Bachelor Pad's Michael: 'I Was Humiliated' by The Finale Surprise
Michael Stagliano may have won Bachelor Pad with his former fiancée Holly Durst, but the finale proved to be as complicated as it was celebratory.
Before their victory was announced, the entrepreneur, 27, found out on camera that aspiring author Durst, 28, was newly engaged to fellow contestant Blake Julian.
Still recovering from the shock they'd heard only an hour before, they spoke with PEOPLE exclusively at the finale's taping last week in their hometown of Los Angeles. Before you won, Chris Harrison dropped the bomb about Holly's engagement to Blake.
Holly: I was really upset. Last night, I called to tell him, but they'd already taken his phone. I was thinking, "Well, at least I will be able to tell him before the show so he isn't blindsided." But I wasn't allowed to speak to him prior to walking out on stage. As soon as I sat down, I whispered that I needed to talk badly and then the bomb was dropped almost immediately. He was blindsided. That was the lowest thing they could have done for ratings.
Michael: I was caught off guard, humiliated. I know neither Holly nor Blake wanted it to go down like that. I'm now even more thankful for the talk we had two weeks ago, which provided closure I didn't have before. If we hadn't had that that, it would have been so much worse tonight. I might have just walked off stage
.... Are you happy for Holly?
Michael: Absolutely. We were engaged and therefore I will always care about and love her so it makes me happy when she is happy. I wish we could have been happy together but we're always going to care about and love each other. I have no reason to be mad at Holly or Blake. You can't help who you fall for.
Holly: If we had walked out there hating each other, I don't think we would have gotten as many votes. He's the best guy and I can't wait for him to find the right girl.
Michael: And now I have some money to go on a few first dates.