Chad Ochocinco: the new bachelor

Chad Ochocinco hasn’t been hurting for female company lately. Whether the Dancing with the Stars alum is presently single or attached, his BlackBerry is definitely full after starring in the reality show Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch, which premiered 9 p.m. Sunday on VH1.

The Cincinnati Bengals star, 32, went up against 85 — yes — possible mates in the first episode, when he had to pick just 17 to advance to the next round. He admits the letting-down process was fairly brutal.

“I’ve been on the other side — being rejected — so I know how it feels,” says Ochocinco from his Fort Lauderdale home. “My focus was not to make people mad. I tried to find a way to let them down easy.”

There was no choice but to base the decision on looks. “That’s all I could do,” he says, adding, “but I think I did it a nice, classy way. I tried not to piss anyone off.”

The contestants took rejection well. “I’m a nice guy,” says Ochocinco, who is from Miami and graduated from Miami Beach Senior High. “If they were upset they didn’t show it.”

Safe to say that rumored romance between the wide receiver and pro dance partner Cheryl Burke didn’t go any where (he famously bought her thousands of dollars worth of bling during the ABC show).

“Ha! You’d have to ask her,” he says cryptically. “Right now I’m doing my own thing.”

As for the premiere, Ocho- cinco — whose real name is Chad Johnson (85 is his jersey number) — will be watching it solo.

“I don’t want other people telling me, ‘Aw, you should have done this and that.’ I want to see how the masterpiece was put together in peace.”

If he did indeed pick one of the beauties on the L.A.-set show, the new couple would settle down in his hometown.

“Nothing compares to home. This is all that I know,” he says. ‘‘I’m staying.”

To prepare for the gig, Ochocinco didn’t bother asking old Dancing chum, Bachelor star Jake Pavelka, for tips.

“I don’t follow all that garbage he’s got going on,” he says. ‘‘Jake’s cool, but we are most definitely different.”

Though The Ultimate Catch is likely going to give Ochocinco even more of a female fan base than Dancing did (who could forget all his topless maneuvers?), he still is a football player first and foremost. Asked if he was looking forward to the start of the NFL season, he would only say: “The season is looking forward to me!”


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