Though Eric Bigger was sent home on Monday’s season finale of “The Bachelorette” by Rachel Lindsay, he’s not pessimistic.
“For me, a lot of things are up,” Bigger said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun on Monday.
The Baltimore native made it to the final three remaining suitors on this season of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” before Texas lawyer and bachelorette Lindsay bid him an emotional farewell. Lindsay gave Bryan Abasolo, a 37-year-old chiropractor, the final rose and accepted Abasolo’s proposal at the end of the episode.
In the immediate aftermath, Bigger said on the show that Lindsay was “the one for sure.”
Bigger, who grew up in Reservoir Hill and now lives in Los Angeles, told The Sun that Lindsay helped him relax, enjoy life and to be himself. “She challenged me in a different way,” he said. “We created magic.”
Despite his exit short of a marriage proposal, Bigger said his experience on the reality show changed his life for the better.
“I came in a boy and left a man,” he said of his time with Lindsay and the other contestants.
The experience challenged Bigger, who said he felt “uncomfortable” with giving up control over his love life and intimidated by the prospect of showing vulnerability in front of a national television audience.
“I like to call the shots,” he said, “but I had to learn how to just fall back and let someone else do the planning. It was stressful just because you’re dealing with your real feelings.” During an on-screen one-one-one date with Lindsay, Bigger revealed he’d never brought home a girlfriend before and said he lacked a stable parental relationship.
But Lindsay afforded him the opportunity to open up, he said. During the season, Bigger took Lindsay to Baltimore for a “hometown” date — which he said he did get to plan. The couple spent the day playing basketball (Bigger played for City College and Howard Community College) and meeting Bigger’s family.
The two visited Mount Royal Elementary/Middle School, the school confirmed, where Bigger was a student and played basketball. In unaired footage, he said, the two met with coach Darrell Corbett and students at the school.
“[Rachel] loved it. She felt at home,” he said.
But even though Bigger didn’t end his time on “The Bachelorette” with a fiancee, he said he’s become lifelong friends with fellow former contestant Matt Munson, and forged friendships with Adam Gottschalk and Abasolo. Bigger said living in the same house with 30 other men, around all that “masculine energy” was fun, but stressful.
“It was everything, it was life. We had a lot of ups and downs,” he said of living in close quarters with his competitors. “For the most part it was good, but once I left the mansion things took off for me. I was happy to get out of there.”
Bigger confirmed some long-running fan theories about “Bachelorette” dates being pre-planned and that food goes untouched during one-on-one dates (“Eating food on camera never looks right, anyway,” he said).
What’s next for Bigger? “Helping people, impacting people and entertaining people,” he said. “That’s what I want to do.”
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