After dealing with months of negative press, Houston reality star Kalon Joseph Reid McMahon tells CultureMap that he feels vindicated since wrapping up his time on Bachelor Pad 3 — the elimination-style spin-off of The Bachelorlette franchise that returns to ABC on July 23.
"Seriously, it was like night and day compared to being on The Bachelorette," McMahon says. "There's no central character or plot line to the Bachelor Pad, so it's not as manufactured. The show focuses on different people throughout the entire series, rather than on one specific person."
After his much-discussed departure from this season's Bachelorette, "one specific person" named Emily Maynard does come to mind, especially considering her remarks in the wake of discovering McMahon would be living in the Bachelor Pad house.
"I have a unique history with Erica Rose. We're on OK terms now, but we're not really friends — especially after she sold that story to Star magazine."
"The fact Kalon will ever be on any TV [show] again makes me want to stab my eyeballs out with dull pencils," Maynard tweeted when Entertainment Weekly revealed the cast in June. She noted that she wouldn't be tuning in, either.
Keeping in line with his infamous helicopter arrival on episode one of The Bachelorette, McMahon pull ups up to the Bachelor Pad house in a Porsche convertible in the first episode (a rented Porsche convertible, according to Entertainment Weekly).
Knowing reality TV gold when they see it, Bachelor Pad producers added Chris Bukowski — the recently-eliminated Bachelorette contestant who ratted out McMahon for referring to Emily Maynard's daughter as "baggage" — to the Pad lineup.
Also included in the Bachelor Pad house will be Houston's other reality TV star Erica Rose, who spent the better part of the spring splitting her time studying for the California bar exam and bad-mouthing McMahon.
"I have a unique history with Erica Rose," McMahon explains. "We're on OK terms now, but we're not really friends — especially after she sold that story to Star magazine about an ex-girlfriend of mine who also happens to be friends with her. The whole thing was kind of tacky, but she apologized about it."
In the Star magazine story, Rose charges that McMahon duped and lied to Houston law student Lauren Serice, only to dump her for a shot at reality TV fame.
Regardless of hurdles he faced on this new Bachelor Pad, McMahon said his experience on the show has been nothing but positive and hinted that he made it relatively far in the competition.
"People in the Bachelor Pad house had a specific idea of who I was after seeing The Bachelorette, but after living with them for a day or so they started apologizing and saying things like 'We feel terrible that we felt that way.' In the end, we all got along well and I made some great friends," McMahon says.
"You couldn't have planned it better."
Before returning to Los Angeles in late July for a string of appearances, McMahon will continue working with the Houston non-profit Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP) and will host a special poker benefit for the organization at Del Frisco's Steakhouse on July 13 from 6 to 10 p.m.