‘The Bachelor’ star Joey Graziadei admits he let Kelsey Anderson down after filming ended

Reality

The Bachelor star Joey Graziadei has admitted he wasn’t his best self in the first couple of weeks after proposing marriage to Kelsey Anderson in Mexico.

Joey’s The Bachelor season wrapped filming right before Thanksgiving in November 2023, and so he and Kelsey had to hide their relationship from the public for about six months.

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELOR’ FRANCHISE COUPLES NOW: WHO IS STILL TOGETHER?? (PHOTOS)

Joey and Kelsey’s engagement finally aired on The Bachelor’s Season 28 finale on March 25, and so now they’re sharing what relationship challenges they had to overcome while dating in secret, and off camera, in the real world.

“The initial was hard,” Joey confessed to Season 21 The Bachelor star and two-time The Bachelorette contestant Nick Viall on the March 28 episode of his “The Viall Files” podcast.

“And for different reasons. First, [Kelsey] was obviously processing all of it, like, [having trouble] believing that it was fully her because that comes with time and actions, and I’m still going to be working on that every day moving forward.”

And then Joey admitted that he was absolutely “drained” after filming The Bachelor, which apparently affected his mood.

“This whole entire thing, emotionally and physically, I felt for maybe a good week or two weeks that I couldn’t even be my normal self,” Joey explained.

“I can understand how that affects a relationship. I still feel for her that, like, I wasn’t being my best self right away, and that affects [things] when you’re trying to get out of it.”

Joey pointed out how “that was a big part” of his struggle with Kelsey after getting engaged.

“I had to take ownership of [that] and work on getting me back to a good spot, and after that, we’re learning communication styles — and it was all virtual, which is not normal in any way!” Joey said.

“So we tried our best, like, ‘Okay, if you’re having a moment, how do we do our best to get outside of it?’ If I had a moment, [we’d ask], ‘How do we take a pause?’ Because usually, you can touch the person next to you and actually feel their energy.”

Joey acknowledged how dating long-distance and virtually after The Bachelor is simply “not natural” or easy to do.

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“The show does put you in an unrealistic situation,” Joey lamented.

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELORETTE’ COUPLES NOW: WHOM DID ‘THE BACHELORETTE’ STARS AND THEIR BACHELOR PICKS ULTIMATELY END UP WITH?! (PHOTOS)  

Speaking from the experience of his broken engagement to The Bachelor 21 winner Vanessa Grimaldi, Nick declared, “It does not set you up for success. But there’s limitations; it’s a show and they have to work within those parameters. So it’s not necessarily on purpose, it just is what it is.”

Joey, however, said “a big difference” from many The Bachelor-franchise couples in the past is that they “never doubted” they wanted to be together and make it work long-term.

“What I felt is, ‘I get sometimes why it doesn’t work out, because if I wasn’t as crazy in love with her as I was, I would start thinking, ‘Okay, maybe this isn’t going to be worth all of this.’ Because it takes effort,” Joey noted.

“But we chose each other every day, and we’ll continue to do that, and I think that’s what is most important.”

Kelsey also told Nick that her relationship with Joey has been “surprisingly… really good” lately.

“I think that we’ve been really great at working through things. I’m not watching the show, like, fully. I don’t want it all,” Kelsey said.

“I think a lot of times, you can get frustrated watching it back, like, ‘Why did you do this? Why did you do that?’ I did have moments of that, like, ‘Why did you say this to her? What the heck was that?’ But he was always very patient with me.”

Kelsey revealed The Bachelor also provided the newly-engaged couple with a counselor.

“Good for them! That’s new,” Nick noted.

“That was really helpful. She is amazing,” Kelsey gushed of the professional.

“She helps us understand sometimes what each other are trying to say,” Kelsey continued, “and you know, there were some weeks where we were like, ‘I don’t know what we’re going to talk about,’ and she would just help us with building things for the future and things like that.”

Kelsey shared in late March how her relationship with Joey was at its strongest point.

Joey called their counselor “amazing” and added, “The couple’s counseling was a gamechanger.”

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELOR’ COUPLES NOW: WHO DID ‘THE BACHELOR’ STARS AND THEIR BACHELORETTE PICKS ACTUALLY END UP MARRYING? (PHOTOS)

Nick asked if the show implemented this change recently, and Joey explained how The Bachelor has tried to set up the past few couples with someone to talk to post-show.

“There are obviously therapists during the show, but then you have to do something outside of it,” Joey said.

“The person we found is new and we’ve been raving about her and telling the show, ‘You need to keep her on,’ because it did make a difference.”

Joey clarified how the show had given him therapist “options” and then they “tried someone but it didn’t work.”

The Bachelor star recalled, “We found someone, and when we had that first session, we said, ‘This is going to change everything.'”

Joey selected Kelsey as his The Bachelor winner during the Season 28 finale after his runner-up, Daisy Kent, predicted that Joey was going to dump her and so she essentially bowed out of the competition gracefully in Tulum, Mexico.

Daisy shared her suspicions with Kelsey, and then she bluntly told Joey at the Final Rose Ceremony how he was “not going to choose” her.

“I know that you know I’m not your person,” Daisy said as Joey cried. “And as much as that hurts, umm, I know you said you want what’s best for me, and so I’m going to do what’s best for me — and I’m going to go.”

Joey confirmed that Daisy’s gut instinct was correct, and then he reunited with Kelsey at the Final Rose Ceremony.

“I love you,” Joey gushed. “There is something about you. You have this infectious energy that makes me smile. It’s a feeling I’ve never had before…. We’ve built a very strong flame, and the only reason I know why that flame will never go out is because you’re my light.”

Joey said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Kelsey, and then he proposed marriage to her.

During the live After the Final Rose special, Kelsey and Joey were gifted a trip back to Jasper, Canada, and Joey gushed of his fiancee, “I now have my ‘forever,’ and I’m the luckiest guy there could be… I don’t know how I’m going to have a boring day of life with her by my side.”

Joey and Kelsey are now planning a long engagement, although they intend to move to New York City and live together this summer.

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELOR’ FRANCHISE COUPLES NOW: WHO IS STILL TOGETHER?? (PHOTOS)

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About The Author:
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski

Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.

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