Since Luke Pell took a proverbial hockey stick to Bachelor Winter Games love interest Stassi Yaramchuk's heart, he wants the world to know that he's no villain — he's just a guy in love. (But not, you know, with Yaramchuk.)
The former Bachelorette star is on a charm offensive after this week's Bachelor Winter Games: World Tells All special, during which costar Yaramchuk described her confusion over their relationship ending. Breakups suck, but it was Pell's complete icing-out of his former sweetheart — caught, of course, on camera — that has had social media calling him a "douchebag" and "the most hated person in Bachelor Nation." (That whoosh you hear is Bad Chad and Juan Pablo's giant sigh of relief.)
“I originally went on [the show] after a breakup, a relationship I had last year that was a non-Bachelor relationship,” Pell told the magazine. “I decided to go back on the show and see if that might work because that had worked in the past for me when I was on with JoJo [Fletcher, the former Bachelorette]. I wanted to give it another shot.”
In other words, he was on the rebound. Though he soon connected with Bachelor: Sweden contestant Yaramchuk, he claims that he just wasn't that into the coupling.
“During that time, I really started reflecting on where my heart was at and I started thinking a lot about my ex, honestly,” the singer told People. “I came to the epiphany of saying, ‘My heart is with somebody else.’ I wanted to make that clear, and that didn’t take away from the fact that Stassi and I had that initial connection. She’s amazing and she’s great, and I want the best for her.
“I went on the show to find love, and I did find love,” he continued. “It made me realize where my heart was, and that was to reconcile with my ex [Holly Allen, with whom he reconnected in January]. That was the greatest decision I’ve made. We’re together now and stronger than ever. I’m in love with her. I’m just thankful that going on this show helped me to find where my heart really was and who my heart was with."
According to Pell, he didn't want to hurt Yaramchuk; he just wanted to be "respectful" of his renewed romance with Allen, a former Miss Wyoming USA.
“I hate if Stassi was hurt in the middle of that," he added. “Two months had gone by since we had those [breakup] conversations. I was uncomfortable from the time I stepped out there because I was confused and shocked at how emotional Stassi was, and I was in a relationship with my ex again and trying to be respectful of that. I was happily moving on with my ex and I was in a weird position at that point on the show to try to navigate that experience."
Heartbreak, old flames, second chances: It has all the hallmarks of a country song. If only we knew a country crooner and reality star to do it justice.
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