First thing first. I AM doing the Ukrainian version of our "Bachelor". The fact that I've turned down the American version has NOTHING to do with my 'dislike' of American women (the statement is so absurd that I can't believe I'm even dignifying it with a reply). My reasons for doing it:
1) This is the first time since I was 15 that I have few months without any physical activity. I am truly tired. I've realized it this past season and can't tell you how hard it was for me to get through it. The person that helped me was Brandy and for that I am forever grateful to her. She truly was god-sent and I will never forget everything she did for me. Without her help I would probably not have lasted though all the injuries, 'media issues' and my grandmother's death.
2) The idea that I would find 'the one' on a TV show is something that I can't ever fathom, but after speaking to producers I have realized that a show where characters are doing it solely for TV exposure simply would not work. Our audience would not understand it and the show would be a disaster. There has never been a show such as this in Ukraine and it makes me think that a first season would be the most 'real' as far as participant's perception of 'what its all about' is concerned. I thought about everything VERY long. I've spoken to my family. I've spoken to people around me and decided that this might be something to try and see 'how it'll work'. I'm going into this with a thought of 'why not?'. I know it’s hard to find someone you can connect to on a project like this, but nothing is impossible. For the sake of the show I can't reveal anything, but I must say I am very pleasantly surprised so far.
3) I feel good about the fact that I can 'give back'. My family and I left when I was very young and to have made something of myself. To come back here as a person to be looked up to is an amazing feeling. I have been speaking to lots of people for whom my family and I are an example of what is possible, and I feel great that I can help 'direct' young people's drives to better themselves while the government here is figuring everything out. It is not an easy living here. Kids don't have as many opportunities as I had and people aren't looking at me with a frown but with pride.
4) This might be the most important reason of all. This is the first thing in a VERY LONG TIME that I'm doing for ME. For the first time I don't really care what people think. First time that I'm not being 'judged', 'placed' or 'criticized' (well, maybe criticized, but you know what I mean). My profession required me to do things to 'please' others. Be it audience, judges, my coaches, etc. Maybe if I weren't such a stubborn person and didn't have such strong opinion about everything I would 'please' everyone better and would have achieved more in my life. But, I am who I am...
I am not asking for understanding or support. I do feel that on this forum I have people that like what I do and have shown love for me through all the seasons of DWTS as well as other projects. I feel that I owe you an explanation of some kind. Well, this is the best I can come up with for now. Someone told me ones "You do not have to remember what you said if you never lie". I follow that my entire life. In light of all of this some of you remembered me saying that I would never do a reality show such a 'Bachelor' and calling me out as being a hypocrite. I remember saying that too, but I do believe that I am smart enough to tell who here is after some 15-minute fame and who is here for the right reasons. Time will tell if I am wrong in my choices in life, but those are MY choices, MY mistakes and MY achievements. And as long as my family is taken care of, my friends are happy with who I am and I continue to better myself as a person, son, friend and (hopefully one day as a father and a husband), I will remain who I am.
Love you all,