Chris Leroux is done stealing bases and is ready to steal some hearts (see what we did there?). The former baseball player—and mega hottie, btw—starts his journey to find love tonight and we srsly cannot wait to see him hit it out of the park as our next Canadian Bachelor. FLARE caught up with the beautiful bearded man before the big premiere to talk about the stuff that *really* matters—a.k.a what it’s like dating 20 women at the same time and which Canadian celeb he would give his final rose to. Read on for our in-depth chat with Canada’s most eligible Bachelor and get ready to #swoon.
Okay, first things first: how were you chosen to be The Bachelor Canada’s leading lad, and why did you decide to do it?
A friend of mine encouraged me to go to the open casting call, and here I am!
How did your friends and family react to the news that you were going to be Canada’s next Bachelor?
They have all been very supportive and optimistic about this being a way for me to find love. I did have to prepare my mom for what will likely happen on the show.
Were you a Bachelor/ette fan before doing the show? If so, did you learn anything from the seasons you’ve watched that helped you during your season?
I’ve watched a couple of episodes although I haven’t really watched a full season before. I liked the concept so I was intrigued. I liked the fact that people were looking for love and the concept focused on people who were ready to settle down, which is what I am ready for.
Let’s backup for a second, before even going on the show how would you have described your perfect girl?
My ideal woman in terms of looks is a blank canvas. Personality wise, I like women who are funny, kind and have a big heart.
You’ve admitted that you don’t have a hard time meeting women, just a hard time meeting the right women. Why do you think that is?
I’ve had the best people come into my life, but at that time I wasn’t ready to settle down and make that commitment. This show has given me that opportunity now that I am ready for it.
You’ve also said that you’re not a “breaker upper.” So how did you handle sending women home every week?
Sending women home becomes harder every week because you get to know them and start to form feelings, but in the end you have to send someone home so you have to go with what you feel.
What was it like dating 20 beautiful women at the same time—dream come true or guy’s worst nightmare?
For me it was somewhere in the middle. It is hard to juggle so many feelings and personalities. I grew up around men my whole life—except for my mom—so having so many women around me was a new experience.
First impressions mean everything in the Bachelor/ette world—so what were your first impressions of the girls on that first night?
Obviously they were all pretty, some were nervous, as was I, so I didn’t know if I was getting their real personalities. I knew I had to take the time to get to know each person.
Another thing Bachelor Nation is obsessed with is drama. Are we in for a dramatic season?
There’s definitely some drama—and not all of it surrounds me. I typically shy away from drama, so we’ll have to see how I handle it.
Were you ever skeptical about finding love in this kind of environment?
Yes, I had people around me saying that I was crazy because the girls were there for the wrong reasons, but I wanted to find out for myself. I’ve always been a good judge of character and I trust my gut. Going in I was skeptical, but I hoped there was someone who was there for the right reasons.
What would you say were your favourite and least favourite parts about this whole experience?
There were parts of me that were nonexistent before, but being on this show has helped me open up and has made me realize how to treat people the right way. That was my favourite part and what I’m most proud of so far. My least favourite part was being disconnected from the world and from my family. We don’t have our phones during filming, so it has been tough to know what’s going on outside the show, but it has also allowed me to focus on the journey.
So you’re a former baseball player… can we expect a baseball-themed date this season?
You’ll have to tune in to find out.
What are you most nervous about watching the season this fall?
I’m not nervous at all. I was honest throughout the experience and hope that viewers like me for me.
Are you nervous to watch yourself kiss on TV?
I already prepared my mom and my grandma for that part of the show. They weren’t born yesterday so they understand what they’re about to watch. And I’m a grown up, I live my life, and this is something that I wanted to do—my family is accepting of that.
What about past Bachelorettes—if you could go on a one-on-one with any of them (U.S. or Canadian), who would it be?
Jasmine Lormier and Vanessa Grimaldi are both beautiful and seem really kind.
And if you could give your finale rose to ANY Canadian celebrity, who would it be?