New Bachelor Ben Higgins aims to talk first, kiss later
If The Bachelorette occasionally veered into R-rated territory last season, Ben Higgins is aiming to keep the new season of The Bachelor rated G . . . at least in the first episode.
In a conference call, the 26-year-old from Warsaw, Indiana, told the media he wouldn’t be kissing first and asking questions later with the 28 women vying to become Mrs. Higgins.
(One of them is a Canadian, Jami Letain, a 23-year-old bartender from St. Albert, Alta.)
On the show’s last go-round, Bachelor Chris Soules engaged in repeated, extended lip locks with contestant Britt Nilsson during the getting-to-know-you cocktail party.
And few can forget the episode of The Bachelorette, starring Canadian Kaitlyn Bristowe, that featured her having sex with one of her suitors, complete with a microphone that picked up some of the sounds of them making whoopee.
“Myself . . . I really want to concentrate on getting to know these women outside of the physical aspect,” Higgins said.
“I think that’s always important in a relationship and that comes with time, but I wanted to make sure that we spend our time getting to know each other one on one and not necessarily kissing or, you know, making out the whole time . . .
“It was something I kind of want to hold back from, I guess, as things start.”
A preview of the premiere, which airs Monday at 8 p.m. on OMNI, shows him putting that into practice with contestant Lace Morris, a Denver real estate agent who is shaping up as this season’s villain.
Higgins, meanwhile, isn’t shy about wearing his Christian values on his sleeve and said he was looking for a woman who shared his faith.
“Faith is important to me. Also somebody that offers grace because I think I’m gonna need a lot of grace in my life.”
Higgins can take comfort in the fact that the last openly Christian Bachelor, Sean Lowe, not only married the woman he chose on the show; they’re now expecting their first child.
“I’m really happy for (them). I think they are a great representation to a lot of people on how a marriage works, how a relationship works. I know they were both a big influence in a positive way for me as I step into this experience,” Higgins said.
In fact, Lowe was the first person he reached out to when he was asked to be the Bachelor.
“He’s a man that I’ve always looked up to. . . . Just the way he carried himself during the show, post-show, it’s something I can look up to.”
Higgins added, “My desire (on the show) was to be myself and to be vulnerable, to feel things, to allow myself to feel things. To be just as real in every situation and . . . as a result, I grew as a man.
“It’s something that definitely helped me grow as a person.”
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