Blake Horstmann joined Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast to recap The Bachelor: The Women Tell All and revealed the Monday, March 1, special made him even more frustrated by Matt James’ cast — or at least what we’ve seen of the season 25 women on TV.
“I found myself smiling through [the deleted scenes of the group dates],” the 31-year-old Bachelorette season 14 runner-up said. “Showing those dates almost humanizes those women a little bit. it showed their relationship [with Matt] and, like, showed the women’s relationship with each other.”
Blake noted that the last few seasons of The Bachelor haven’t shown the fun side of dating, something he discussed on the recent episode of his “Behind the Rose” podcast.
“It’s been depressing and it’s been dramatic. And it’s like, ‘Can we just go back to when dating was fun?’ And show people that dating can be fun,” he said. “I was frustrated with how they decided to cut those cool moments and show more of the drama, more Victoria [Larson], more of the bullying, rather than the fun side of these women.”
Blake, who appeared on season 6 of Bachelor in Paradise, went on to say that the season 25 contestants didn’t come off as “likable” compared to other groups of women.
“Everybody always asks me, ‘Would you consider Paradise [again]?’ And I’m like, honestly, these women, they don’t make them very likable,” he told Us. “There’s maybe one or two where I feel like they’re likable, but the rest of these women aren’t likable. It’s like, ‘Why go on a beach where I feel like I wouldn’t get along with these women? Or am scared that I’m gonna get bullied by these women?’ And that’s not the women’s fault. That’s the production, the producers, the editing. It’s not the girl’s fault because I don’t think they’re like that.”
While Blake agreed that producers cannot “make” any contestant do or say anything, “the scary part” for contestants is the edit.
“And The Women Tell is crazy edited and The Men Tell All, like, the reunions, those are crazy edited. All the facial expressions you’re seeing are definitely not happening in the moment,” he claimed. “They film you for eight hours and nine hours, you know, and toward the last, like, two hours, you’re just frustrated and tired and hungry and want to go.”
Blake added that he watches the show “through a different lens” after the backlash he received post-Paradise when he came under fire for pre-show relationships with Hannah Godwin, Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Kristina Schulman.
“With Victoria this season, I was like, ‘I’m not gonna, like, bag on Victoria. I’ve been in the shoes where you’re the villain no matter what.’ … She definitely does deserve some of the criticism, some things she said were out of line,” he said. “But I just try to remember they have a narrative. They really do. They have, like, a storyboard. And they have a narrative for each contestant and each character.”