scream’-type mask on. He jumped out of nowhere and was like, ‘Surprise!’ It just got worse from there. I never returned his texts.”
“I love scary stuff,” said Stagliano, who could be soul mates with Robertson’s masked suitor. Alas, this Buffalo Grove native and “Bachelor Pad” winner fell in love last year with a Chicago banker named Emily, whom he plans to marry. “My worst date is more of a best and a worst. On ‘Bachelor Pad 2’ we got taken to a haunted insane asylum. I was all into it. The girls were like, ‘Are you f---ing serious?’ It was a worst date for them.”
“I was in college, living in Nashville, and there was this guy in a band. I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m going to date a rock star.’ But he just talked nonstop the entire time. Didn’t care to know a thing about me.”
The “Bachelorette” eventually found love with Michael Stagliano’s identical twin brother, Stephen. The two married last year. (Said Michael: “I was on the show and didn’t end up with a ‘Bachelorette.’ He wasn’t on the show and did end up with a ‘Bachelorette.’ It’s confusing, I know.”)
Rehn, the original “Bachelorette,” is one of the show’s few success stories. She married contestant Ryan Sutter in 2003 and the couple have two kids. Before her happy ending, Rehn had a date with a lawyer who rubbed her the wrong way.
“Things were going great, he was giving me a little massage on my upper traps. But he rubbed my shoulders so much in the same spot it was raw in the morning.”
This former waitress at Chicago’s Sunda restaurant got booted from the last season of “The Bachelor” after fessing up to still having feelings for an ex-flame from Chicago. After that debacle, Shteamer went on an awkward blind date in Los Angeles, her new home.
“He was basically planning our future on a first date. I think he thought we were going to get married. He’s from the Middle East, so I thought maybe our cultures are just different. But it made me super uncomfortable.”