There’s a good chance the Bachelor Pad Powers That Be will not be getting a “save the date” invite to Holly Durst and Blake Julian’s wedding.
Holly spoke to reporters on Tuesday, the day after her BP2 win with ex-fiance Michael Stagliano. Stag was supposed to be on the call right after Holly but — perhaps as in life — technical issues ended up putting some distance between them, and he did a separate interview a few hours later.
Anyway, Holly said she and Blake would not consider a TV wedding after the whole proposal thing went down the way it did on the BP2 finale. She wanted to contact Stag to tell him about the engagement so he didn’t have to hear about it on camera, but his phone had already been taken away from him by production and she said she wasn’t allowed to speak to him ahead of time. However, she says, they spoke after the finale taped and Stag even congratulated her and shook Blake’s hand. She said everything was fine after the show, although Stag’s take on that is a bit less wine and roses.
Read on for more from Holly, including her plans for half of the $250,000 prize.
When did you find out you and Michael were going to be in the house and when did you decide to be partners?
Holly: Michael and I had been asked to do Bachelor Pad when we were still together and then we broke up. And then we were asked again and I had nothing to lose at that point, so I did it. We decided to be partners a week before going into the house. I think that was the first time we had spoken in three months.
Did Michael really find out during the taping of the show that you were engaged? Was that really the first he heard of it?
Holly: Yes. Because it had just happened and I tried calling him the night before to tell him, but his phone had already been taken away.
At the finale one of the questions was why you should win, but Michael answered for you. What moves or strategies earned you the votes for the $125,000?
Holly: I was always a very loyal player. It got down to the point where I had to choose between my partner and the person I was falling in love with, which was Blake, and I stayed loyal to my partnership with Michael even though it was a very hard decision. I think that alone, being loyal to my partnership, earned me the money.
Do you have any regrets about the way things went in the house with you and Blake and Michael being in there?
Holly: No, I don’t have any regrets. I wish I had been more straightforward with Michael to let him know that I didn’t want to get back together with him. Because he clearly, you know, poured his heart out to me. I didn’t reciprocate the feelings very much and it kind of made me look like the bad guy, I guess, because I wasn’t sure. But now, looking back, I really wish I would’ve been straightforward with him and told him that I didn’t want to be back together.
What do you plan to do with the money?
Holly: I have written a bunch of children’s books and the only thing that’s been holding me back from getting them published is the financial part of it. So I am so thankful that I won the money ‘cause now I can finally publish my books. And the first one I’m going to publish is called Chocolate Socks, because my two favorite thing are chocolate and socks, so I created a book about it.
Have you and Blake picked out a wedding date or anything like that?
Holly: As of right now we’re not sure, but we definitely can’t wait for it.
Any idea of like spring or summer, winter?
Holly: Possibly spring or summer.
It looked like you were convinced that Michael was going to keep the money, based on his speech and how upset he was when he learned of your engagement. What was going through your mind, did you really think he was going to keep the money?
Holly: I knew 100 percent that we would split it, no matter what happened. We knew that we were a partnership and there were times that, you know, our partnership could’ve been broken but it never was because we both stayed loyal to each other. So I knew 100 percent that he would pick “share.”
It seemed like you would suspect Blake was going to propose since there were cameras on you that day they filmed it. Was it really a complete surprise?
Holly: It was a complete surprise. We had been filming all day long, just a bunch of stuff — they didn’t show any of what we had done. We had been filming all day long and the last part of it was that little picnic and he proposed — and it was definitely a huge surprise.
On the show, you referenced a conversation where Michael said he didn’t want to get back together until after taping the show. Can you talk a little bit about that? Was it a joint decision?
Holly: I think when he originally started saying that he missed me and wanted to get back together with me I didn’t really believe him because I thought he had just missed me because he was around me all the time and, you know, his emotions were heightened because we were in the house and I was the only person that he really knew. … So I told him, I was like “I don’t think anything needs to happen in this house.” Or “You shouldn’t pursue me here. If this something you want let’s see if that can happen outside of the house.” But that was all before my date with Blake. Everything after that definitely changed.
You and Michael seemed to think at one point that, if you picked Graham and Michelle for the end, you'd be handing them the money. Why do you think it was instead a landslide win for you and Michael?
Holly: I honestly have no idea. I didn’t expect it to happen like that. I’m grateful for every person that voted but I did not know that it was going to go that way. I looked over and thought that Graham and Michelle had pretty much won by a landslide and then when people started flipping my names I was just in shock.
Did you have, going in, an idea like OK, obviously Blake is going to vote for you. Was there anyone else who was a shock, like, Gia or someone who flipped your name over?
Holly: Honestly, I had made a list of people I knew for sure were voting for Graham and Michelle. That was Kasey, Vienna, William and Melissa. Those were “I know for sure” votes for them. And then I knew people that I would think would vote for Michael and I. But then there were about five names that I had no clue which way they would go. And all five of those people ended up voting for Michael and I, so it was definitely a shock.
We only saw a few questions from the eliminated contestants. Can you give some examples of other questions that were asked?
Holly: They asked what we would do with the money. They just wanted to know what selfish thing we would want to do with the money. Michael said he would like to take a vacation and I kind of want to publish my books.
There was a little teaser where it looked like Justin said something to Graham about how he never said anything to him in the house or whatnot. Was there any altercation between Justin and Graham during the finale?
Holly: No, not that I know. I think Justin got angry at Michelle because Michelle’s the one that ultimately wanted Justin off, I guess, and I think that there was bad blood from that.
Had you already been planning to move to South Carolina before the engagement to Blake?
Holly: Yeah, I was.
Would you and Blake ever consider having a televised wedding to share with viewers?
Holly: No, not after that. I mean, that whole — we didn’t want to hurt Michael and that was wrong the way it happened. And I don’t want to rub salt in the wound, so to speak, so I don’t think a televised wedding is something that we would want to do.
Hopefully this is just a theoretical question but, given Blake proposed with one of the show’s Neil Lane’s engagement rings, does that mean you have to give it back to the Bachelor producers if you should break up, like The Bachelor and Bachelorette couples?
Holly: We’re never going to break up.
Do you see yourself remaining good friends with Michael or do you think the engagement has complicated things where it might be a little awkward between you guys?
Holly: I’m not quite sure. I think we both need to give it some time before a friendship could happen.
You said you didn’t want to hurt Michael and it was wrong the way it happened — can you explain that? What was wrong? What did you expect to happen and what did they do that you didn’t want them to do?
Holly: I had tried calling him the night before — actually, Blake wanted to call him and I told Blake it would be better for Michael to hear it from me. But when I finally got to call him he had already had his phone taken away for production reasons for the finale. I begged them to let me talk to Michael before and they refused. They were like “No.” I tried really hard, I did not want it to be a shock to Michael. I didn’t want him to be blindsided at all because Michael and I have a very good friendship and I didn’t want to hurt him at all. And it happened.
Does he know that now? Did you have a chance to talk to him after the fact and say “Look, this is what I wanted to do...”?
Holly: Yeah, yeah I did. And he went up and shook Blake’s hand afterward and said congratulations. Everything was fine and now it’s, it seems like more of a — you know, they didn’t show the ending and everything was fine.
The finale showed your explanation of why you picked Graham and Michelle, but how easy a decision was it to take them to the finale? Did you come close to picking Kasey and Vienna instead?
Holly: No, we never did. We knew from the moment — I mean, we talked to them, and Kasey and Vienna were all about what they wanted to do with the money. It was all “me, me, me, me.” With Graham and Michelle, they said “We’re going to love you no matter who you choose.”
Watching it back, did Graham’s reaction surprise you a little?
Holly: Yes, I had no idea Graham was acting like that. It’s really disappointing, but Graham definitely does have a little dark side going when he drinks and that came out.