Bartlett native Chris Bukowski said he was on ABC's reality TV show "Bachelor Pad 3" to win a game, but just like when he was a contestant on "The Bachelorette" earlier this year, things didn't go as planned.
Bukowski, 26, and his partner, Sarah Newlon, were one of the final two couples on the show, which puts previous contestants from "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" -- and for this season, a few "super fans" -- in one house together, where they compete for money and another shot at love. Each week contestants participated in challenges to gain immunity and opportunities to go on a date with housemates of their choice.
On the show's finale Monday night, the housemates who already had been eliminated gathered on a stage and voted in front of an audience for the couple they thought should move on to the last round, where the final two contestants would decide in separate rooms whether to share or keep the $250,000 grand prize.
Bukowski and Newlon only received three out of 16 votes, ending their chances of winning big.
Prior to voting everyone but the final two couples discussed the more dramatic moments of the season -- some of which included Bukowski, who appeared to lead on two women. Video clips played showing lots of hookups and tears and a few contestants sat in the "hot seat" to be interviewed by host Chris Harrison and questioned by their housemates.
When Bukowski finally came onstage, he told his former housemates that when he decided to go on "Bachelor Pad" he didn't know what he was getting himself into, but that he thought it would be a way to get over Emily Maynard, the woman he fell for on "The Bachelorette."
"The game, it got a hold of me," he said, adding that he was sorry for hurt feelings but that he did come to win. "It's no excuse to get anybody's feelings hurt, especially to that extent."
He said his family was even disappointed in the way he acted on the show.
"They don't have anything good to say, let's just put it that way," he said. "I know I'm going to hear it from the two girls that I hurt, I know I am, but I'll let you know right now that I heard it already. I've heard it from my father, I've heard it from my sister."
Despite his attempt to explain his actions, some of the housemates still rolled their eyes and said they thought Bukowski played dirty. In the end, contestant Nick Peterson was likely considered the meanest by some housemates when he chose to keep the money over splitting it with his partner Rachel Truehart, who wanted to share the prize.
Shannon Smith, a close friend of Bukowski's who nominated him to be a contestant for "The Bachelorette," said both shows have been positive experiences for him.
"It was a competitive game show, the Bachelor Pad was," she said. "He said it multiple times -- he didn't go into it to find love or make everybody his best friend and win over America. He went in there to play the game and win $250,000."
Smith -- who happens to be the daughter of Daily Herald Tri-Cities editor Mike Smith -- said although Bukowski didn't win the money, he came out of with friends and good opportunities. She confirmed he has since moved to the East Coast but wouldn't provide details about what he is up to. Rumors from celebrity gossip websites like WetPaint.com and Eater.com state that he is opening a restaurant in the Washington D.C. metro area.
"It's been an exciting, whirlwind experience for him," Smith said. "I think it's great; I think it's opening a lot of doors for him, and he's met a lot of great people along the way."