Let’s cut to the chase and tackle the question on every fan’s mind: Did Erica Rose fire Herb the astrologer after his failed prediction that she would win Bachelor Pad Season 2?
“I still have Herb my astrologer but I did call him immediately after Bachelor Pad and I was like ‘Herb, what happened, you said I was going to win?’” Erica said in her exit interview with the media, the day after BP2 Episode 5. “He said ‘Well, you know, something in your chart changed.’ But also, Herb had warned me about trusting Scorpios and Kasey was a Scorpio. And for some reason I just ignored Herb’s advice and I thought ‘I can really trust Kasey and Herb must’ve been wrong ‘cause Kasey’s a good Scorpio’ and whatever.”
Whatever indeed. Kasey Kahl was a naughty Scorpio, although Erica acknowledges that he and Vienna Girardi did try to save her and Blake Julian and they did not actually vote to eliminate Erica and Blake themselves. However, K&V thought they had dominion over all of their alliance-mates and the episode’s events were a wake-up call for them, too.
Blake doesn’t like the Holly Durst questions but he’s asked a few during the conference call. He tells us to watch the finale to find out the status of their relationship. Blake says if Michael Stagliano hadn’t been on BP2, he and Holly would’ve been partners and we could’ve seen their love story play out. Instead, it got awkward. When it comes toMelissa Schreiber, Blake said he regrets teaming up with her at the start of the season. He never wanted to hurt her, but he reiterates that he told her he didn’t want a relationship and he was surprised by her strong emotional reaction.
Both Erica and Blake seem to be frustrated with Stag — Blake because Michael is supposedly the one who told him to go on that fateful date with Holly and give her the rose to keep her safe. Stag said they could build an alliance out of it but, as Blake put it, after the date, “the favor was not returned.” Erica was also frustrated by her friend Michael’s choice to blame Blake for Holly falling out of love with him, since Blake wasn’t there when he and Holly had their problems before the show.
But whatever. We really just want to know which Bachelor Nation resident, besides Vienna, went to Erica’s father for plastic surgery. Erica said another cast member recently went there and we should learn more about it on the Sept. 12 finale. Goodie!
Read on for more from Blake and our beloved Erica, who lands some not-so-thinly veiled jabs at Blake for being the one to sink their ship with his non-strategic decisions.
Blake, can you tell us the status of your relationship with Holly?
Blake: That’s something that, um, I think everyone should wait until the finale to really figure out.
Was there ever any attempt made to get some couples together to get rid of Kasey and Vienna instead of giving them the rose?
Erica: I wish that we did that but we didn’t. I don’t know, we didn’t really think about doing that because we knew that there was no way that Michelle and Graham would go against Kasey and Vienna. I don’t know if we could’ve gotten Mike and Holly to do that. I know we could’ve gotten Kirk and Ella to do that, but Michael was just so upset with Blake and he was so emotional about the whole Blake and Holly situation that he might’ve agreed with us at the time and said “Yeah, I’ll vote off Kasey and Vienna,” then when he saw, you know, Blake and Holly kissing or when he noticed the two of them together he was definitely going to try to get rid of Blake, like, no matter what happened.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently from day one, something you think would’ve kept you in the house?
Blake [laughs]: Oh, I can think of something. I think there are so many different ways to go back and second-guess yourself. We entered a game that none of has played before and I don’t think we were all ready for, you know, the scope of the amount of emotional depth and the strategy involved. I think partner selection would’ve been much more carefully considered on my part. I don’t know about you, Erica.
Erica: Yeah, I didn’t really have a partner, the whole time I kept switching. But looking back, I don’t know who I could’ve been partners with. I mean, people that went home the first night, like Justin or something could’ve been a really good partner. So maybe I would’ve thought about that more carefully. And it was just really the first two weeks that I feel like I wasn’t playing the game that well and I was just voting the way that Kasey would tell me how to vote. I wasn’t thinking for myself. So if I could go back in time I would probably start thinking early on. But I had wanted to be partners with Jake and I do think he would’ve been a really great partner and it’s just unfortunate that people wouldn’t give him a chance to compete because of their emotional issues. And I guess like the biggest thing is that people, you know, were really voting a lot of the times with their emotions and I never did that. I never lost my emotions in the game and got overemotional and that’s just not who I am as a person. So it’s hard for me to anticipate the actions of people that think with their emotions.
Would either of you ever do Bachelor Pad again or have you just had enough?
Erica: I don’t think I’ve had enough of it because I feel like it was a good experience for me and it was fun and I made a lot of great new friends. Of course I would do it again and there’s things I’d do differently. At the same time, I wouldn’t want to be like Gia who comes back and no one gave her a chance because they’re like “Oh she already had a chance.” So even coming you’re at a disadvantage unless they brought back more than one person. If they brought back more than one person then I think it’d be easier.
Blake: You know, that’s a difficult — it all depends on how you phrase it. Would I do the game again? I would want to do it again just because I would know how to play it better. In reality, would I really go back and do another show? Probably not. Sometimes I’m a perfectionist and I definitely did not play this game to perfection and I’d like to do it again just to see if I could do any better for my own personal reasons. But, you know, I’m in a pretty good place right now and I think TV’s had enough of me for a while.
Why did you guys decide to give the roses to Kasey and Vienna instead of one of the other couples? Did you really think they were going to protect you?
Blake: Well, unfortunately what we didn’t get to see was, Erica and I approached Graham and Michelle — who had the most secure spot in the house and they also had roses. We basically looked for their guidance saying “Listen, if there’s anyone that you want us to give it to then that would be great ‘cause that would make three couples” — you know, Graham and Michelle, whoever they wanted in the finals and then us. Unfortunately they kept their hands clean and didn’t — they just said “You’re going to have to do what you feel is right.” And, you know, giving the rose to Holly and Michael didn’t seem like the best strategic option, just based on Michael’s feelings for me. Unfortunately Kasey and Vienna claimed that they had, the whole time, to have the most influence and the most power in the house — whereas Kirk and Ella were kind of off the bubble also — and it seemed like a last-ditch effort to have them put their money where their mouth was, essentially. And, unfortunately, they were broke.
Erica, did you agree with the decision to give the roses to them or did you consider someone else?
Erica: Yeah, I mean I did. We had talked about also giving it to Kirk and Ella but, you know, they didn’t make as strong of an argument, I guess. And Kasey wouldn’t even let them finish, he actually came in and interrupted. But I do feel a little bit manipulated by Kasey. I watched the episode, I saw Vienna trying to convince everyone “Hey, you guys wouldn’t want to be against Ella in the end. It’s Erica and Blake you’d rather be around in the end.” So it’s not like they went completely back on their word. Like, they did try and they didn’t vote for us, like they said they wouldn’t. But I think in their minds they did have Michelle and Graham under control and in their minds they were running the house so they believed that when they gave it to us. And we believed them. And they didn’t know that in the end their own alliance wouldn’t listen to them. They had no idea. So I think that it showed them too for the first time that people don’t listen to them. And then talking to them after this, they have different ideas of what we could’ve done, too. For example, I don’t know why we never thought of getting rid of Michael and Holly. That just never even crossed our minds. It’s like they were not even up for consideration for elimination and maybe we should’ve thought about that, you know. So there were a lot of other options and ways we could’ve gone, but we were trying to do what was best for us strategically, so we weren’t going to give it to Kirk and Ella just because we thought they needed the money the most, ‘cause that wouldn’t help us at all. We were trying to vote strategically, not emotionally.
Blake, you mentioned Michael. Starting something in the house with Holly while he was still there, that was kind of awkward. Why did you decide to go ahead with that?
Blake: Well, let’s see here. As far as basically, it’s awkward anytime you’re in a relationship and — I mean, everyone’s going to have exes. The awkward situation here was that her ex was in the same house and she told me repeatedly that she was single. I mean, she would say in front of everyone that she’s not his girlfriend and he admitted that they’re not together. They did have feelings for each other, obviously, they were engaged. My story that I got from Holly was that they weren’t as strong on her side. And, unfortunately, you can’t really help when something feels right and it becomes the only thing that matters. It wasn’t so much a logical decision, more of a, I don’t know, just kind of a feeling.
Looking back to your relationship with Melissa, how do you feel about how you treated her and what her reactions were? Do you find yourself responsible for leading her on and making poor decisions or do you attribute her emotional breakdowns to her personality and feel they were unjustified?
Blake: I know that what I did in terms of playing the game, you know, was pretty clear cut. The way that it was shown was a little bit less justifiable. I definitely regret picking Melissa. That was one of those in the moment things that just kind of happened. We had discussed, before we went on the date, that I was not looking for a long-term relationship or a relationship of any kind. She understood that and where I stood. So I was really surprised at her response to the fact that I was flirting with another girl in Bachelor Pad after one date with her. It definitely shocked me and pretty much from that point on we tried to remain strictly platonic partners and even then it was difficult to really predict where her emotions were going to take us.
Were you surprised that Holly voted to eliminate you and Erica over Ella and Kirk?
Blake: Yeah, I mean — I wasn’t surprised. She came to me and explained that, you know, Michael was her teammate and she was really torn about the whole thing. I mean I felt bad putting her in a position like that to have to choose. It wasn’t a lot of surprise. What surprised me was the fact that, I took Holly on my date with Michael’s consent. He was actually the one that said “Take Holly on a date, give her the rose and keep her safe and we’ll form an alliance.” And so I did that, kept her safe, and the favor was not returned.
Erica: Yeah, I just feel like we could’ve maybe tried to get them eliminated but I know that Blake would’ve never voted off Holly. I would’ve tried to get him to and he just wouldn’t have been able to do it, I just don’t think he would have. So it does kind of frustrate me because I’m not the one in the relationship and I was his partner and I really kind of was stuck and that’s why I was upset. Because there was really nothing I could do. Like, he would never vote against her yet she would vote against him. I just knew that it was an unfortunate situation. And I was on pretty good terms with everyone in the house, so it was just hard for me because there was nothing I could do. And I was also disappointed in Michael ‘cause I thought he was one of my friends and so I tried to talk to him. I tried to talk to him so many times and tell him he should get over it. It’s not Blake’s fault that Holly’s not in love with him anymore and he should talk about that with Holly and work on things with her and not blame everything on Blake. I mean, that’s the easy thing to do. But Blake wasn’t there when they had problems with their relationship, you know, six months ago. So I just did not like the way that he was handling things.
Erica you were very persistent in wanting to continue your date with Blake. When he initially said he wanted to go back to the mansion to strategize and didn’t want to miss out on the conversations, did you believe him?
Erica: No, I knew that it was not because of that. I knew that it was because he wanted to hang out with Holly. I’m very observant, I had been watching Michael just seeming more upset and more upset watching Blake with Holly. Like, Michael was literally at his breaking point and I thought, you know, it would be a good idea to keep Blake away and maybe give the illusion that he wasn’t interested in Holly anymore. I know he didn’t want Holly to think that but maybe if everyone else in the house had thought that then Michael would’ve said “OK, he’s moved on.” And I know Blake was worried about his reputation but whatever. Michael could’ve gone “He’s moved on, he’s ready to meet other girls, he’s not into Holly” and then Michael wouldn’t have been so against him. But Blake didn’t want to think what would be the best move strategically. I think he was more worried about what Holly would think. And, you know, I mean yeah I was being very aggressive about it, but I really had good reasons for it. It wasn’t like I was doing something without reason. I just think that that would be the best idea. And even if that didn’t happen I do think that … if Blake hadn’t been making out with Holly in front of Michael maybe things would’ve been different. Of course Michael’s going to want Blake to leave when he sees them making out. So, yes, I think that a lot of things could’ve been handled differently, but I can’t go back in time. I know that I did everything I could, personally. I can’t control other people. So I couldn’t have done anything differently myself.
Did you reach a point on that date where you got embarrassed at going so far?
Erica: Honestly, I just think it’s really funny. I’m not the kind of person that ever gets embarrassed with myself. Yeah, it was really funny watching it and I thought it was hilarious but I wasn’t embarrassed at all.
Blake: Erica, you know that scene by the fireplace was after voting, right? Everyone had already voted.
Erica: Oh really? I didn’t know that. OK. I thought it was before and I was like “Why is he doing that?”
Blake: No, that was my goodbye.
Erica: Oh, OK. I didn’t realize and I thought that’s what made Michael — the way it played out I thought that’s what made Michael be like “Oh my God I have to get rid of him now.” That’s just funny how when we watch things and they’re edited, we forget the way they really happen.
Blake, did anything surprise you watching it back, between Holly and Michael? Maybe their conversations? Did you realize he was still that into her?
Blake: You know, I really wasn’t. Several of those conversations, I wasn’t around for them. And, for whatever reason, from the very beginning Michael and I never really became friends so he never confided in me. I think he had Graham and Kirk for that. We never became close and I didn’t get to see, you know, a lot of what he was going through. Had I, it’s difficult to say if I would’ve done things the same way. So watching a lot of these conversations, yeah, it was difficult. I felt really bad for the both of them.
Erica, did you go into the show hoping to find love?
Erica: Yeah, I think that as a single person you’re always going to go in there hoping to find love. There were so many cute little love stories that happened in the house while I was there so it would’ve been nice to have my own, but at the same time I feel like we had enough of that. And just because there’s a group of nine guys that are all attractive and cool and fun, you know, it doesn’t mean that that means you’re going to find love with them. This isn’t The Bachelorette, like, you don’t have a group of 25 guys picked out just for you. In the group of guys, of course, I was attracted to them and everything, but there was no potential of the guys that were there for me to have a love connection with them. I mean, you just can’t force something if it’s not there.
Erica, are you firing the astrologer or do you still believe in him?
Erica: I still have Herb my astrologer but I did call him immediately after Bachelor Pad and I was like “Herb, what happened, you said I was going to win?” He said “Well, you know, something in your chart changed.” But also, Herb had warned me about trusting Scorpios and Kasey was a Scorpio. And for some reason I just ignored Herb’s advice and I thought “I can really trust Kasey and Herb must’ve been wrong ‘cause Kasey’s a good Scorpio” and whatever. So now, thinking back upon it, if I hadn’t trusted Kasey and I would’ve listened to Herb and, you know, I got in the way of my own fate probably and maybe if we had given it to Kirk and Ella, who knows. Maybe Michael would’ve gotten past his emotional differences and voted off Kasey and Vienna and Blake and I would’ve made it to the finals? Like, you never know. So I don’t think it was my astrologer’s fault completely that I didn’t win, so I’m still consulting with him all the time.
Blake, do you think you had a fair portrayal? Do you regret any of the actions you took? Do you think they were against “bro code” or was it more of an editing thing?
Blake: In terms of regretting anything, I definitely regret picking Melissa because that set in motion a lot of very vocal negativity toward me where she rallied the house against me. So that kind of started people thinking “Well, this guy, you know, he’s maybe not so great” when a lot of the things she was saying were not exactly accurate. Once she was finally gone and that drama was eliminated, basically, I don’t know if you could say I broke “bro code” because Michael and I weren’t exactly bros, like I said we never became close. I probably shouldn’t have kissed her, but … you just really can’t help who you fall for. I never in my wildest dreams anticipated having such a wonderful date with her. I don’t regret that at all. My only regret is that it hurt his feelings. That’s never anything that I want to do. I’m not trying to hurt anyone. But at a certain point you have to live your own life.
How has it been watching the show back? Every week does it get a little bit worse seeing how everyone seems to hate you? Or are you OK with it, do you not care? Is this something you can put behind you?
Blake: Oh I mean it’s definitely something I can put behind me. I know that it’s a game. You can’t win everyone over. Like I said, the chain of events that took place really did paint me in a pretty negative light within the house, not even in the editing, just kind of the way people, you know, their general feeling about me, like a group mentality. I’m sure Erica can commiserate because she didn’t really have a great experience with the egg toss competition. So whenever you get vocal opinions of people — I don’t know, you always say “I don’t want anyone talking bad behind my back” but it’s really no better if they talk bad right to your face.
That egg competition was brutal, Erica.
Erica: Yeah, I’m impressed with myself for like hanging in there after that and lasting as long as I did. I mean it was really just humiliating. And half of me just wanted to leave and not stay in a house with people that are thinking and saying such bad things about me. So it was really difficult. I’m not the kind of person that wants people to feel sorry for me and I don’t like to play a victim or be a victim. It was just very tough, I felt like it was really like bullying and just a really mean challenge. It was even worse when it aired and I got so many people reaching out to me expressing their concern for me and saying they felt bad for me. And, like, I appreciate the sympathy, but I don’t like people to feel bad for me. I’d rather people laugh with me and not, like, say that they were crying for me.
In the moment, are Kasey and Vienna really that good at this game or that manipulative that they can convince people to keep voting with them?
Erica: Yeah, they are. They’re very, very convincing. Kasey, he just, he won’t give you the chance to talk to anyone else. … He was saying things to me like “I can visualize us four being the final four.” He was saying all these things and I believed him because I knew Graham and Michelle had been voting with him every week and I thought that they would listen to him. I thought that Michelle would want to get rid of Ella because they’re both single moms, I thought she’d view her as as threat. And, yeah, Kasey and Vienna were really, really good at playing the game and it does make me mad because, watching all the other weeks, I tried to eliminate Kasey and then it’s like this week I’m saving him. So it doesn’t really make sense, but it makes me mad because I think that we’re both a lot more intelligent than Kasey. So it definitely sucks to be manipulated by someone that you feel like you feel like you should be able to out-manipulate yourself.
Blake, what did you think when you heard Erica’s joke that it was her mission to get in the missionary position with you?
Blake: I think Erica’s great, she definitely has a wonderful sense of humor. She’s not afraid to put it out there and be her fun self. And in the competition when a question came up and she said that she, you know, she’d sleep with someone after three dates and was like “I’m kind of a slut.” She just plays it up. And it’s hilarious. She doesn’t take life too seriously. It was — it made me laugh. It was fun. I mean, I knew exactly where she was coming from.
Erica, you kind of touched on this earlier, but do you have any regrets for coming on so strong?
Erica: No, I think it was funny. I mean, I was coming on really, really strong, but sometimes I think I like to do that and just see what’s going to happen and get reactions and push the envelope a little bit. Like I said, it was funny to watch. Blake and I are really good friends so it didn’t make things awkward or weird between us. One thing is, if I would’ve known about the fact that Blake and Holly were already developing such strong feelings with each other — I mean, they didn’t want to give away any details about their date that they had, their ski date, so I had no idea the connection between the two of them. And watching it now I think it’s so cute and I wouldn’t have interfered with that. I’m the kind of person that believes in girl code and I like Holly a lot. If anyone had came to me ahead of time and told me about the two of their relationship, I wouldn’t have started it. So I really wasn’t doing anything wrong.
Blake, what was your actual reason for rejecting Erica’s offer on the overnight date? Because of Holly and your reputation and everything? It seemed like a lot of excuses were bounced around.
Blake: I mean, they’re not exactly excuses. I feel like they were pretty valid — you know, I had a few different reasons. Yeah, I clearly didn’t want to give the wrong impression to Holly and at that same point, give the wrong impression to America. I mean, I didn’t want to be the guy that goes on several days and doesn’t care who he’s hanging out with and staying with. I mean, that’s not me. My reputation was part of it and Holly was part of it and strategically staying away from the house — they were all valid points, I felt.
Erica, you and Vienna didn’t seem to get along well on the show, but right after the show finished filming you arranged for your dad to give Vienna a nose job. How did that come about? Do you always arrange these kinds of procedures or was it a peace offering?
Erica: It was her idea. Honestly, it wasn’t my idea, despite how she made that little story, it was her idea. She knew that my dad was an amazing plastic surgeon. So even though, and we didn’t get along for the most part but I think by me saving her and by giving her that final rose and me going home — she could’ve gone home if we hadn’t given it to them — that kind of made up for any differences that we might’ve had, through like me hanging out Jake or whatever differences we had. And so we were friends, we left on a good note. As soon as she got home she called me and we kind of arranged it. My dad was excited to do it. It was really funny, before I went on the show he said “Tell Vienna I want to do her nose.” And I was like “Dad, I can’t tell her that. That’s rude. Someone has to approach me themself. I’m not going to go up to someone and say ‘Hey you need to do your nose.’” But she definitely looks so much better now, I’m sure you guys have seen pictures and you’ll see it in the finale. He did a great job. And I don’t mind helping other people look better. I’m not like that kind of girl that is competitive with other girls that way. I want everyone to look prettier. And I can’t reveal who, so I’m not going to, but actually another cast member recently went to my dad for plastic surgery so you’re going to have to wait until the finale to see who that was.
Blake, do you think you were just dealt a bad round of cards that kind of forced your reputation into a hole that you couldn’t get out of, or would you say based on your actions you might’ve deserved the backlash a little bit?
Blake: I’m not going to sit here and say that I’m not to blame for anything. Sure, you know, I did not play things the right way. I never meant to lead Melissa on, I never meant to hurt her feelings. But just a strong emotional reaction from her — that was really the first thing that got to me. And that was kind of a pretty big deathblow to get away from because it seemed to follow me constantly. And, you know, there’s things that I would’ve done done differently, of course, that’s the whole reason that you’d want to go back and try again to try to get better.
Blake, if Michael hadn’t been on the show at all, do you think we would’ve seen more of the love story with you and Holly and more about what made your relationship grow and be special?
Blake: I have no doubt about that. The first night in the house I almost teamed up with Holly, she was going to be my partner. But there was a rumor going around that she was still involved with Michael — not romantically then, strictly like [strategically] in the house. Several people kind of told me that and then when I asked Holly she denied it. So I immediately thought I couldn’t trust her. ‘Cause I didn’t know her, it was the first night I met her. If Michael hadn’t been there, then we would’ve ended up being partners. Not sure how far we would’ve gotten, but we definitely would’ve had more fun.
Erica, we saw you kissing Jake. Do you have any hopes of rekindling things with him at some point?
Erica: I mean, after I left — I don’t think it showed everything that happened between Jake and I. Of anyone in the house I probably spent the most time with him and really got to know him as a person. So after I left I was hopeful of he and I hanging out. But I’ve only hung out with him once since the show and I think, you know, I still have unanswered questions. He said we need to talk and we need to discuss everything that happened and whatever. And I think he felt — he said he felt kind of betrayed by my friendship now with Kasey and Vienna. He and I have never really gotten to have that last conversation that we need to have. So maybe today at the [taping of the] finale I’ll bring things up. But I don’t think that he wants a further relationship with me and I was a little sad about it. Just ‘cause I do think he’s a really great guy and I think — first of all, I think he’s gorgeous. But I think he’s a good person and he’s different to me than the person that Vienna described to me, for sure.