This afternoon brought two Bachelor conference calls: the first was with Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi (sporting a $42,000 Neil Lane diamond ring totaling 2.72 carats), the second with “runner-up” Tenley Molzahn. The highlights:
• Asked if “On the Wings of Love” would be the song for their first dance at their wedding, the couple broke into the chorus. Vienna said they’ll definitely dance to it at some point at their reception; Jake said he’s always pictured the first dance being a bit more uptempo and fun. They consider the producers of The Bachelor family that brought them together, and therefore, will want them at their wedding. “Whether they bring cameras or not, you know, who knows?” Jake said. Vienna envisions a wedding in a year or two and children in four or five. (“But you never know what’s gonna happen by accident,” Jake cracked. When did he grow a sense of humor?) Jake wants to relish the “puppy dog phase” — “I just want to date my fiancée for a little while,” he said. “I want to chase her down the beach naked” — and experience the little moments that build a relationship: “We’re engaged, but we haven’t seen our first movie yet.”
• They finished taping the show about three months ago. They’ve talked on the phone every day, Vienna said. They’ve been able to see each other every other week for about four or five days, sequestered in a beautiful house. “I felt like we were in the Witness Protection Program,” Jake quipped. “We had aliases. That was awesome.” Jake said that gave them time to “talk about life, and liberty, and love.” Vienna said Jake planned elaborate dates for them at the house, like a candlelit dinner by the pool. “We put our own rose petals in our bathtub though, which is different,” she noted of off-camera dating. “The trick,” Jake said, “is you just have to keep romancing each other. One thing that I loved getting to know about Vienna, actually on the show, was what love language she speaks. She’s a producer and a doer, and that’s really close to my love language, and so it’s been really easy for me to sweep her off her feet and watch her bounce a couple of times.” (Luckily, I’d muted my end of the phone, because I did a spit-take. What is he talking about?)
• They’ve learned to laugh at the tabloids, and are always curious to read them. “Shoot, I’m the first one to buy [them] off magazine stands,” Jake said. Vienna admitted that after seeing a cover promising to reveal her “dark secrets” in the airport, she ran over to read it because she wanted to know what they were. P.S. She says she has never even met a Backstreet Boy, and that she did not steal money from her ex-husband’s bank account when they divorced.
• Before moving to Dallas, Vienna will stay with Jake in Los Angeles, where she plans on being “his biggest cheerleader” at every taping of Dancing With the Stars. She also plans on spending her days trying to be a motivational speaker for young women. Jake doesn’t have a publicist or an agent, Dancing With the Stars just fell into his lap. “The cameras are not what I’m after, it’s the competition,” he said. Having the opportunity to train with professionals has been a “life’s dream.” His biggest fear is injury: He’s been lifting weights since he was 15 or 16 — his muscles are built for that, not dancing. “I’ve been trying to turn myself into a pretzel, you know, stretching, so that I don’t get hurt,” he said. He’s most looking forward to meeting Buzz Aldrin. He plans to return to his career as a commercial pilot after DWTS. He’ll teach Vienna how to fly in Texas.
• Vienna said Tenley is “an absolutely incredible young woman” and that they will be “life-long friends.” (Tenley said she never really got to interact with Vienna, but that she would like to get to know her.) Vienna and Jake agreed that Tenley needs to marry a prince because she is a princess, and that even though he loved Tenley, he was in love with Vienna. His only decision was whether to do what made sense to everyone else (pick Tenley) or his own heart (pick Vienna). Jake said after seeing how happy Vienna made him, his family hoped he’d pick her. His mother already treats her like a daughter-in-law.
• Tenley said from the moment she saw Jake on that final day, she had a feeling that he wouldn’t pick her. He greeted her differently than he usually did, he had a lot of concern on his face, and he didn’t seem to know what he was doing. That, she said, gave her peace — “If he was that concerned, then I was probably best to be going home…. I really had been praying, like, I don’t want to be in another relationship that’s not gonna be The One if I’m that far into it. Let me go if this is the way I’m supposed to be. So I think it worked out for the best since he seems to be very happy with Vienna.”
• Tenley is trained in ballet and jazz, but not in ballroom or Latin dancing, so she has no idea why Dancing With the Stars didn’t offer her a spot in the new cast instead of Jake. “If they ever need a backup, they can call me,” she said. “I think it would be a great little surprise for the season if they did add me to it so I could be Jake’s competition. If you’re up for that one, I totally am,” she said. For now, she’s back working at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Huntington Beach, CA.
• Like Jake and Vienna, Tenley is excited for Ali to be the Bachelorette. “I wouldn’t even mind if she wanted to call me and ask me for some advice,” Tenley said. “Maybe me and some of the other girls could even come and scope out some of those guys for her. Maybe one of those guys won’t be Ali’s type but may be my type,” she laughed. She might try dating again in the near future: She has had “very, very kind emails from suitors,” and just this morning, she was approached by a stranger in a Starbucks. Her parents and sister have received some inquiries as well. “I don’t really know what to do about it, but I’m completely flattered because it feels good to know that there are guys out there for me.”
More Bachelor coverage:
Chris Harrison blogs the Bachelor finale and After the Final Rose
Kristen Baldwin’s recap of the Bachelor finale: The Dumber of Two Evils
Ali Fedotowsky named the new Bachelorette