Juan Pablo Galavis on Not Being the Worst 'Bachelor' Thanks to Arie Luyendyk Jr.: 'He Smashed Me' (Exclusive)


Juan Pablo Galavis has long been considered the reigning champion when it comes to most despised Bachelors, but now that Arie Luyendyk Jr. has claimed the crown, and Galavis says he sympathizes with the embattled reality star.

The 36-year-old former soccer player spoke with ET's Keltie Knight on the red carpet at this year's iHeartRadio Music Awards on Sunday at The Forum in Inglewood, California, and he reflected on all the hate Luyendyk Jr. has been dealing with since The Bachelor season 22 finale last week.

"You know, I feel bad for him," Galavis explained. "Because at the end of the day… you just get to be with that person for [around] 40 hours, so you don't know them that well." 

Galavis, who starred on season 18 of The Bachelor, admitted that he didn't watch Luyendyk Jr.'s season -- or anything season before or after his own -- but he feels for Luyendyk Jr.'s emotional dilemma. 

"If he followed his heart and the other one was the girl, I guess it's right," Galavis shared.

During Luyendyk Jr.'s season, the 36-year-old Bachelor narrowed the field of women vying for his attention down to Lauren Burnham and Becca Kufrin, and told both women that he loved them.

During the shocking season finale, he sent Burnham home in tears with an unexpected breakup, and ended up popping the question to Kufrin, which she excitedly accepted. 

Weeks later, however, Luyendyk Jr. had a change of heart and called off his engagement, telling Kufrin that he felt he'd made the wrong choice and wanted to pursue Burnham's heart, leaving his former fiancée shocked and heartbroken.

While Galavis showed Luyendyk Jr. a degree of understanding over his emotional conflict, he had to admit that the rumors claiming the latest Bachelor broke up with his girlfriend of one year for the chance to compete on the series definitely secured his place on the reality TV bad guy throne.

Galavis joked that Luyendyk Jr. didn't just steal his crown, "He smashed me!"

During his season, Galavis surprised viewers when he chose Nikki Ferrell as the winner but didn't propose, instead just deciding that he wanted to spend more time with her and get to know her better.

It was a decision Galavis says he still stands by.

"I always remember what Nikki's dad told me: 'If you're gonna propose to my daughter, [you've got to be] 100 percent sure you're gonna marry her,'" he recalled. "And for me, it was very hard because I have a daughter and I was like, 'I think the same way as you do. I hope the guy that proposes to my daughter is gonna marry her, and right now I just need to get to know her better.'"

Galavis -- who shares a 9-year-old daughter, Camila, with his ex-wife -- broke things off with Ferrell in October 2014 after just seven months of dating. In 2016, he sparked a relationship with Venezuelan model Osmariel Villalobos, and the two tied the knot in August 2017.

While the Venezuelan soccer player never popped the question during The Bachelor, Luyendyk Jr. actually got to propose twice. During "After the Final Rose," he revealed that he managed to reconnect with Burnham and ended up proposing to her live during the show, which she accepted. 

Check out the video below for more from the most controversial Bachelor season finale ever.


Arie Luyendyk Jr. Says Lauren Burnham Has 'Always' Had His Heart

'Bachelorette' Becca Kufrin Has 'So Much Hope For What's to Come' Following Arie Luyendyk Jr. Drama

Chris Harrison Understands Why Fans Hated 'Bachelor' Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s Proposal (Exclusive)

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