The Bachelor star Sean Lowe shares candidly about his experience on the reality TV show, finding love, waiting for marriage and living out his faith in a new short film released Wednesday on iamsecond.com, a website featuring more than 100 athletes, actors, models, musicians, pastors, politicians and everyday people sharing stories of hope.
A Dallas native, Lowe recently married the love of his life, Catherine Giudici, whom he met on ABC's The Bachelor, in a live ceremony broadcast on ABC Network Jan. 26.
Before starring on The Bachelor, Lowe won the hearts of America on season eight of The Bachelorette. It was Lowe's sister who originally turned in his application to appear on the show, unbeknownst to him.
"I said, 'Listen, I have no desire to be on reality TV, and I certainly don't want to subject myself to all the public criticism that comes along with being on a show like The Bachelorette," Lowe first told the producer when approached about being on the show. "Guys go on there, get drunk, and there's the fantasy suite and there's sex and nudity. It just didn't seem like something that represented me."
After thinking about the producer's offer for about a week, Lowe eventually thought he could use a free vacation and agreed to appear on the show. He flew to North Carolina, where he and the other men were put up in a "big palatial mansion."
At first, Lowe simply enjoyed hanging out with the other contestants, but after a few weeks of getting to spend time with the bachelorette, Emily Maynard, he realized he was falling for her.
"I'm actually developing feelings for this girl when there are all these cameras around," Lowe describes in the I am Second film. "This is kinda nuts. I can see myself being her husband, and she had a young daughter, and I thought, 'Wow, God has used this reality TV show to introduce me to my wife and my future daughter.' And after about six weeks of being on the show, I knew that I loved her."
A week before The Bachelorette finale, Lowe entered the rose ceremony with two other contestants and walked away without a rose.
Heartbroken, he returned to Dallas, still thinking of Maynard all the time, longing for answers of why he was eliminated. A few weeks later, a producer approached him again, this time to be the next star of the The Bachelor.
"I'm getting over a broken heart, and I'm still trying to mend," Lowe says in the film. "The first go-around wasn't the greatest experience for me. I said, 'I don't know.' On the show, bachelors traditionally get raked over the coals. It's not easy to maintain that good-guy image when you're the star."
Lowe assumed his family would discourage him from being on the show, but they surprised him by doing just the opposite. A few months later, Lowe was taping the first night of The Bachelor.
"It's unnatural to date 25 women at one time, and it felt wrong a lot of the time," Lowe describes. "I wrestled with it quite a bit, thinking, 'I'm pretty sure God opened this door, but what if He didn't? ... What if people look at me and they say, 'This is what is wrong with Christianity'? That was a big fear."
After weeks of eliminations, Lowe proposed to "his best friend," Catherine. It was in the aftermath of answering media questions honestly that a firestorm brewed and Lowe was labeled "the virgin Bachelor."
In his I am Second film, Lowe describes the basis for his decision to forego sex until marriage, speaking honestly about his past mistakes and how the decision has impacted his life.