When Emily Maynard was back on the market for a hot second after breaking her engagement to Jef Holm (she's reportedly already in a new relationship), Bachelor Sean Lowe didn't consider asking for a second chance.
"I heard about the split in the final destination, so I had already invested in other women," he told ETonline. "It became clear over time…[Emily's] not the one for me."
There will be a one blast from Bachelor past as a familiar face tries to capture Sean's heart. Promos show that a mystery former contestant is back in the mix. "I think America will be surprised to see who it is. I know I certainly was when she stepped out of the limo on the first night," Sean hinted. On Ben Flajnik's season, Shawntel Newton made a memorable cameo mid-season, but was eliminated straight away. "I probably would have done the same thing Ben did so I didn't infuriate the other women who had been there for the first several weeks," Sean says.
Although Emily isn't meant to be his Mrs., he says, "My feelings for Emily were very real and authentic. Could I find those feelings again? I owed it to myself to give it a try." After falling in love on reality TV once, he ignores the poor success rate of previous seasons. "I am in the position where I want to find the love of my life and as crazy as it sounds, I think you can find that person on The Bachelor if the stars align," he shares.
Obligated to stay mum on the final outcome, he reveals, "The producers did an excellent job [casting]. When I accepted their invitation to be The Bachelor, I wanted girls that were well suited for me…I was blown away by the amount of wonderful women we had this season. Smart, well-accomplished, funny. That causes internal problems for me as the season progresses…I really had no idea I would become so attached and emotionally invested in so many women."
In the clip above, Sean speaks to host Chris Harrison at Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum's recent wedding about greeting his 26 women as they arrived at the mansion. He further says of the experience, "I don't think we called it a first impression rose, but there was definitely one girl that catches my eye and she does receive the very first rose. You'll see those initial sparks play out over several episodes and it's going to be an interesting relationship." But, it may not be love at first sight after all because he adds, "Sometimes it takes weeks to see who a woman really is and that first impression isn't really accurate."
Determined to "draw [his] own conclusions" about the ladies' intentions, Sean hesitates to get involved in the "cattiness." As time goes on, "you can't ignore when you have multiple women talking about one woman," he says of listening to warnings. "It always irritated me when girls would get caught up in the drama and lose focus on why we were all there… [It's] inevitable when you put that much estrogen into one house."
When Sean had been wooing Emily, he was prepared to step into the role of stepdad to her daughter Ricki. His outlook is no different this season. He reveals, "You're going to see that there is one woman who does have children. That's not a deal breaker at all to me… [It] almost made [Emily] more attractive in my eyes because I saw the love she had for her daughter." As for having kids of his own, he'd "ideally" prefer to wait a few years to enjoy the company of his wife before starting a family.
The Bachelor premieres on Monday, January 7 on ABC. After handing out dozens of roses over the course of several months, "I would be happy if I didn't see a rose for the rest of my life," he laughs.