Could it be? Am I dreaming?  Is a reality star actually taking responsibility for his actions?  I simply can't believe it.  Just can't.  Flipping Out's Jeff Lewis is the last guy I would expect to be so frank when talking about his friends, co-workers, and boyfriend, Jenni Pulos, Zoila Chavez, and Gage Edward.  Even more so, he's the last person I would imagine would watch this season and actually reflect…and on his own behavior at that!  Perhaps he should lead his own self-help group!

After watching part of the season, Jeff admitted that stress may have caused him to act out in an unbecoming manner.  He flat out says that from a personal growth standpoint, this definitely wasn't his best season.  I'm sorry…what?  It's almost as if he's speaking a different language!  What happened to blaming everyone around you for how you're portrayed?  Duh, that is Reality 101!


Jeff recently spoke with After Elton, where he discussed his relationships with co-stars (and co-workers) in an extremely genuine and down-to-earth manner.  It's true, and it makes me love him even more.  Excerpts from that interview follow:

The show has always been such a good balance of drama and comedy with both work and personal life, what will we see in season six?

I hope the balance continues. I think this is kind of a dramatic season in the sense that I feel like the relationships around me were tested, Jenni, Zoila, and Gage specifically. For me, I don’t think it was my best season. Meaning, I think it’s an entertaining season for people, but for me as far as a personal growth standpoint, I think that I’ve done better in the past. And I think that I kind of regressed. I made some mistakes. I took on too much stress, and I wasn’t really dealing with it very well, and I kind of acted out a lot. I think I kind of hurt the people around me, and I regret it. I regret my behavior.

When you get to that perspective, does that come when you’re actually filming, or when you start seeing episodes?

Well, I had an idea. You certainly know how you’re behaving, but I didn’t think it was as bad as it was as when I saw the episodes. I’ve now seen half of the episodes. I’ve been doing this for so long that I’ll watch a season, and I’ll think, ‘Wow. I’m doing really well. I seem happy. I seem calm.’ Life is always stressful. I don’t really feel like any year has been more or less stressful than the other. I just think that I either deal with it in a healthy way or an unhealthy way. I feel like this last six months I just felt a little out of control, frankly.

What does that do to your relationship with Gage, which is now a big part of the show.

This year in particular, I think we were. I think the relationship was really tested. I just had a lot of responsibility and a lot of stress. I don’t know if I necessarily…well, maybe I did take it out on Gage. I think I did. You kind of take it out on the people that are closest to you. And I think that our relationship was definitely strained. I didn’t even realize how strained it was until I saw the last episode, which I think it was episode six and I was like, ‘Wow.’ Even Gage after we watched it, we were really at a rough spot. But we made it through. More united.

There’s been talk about you guys becoming parents. Is there anything that plays into this season, or is that coming down the line?

I think that we really intended to start the adoption process, but I think with everything that happened with the business and with the house and the strain on the relationship, we put the adoption on hold. And it wasn’t so much that we didn’t think that we were going to make it through, because we did. It was just a lot of stress to bring a child into this situation right now. Also we had to kind of change course. I was very much an advocate for the fost-adopt system…and I thought that that’s the way we wanted to go. We were interested in an older child and then after we started doing all the research, we realized that there really are no guarantees.

Were you protective of Jenni in this relationship?

I’m always very protective over Jenni and I think that this guy really proved himself. They had met originally in Los Angeles but he was from Chicago and he went back to Chicago and they hung in there. They did that long distance thing for a long time. I think he’s a really standup guy. I think that he’ll…especially after the last husband was not really a standup guy. I really feel like this guy just has his priorities straight. He adores Jenni. I think he’s a polite guy. He’s a considerate guy. He’s a generous guy. He’s extremely hard working and I just think that it’s really a great match. I worry about her. I used to worry about her a lot with the ex. A lot. I worried about her future. I always worried about their finances. Now it’s a little sigh of relief. I feel like in a way like she’s going to be okay and she’s got someone else to watch out for her, you know? But I’m beyond happy. And I don’t think I could pick a better guy for her.

Talk to us about Andrew. When do viewers get to see the first signs that something’s not right in that situation?

It happens early on. I want to say it’s maybe episode three. Basically what happened was the guy had worked for me for a couple months and I had met him on another job. And then he was working part time and I really, really liked his aesthetic and he came to work for me. But I started noticing some inconsistencies. The resume didn’t quite make sense. I’m not talking about a few little white lies. I’m talking about a completely fabricated resume. I’m talking about lying about your background. I’m talking about lying where you’re living. So what happened was it’s slowly unfolding where you’re dealing with someone who’s lying [and] what happens is they don’t remember the lies their telling. So the things that they’re saying to Jenni are different than the things they’re saying to me. So what we were doing was we were figuring out all these inconsistencies to the point where I actually had enough evidence really to confront him. A lot of lies were being told.

With the experience you’ve had with Flipping Out and the TV business, are you interested in the TV business at all once the show is over?

I’m very proud of Flipping Out. I’m very proud of. If I found another show that I was as passionate about, then I would be open to it. But I’m also open to the fact that once these are over, that my television career is over. I’ll just continue to do what I love, which is interior design and building homes, and maybe do some products. I feel very fortunate that I’ve had a television show for six years…Andy Cohen kind of told me that these shows have a shelf life. I’ve always prepared myself for the day that it’s over and I’m okay with it. I feel like from here on out, any other season is a gift.

I'll give you a moment to reflect on what you just read.  Yes, Jeff takes responsibility for some of his actions while wishing he'd done things differently.  Yes, he discusses why he is so protective of Jenni and what a good relationship she's in now (can I get a collective "awwwwwwwwwwwww"?), and yes–dare I say it–he expresses gratitude (what???) for the opportunities Bravo has given him.  It's like I'm in another dimension…an amazing dimension.  This interview makes me want to work for Jeff even more!


[Photo Credit: Bravo]



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