“I was portrayed on the show exactly how I am in real life,” says the man who was once “America’s favorite bachelor.” Lowe’s memoir — from Christian publisher Thomas Nelson — arrives on the first anniversary of his marriage to Catherine Giudici, the woman he chose from 26 contestants on the 17th season of “The Bachelor.”
“Did I really believe this was the best way to meet women? No,” Lowe admits. But if you’re stuck looking like a blonde haired, 6′ 3″ fitness model, what other options do you have?
“For the Right Reasons” is a tell-all book from a young man who doesn’t have a lot of shockers to reveal. “The camera doesn’t really lie,” Lowe claims, “at least not on The Bachelorette.”
“The truth is, I’m far from perfect,” he says. “One of my biggest fears is sweating in situations in which it’s inappropriate to be sweating.”
We all have our crosses to bear, Sean.
Raised a strict Baptist, Lowe “didn’t drink alcohol or sleep around,” a fact that drove American pop culture into months of puerile speculation and incredulity. He comes closest to showing any pique toward the end of the book when he calls out journalists for their relentless and redundant questions about his bedroom experience. “Not having sex until marriage was not the defining aspect of my life or personality,” he says. “It was simply the one that garnered the most headlines” — in US Weekly, in People, on “Good Morning America,” even on “Jimmy Kimmel.”
“I was mad that no one would give it a rest,” he writes. “Every interview was all about sex, all the time.”
And here you thought watching beautiful strangers hook up on TV was all about true love.
For Lowe, it was.
“For the Right Reasons” takes us back to the real story of the boy from Texas. With a loving family and a successful high school career, Lowe was “always the nice kid everyone’s parents liked.” College was tougher, though. As a football player at Kansas State, he struggled to stay focused and almost failed out. “There were so many fun things to do,” he confesses. “I’d flip on the television and get interested in whatever was on. Something like a PBS program about African wildebeests would ensnare me until late into the night.”
Whoa — hang on there, horn-dog, this is a family newspaper!
Determined to be a millionaire by 30, Lowe jumped into debt settlement, but soon lost all his investors’ money. That failure drove him, very reluctantly, into his family’s insurance business, but he never stopped praying to God for something more satisfying.
And that was when — like generations of humble saints before him — he heard the call: from Tabby in the casting department.
Much of “All the Right Reasons” details Lowe’s buffeted emotions as he competed for Emily Maynard’s affections on the eighth season of “The Bachelorette.” “I felt confident in our relationship,” he says. “I knew in my heart that none of the other guys would have the connection we had.” But he was no back-stabbing “Survivor” contestant. Before filming each morning, he led the other guys in Bible study.
He had every reason to think he’d win. “You’re perfect,” Maynard kept telling him. “You’ve just the whole package — you’ve got it all. Even your dogs are perfect.” And yet, as millions of viewers know, Prince Charming was sent home in “the limo ride of shame.”
Later, against his better judgment, he left a plaintive message on Maynard’s answering machine. She never called him back. (“After seeing how everything ended up for her,” he says in a rare moment of cattiness, “I was sort of relieved she’d sent me home.” She chose another guy, and they split up not long after the show.)
But when God closes a window, He opens a door: The producers of “The Bachelor” want him to star in a new season.
The second half of “For the Right Reasons” takes us through that romantic whirlwind as Lowe struggles to choose a woman “who would challenge me in my spiritual walk” — just what reality TV is designed to do.
“Marrying a non-Christian is unwise for the Christian and unfair to the non-Christian,” he says, a position that plunges the show — and his memoir — into crisis: “Was [Giudici] a Christian? Was she serious about faith?”
“Freaking out” the night before the proposal episode, he pleads with the producers for 15 private minutes with Giudici. It’s a sinful breach of “Bachelor” protocol, but they finally relent.
“I want someone who will love Jesus as much as I do,” he tells Giudici in a panicked, off-camera meeting. “Someone to help me raise my kids in the Christian faith.”
The rest is TV history.
There are challenges ahead, of course, the kinds of challenges that any fiancé must face when he decides to get married on television and then becomes a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars.” But Lowe and Giudici manage to hang on till the big day. “We wanted it to be as much like a normal wedding as possible,” Lowe says in that voice so free of cynicism you just want to break down and cry. “We were honored that ABC wanted to be a part of it.”
Before he walks down the aisle, he sends one last bachelor tweet to Jesus.