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Juan Pablo Galavis Responds to ‘Bachelor’ Backlash + Opens Up About Nikki Ferrell [PHOTO, VIDEO]

Juan Pablo Galavis is not taking the ‘Bachelor‘ backlash sitting down. Ever since he refused to tell his ultimate choice, Nikki Ferrell, that he loved her (not to mention his controversial remarks about gay people and his overall treatment of women on the show) fans and critics alike have dubbed him the “Worst Bachelor Ever.” But now, Galavis is speaking out about the criticism and his relationship with Ferrell.

“You go on [the show] thinking if there is the connection, you propose,” Galavis told PEOPLE about his decision. “But I don’t feel there’s a need to propose to somebody if I don’t feel 100 percent. I didn’t know Nikki. I want to know more, a lot more.”

Not only did Galavis not pop the question to Ferrell, he also infamously refused to tell her that he loved her — much to the chagrin of host Chris Harrison, who was visibly annoyed with Galavis.

Still, the reality star maintains that he is not a bad guy — and the audience saw only a snippet of his personality.

“It’s hard because [viewers] saw a character on TV,” he revealed to the magazine. “A lot of things about me were not shown. I’m not a bad guy. People who know me, know who I am.”

One of those people is Galavis’ cousin, Rodolfo Soules, who claims that it was Galavis’ ignorance of the show — and Ferrell’s prodding — that led him to hold off on the proposal.

“He really cared for her and she was the one who gave Juan Pablo the idea of not proposing,” Soules told E! News. “Juan Pablo has never watched the show before, so he doesn’t know how it works. So that is how he was able to find out that he didn’t have to propose and basically do what he really wanted to do, which was allowing him to be true to himself.”

And that’s exactly what Galavis seems to be doing now that he and Ferrell are “free” from the show. Just yesterday, March 11, Galavis Instagrammed a smiling pic of the pair with the caption, “We are FREE @nikki_ferrell.” (Check out the pic above.)

He also compiled a video of all of their best moments from the show set to the tune, ‘Adventures in Loving You.’ At the end of the montage, Galavis wrote, “Thanks 4 these INTERESTING 4 months of HIDING, now that the CHARACTER of ‘The Bachelor’ is OVER, it is time for US to live or life for REAL. Te ADORO, Juan Pablo.”

Ironically enough, “te adoro” translates to “I adore you,” or “I love you” in Spanish.

Watch Juan Pablo Galavis’ montage video with Nikki Ferrell:

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Next: Watch 'Bachelor' Contestant Skewer Juan Pablo in Hilarious NSFW Song

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