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The Bachelor Pad's Juan Barbieri

Following his elimination on the first season of ABC’s The Bachelor Pad, former Bachelorette contestant Juan Barbieri is now speaking out about his time on and off the show.

In a new interview with PEOPLE, Juan discusses why he went on the show, what really happened between him and Nikki, while he also defends crazy pants Michelle.

Excerpts from Juan’s interview below -

The reason you were eliminated is because of your history with Nikki. Viewers only got part of the story and it made you seem like a jerk. What’s your side?
Nikki tends to embellish and exaggerate and she uses the terms relationship and dating differently than I do … We had been corresponding online and she seemed like a sweet girl. She invited me to Chicago. I had never been and was eager to visit. We had a wonderful weekend together. She was a wonderful host. Everything went as normally and naturally as you can imagine and then I came back to LA, my life and other people I was dating. We kept in touch but at no time did we ever talk about pursuing it. I took it for what it was and she obviously took it for something more. The next time I saw her was six weeks later on the reunion cruise. Before we boarded, I said I wasn’t interested in continuing our relationship and that it would be best to be friends. She didn’t take that very well and that’s where the animosity started.

Were you surprised at how quickly Natalie and Jesse hooked up?
Yeah. They had an instant connection. They are each other’s type in every way. I don’t know if it will last. They live in different states so that makes things difficult.

Did Michelle and Craig hook up on the first night?
That never happened. Tenley was dreaming or it was Natalie and Jesse who had already been making out and slept next to her. Craig and Michelle were on the other side of the room and I know for a fact they didn’t do anything inappropriate. If it was Tenley’s strategy to start a rumor about someone already on thin ice to rally the troop against her, it was well-played.

As you all slept in one room, which woman looked best waking up?
Gia always looked great. Some girls walked in to the house all dolled up and Gia came in with no makeup, hair down and a T-shirt and could not have looked more beautiful.

A new episode of the Bachelor Pad is also coming on tonight. Things quickly heat up when Wes Hayden tells Gia he loves her. “I’m crazy about you … I wish that circumstances were different … but I’ve got this infatuation that you’re kinda my girl … I love you,” says Wes to Gia.

On the other side of the house, it seems Jesse is having second thoughts about Natalie upon hearing she’s been around the block with many other past Bachelor(ette) guys.

A preview clip is below -

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