Even Ben Higgins doesn’t think he’s “the perfect Ben.” The season 20 Bachelor reflected on the pressure he felt as the lead after visiting Matt James during the Monday, January 25, episode of the series.
“I remember walking in New York City, I was on a [PR] tour before for the show. And the sign on the ABC building — they cover the whole side of it with the Bachelor or Bachelorette’s picture,” the 31-year-old reality TV personality recalled on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast. “And I remember it was the first time I saw ‘the perfect Ben’ was written and I looked at the person next to me, and I go, ‘Wow, they couldn’t set me up for more failure.’ And they couldn’t.”
Higgins explores his feelings of self-doubt and insecurity in his upcoming book, Alone in Plain Sight, which hits bookshelves on February 2.
“I had massive expectations on who I was and at that time, I wasn’t even talking about it. But inside, I felt far from perfect,” he explained. “I felt far from adequate, like, I didn’t even feel sufficient. And so, in my mind, it was another revelation that’s like, ‘OK, that is who I’m going to be onscreen, but inside, like, is this show even gonna allow people to get to know me? Would the contestants or the people viewing [get to know me]?’ And that’s a sad thought because I also knew and I still know that [the show] is a lot of what my story is gonna be. Maybe not forever. I hope, my life story, my legacy is not built on the show, but it has been to this point. And, like, if my legacy is built on something that is not true that [is] an isolating feeling.”
Higgins concluded that “the expectations” of his life portrayed on The Bachelor were “set up far from what I felt inside.”
While the “Almost Famous” podcast host and his final rose recipient, Lauren Bushnell, split in May 2017, more than one year after their proposal aired, Higgins is one of the go-to former Bachelors asked to give advice to the leads.
“I get to speak to most Bachelors before they go on. And with Matt, it really stood out to me just how incredible he was as a human,” Higgins said. “I think my concern is that he’s never been on the show. And it’s intimidating. I mean, if you’ve even been on the show before and you walk into it it’s intimidating, like, the lights, the people, the attention, the pulling around the long days, long hours, the multiple conversations, like, we watch it, and we enjoy it, [but] it’s really hard to do it. And so, I was just worried he was gonna get robotic because that happens. It happens when you get tired, you just start saying the right thing at the right time, because it’s the best thing to do. … The conversation [on Monday’s episode] lasted a lot longer than they’ll show, that just happens.”
For more from Higgins, watch the video above and listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast!