Ben Higgins fell in love with both JoJo Fletcher and Lauren Bushnell on his season of The Bachelor. Although he ultimately picked Lauren, their relationship fizzled out, with the couple releasing a formal breakup statement to People magazine on May 15.
So, while JoJo is enjoying what appears to be a great relationship with her husband-to-be, Jordan Rodgers, Ben is now living on his own in the Colorado home he shared, albeit briefly, with Lauren Bushnell. And he’s taken on a side job, one that has some fans questioning if he’s edging his way back into the reality TV world.
Higgins, 29, recently started doing a podcast with Bachelor in Paradise star Ashley Iaconetti. The Almost Famous podcast prompted some online rumors about Ben quitting his long-running job as a business analyst with the Denver-based company, Talysis. But Ben revealed in an Instagram post that it’s not true — he’s still working his day job.
“I still have a full time job,” Ben Higgins captioned a recent Instagram pic. “I am still running Generous Coffee company. I still have a blog. I am still actively involved in @humanityandhope. And now, because I was given the opportunity, I have added a podcast with a friend and a great company (@iheartradio) to talk about life (and I love to talk).”
And it may be a good idea for Ben to stay with his current employer. The podcast is getting mixed reviews, with one of Reality Steve’s readers going so far as to say the podcast is “super awkward” and “awful.”
Here’s what the reader had to say in one of Steve’s most recent “Reader Emails” blog posts.
“So, I just listened to the first episode of the new Ben [Higgins] and Ashley I podcast. Have you listened to it? I know you mentioned you listened to the teaser. Look, I understand it was their first episode… but my god it was awful. AWFUL. The flow was super awkward and they took these random fan calls that were pretty irrelevant to the discussion they were having. The whole podcast feels super insincere and just a way for them to stay relevant in a self-indulging way. I will NOT be listening to any future episodes. They really need to take some notes from your podcasts…”
You are going to hurt somebody, you are going to hurt somebody deeply. But, I will not be one of those people. I cannot focus on the negative comments or indecently hateful words being said about me or my relationship even though they do sting. I do know great people that I care about deeply that comments and criticisms have affected and as a result I wanted to share my words. A small minority of people (at least I will continue to believe it is a small minority) want to see people suffer or fail. Personally, my basis for judging myself is simple, if I do something that doesn’t represent Christ then I will listen to the opinions and words from family and friends who know me best and love me. I do desire (by the direction of family and peers) to become a better person daily. I know some will not agree with my intentions but in all things my pursuit is to represent Christ better. With that, I will once again clearly tell you I AM NOT PERFECT as none of us are and I have never claimed to be. I do desire to show love in all situations (do I always do that? No, I fail often). To be clear, not that this should be a surprise, but this podcast is a professional decision I have made to enhance my life and career. I still have a full time job. I am still running Generous Coffee company. I still have a blog. I am still actively involved in @humanityandhope. And now, because I was given the opportunity, I have added a podcast with a friend and a great company (@iheartradio) to talk about life (and I love to talk). The last few months have not gone the way I would have preferred. My relationships have changed drastically and what I envisioned my life was going to be has been redirected. It is sad, but it is nothing you should feel sorry for me about, life happens both the good and bad. With this, what do you think I should do now? For all of you that have given me advice let me give you some from my heart. Love as hard as you can (even to strangers). Ask yourself what life is about and pursue your conclusion with passion. When a good opportunity comes your way that fits your desires take it, because life is short but a lot more fun when you are doing something you enjoy.
Ouch. That’s not exactly an endorsement for Ben and Ashley’s podcast. And considering the former Bachelor star, Ben Higgins has described his life after his breakup with Lauren has not been easy.
During a recent radio interview with Ryan Seacrest, Ben said, “It’s not easy, it hasn’t been easy. I don’t know how to do this well.” He went on to say that it isn’t “the happiest time” in his life, so perhaps the podcast is a great diversion.
But Ben reveals that the podcast is not something he started because of the breakup. And whether it’s a total flop or if just a few Bachelor fans don’t like it, Ben seems to be quite positive about it.
“Ashley and I started planning this podcast months ago way before any of this [the breakup] happened,” he tells E! News.
“It’s not just going to be Bachelor and Bachelorette-focused. It’s going to be a lot of things. It’s going to kind of be a lifestyle podcast that just has a lot of fun, great interviews and we’re doing it with iHeart.”
Rumors that Ben Higgins will head to Bachelor in Paradise this season or reprise his role as the Bachelor seem to be just that — rumors. But host Chris Harrison isn’t saying no as far as making Higgins ABC’s leading man again. He recently told E! News that, considering Ben just went through a breakup, it’s just not the right time to talk about it.
“I did not think that that would be the appropriate time!” Chris said. “Or place. The body’s not even cold yet. … It’s so premature.”
[Featured Image by ABC Television Network]