‘The Bachelor’: Colton Underwood Says the Show Was His Attempt to ‘Convert’

Bachelor Nation star Colton Underwood is the first Bachelor lead to come out as gay. The recently engaged Coming Out Colton star recently said the franchise had a big impact on his coming out. Plus, discover why Colton turned down a “gay Bachelor” spinoff and no longer watches the ABC dating series

'The Bachelor' star Colton Underwood as a guest on 'WWHL'
Colton Underwood | Charles Sykes/Bravo

‘The Bachelor’ was Colton Underwood’s ‘attempt to become straight’ in a ‘fun way’

Colton was recently a guest on Bethenny Frankel’s podcast. Together, they talked about his time dating 20-some women in ABC’s dating show.

“I definitely felt like a fraud but I also felt like that was my attempt to convert myself,” he explained on the Just B with Bethenny Frankel podcast. “That was my attempt to become straight … in such a fun way.” 

According to the reality star, being cast played a significant role in his coming out. “If I didn’t have the show [and] become a public figure … [I wouldn’t have gotten] blackmailed,” Colton explained. He was blackmailed after visiting a spa for gay men and received an email threatening to release nude photos of his visit (via Insider). That blackmailing helped inspire Colton to make his sexuality public.

Colton Underwood was pitched a ‘Gay Bachelor’ but turned it down 

Previously in June 2021, Colton spoke out about the franchise saying he didn’t “f*** with them” anymore amid the Payment Protection Program (PPP) loan scandal. “Please stop lumping me in with The Bachelor,” he wrote in an Instagram Story. “I don’t f**k with them anymore, they don’t f**k with me. Point blank.”

Now, it seems like the former Bachelor is on better terms with the franchise. Colton revealed he was pitched a gay version of The Bachelor by several networks and streaming services (not ABC) during his conversation with Frankel. “It just wasn’t of interest to me,” he admitted. 

“I’ve been there, done that and I don’t think it was a healthy thing for me to do. I am looking to do other things [though]. I love the entertainment industry and … making great TV.” 

Colton remains thankful for The Bachelor and its positive impact on his career, but the show is a business at the end of the day. “They’re already thinking about money the next cast is going to make them,” he said. “Respectfully, we’re going our separate ways and I’m good with that.” 

‘The Bachelor’ star doesn’t watch the show anymore 

As Colton revealed to Frankel, he no longer watches The Bachelor or its spinoffs. Frankel pointed out how no one believes Colton doesn’t watch the show anymore, a belief that has everyone on “pins and needles” whenever he mentions the show. 

“I’m still serving that franchise — they’re getting their impressions and their media and their links by me talking about it,” Colton said. “At the end of the day they made millions off [of] me and I made what I made off of them and had the start of a career.”  

As he mentioned previously in the conversation, there’s no longer any ill-will toward Bachelor Nation. In fact, Colton regrets how he handed his feelings about the franchise early on. 

“My thorn would be … my way of coming after [the franchise],” said Colton. “Not putting my thoughts together in a well-articulated way to attack the franchise — I’m not proud of those moments. I could have handled things a lot better.”

Colton wishes he parted ways with the franchise earlier because it wasn’t healthy for him to stay in business with them, but he lacked the maturity to say that. Now, Colton is focused on the Underwood Legacy Foundation, an organization that raises money for cystic fibrosis research and medical equipment.

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