Weird. It's a word that frequently comes up in write-ups making reference to Daniel Maguire, the Vancouver contestant on The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise.
In fact, even Sarah Herron on Bachelor in Paradise, who develops a connection with him, calls him "weird" and "odd".
But she gives him a chance. As we all did. For the entertainment value, of course.
Yes, Daniel, the reality TV star infamously known as "The Canadian", wasn't known so much for bringing the drama as much as bringing the unusual, er, bon mots.
From his views on tattooing his body ("No—same reason you don't put stickers on a lambo."), to his presence ("I'm like a disease that won't go away, like herpes or something.… It's treatable nowadays."), to dating ("An eagle doesn't settle for a pigeon.")—not to mention that awkward "Damn, Daniel" meme joke—US Weekly perhaps gave the most precise assessment: "This precious gem of a human is clearly the star of Bachelor in Paradise".
Yet Maguire, who hails from Penticton, isn't just all beefcake as he did graduate with a psychology degree from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.
So with editing and liquid inspiration, how much of what we saw on screen was the real Mr. Maguire?
To find out, we catch up with the 31-year-old model, personal trainer, and server on the line from Yaletown, as he heads to the gym to tone that ripped body he enjoyed displaying on screen.
"I saw myself on TV the first time and I was like, 'Yeah, that's pretty much who I am'," he says. "But I felt maybe like the first time I held back a little bit in the first show and didn't speak up as much I would normally because I think as I get older I like to just let people do what they want, but that's not really who I am. I'm kinda more a person who likes to speak my mind. But the first show I kinda held back a bit more."
Right. So what we saw was really just the tip of the iceberg?
He tells us he was happy with how he was represented on the show and has no regrets about what he said or did. His only second-guessing is this: "Maybe [I should have] just been more honest about what I thought about people or what I thought about maybe JoJo [Fletcher, the bachelorette]."
After being approached by producers for The Bachelorette Season 12, he says he decided to take the opportunity to have a new experience, have fun, and possibly meet a great girl and fall in love. After being eliminated in week 4, he says he learned a lot about himself and reality TV from the experience.
"I would do it again in a heartbeat," he adds. "And well, I did do it again with Bachelor in Paradise."
In fact, he says he feels that by the second show, he was more himself, more fun, more open, and...more weird (he even uses that word to describe himself).
"I'm happy that I'm seeing more of myself on TV the second time around because it's not all just about Chad, and other people deserve to be seen and there's a lot to be shown and their experience and not just one person."
Speaking of the guy everyone loves to hate, Maguire explains that his so-called bromance with Chad Johnson is one of the things that was exaggerated.
"Thing is, like, it got blown out of the water, as in people made us seem that we were more friends than we really were," he says. "I was basically his only friend while I was friends with other people. I kinda understood things about him and kinda understood where he was coming from or like some of the things he said."
However, even Maguire had to draw the line with Johnson.
On the one hand, Maguire tried to have a heart-to-heart with Johnson by (hilariously) comparing him to everyone from Hitler to George Bush. ("Take it down a notch," Maguire advised the show's resident rageaholic.)
But Johnson, who frequently became volatile and physically threatening, was beyond Maguire's reach.
"Things got worse as it went on: his lack of manners, his lack of logic and reason," Maguire says. "And so you can't be around that because it's just too negative, and it's just too bad. Thing with Paradise, his actions just got too much, where his behaviour became way too much. You can't insult women or verbally and physically say those sort of things no matter how intoxicated you are."
(Maguire himself received online scorn for his views on women, such as calling the women on Bachelorette in Paradise "washed-up street dogs".)
Needless to say, Johnson and Maguire are not buds in real life.
"We haven't really talked since the show just because he's not the kind of person who I wanted to hang out [with]. So he definitely has some issues to be worked on and that's something he has to do on his own time."
Of course, Maguire is aware of the criticism also directed towards him. But he takes it all in stride.
"If I'm really confident and secure in myself, I really don't care what other people say if it's good or bad," he explains. "If you're going online and you're writing something negative, you obviously have no life. You have nothing better to do than watch reality TV and write something negative about someone? That's one thing. But two, it's like…they can only put so much on TV so they're only gonna show a part of me so they can't…[show] every aspect of me."
Back in the real world, he says he does get recognized and people come up to him to talk to him. But he says he sees it for what it is.
"I know a lot of it's kinda just temporary as well," he says. "But I'm just taking it and having fun with it. That's the thing—I don't take life too serious….The way I view things is the biggest thing in life is to try to have fun and try to have new experiences, and that's what I've been doing."
For the moment, he's been dividing his time between Vancouver, helping out his quadriplegic father in Penticton, and modelling in Europe. But in the near future, he hopes to buy a hostel in South America, due to his love of travel and the beach (he spent 39 months overseas and has visited every continent except Antarctica).
But with all of his reality TV experiences now under his belt as well, what is his advice for anyone interested in getting on one of these shows?
"Just be yourself. Don't change."
Perhaps the lesson to learn from Maguire is that being weird may not necessarily be a good or bad thing—maybe it's just a Canadian thing?
Mm, then again, maybe not.More