The Bachelorette‘s Colton Underwood had one of the more emotional moments on tonight’s Men Tell All, with the focus less on his feelings for former contestant Tia and more about his decision not to have sex. “People think I’m less of a man because I haven’t had sex, and that’s hard for me to hear,” he said as he teared up. “I feel like a normal guy, so it’s hard when you hear all the negative things. It’s my choice and hopefully it’s something that’s respected from women and in the public.”
After the show taped, it was clear that Underwood was still affected by what happened on stage—especially because of a comment fellow contestant Jean Blanc made about Underwood’s virginity. “I will never talk to him again,” Underwood tells us. “His comment was disgusting and uncalled for.”
But with his journey about to continue on Bachelor in Paradise, there’s obviously more drama in store for the former football player. After all, his former fling Tia Booth will joining him in Mexico. “It’s emotional,” he says of the experience. “It’s full of unexpected surprises.”
Until then, Underwood shares more about his experience on The Bachelorette. Read on.
Things got emotional on Men Tell All tonight. How do you feel now that it’s over?
Colton Underwood: I still obviously feel a little emotional. I didn’t have plans to talk about my virginity because I feel like it was played out and it’s been a hot topic for the last couple weeks. [My virginity is] never easy to talk about, but anytime I do, it helps me grow as a person. So, I do feel good about that. It was hard for me to even bring it up at first on the show. I kept beating around the bush by saying I’m not that experienced. Now I can finally say, “I’m a virgin. I haven’t had sex” without a tremble in my voice.
Before you filmed the season, did you know this was going to become a topic of conversation?
Colton: I didn’t have a game plan with my virginity going into the show. I didn’t know if I was going to bring it up. When I did bring it up in the Bahamas, I wanted to make sure that [Becca] knew before she made her decision on whose family she wanted to meet. As hard as that conversation was, it was so good for me to actually say it out loud and go from six people to now six million people knowing it. People can agree or disagree with me, but hopefully some of them have a respect for me and my choice.
You and Jean Blanc had a tense moment during Men Tell All after he insulted your virginity. Did you address him after?
Colton: Jean Blanc is one of the guys that I never talked to after the show and, moving forward, I will never talk to. I think his comment was disgusting and uncalled for. It was so inappropriate in 2018—in the year of the women—and [he’s] going to be disrespectful to a whole gender? He’s going to use that word to describe the female anatomy and to call me out? And think he’s doing something positive [by saying that]? It is what it is, but I’m never going to talk to the dude again, so I don’t care.
Moving on: Was there any part of you that had hoped Tia would be the Bachelorette?
Colton: I’m not going to lie, yeah. The one thing that hindered Tia and I’s relationship and played a factor into it…it was hard for me to get a read off of that weekend that we spent together, whether we could be good for each other. She was going back to Arkansas, and I was going back to Colorado. We needed more time. I needed more time in that relationship to see [where things could go]. I was very up and front and honest, like, “I hope it’s you. I’m just letting you know I’m going on.” She knew from day two of us talking that I was a finalist for the show, and I said how cool would it be [if it was Tia]. When I found out it was Becca, [Tia] said, “Becca’s a great person, and I can’t wait for you to see your journey and hear about your experience. I’m so jealous. That’s awesome. You’re going to be with my friends.” That was it. It was very supportive. Tia and I’s relationship moved more into a friendship those last two weeks leading up to me leaving for filming.
You’ll be on Bachelor in Paradise with Tia. How did that go?
Colton: Paradise is emotional. I think there’s a lot of conversations that need to be had. It’s full of unexpected surprises that are both good, happy, sad, funny, all the emotions. I felt everything in Paradise.