During the Tuesday, October 27, episode of the ABC dating show, the Harvard grad, 36, was one of several contestants to poke fun at the former NFL star, 32, as part of a group date roast. Though Clare Crawley wasn’t pleased with her suitors’ playful jabs at Dale, the wealth management consultant stood his ground.
“In any competition — whether you’re doing an election, whether it’s sports or business — you kind of go after the top dog,” Bennett explained on Wednesday, October 28, during an interview on the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast. “You can’t be afraid of that, that’s the man to beat. I think it was kind of clear at that point with Dale that there was a lot of favoritism. You could tell that his relationship was moving along with Clare quite rapidly.”
Bennett argued that he’s not “one to shy away from competition” and wasn’t “scared” to step up to the plate during the roast. “Why not go after Dale a little bit more than the others?” he continued. “It was really an opportunity, as well, where I had a chance to speak up … and maybe say some of the things that [the other guys] would have liked to have out there.”
As the drama progressed on Tuesday night, the 39-year-old Bachelorette admitted that she was already “falling in love with Dale” before the second rose ceremony even began. Following the playful roast, Clare expressed her disappointment in the men who used the group date to take a shot at Dale.
“I really don’t think I can sit there and go, ‘You dished on my fiancé so hard,'” she told a producer after deciding not to hand out a group date rose. “Like, I can’t be doing that s—t, you know? Like, it doesn’t feel right.”
By the end of the episode, the remaining men started to feel pushed aside by Clare, who focused the majority of her time on getting to know Dale. While reflecting on his time on the show, Bennett pointed out that it was difficult for the rest of the contestants to feel like they stood out.
“I was very, very impressed with Dale [on] night one,” he said on the podcast. “I was blown away by the guy. I was like, ‘This guy’s a stud.’ He’s beautiful. Have you seen those eyes?”
Eventually, however, Bennett noticed Dale trying to take on “a producer, event manager-type role” on the set — and that he quickly fell into the front-runner role.
“He was just really outspoken, and he would kind of go on these monologues,” the New Yorker added. “That kind of took me aback but I realized that’s totally fair game. … I was impressed by both his eloquence and the way that he stepped up immediately.”