Jake Pavelka says he didn’t notice the cameras while taping the newest season of ABC’s The Bachelor. He didn’t feel like he was making a television show.
The Atlantic Southeast Airlines pilot, who grew up in Denton, didn’t find love with Jillian Harris when he was a suitor on The Bachelorette, but he is giving it another shot.
Pavelka said he thought, “If it works for Jillian, why can’t it work for me?”
Atlantic Southeast Airlines pilot Jake Pavelka, who grew up in Denton, is the star of the upcoming season of The Bachelor, premiering Monday.
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The ABC show, which premieres Monday night, features 25 women vying to become the bachelor’s potential wife. Each week, at least one woman is eliminated. A rose presented to a participant signifies that he wants her to stay.
Pavelka said he was never skeptical of the process, and he never promised the show would go a certain way.
“I think that’s what is going to make the season entertaining,” Pavelka said, laughing. “I’m unpredictable.”
He said he thinks a problem with some past seasons is that participants weren’t being themselves.
“I think the trick to going on the show is being yourself,” said Pavelka, who attended Ryan High School and the University of North Texas before attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Pavelka’s dream of becoming a pilot started at an early age. When he was growing up, one of his neighbors was a Delta pilot who took him up in his Cessna plane.
“I got bitten by the bug, and I’ve been flying ever since,” said Pavelka, who mowed lawns when he was 12 to make money for flying lessons.
His goal for The Bachelor was to make it like real life.
“I absolutely did not go on there to make a television show,” Pavelka said.
How the episodes turned out was not a concern for him, he said. Producers told him that if they missed a shot they wanted on tape, it was their fault and he didn’t need to worry about it.
Pavelka got started with the process when he was nominated for The Bachelorette by a church friend.
“I kind of had a little crush on Jillian,” he said about the Canadian interior designer, who first appeared on season 13 of The Bachelor.
During The Bachelorette, he had concerns about the motives of one of the men on the show, and he told Harris about them after he was eliminated. But Pavelka said he wasn’t worried about the motives of the women on The Bachelor, because he took steps beforehand.
He saw a life coach to learn how to discern different personalities, and he said he used his own experiences to determine whether people were on the show for the right reasons or not.
Pavelka said he believes in the process of the show. He compared it to having a best friend recommend a date, because of the rigorous interviewing process that participants go through.
“It puts you 10 steps ahead of the game,” he said.
Another aspect he liked was that relationships on the show don’t follow the pace of a normal relationship, which he thought had been one of his problems.
Pavelka said he can come on too strong in the beginning of a relationship.
For the show, he had to ask direct questions right away to get to know the women in a short amount of time. There was no time for the trivial issues like favorite colors.
“I asked some very direct questions,” Pavelka said.
He asked about the women’s goals, values, the number of children they would want and their life experiences.
Pavelka said being on each side of the rose is unique.
“I didn’t have a clue what Jillian was doing on her other dates,” he said.
On The Bachelorette, Pavelka said, he never knew what was going on with her other suitors.
“You’re left wondering: Is anyone going to top my date?” he said.
For The Bachelor, he said, he had to isolate each of the dates to make each woman feel special.
“You can’t allow yourself to dwell on any of the women because there are so many girls that came there to see you,” Pavelka said.
When the show starts airing Monday, Pavelka said, he’s interested to see what the women were doing when he wasn’t around. When he watched his episodes of The Bachelorette, he revisited the feelings he had experienced during taping.
“It’s kind of strange,” Pavelka said. “It takes you back to the moment.”