Speaking with GQ about the dramatic season 22 finale, Luyendyk Jr., 36, revealed he felt “100 percent betrayed” by the network for how he was portrayed when he broke off his engagement to Kufrin, weeks after proposing — admitting he still had feelings for runner-up Lauren Burnham.
Luyendyk Jr. claimed ABC told him filming the 40-minute scene would “make Bachelor Nation fully understood that he was being respectful and just following his heart,” but the professional racecar driver allegedly did not anticipate the post-production changes.
“It was completely edited,” Luyendyk Jr. said. “I was told to stay on that couch. I tried to leave, and then production was like, ‘You need to go back inside. She’s finally calming down. I feel like you owe it to her to have this conversation.’ So then I went back in the house,” he explained.
“They cut out, obviously, production talking to me from 10 feet away,” he recalled, adding it “was super unfair to me.”
Though the very public breakup with Kufrin did not result in what he was allegedly promised, all in all, Luyendyk Jr. said he ended up happy and engaged to his bride-to-be Burnham.
“The fact is, I’m really happy with Lauren. So for me, it was all worth it,” he concluded.
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In March, Luyendyk Jr. stood by the decision to have the emotional (and awkward) breakup, admitting that the scene gave Kufrin the opportunity to move into a starring role on The Bachelorette.
“Honestly, I wanted her the opportunity to be the potential Bachelorette,” Luyendyk Jr. told Michael Strahan on Good Morning America when asked why he filmed the split.
“I think for me, I really wanted everyone to know that this was on me, this was my fault. I felt like filming that would let people know that. That, if there were any questions on the breakup, those would be squashed if they saw the breakup. … I hope I gave her a little bit of closure,” he said.
Adding, “This ending obviously wasn’t perfect. I know it’s difficult for a lot of people to swallow. Becca is going to be the new Bachelorette and I’m very happy for her in that. There’s a happy ending to this story.”
Kufrin’s new season of The Bachelorette premieres tonight, Monday, May 28, at 8 P.M. ET on ABC.