"The Bachelor" season 18 star Juan Pablo Galavis has fired back at his critics following the backlash about the outcome of Monday's finale with tweets, Instagram photos and a video montage of winner Nikki Ferrell.
The episode showed him choosing the 26-year-old Kansas City, Missouri pediatric nurse over second finalist Clare Crawley, who told him off and revealed he had said something "offensive" and "sexual" to her off-camera, but unlike past seasons of the ABC dating show, there was no proposal. (Although he stated he DID have an engagement ring in his pocket -- read a RECAP of "The Bachelor" finale.)
Galavis, a 32-year-old American former pro soccer player whose family is originally from Venezuela, has received a lot of online criticism about the finale and about his on and offscreen behavior, including an anti-gay comment he made earlier this year, for which he later apologized. Others have defended the way he acted on "The Bachelor," citing a language barrier and culture difference. He and Ferrell made a post-finale appearance on "The Bachelor: After The Final Rose," during which host Chris Harrison asked him repeatedly about why he refuses to say "I love you" to her.
Galavis and Ferrell has since been tweeting and Instagramming up a storm, posting photos and affectionate messages.
"You can't rush something you want to last forever," read a picture text post on her Instagram page.
Galavis also shared an YouTube video, titled "Adventures In Loving You," which shows a montage of "The Bachelor" clips and pictures of the two (watch it below). The clips are set to the song by the same name by singer Obie Bermudez.
"Amor @Nikki_Ferrell, glad that we stay TRUE to ourselves and we are REAL... This is for YOU..." he tweeted.
He wrote in the YouTube caption: "Thanks for these INTERESTING 4 months of HIDING, now that the CHARACTER of 'The Bachelor' is OVER, it is time for US to live our life for REAL. Te ADORO Juan Pablo."
Juan Pablo Galavis: "We are FREE"
During "The Bachelor: After The Final Rose," Galavis said his and Ferrell's relationship was now private -- a statement that caused audience member and former "Bachelorette" star Sean Lowe, who married his show's winner, Catherine, to scoff. Their wedding was televised on ABC, marking the network's first live ceremony involving stars from the "Bachelor" franchise and the fourth one overall.
"Having a PRIVATE relationship doesn't mean we CAN'T post or say what WE want instead of what SOMEONE ELSE wants..." Galavis tweeted on Wednesday, March 12.
He also recently shared on Instagram a selfie of himself and Ferrell smiling (see below), with the caption: "We are FREE @nikki_ferrell..."
Juan Pablo Galavis and Nikki Ferrell's date
Ferrell shared on her own Instagram page a picture of a meal from the Venezuelan eatery Budare Bistro, located in Miami, where Galavis lives (see below).
"On our first REAL one on one date! @budare_bistro So good," she said.
However, it didn't appear they were alone. Galavis' friend and associate, Carlos Gustavo Casado, then tweeted: " @Nikki_Ferrell More like a one on one on one I'd say! Pleasure to meet you."
"@CARLOSGCASADO No, you just defined being the third wheel," she replied. "Hahaha. Great meeting you too!"
Nikki Ferrell gets an "I love you" ... from someone else
While Galavis did call Ferrell "Amor" -- meaning "love," he hasn't said those magic three words, "I love you," to her on the show or on social media. However, his sister Anna tweeted to Ferrell: "You are the best @Nikki_Ferrell TE QUIERO ["I love you" in Spanish], don't pay attention to those who try to put your happiness away. Can wait to see you CUÑI [slang term for "sister-in-law" in Spanish]."
"Bachelor" flashback! Juan Pablo Galavis told OTRC.com in January, after filming "The Bachelor," that he would not have agreed to star on the show, in retrospect. (Check out our interview with Juan Pablo Galavis - includes 5 highlights.)