Thank you to the following people/blogs for their posts today!
Julie B. Cosgrove
Ben, tell us what it was about Renee when you first saw her that made you tell Mike you wanted her on the show?
Well, she was a disaster! (laughs) But that’s not all that made her stand out. Her answers were unusual, to say the least, but she came across very genuine. She wasn’t putting airs on for anyone. Even though she was auditioning for a TV show. Most of the girls showed up wanting to impress and they would do anything to do just that. But Renee…I don’t know…she was just Renee.
On the first episode, what was your first thought when she took told you to close your eyes, and removed your handkerchief? What were you expecting her to do?
My mind was racing and honestly, my first thought was “this is going to be good!” But once I had my eyes closed, I was a little worried. It put me in a more vulnerable state and I wasn’t sure I would like it. I thought she might hug me or even kiss me or something. And I was curious why she didn’t want me to see her right away. I certainly wasn’t expecting the spitting sound!
I was quite surprised that you didn’t reject her after she caught her dress on fire. What made you decide to let her stay?
Once again, she was a disaster, and had it been any of the other girls, I might have done just that for my own safety! But when I was with Renee, even on that first night, I felt something different. At first it was just a spark and it interested me. But I also had a keen sense of curiosity. What was this girl going to do next?! And I had to find out.
What were you thinking when she pushed you in the pool on the second episode?
She ruined my drink! (chuckles) I think I was far too shocked to have any thoughts at all. Once I surfaced I just wanted to pull her in after me…you know, get even. But she beat me to that as well.
How did you feel when Cleo left with the race car driver?
I was rejected, plain and simple. And that never feels good. Part of me wondered if the process was really going to work for me. If someone better came along for her, wouldn’t there be someone better for all of them? I was afraid they would all realize that and ditch me too. And while I was starting to rule her out as a candidate, I still wasn’t certain so it hurt a little bit.
Was there a moment when you thought, “This girl is just too crazy for me?”
The funny thing is that it’s her craziness that I love! Yes, she’s out there…she’s quirky…and she’s perfect for me. I’ve dated enough to know what’s out there. And none of the women I found so far are anything like Renee. I needed something different and I found it. No matter how crazy she ended up being. You’re not going to tell her I said that, are you?
Was there anything you didn’t like about Renee as the show was being taped?
Even though she was herself at all times, I could tell she had a wall up around her. She wasn’t giving me a fair chance at first. She wanted to be on the show and maybe she even wanted to fall in love, but she didn’t want it to be with me. She had fun teasing me and pushing me into pools, but she thought she knew who I was and she wasn’t giving me a chance to change her mind at first. I’ve been judged enough to recognize it. I didn’t appreciate that side of her but I felt like there was enough there to give it a chance.
If Renee didn’t accept your last dandelion would you have considered asking Eve out?
Eva is a wonderful woman and any man would be lucky to have her. She’s smart, beautiful, funny, charming, she has it all. But honestly, it was Renee or no one. Eva looks great on paper, and even in person, but in the long run, she wasn’t “the one.” I know she’s going to make someone very happy someday and I hope she finds him very soon.
What are the plans for your next big date with Renee?
We spend a lot of time together and life is much more normal now. We don’t have to plan big, elaborate dates to have a good time. She’s taking me to a concert this weekend. She goes to most of the ones that come through town because of her job at the radio station. But tonight, I invited her over for dinner and a movie. She gets to bring the movie and I get to bring the dinner. I say that because I’m not cooking! Not tonight at least!
What did your family think of the TV show? What was their reaction to Renee and her antics?
They got a big kick out of the things she did to me! Said I deserved all that and more, can you believe it? I think they reacted much like the rest of the viewing audience. They adored her because she was so different. Not the type of woman who would put up with any flack from me or any other man! They recognized that we were a match. They appreciate her imperfections and the fact that she is willing to show them with pride.