25-year-old Alex Woytkiw was a contestant on this past season of ABC’s The Bachelorette. Bachelor Nation will remember him as the guy who beat out fellow contestant Chad Johnson for the rose on the infamous two-on-one date. He made it the top 6 before JoJo Fletcher sent him home. TNWU caught up with Alex to discuss his experience on the show, his thoughts on Nick Viall being named the new Bachelor and what makes him nerdy. Read our interview below.
First, I have to thank you for your service to our country. I know it’s a big sacrifice.
Thanks. I really appreciate that.
A lot of our readers asked: What made you join the Marines in the first place?
To be quite direct I was in college, and I hadn’t decided on what I wanted to do with my life yet and felt like I was having a lot of fun in a fraternity, hanging out with friends all the time. I was doing well in school, and I just felt this need to do a little bit more. So, I packed up all my bags and went and joined the Marine Corps like two months later after deciding. It’s not one of those cases where I grew up thinking I was going to be in the military. It was very spontaneous and just random I guess.
So did you graduate college or did you just leave school?
I went to two years of college. It was a lot of fun, but I kind of had this personal epiphany where I felt like I was not doing everything I could be doing with my life.
And you just recently got out [of the Marines], right?
I got out on … August 7th was my last day in the Marine Corps.
So how has that transition been for you so far?
It’s been really cool. I feel like the transition right now, moving up to LA, it’s kind of weird because I’ve been in such a structured lifestyle in the Marine Corps and had this constant paycheck coming in and it is like I was on autopilot almost for the last five years, being able to just be content with my life, my job, and everything in between. Now, I’m feeling the stress of normal civilian life along with the whole transition out of the military that I think a lot of military members experience and you don’t really know how it feels until you go through it because it’s totally different. I can wake up at whatever time I want, and no one is going to yell at me for it (laughs). But, it’s cool. I’m just trying to stay focused and just do it right.
Before we get into more questions specifically about the show and since it kind of relates to your occupation, I have to throw this question out there: What did you think of the “Former Child” meme that went viral on the Internet? I know I saw you post about it on your Instagram account.
(laughs) I don’t know. I think for me, my personal perception was that I loved it. It thought that it was funny because I think I was a great former child, like I am one. So I looked at it and optimistically want to hope it was just all in good fun. If someone wrote that with ill intentions and to try and bring me down or for whatever reason, then I want to say “shame on you.” When that first circulated, I was still in the Marine Corps. People don’t understand that in the Marine Corps I was part of special operations. I just wasn’t allowed to talk about that stuff while I was on The Bachelorette, so people don’t realize that. But for me, as the guy who has the background in the military that I have and the experience, if someone were to try and make fun of me and call my occupation a ‘former child’ and be seriously trying to make fun of me, I would say it’s pathetic. I looked at that meme, and I got a kick out of it. I was hoping that whoever developed it, made it with that intention and not to be hurtful.
Moving on, tell us why did you decide to be a part The Bachelorette?
During my time in the military, I was traveling a lot and deploying. I would meet a really cool chick and then after that, I would leave for a couple of months to train, to go deploy, or whatever. It was just so hard to maintain a real, growing relationship. I came back from deployment in January, like the third week of January or so. My sister-in-law, my twin brother Adam’s wife, put me up to it and thought that I should give it a good old college try. She put me up to it, and I went because why not? (laughs).
I don’t know how much you can talk about this but what can you share about the application process?
I can tell you that my experience, from what I was told, was unique compared to the standard application process. From what I understand, the typical process is like five-six months long. It is really, really exhausting, no just with the testing that you have to do and all the proper procedures. Cause I experienced that, the blood work, the drug testing, the psychological exams, all the basic stuff but for a typical application it spans so much time that people are essentially putting their lives on pause trying to stay single if they already know that they got cast or something, or maybe they think they got to the final 100 or something in the process, so they are actually holding out, hoping for the opportunity. For me, I applied, and I was filming the show in two weeks. So, it was a very fast process for me, and I didn’t really have to stress. I got told the day that I met the casting director and a couple of the producers that I, like the first conversation I had with the franchise, I was kind of already told that I pretty much got cast. So I didn’t really have to stress about it.
Did you know, because you were casted and then on the show within two weeks, that JoJo would be the Bachelorette before you made your decision to go?
No. I was only told that it was gonna be one of maybe four or five girls. So essentially the top six, and you know that the number one girl wins, so there’s only five people. At that point, I think that’s where they were at in Ben’s season; they may have been in the top five or top four. They told me top six, so I went and did my research because I had never seen the show before. I watched like maybe two episodes with my sister-in-law, did my research, decided that I was comfortable with any of the top six girls, I would be willing to at least go on a date with them in real life, so I figured it would be worth going on a date with them on TV. Then, I found out with the rest of the country that it was going to be JoJo when they did the After the Final Rose episode.
Describe your feelings and thoughts going into the mansion that first night and when you first pulled up in the limo and saw JoJo?
I was really calm about everything leading up to the limo (laughs). Then I was sitting in the limo, and I got out, I got out extremely nervous, and I had no idea what I was going to say. (laughs). I was trying to practice in the hotel room because I didn’t want to forget my name. So I was like “Alright. I’m going to practice introducing myself.” Then, I got out there and pretty much all I was able to do was introduce myself. It’s just a lot. You have so much production around you. Then, a girl like JoJo, who had just finished her season on The Bachelor was used to all the cameras, and was just calm and being herself. And then you’ve got a guy like me who has never been around cameras, freaking out. But, it was cool.
Everybody that watched your season of The Bachelorette knows that you and Chad had some drama. Can you explain a little bit about that? Did producing play that up or was Chad as really as bad as he was on the show?
Well, first, there’s no acting or script or anything when it comes to the show. So, my opinion of Chad is 100% my own. I don’t think that the show even portrayed him in the light he realistically was… he’s such a bad human being. I believe that they actually pumped the breaks on how they portrayed him because they probably wouldn’t have been able to show all of it, literally on television, on basic cable. How I felt that he was really acting like was more over the lines of how they showed him on Bachelor in Paradise. That’s how he was really acting the whole time, and they pumped the breaks and made him look one way, and I wish they would have given him the same edit or portrayal that they gave him on Paradise, where they show him being a completely out of control person. Because a lot of the stuff I’m telling him and my opinion of him was based on the stuff that people just simply didn’t see. So, me saying the things that I had to say about him during my season would have been completely acceptable and I think justified through the audience’s eyes if they would have been seeing him act they way he was in Paradise. They dumbed down how bad he was and then enhanced how much shit I had to say about him.
Right. It almost made you look like the villain in one way when really it was just a normal reaction that anyone would have had.
In your AfterBuzz TV interview that you did the other day, you said something to me that kind of stuck out. In reference to the Chad drama, you said, “Quite frankly, if you’re a guy that is living there, in that moment, and didn’t have anything to say about it, then you’re just running for the cameras and being PC about everything.” Were you talking about a somebody specific from your season or were you just talking about in general?
(laughs) I mean I could get down to the specifics, but it’s more so a general statement. What people don’t seem to get is that there are a lot of guys that were on the show that were doing interviews and having an opinion about a lot of stuff going on just the same way I was. The difference is that there is just so much time that the show has to show what people are saying and where everyone is at, and so instead of showing 12 different guys talking shit about Chad, they show one or two guys doing it cause they just don’t have the time to fit all that in. Generally speaking, I know that a lot more people, almost every single guy going through the show with me, had the same opinion about Chad or stuff going on. It was just that for whatever reason they decided they were going to show my voice because of maybe the way I was articulating myself, it maybe rubbed them better, or it was more entertaining or something. For me, if you see a human being act the way a person like Chad was acting, as a man you should think that that’s wrong. You don’t know these people; I don’t know these people, and I don’t operate under, “Hey, if I don’t know you then you need to earn my respect.” I walk around respecting everyone and then you can only lose my respect and that’s the difference between someone like me and a person like Chad. I had a problem with that because he’s treating everyone poorly and you don’t see it but that’s how it was happening. I think that any guy, any man that lets another man walk in a room and disrespect them the way Chad was disrespecting a lot of guys in the house, their only reason for not defending themselves is because they don’t want to be portrayed in a bad light, they don’t want to give the power to the edit or the portrayal. They want to control it and stay out of that kind of shit, and it’s like, “Bro,” or whoever it was, I don’t want to name names, there were multiple people. But, “Speak up. This is happening. Your mom, your grandma, that audience deserves to know how much bullshit this is.”
What was it like to watch the show back?
I did watch with family. I would have to say the only episode that I didn’t watch was the final episode. It was cool. It was cool to watch it back because I really liked the early, early episodes. It was fun to watch those back. Once the season got in a little bit deeper, I felt like they missed the mark on me and where I was. Like why I got as far as I got with her and I don’t know if my actual experience later on in the show was the right way of showing it. But, other than that it was easy to watch it back. I’ve only watched these episodes back one time. It’s not like I’m sitting over here watching every episode 20 times and loving it (laughs). It was a cool experience, and it was certainly not everything that I am. It’s nice that I’ve made a lot of new friends and connected with a lot of people through the experience and being on the show, but anyone that would just judge me exclusively off that show is missing a lot more to me than what’s really here.
Is there anything you would change about your experience being on the show?
No. I mean, if I were to do it all over again, I would certainly do it again, and I would do everything almost the same, I guess. I don’t know. I would actually, looking back, I wish that I would’ve been a little more, early, early on in the show, during filming, been a little bit more comfortable with JoJo on camera. I could barely communicate, (laughs) I could barely even hold a conversation because I was so nervous. But other than that, I’m pretty happy with how everything played out.
Last week on After Paradise, we learned that Nick would be the new Bachelor. Many people thought it would probably be Luke or Chase from your season. What are your thoughts on the whole situation?
It was random. I was with Chase when they announced it. So, obviously, I was with Chase, and he already knew that he wasn’t going to be the guy. He was expecting it to be Luke. I’m guessing Luke was expecting it to be Chase. It was weird. We were sitting, having a quick bite to eat and when they announced it was definitely a weird reality. I don’t really know Nick. I’ve met him one time. He was very polite, and we just had a brief encounter, it wasn’t like we hung out and spoke about life. But, he seems like a cool guy. He’s friends with a lot of people I know. And it’s just kind of funny that they decided to stick with someone that’s got a pretty big reputation on the show. I mean, he’s been around for a couple of years now, so they went with what they know instead of something fresh. The positive side to them choosing Nick over a guy like Chase is now Chase gets to get his life back on track and be focused on the future and not let the possibility of being the next Bachelor deter him from whatever makes him happy.
Finally, our website is called Talk Nerdy With Us, so what brings out your inner nerd? What do you “nerd out” over?
(laughs) I nerd out over computers and “nerdy stuff.” Not necessarily the physical structure of a computer but more so the radio frequencies, just RF communications, in general, is kind of a niche that I got into over the last couple of years when I was in the military. I’m actually pretty nerdy. I like to watch YouTube documentaries on space and robots and stuff like that.
Make sure you follow Alex on Twitter (@real_alexyq), Instagram (alexander_yq), and Snapchat (hahayq).