How Kirk DeWindt Lost His Shot to Be Season 15 Bachelor — Exclusive Interview
Do you still keep in touch with Ella and everybody? Yeah, yeah, I mean, Mike, Graham, William, and I, we’re great friends. Like us four, we’re sort of inseparable, so we’ve been planning all sorts of stuff together. Those guys, they’re all the sh*t. So those three for sure. And then loose contact with others. I talk to Ella still, and everybody else we keep in touch but not like I keep in touch with those three guys.
How about Kasey? He seems to be going through a rough patch, he and Vienna just split. Are you still in contact with them? Nope. I haven’t talked to Kasey since the [Bachelor Pad] finale show. I don’t think most of us, or any of the other guys, have really either. He reaches out once in a while but he usually wants something when he does so I just haven’t really talked to him a lot lately.
So what have you been doing? What are you up to when you’re not on these shows? I have a personal training business in Minneapolis. I’m working full-time, trying to grow my business and that’s pretty much it. And then traveling. We went up to Canada, these last few months have been insane with these events and stuff.
Are you seeing anybody right now or are you a single guy? Man, I was for a while actually, but I am as single as I think as I’ve ever been right now.
Good! Now you get to play mini Bachelor. Anyone in Bachelor Nation you have a little crush on? Anything you want to get started? You know, I wish I could say I did, but I don’t. Does that disappoint you? I wish I could give you some juicy gossip!
That’s all right. If you leave it up to us, we’ll just come up with someone for you, and make everything awkward and embarrassing! The only person that I would say that I’ve interacted with that I would be curious about would be Shawntel Newton. We don’t really have a history but we have spent some time together ‘cause she’s been in my hometown. Did you know that her sister is obviously dating [Green Bay Packers quarterback] Aaron Rodgers. Did you know this?
We did know that! It’s interesting. So she’s come back for games and we’ve hung out when she’s been back home near me [in Wisconsin] and that’s gone well. So she’s the only one I’d be curious about.
We like her. She seemed cool. We had our little short list of girls we wanted to be The Bachelorette and she was on there. She’s a good one. She’s so great. She’s the most fun little hottie that you could ever ask for. She’d make a great Bachelorette.
OK so, overall, what this is — long story short — is a cautionary tale: If someone contacts you saying they’re a publicist, say no — or check their credentials. Yeah, check their f*cking credentials. You can put an asterisk in there. Because this girl, she’s like, “I’m gonna get you on Oprah and you’re going to be doing this, we’re going to get you a book deal to write about your sickness!” She had made, like, 8,000 promises and I was like “OK.” I was wide-eyed and new at this so I was like “That sounds great, do that!” And then clearly none of that happened and she just got me in trouble.
Gather round, class. Professor Kirk DeWindt is about to give his lecture on “How To Lose the Bachelor Gig To Brad Womack Thanks To A Crazy Publicist Who Really Just Wanted To Get In Your Pants,” a cautionary tale with the Cliff Notes version being “Check their f*cking credentials.”
That’s the word from our Captain Kirk whose phaser was set on stunned after this whole story played out. Last year, he was Ali Fedotowsky’s fourth favorite guy on The Bachelorette Season 6. He reappeared this past summer on Bachelor Pad Season 2. In between he found himself the subject of this blind item, which appeared on Crazy Days and Nights in October 2010:
“This recent Bachelorette reject was a popular fan favorite this past season. Popular enough, in fact, that he was on the short list to be the next Bachelor. Unfortunately, however, the guy screwed himself badly by hooking up with a big-mouthed rookie publicist who had delusions of importance. Said publicist had dreams of molding her client into the next Jake Pavelka, but then made the mistake of trashing a major gossip tabloid with A-list name recognition. As a direct result, the celeb rag declared war on the poor guy. Unfortunately, the ensuing bad blood proved to be far more of a headache than ABC decided the guy was worth. The result? Brad Womack.”
Yikes. Wetpaint Entertainment gave Kirk a call to get the details, including which Season 15 lady he would’ve picked in the end if he HAD gotten the gig. (Hint: She’d love his dad’s basement!)
Wetpaint Entertainment: In your own words, what is this about? What happened? You were supposed to be The Bachelor? Kirk DeWindt: That’s a great question, ‘cause obviously I never got a contract, but there was this — she was more of a fan than anything, and she reached out when [The Bachelorette] was still airing. She claimed to be a publicist in the past, she had done all these things and she thought we could connect on some sort of level. I was new to this, clearly I’m just a normal human like anybody else. So I was like “Sure, do your thing,” like, this will be great. That’s how it started. I didn’t seek her out or anything. I think the long story short is just that she started making phone calls and trying to do things on my behalf without me knowing. As time went on I realized this lady was repulsive and annoyed the crap out of me and was calling to talk about real life and trying to get in my pants more than anything, to be honest. That’s the truth. I mean, ugh. So I think she started pissing some people off — and I think she was making calls to people that she shouldn’t be talking to, like people at ABC and publications. Then I found out about all of it and I told her to go to hell. And I haven’t heard from her — thank God — but it sounds like she rubbed a number of people the wrong way, saying things that obviously weren’t true or that I had asked her to say.
They’re making it seem like there were conversations that you were going to be The Bachelor and this hurt your chances. Do you know if there were any conversations at all? Yeah, there were some conversations. But you know they talk to — I can say there was a small round of candidates that they were looking at and I was on the small round table, yes. And then when they decide — ‘cause I know that they do this every season, when they decide they basically just cut off contact with you. Like they don’t give you an explanation they just say “We went another way,” and that’s all I heard after that. So yeah, they described it to me as a small round table and my guess was that it was myself, Chris Lambton — who turned it down — and then Brad obviously was on their radar as well. So I don’t know how the official decision came to be, but I know the publicist definitely hurt me more than helped me, unfortunately.
We thought it was your short relationship with Jessie Sulidis [they met at the Men Tell All of Ali’s season] that might’ve ruined your shot, ‘cause it looked like you were already taken. No? Oh you mean that one weekend? Yeah. No, we never had a relationship. We hung out for a weekend and it went fine but I think we both agreed that we’re not suitable for one another. We’re very different. So I cleared that up with ABC and they were like, obviously when they found out about that they called me up and they were like, “Kirk, what the hell are you doing?” I was like, “What do you mean what am I doing?” And they’re like, “Well, that’s not helping right now.” And I was like, “What do you mean?” And then they filled me in on where they were with the decision, and all that as far as who the next Bachelor would be. So I backed off and really had no interest in Jessie anyway. But that could’ve had something to do with it, too.
How did you feel about it? Were you frustrated that this publicist might’ve hurt your shot? It’s funny because that [blind item] question … happened way after the fact, I think it was late fall last year, so I already knew it wasn’t going to be me [as The Bachelor]. So when I saw that I was just like “Ugh, you’ve got to be kidding me. That’s just like one more thing that didn’t go in my favor.” I think what she was doing was she was calling and making demands — like money demands. I don’t know what it was, to be honest with you, and I think that’s where it hurt me.
So you don’t even know how the item got out there? Who do you think would’ve told them? I have no idea. But I think the publication that released the question initially, I think she dealt straight with them — this publicist who I don’t talk to anymore. I think she dealt with them ‘cause they wanted some information about some people — and I knew all the information, obviously, about some of the cast. So she was trying to get money from them for me and she was making all these crazy demands and it was information that I wasn’t going to reveal anyway, so I was confused with her motive. And I think she rubbed that publication the wrong way as well, so I think that might have fueled their question.
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So how did you get on Bachelor Pad? Did you clear the air with ABC? Oh no, they were totally cool with me. Even the higher ups. On a day to day basis we just deal with the producers. Most of those people — the execs, I mean, who knows what they’re thinking, they make the big decisions and I don’t even talk or deal with them. But Bachelor Pad was like, I think they needed one more level-headed [contestant] so that’s why I showed up.
Do you have a publicist now? Did you find someone legit? Nope, I don’t have a publicist and I’m cool with it. To be honest, more than anything I’m a normal guy. I never asked to be on TV, it kind of fell in my lap. I’m just being a normal human with a real job and if something falls in my way, then great, but if no,t I’m not looking for anything anymore.
Did you end up watching Brad’s season thinking “That could’ve been me?” and what you would’ve done? Yep, absolutely. It was weird for me ‘cause I really felt like I could’ve been him and it was weird. It was very weird.
Who would you have picked in the end? Well, it’s tough ‘cause I know a lot of the girls outside of the show now. I mean, right now, just with all the relationships I’ve made from this season I would say Shawntel Newton, probably, from what I know, from the time we’ve spent together. I don’t know a ton of them that well. I know a handful, maybe five or six of them I know fairly well.
Do you think your season would’ve been better than Brad’s — maybe you wouldn’t have had a therapist there with you? A therapist is endearing, right? People can relate to that.
Come on. What? I’m kidding! I think, you know what, Brad is a great dude. […] I don’t think he projected on TV as well as he comes off in person, but I think this season definitely would’ve been a little different, maybe a little more quirky since he’s like such a gentleman, sometimes to a fault.
How about Bachelor Pad 2? Did any of that go the way that you were hoping? Obviously you didn’t win... Nope, not at all. You know, we had a strong alliance, it wasn’t really aired. The one thing about Bachelor Pad that frustrated me was the strategy — you had no idea what you were watching. Like, we had all these conversations that never really were aired so the viewer was kept in the dark. Our core alliance was great — it was me, Graham, Michael, Kasey. When we got down to that final — we ran every single elimination ceremony, hands down. The unfortunate part is I lost the challenge. My partner, Ella, I thought she needed the money and I actually was deciding who to pick to join our alliance. I was thinking Gia at first, then Gia apparently was trying to go after our alliance. So then it was “Who do I want next?” and I thought Ella would be a badass partner. She was, it just so happens she gets terrified of heights and that’s what kind of screwed us in the Ka challenge.