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A decade after the debut of reality-TV dating show The Bachelor, Canucks get their own version with The Bachelor Canada, which premieres on October 3rd on Citytv at 9 PM.

Connected’s managing editor Kim Shiffman sat down with the show’s star, 28-year-old bachelor and ex-CFLer Brad Smith, to get some juicy, behind-the-scenes details.

Connected: You filmed the show this past summer. What was the hardest part?
Smith: It was really hard not being able to tell anyone in my life what was going on! The craziest part was having to think about myself and what I want, while also thinking about other people’s emotions. I’m a goofball, I’m young at heart, but I had to be serious about other people’s emotions.

Connected: What surprised you most about the experience?
Smith: How hard it was, to be honest. I’d wake up some days and hit an absolute emotional wall. It’s a lot more intense than you think. What you see on TV is only 7% of what happens; people don’t understand that the other 93%, the stuff you don’t see, is really nuts. I had my flip-out days when I acted irrationally, how I would never act in real life. You’re constantly trying to make rational thoughts in emotional situations – that’s never a good equation for making good decisions. I’d know it was important to sit down and come up with the words that express exactly what I mean to say, but I couldn’t, because I was so fired up inside.

Connected: You are a big fan of The Bachelor series. Was handing out roses during the Rose Ceremony surreal for you? Were you thinking, “I can’t believe I’m here right now”?
Smith: Not really. I think there were only about four times during the show when I really thought, “Oh my god, I’m the f—ing Bachelor!” If you don’t take the experience on a day-to day-basis and you think too far ahead, you’re going to be screwed.

Connected: What kind of girl are you looking for?
Smith: Someone like myself, who will be either 100% lazy, or 100% on the go and pick up and do whatever. Someone who, let’s say we have the worst date in our entire lives, will look at me and say, “We did it, we don’t have to do it again, but I’m glad I did it with you.”

Connected: Why do you think you hadn’t found love thus far?
Smith: It’s a combination of me not being right for people and people not being right for me. I have a lot of flaws. I haven’t had trouble getting girls – I’ve had trouble finding the qualities that I need to get past just dating. I want to be able to look at a girl and say, I know you have flaws, but I think they’re amazing.

I understand that I’m a little high maintenance, but I’m looking for somebody who can accept those things as my flaws, and I haven’t found somebody to do that yet, and I haven’t found that in someone else. It’s that compatibility that I’m looking for; it’s been elusive to me so far.

Connected: Was there ever a point where you questioned your decision to be part of the show?
Smith: Two days before the show began taping, I was really getting nervous and anxious. I wanted to make sure I was doing it for the right reason – to find somebody, not as a catapult for something else. I decided that if I couldn’t honestly say that to my parents, my friends and myself, I wouldn’t do the show.

Connected: There’s definitely a perception that people who go on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette are more interested in fame than love.
Smith: I know. People are already saying to me that when the show wraps, I’ll be offered this and that. But I’ve honestly never thought about anything coming from this except finding somebody. If I had any other goals outside of that, I’d be a douche. I really would. And I feel like that’s why they picked me – I’m genuinely interested in being somebody that destroys reality TV’s reputation of being fake.

To catch The Bachelor Canada, go to Rogers Anyplace TV. Here, you’ll find full episodes, plus clips of the eligible bachelorettes that are vying for Brad’s love.

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