Stu answers all of our questions about his experience on the show.
Were you recruited for the show?
Yes. I received a call from one of the producers. Apparently a cousin had nominated me (without my knowledge) by sending in some pictures to ABC. After some coaxing, I agreed to a private interview in NYC and was introduced to Jen the next night. While I was hesitant about going through with the process, I found Jen to be very easy to talk to—I must have made a decent impression as well as I ended up on the show several months later.
Do you feel that you were correctly portrayed on the show?
I could only laugh in watching myself portrayed as being in love with Jen having had only a collective 15 minutes to spend with her, but it was all in good fun I guess. If I was guilty of anything, it was being too sincere about the process. Knowing I would have only limited interaction with Jen and knowing almost nothing about her, I wanted to learn as much as possible so that I could decide whether or not she was a girl I could see myself dating. I told her in each conversation that if there was no connection I would be the first one to wish her the best of luck in finding the right guy. Comments such as “I want to know her mom’s name and her favorite color” came as part of a larger conversation in speaking of my desire to know more about her besides where she’s from and how old she is before making any kind of decision about whether we could be compatible. Without saying too much, let’s just say that I have said “I love you” to only 2 women in my entire life, and neither one was named Jen.
What do you think about the rumors of Fabrice being gay?
I don’t believe they are true. I slept in the same room as Fabrice and not once did I find him in my bed when I awoke in the morning. I did catch him peaking in the shower once or twice, but just figured he was admiring my physique or trying to figure out if Americans shampoo first or last . . . kidding of course!
What was your favorite part about being on the show?
Meeting some incredible people and as a result making many lifelong friendships. I also don’t think you’ve really lived until you hear Chris Harrison say with a serious face, “Gentlemen, this is the final rose tonight” as if your life hung in the balance—truly hilarious.
And the least favorite?
Although I love the kid, trying to catch 2 hours of sleep each night next to a snoring Ben (my left arm was like a jack hammer as I pummeled his face with my pillow all night). Food quickly disappeared with 15 hungry guys and the producers had a tough time keeping up (especially with Mike and I making 36-egg omelettes each morning). Also, with no workout equipment in sight, many of us gym rats started to get stir crazy.
Did you feel a connection with Jen?
I found Jen to be the same nice girl I met at the casting call, but I didn’t have time to feel a real connection as I only had 1 group date and very short conversations before each of my two rose ceremonies.
How disappointed were you when you didn't get a rose?
I was disappointed that she didn’t have to time to get to know me, but I absolutely respected her decision and never wanted to stay if she didn’t see a connection—this wasn’t a competition for me nor was it about pride—this show is about Jen finding the right guy for her and that’s what I told her.
Would you be interested in being the next Bachelor?
I won’t close any doors . . .
What did your friends and family say when they found out that you would be on the show?
My family thought it was incredible and my friends relished the idea of having a lifetime of material with which to make fun of me—I think every one of my friends went out and bought Tivo. With all of the good-natured abuse I have taken from my friends, they are all truly proud of me for having the guts to do it.
Who do you think will get the final rose?
I have a good idea, but I’ll keep that quiet. All of the remaining guys are so different, so I’m not sure what she’s looking for.
Did you enjoy your group date?
I had a great time—what can be bad about spending a night with new friends in a box at the Garden. The best part of the night, which you didn’t see, was meeting Isiah Thomas before the game and shooting hoops on the Garden floor afterwards!
Do you think you had enough time to spend with Jen?
I think we had enough time to see if there was an initial attraction/connection. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to get to know each other, but the process requires her to make quick decisions.
Do you wish that you had done or said anything differently?
Not really. I went there with one plan—to be myself. I’m sick of playing games. I wanted to be sincere and honest from the beginning and let the cards fall where they may—it wasn’t meant to be. Time is of the essence, but you really can’t get to know each other until a one-on-one date. I think that I overwhelmed her with wanting to know too much too soon.
What did your co-workers think about you being on the show?
I work at a large Wall Street law firm in NYC, so taking time off to go on a reality show was not exactly the norm. The firm was extremely supportive and that really meant a lot. I have taken the requisite amount of ridicule from all the guys, but I would expect and deserve nothing less!
When you heard that Jen would be the Bachelorette, what was your reaction?
I was intrigued. I had seen several episodes of her season with Andrew Firestone and thought she seemed like a sweet girl.
How difficult was it being in front of the camera?
I’m very comfortable in front of a camera, but I had never been exposed to a production of that scale—you really can’t imagine how many cameras, microphones and lights are in your face at all times and it takes a couple of days to get used to it. Although annoying at the time, now that it’s over, I sometimes wake up lonely without a crew standing at the foot of my bed filming the excitement of me sleeping or putting on my boxer briefs!
Would you be on any other reality shows if asked?
I’m not sure—it would depend on the show and my circumstances at the time. I certainly feel privileged to have had the opportunity to be on just one.
Have people recognized you on the street? If so, what is their reaction?
Yes. I get recognized pretty often in NYC bars and the reaction has been extremely positive. I’m still not used to it, but it’s been fun—don’t quite need a security detail yet to keep the paparazi away, but if I did, I’d call my good friend Mike Foster.
What was your reaction when you realized the waitresses were Jen's friends?
I wasn’t that shocked as I had a hunch when Abbey asked me if I was there to be on TV or there for Jen (not your typical waitress question). I think that was a great idea and I would have done the same thing—what better way to see if people are genuine.
When all of the Bachelors reunite with Jen for the Men Tell All will you ask Jen any questions and what will they be?
I have no lingering questions for Jen and truly hope she has found happiness.
Extra Notes from Stu
People ask me all the time if I am disappointed that I didn’t end up with Jen. My attitude from the beginning was that the reward was in the experience itself, not whether or not I walked off with the girl. I wouldn’t change a thing as I took a leap of faith and it wasn’t meant to be—Jen will find the right guy for her and that is what the process is all about. I met some incredible people and learned a little bit from each one of them. The last words I said before my final rose ceremony came in a toast to my new friends in saying that I couldn’t wait to see them at the reunion in LA. For me, I will take away the friendships that will certainly last longer than my 15 minutes.