Colton Underwood Says He Left the Show During Filming: 'There Was No Bachelor' (Exclusive)

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Colton Underwood's Bachelor season was at one point without a Bachelor. 

The 26-year-old former football player kicked off his journey to find love on Monday's season premiere of the show, which concluded with a juicy promo that teased him walking away from the series -- literally and figuratively. 

"I was gone for a while. In that moment, and the feelings I was feeling, I left the show," he candidly told ET's Lauren Zima on Tuesday, confirming that his famous fence jump was the beginning of his exit. "I needed time to myself." 

"In the moment I was gone," he continued, "there was no Bachelor." 

Underwood wouldn't reveal how long he was gone for, but according to Monday's promo, he was missing long enough for host Chris Harrison and the Bachelor production team to go searching for him in the night. "I'm a resourceful guy! I'm in Colorado, right? I know how to make a little bonfire, fight off some coyotes or whatever we got to do," Underwood laughed off the situation, which he said was a result of things becoming "a little overwhelming." 

"I don't want to say anything [about leaving the show] and have it taken out of context. I want you guys to be on the roller coaster with me... it's just a roller coaster of emotions," he shared. 

As for what brings Underwood back, it seems we have Harrison to thank. "Chris Harrison finds me... you'll see how that convo went," the philanthropist promised. "There's just a lot of emotions that go into finding love, obviously. But there's a lot of emotions that went into filming the show, too." 

"It was a conversation, not only with Chris but, you know, with myself, just really coming to terms with, 'Hey, this is happening right now. This is how I have to deal with it, and this is how we're going to get through,'" he added, confessing that "of course" he cried during his time off the grid. 

"As much as it looks like a breakdown, you're having these internal breakthroughs. This is what's going on right now, and this is how we're going to have to get through it, and this is how I'm going to have to process it, and like I said, in that moment, I just needed to be by myself," Underwood expressed. "There was nobody on the other side of that fence, so I needed to get out and just get gone."

Underwood wouldn't reveal whether he ended the season engaged, or even if he's in love -- "I have a lot of love for a lot of things in my life," he teased -- but he seems to be happy he returned from the other side of that fence. 

"Even heading into this new year, I'm still continuing to grow. I'm not perfect, I know that, [but] I want to really enjoy this... this experience, this opportunity, and really just go on this roller coaster with everybody," he said. "But I do think I still have a lot of room to grow."

"I'm excited. 2019's going to be a great year," he smiled. 

The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Join ET's Bachelor Nation Facebook group here, and see more on Underwood's fence jump in the video below. 

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