updated 03/16/2014 AT 10:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/16/2014 AT 3:00 PM ET
Even after 18 seasons of the smash franchise, perhaps no Bachelor has earned as much tabloid ink for his on- (and off-) camera -behavior as Juan Pablo Galavis.
Since this season’s premiere, the Venezuelan sports consultant, and single dad to daughter Camila, has been mired in near constant controversy. He has provoked the ire of die-hard fans for some questionable comments off-air as well as the on-air rage of the women he was supposed to be wooing.
His first runner-up, Clare Crawley, upon being let go after Galavis, 32, had reassured her of a possible future together, snapped, “I would never want my children having a father like you.” But his decision not to propose to his final pick, pediatric nurse Nikki Ferrell, 27, just may be what pushes many of the show’s more than 8 million viewers over the edge.
No matter: A frank and unapologetic Galavis and a still-smitten Ferrell are ready to defend their unlikely road to romance – and why popping the question is still the last thing on his mind.
Show’s over! How are you feeling?
JUAN PABLO: I couldn’t wait for this day. It was fun doing the show, but it wasn’t fun waiting, and it wasn’t fun watching. I lived a good experience but didn’t always see a good experience.
Have you two watched together?
JUAN PABLO: No, we don’t. I can’t!
NIKKI: He feels bad. If we were together when it was airing, he would go somewhere else and watch it. And I actually don’t watch most of the episodes, I just watch my parts with him. There’s no benefit in watching other people’s relationships with him!
Juan Pablo, you’ve come under fire for a lot of things this season, like the incident with Clare in the ocean. You went skinny-dipping with her willingly, then seemed to accuse her of being inappropriate.
JUAN PABLO: I should not have gone with her that day. I told her it’s my fault, and people said I was blaming her. I just told her I should have said no. Is something wrong with that?
On The Women Tell All, some of the girls really came after you, calling you insensitive and selfish.
JUAN PABLO: There were some things that took me off guard. It was so long ago, and people were bringing things up. Why didn’t you say it to me on the show? When I was on Desiree’s season of The Bachelorette, I did The Men Tell All, and all I had to say was “She didn’t like me, she decided to send me home, and that’s fine.” Why couldn’t the girls say that about me?
NIKKI: Some things just didn’t need to be talked about. Sour grapes.