EXCLUSIVE: From Bachelor to “Band from TV”—Snakkle Catches Up with Bob GuineyAs we celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Snakkle catches up with one of the most popular contestants: Bob Guiney. Find out his take on his seasons, paparazzi, and the music and charitable causes he dedicates himself to these days. By Elizabeth Perkins
Snakkle: Before we get to what you’re up to now and your future plans, let’s talk The Bachelor. You were both a contestant and the Bachelor—what would you say were the best and worst parts of each side of the franchise?
Bob: I think ultimately when I was one of 25 guys on The Bachelorette, it was just fun. It was one of those things where you went on, you’re hanging out with a bunch of guys who became your friends, and there was no pressure. For me, The Bachelorette was a ton of fun, because I went on, had a great time, always messed around, being an idiot, and we all were. We were all having a great time together. With The Bachelor, there was so much pressure. In particular, I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and I didn’t want the situation where anyone would think that I wasn’t… I don’t know, I didn’t feel worthy of being in that spot, to be honest. I was thankful to have that opportunity and thankful to have that spot, obviously, but The Bachelorette was more fly by the seat of your pants and have a lot of fun and The Bachelor required more thought and care. And just with my personality, I didn’t want to hurt anybody.
Snakkle: Was it stressful being a part of a group of 25 guys? With the more recent seasons, it seems you see a lot more of the tension between contestants. Did you find there was a lot of tension?
Bob: Not at all. Trista was really cool and really funny and it was also such a new thing. I did the first season of The Bachelorette. They had never had a season with 25 guys, down to 15 guys in the mansion vying for the affections of a lady. And for us, we all got along really well. And we all realized we were there to have a good time and possibly find love, and we went in there with that kind of mind-set. When I watch these seasons past, I think, “Wow—these guys are just going after one another,” and I don’t relate to it at all. It didn’t matter how well we got along at the house, it mattered who ended up with Trista, so we all decided to get along. And we all enjoyed the experience. I’m still friends with a lot of the guys from the show, and I would consider all of them my friends. I still keep in touch with a lot of them. It’s one of those things that I’m glad that I did because it’s an experience I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Snakkle: So who are you still in contact with from your seasons?
Bob: I’m still in contact with several of the guys from The Bachelorette and I’m actually still in contact with Kelly Jo and Estella—my final two on my Bachelor season. And I’m also in touch with Mary, and through all the travels I do for everything I do work-wise, I end up running into a lot of the girls from my season of The Bachelor too. I’ve actually become friendly with one of the women I sent home the first night of my season—I host a big charity event for the Kentucky Derby every year and she’s a part of it too, so we’ve become very friendly through that. From The Bachelorette, I’ve kept in touch with Charlie Maher, Jack French, and other guys from that season. I’m grateful to have so many friends from that experience.
Snakkle: It seems there’s a definite evolution of the franchise since you participated. It seems there is a lot more tabloid scrutiny, paparazzi, etc. Did you feel you had to deal with any of that during your seasons, or do you think that developed as the franchise continued to grow?
Bob: I had a lot of it from when I was the Bachelor. I don’t know so much about The Bachelorette. It was definitely a lifestyle adjustment to be in Us Weekly and other magazines every week. My mom saved all the covers, so I’m sure one day I’ll be anxious to see them, but it’s one of those things where at that time it was a lot of scrutiny. I remember, even after The Bachelor, when I started dating my ex-wife, who was on a soap, and we’d be on a date and people would come up and take pictures of us. Or, at Oprah’s 50th birthday party—this was right after The Bachelor—I remember paparazzi all over there. And it showed up in magazines that I was on a date—Estella and I had already split up—and it’s just weird. It’s one of those things where you don’t expect it and you don’t know how to deal with it. I have to be honest, the tabloids and magazines were always kind to me and nice to me and I have to respect it. I guess my situation might be different. Maybe now it’s different because it’s such a tabloid culture as opposed to nine years ago when I did The Bachelor.
Snakkle: There are a lot of promos for “Bachelor Nation” events in Vegas and elsewhere. Do you attend those events, or do you feel you’ve moved beyond the franchise at this point?
Bob: Right after we did The Bachelorette, we actually held the first reunion in Vegas. It was the first one we did and we had Extra there with us and it was really fun and I had a blast! But a year later I was married, and for me it wasn’t the best idea to be hanging out at Bachelor/Bachelorette reunion parties. I don’t attend them now, but it’s not that I feel I wouldn’t be welcome, but my schedule is so crazy busy right now with all the other stuff I have going on that I only know a few people from the earlier seasons and I haven’t really had the chance to get to know people from the later seasons. So maybe if the situation was different and I knew more people from later seasons I’d be more apt to go, but right now I don’t go. I know they’re having a good time, though.
Snakkle: I don’t know how closely you follow the current seasons…
Bob: Oh, I watched this season for sure! I really enjoyed this season, actually.
Snakkle: Do you watch all of the seasons or just the ones that reel you in?
Bob: I’m a sporadic watcher. I definitely support the franchise. I love every opportunity it’s given me, and I’m happy to be supportive and watch as often as I can. Chris is still my friend, Mike Fleiss is still my friend, and so I always try to tune in. I got wrapped up in Ben’s season because of Courtney. I thought she was just awesome to watch. I loved it! Everything she did every week was the greatest thing on television to me. I was just infatuated with the whole thing. I’m also really excited to see this Emily Maynard season, because I really liked her too, and I thought Bachelor Brad was a nice guy. I met him at a Dancing with the Stars taping and he was very, very nice. I’m not someone who has lost interest 10 years and 20 seasons later.
Snakkle: How did you use your experiences on the shows to launch such a fun career? You’ve done such a wide range of things in the entertainment industry—how did you use the The Bachelor as a jumping-off point for that?
Bob: You know, I’ll be honest, I didn’t. It was one of those things where I was having a really crappy year and I did not submit myself at all to be on The Bachelorette and I had always been a musician and I had walked away from the music business to try and start a normal business and the assistant at that office submitted my information without me knowing about it and by the time I realized it was really something that was happening it was one of those things that I sort of fell into it, you know. During The Bachelorette, I had never been heavier in my life, so I just made fun of myself and had a good time and figured, “When I get home, I’m going to get in shape, because it’s miserable being around these guys in such great shape.” And watching the show, Oprah thought I was funny and brought me on the show a lot and I’d do cooking segments with her chef and go out on the streets with her, and all of those things led to the next thing, and Oprah basically said, “I want Bob to be the next Bachelor.” And I was, because if Oprah says it, then that’s what you do. It became a series of things that just happened to line up, and I’m very blessed in that regard. Had I tried to make it happen, I don’t think it would have happened. If I went on there with the mind-set of, “Oh, I’m going to use this as a launching pad,” that would have failed miserably. Also keep in mind that it wasn’t a show like American Idol, where you were expected to leave the show and go on to a career in music. The show wasn’t like that, so I never thought of it like that. I got really lucky, I guess. I had some really wonderful opportunities present themselves to me and I just took them. That’s why when I look back on my experience, I genuinely don’t have any regrets about it because I feel so appreciative it all unfolded the way it did.
Snakkle: You’re heavily involved in charitable causes and it’s very admirable. I read that “The Band from TV” play for various charities.
Bob: Yes, yes, thank you! It’s my favorite thing. Of all the really cool things I’ve gotten to do over the last 10 years—it’s hard to believe the Bachelor franchise has been around that long and I guess in a way I’ve been associated with it with 10 years…The coolest thing that’s happened in the last 10 years is, in my opinion, being a part of the band. We’re just a bunch of guys that are really great friends and who a lot of people would never understand how we’re such good friends. You look at Hugh Laurie and you look at James Denton and you look at Greg Grunberg and Adrian Pasdar, Jesse Spencer, Scott Grimes who was on ER forever, and me. I don’t know how I got pulled into the fold, but I’m so glad I did, because it’s really something I’m incredibly proud of. It takes time away from our families and our friends and everything else, but it’s all for charity. It’s all worth it. I think for me that’s been the coolest thing and to be able to do something I’ve always loved—which has been music and… now I get to do it for a cause that is a lot better than my own checkbook, you know. It’s something where I can give to Children’s Hospital and feel really good about that or give to Art of Elysium or whoever it is I give to whenever we play shows. It’s a really good feeling, and I’m glad to be affiliated with it.
Snakkle: Do you guys rotate your own personal charities or are you hired to do shows for specific charities?
Bob: We don’t really play shows for specific charities very often. What we do is we play a show for a corporation, or we started off doing Emmy parties for the TV Guide channel and E! or whatever, and we’d take the payment they would give us and then break it up and give to our individual charities. So basically how it worked out was every show, each of our charities was making money as opposed to doing a show and hoping the charity we were doing it for would raise money. It was a different tactic because we thought it was better—God forbid we play a show for a charity and no one shows up and this charity puts on this whole event hoping we draw people and what if we don’t?! So in our minds it was a little bit different and why don’t we do things we know the companies will do anyways and the corporation can write it off as a charitable event and we can turn around and in turn give it to our charities. So that was our business model and it was actually a great business model and from that perspective we’ve all been able to donate every time we play as opposed to sometimes playing and not being able to give money to anybody.
Snakkle: That’s amazing! What charitable causes would you say are closest to your heart?
Bob: Anything with kids. I don’t have any kids of my own, but I have a nephew and I absolutely love him to death and I have several nieces and nephews from my ex’s family who I’m still really close with and I love them to death too.… For me it’s all about children, and frankly I’ve done a lot with animals too. I’m really big on—I have a dog I absolutely adore, and I love dogs and cats and all animals, so for me it’s primarily Children’s Hospital, but I also give to the Humane Society and Bark Avenue and a couple of different charities like that.
Snakkle: That’s awesome. If you weren’t in the entertainment business and in a band—so, taking the music out of it— what would your dream job be?
Bob: If I wasn’t in the music business? I don’t know. I’ve been trying to figure that out lately. I’ve always been the guy that likes to have something going on the side. I know this is probably going to sound bizarre and weird to everyone, but I love finance. I absolutely love the world of finance and I am fascinated with that. Especially these days with everyone watching their 401ks evaporate and I’d love to be one of those guys who is smart enough to be in that world and be advising people on how to do things properly—including myself. [Laughs.]
Snakkle: What can your fans looks forward to you doing next?
Bob: Well, right now I have a new show on HGTV that is airing on Saturdays and is called Showhouse Showdown. The title is kind of a rip-off of the old showcase showdown on The Price Is Right, but it’s Showhouse Showdown. That’s on the air right now and that will go through this spring. I have a whole bunch of other projects I’m working on. I started a production company with a friend and we have some shows that we’ve optioned—we’re not in any of them, but it’s fun to be behind the scenes. And my buddy Greg Grunberg has this company called Yowza and he has this app, a downloadable app that you can pick up and it will give you mobile coupons and he just had me do a funny little viral commercial with him which was a lot of fun. And then Scott Grimes, who is also in the band—he was on ER and American Dad and Party of Five—he and I talked ahout doing a little summer tour together because we both love music so much, and we’d like to do a 10-city tour where we go out and sing our own songs and have fun.
Snakkle: Excellent! Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Bob: Well, I can say that 10 years ago I never saw myself here. There’s no way I would have predicted it. I do know that 10 years from now I would like to have a family and hopefully a couple of kids and be playing ball with them or playing dress-up with them and having tea parties or whatever it is.
Snakkle: I’ve saved one of the most important questions for last. Now that everyone’s brackets are locked, and as a Michigan State alum, did you pick them to win the national championship?
Bob: Of course! I’m the guy that goes against common logic. When they say don’t bet with your heart, I always do. When Michigan State got the number one seed for sure—they were of course going to be in my final four, but when I started doing my bracket and I’m looking at it there’s no way I can’t see Michigan State not winning the national championship. If there’s anyone who can beat them, I would have to think it might be North Carolina or Kentucky. I think Michigan State is going to take the whole thing. I’m so fired up about it!
Snakkle: Is there anything else you want your fans to know?
Bob: Check me out on Twitter (@bobguiney). I always do my Twitter thing where I tell everyone what’s going on, where we’re, at and what we’re doing. Please follow the Band from TV—it’s the best thing going. It’s the only celebrity charity band that is all charity all the time. Please follow me and all the guys from the band on Twitter and hopefully we’ll all be doing really big things in the next few years.
Snakkle: Are your CDs available for purchase?
Bob: Always. Any of my old albums, Scott Grimes’s old albums, and the Band from TV’s old albums are all on amazon.com. And I know you can get my album and Scott’s on iTunes.
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