Sean Lowe is excited to see some positive change in the Bachelor franchise.
The former Bachelor was the subject of the first episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons—Ever!, a new series that recaps and highlights former seasons of the series while offering a bit of a catch up with former stars and contestants. His love story with Catherine Giudici played out once again over the three hour premiere, six months after the couple welcomed their third child together.
The episode also aired on the same day a petition was launched, demanding that The Bachelor finally cast a Black lead for season 25 of The Bachelor, along with a few other calls to action to fix the franchise's glaring lack of diversity.
Catherine, who is Filipino, was one of few non-white contestants on the show at that point, and the night before her episode aired, she opened up on Instagram about assuming she was only cast to "check a box"
"I counted myself out to be his fiancée, because of what I assumed Sean liked," she said, and she obviously turned out to be wrong.
"Little did she know, she definitely took my heart in no time," Sean tells E! News in an interview promoting his partnership with Gillette. "Yeah, I was proud of her for having that conversation for the world to see on Instagram."
By the end of the week, The Bachelor suddenly announced that Matt James had been cast as the first Black bachelor, shocking those of us who are used to the show choosing only former contestants as its leads. Matt was supposed to appear on Clare Crawley's season of The Bachelorette, but when that got postponed due to the pandemic, he got to skip it and go straight to being the star, which surprised Sean, as a long-time member of the franchise.
"I love the decision," he tells us. "I did not think they would pick a Bachelor that was not recycled from The Bachelorette, but I love it. I think it will be a nice change of pace. Obviously I think it's great that we have a Black Bachelor and hopefully that continues and cast members are more diverse moving forward. I'm excited to tune in."
The fact that we won't have seen Matt on a previous season means we won't know very much about him ahead of time, but Sean doesn't think that will be an issue.
"I think that will be part of the intrigue to tuning in and figuring out what he's all about and getting to know him through the season," he says.
While Sean not only has experience as the Bachelor but also with making a relationship work after the show, he's not here to offer unwanted advice.
"I don't know if I have any advice for him. If he ever wanted advice, I'm always here to give it as best I can," he says. "This is his journey. I don't want to give him advice when he hasn't asked for it. Like I said, if he wants to talk, I'm certainly here and I'd be happy to, but I'm just going to let him have fun with it and do his thing."
As for Matt's contestants, Sean recalled that producers got his input on his "type," but he hoped then and he hopes now that they can go further than his "type."
"The producers asked me before going on the show what type of women I was into and I would say that I want funny women, or that I want kind-hearted women, and then they would say no, specifically as far as looks, what do you want?," he says. "I've dated all kinds of races, so I don't care as far as that goes. So I suspect they will do the same thing with Matt, who knows what his preferences are, but hopefully it's a diverse cast. Something I think we can get ourselves in trouble when we have a type. Let's look outside our type."
Now he's hoping the show can continue to make strides.
"I hope that they continue," he says. "I hope that the cast is much more diverse going forward and that the cast will reflect America moving forward. They are taking the right steps, hopefully they can continue to take more steps."
Aside from looking back at his time on the Bachelor franchise, Sean has been spending time with his family and coping with the pandemic.
"We consider ourselves very fortunate," he says. "We still have our jobs and our family is healthy. It's chaotic having three kids in the house every day, but with everything going on, we are certainly in no position to complain."
He hopes to spend the upcoming Father's Day holiday hanging out with the kids at home.
"I'm happiest at home playing with the kids, so I think we are going to take it easy on Sunday and grill out, and play in the backyard and do that kind of thing," he says. "That's all I want."
As for that Gillette partnership, he says his kids have "let [him] know for sure, they like the smoothness" of his shaved face, which goes perfectly with Gillette's new Baby Face Challenge "for all the new dads out there."
"The dads can use their Gillette razors to have a nice clean shave for the baby, because doctors will tell you that skin to skin time is so important for bonding with babies. It's perfect for me having Mia at home," he says of his daughter, who was born in December. "I know Mia would much rather prefer me having a nice clean shave than have the scratchy and itchy scruff on my face."
Sean and Catherine also have two young sons (currently two and four) who will someday likely learn how to shave, but Sean is not worrying about that just yet.
"One day, after puberty, which is years away, but one day we'll get there.
The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons—Ever! airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.