Craig Sjodin with ABC
Emmy-nominated, AP award-winning journalist Garin Flowers (MSJ ’11) is no stranger to interviews — but he’s not usually the subject of them. After joining Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette this summer, it’s Flowers’ turn to answer the Daily’s questions about his experience on the show.
The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
The Daily: Why did you decide to go on The Bachelorette?
Garin Flowers: I never had any interest in going on the show, despite some friends telling me to go for it. I was in a serious relationship earlier this year, and it ended when I thought it was at its best point, which has never happened to me before, so I was very frustrated and upset. I remember I was watching an ABC show, and they were advertising contestants to come meet Clare Crawley. I thought she was beautiful and I was ready to move on from the person I was dating, so something just hit me and said do it, and I applied.
The Daily: What was that first moment like getting out of the limo?
Flowers: When I first saw Clare, what stands out was, I just did all of this stuff to get to this point. And there she is. It was unreal, I can’t even explain. I felt like my guts were falling out of my body. I didn’t know if I was gonna be able to stand up when I got out, it was that intense.
The Daily: Much of the storyline on the season was about Clare and Dale Moss’s instant chemistry. Was the connection between Clare and Dale obvious to you at the time?
Flowers: Absolutely, hands down, I could see it. At the same time, I didn’t worry about him, I was only worried about myself, and that’s the way you have to be in that process, or else you’ll fail miserably. But I personally saw their connection because I was looking for her to go talk to her, and I saw that they just had this connection. I definitely could tell, but at the same time, it didn’t deter me from trying my best to get to know her.
The Daily: Did you anticipate being eliminated from the show? What was that night like?
Flowers: You always feel like you might be eliminated. There was definitely an alarm in my head like, I’ve got to have a moment with Clare, because I don’t want to leave here and not have had a moment with her. In the dodgeball game, obviously I had a pretty big moment, being the first person to take everything off — and yes, everything was off — and she thought it was ballsy. I was like, I’ve had a moment with her, I gained that respect from her. We had a bit more of a chat after that. But then at the rose ceremony, Yosef (Aborady) went off on her and I just had this weird gut feeling that that impacted me somehow.
The Daily: Was the environment between all the guys in the house competitive?
Flowers: We were so chill. This was not a competition for us. I felt a lot of pressure day one, because I did go in with that competitive mindset, but then when I met the guys I was like, I don’t need that at all. I don’t think that you have to be aggressive. You have to be smart. You have to know when to pull her to grab time with her and be creative, because every guy is kind of doing their own thing.
The Daily: The show recently appointed its first Black Bachelor, Matt James, and Tayshia Adams took over from Clare to be the second ever Black Bachelorette. As a Black man on the franchise, what do you make of the franchise taking these steps to diversify the leads?
Flowers: You’ve heard the saying that people want to see people that look like themselves. That’s going to be amazing. I think in past seasons there was actually decent diversity, not with the leads but with the contestants, so that made me feel better going into the process that there had been that diversity in the past. Seeing that there’s more of a push to make the show more diverse is even better and as a Black man, that makes me feel proud to be a part of Bachelor Nation.
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