The Bachelor Exit Interview – Jillian Harris Still Loves Jason

by | February 20, 2009 at 8:30 PM | The Bachelor

Last time on The Bachelor single dad Jason Mesnick took the ladies along to New Zealand for some awesome day dates and a night in the Fantasy Suite. At this stage in the game, some serious decisions have to be made and Jason was certainly feeling the pain. How do you pick between 3 of the loveliest, smartest and most independent women ever to appear on the show?

In the case of Jillian Harris, a native Canadian, the choice was particularly hard since Jason clearly enjoyed himself on the home visit with the folks, and everyone, especially Grandma, immediately welcomed him with love and plenty of humor. So when the end came, Jillian took it pretty hard.

We caught up with her on a conference call with the media and she clued us in on how she’s dealing with the shock and moving on with her life.

Based on how you thought your date in New Zealand went with Jason, is it safe to say you were surprised when you learned that you had been eliminated?

Yeah, I think it’s pretty safe to say I was surprised. I think that it’s a very unique situation that you’re in and of course, no matter how hard you’re falling for somebody, you always sort of wonder is this for real? And if he’s the real one and you have questions in your mind and your heart? But when he let me go, I was sincerely really disappointed and surprised, yes.

Do you think that your comments on wanting to marry your best friend may have come off the wrong way with him? Based on the show, he kind of seems fixated on that.

I’m not sure if it affected his decision or not. It seemed like it did. I still stand by my word. I have a lot of mentors in my life that have very successful marriages. And the key is marrying your best friend and I still stand by that. It’s still what I’m looking for.

Of course, I understand there has to be more. There has to be a spark but just seeing how my family got through marriage and my grandparents and cousins and family and friends, that’s what I’m looking for. So if he’s looking for something different, then he made the right choice.

It seemed like your relationship had started to progress from being great friends to more after that overnight date in New Zealand. Why do you think Jason never felt that it was going to go beyond being friends?

I think that’s the million dollar question. I feel the same way. I felt like we had so many different levels that our relationship had reached from being friends to being great partners to really understanding each other. And then in New Zealand, we sort of reached that spark and that level that we were both looking for. So I’m not sure he thought it wasn’t going to be there.

I mean there’s all sorts of things that my friends and family have told me. You know, maybe he couldn’t keep up with you or maybe you need somebody with a little bit more zest. Or maybe he really just didn’t feel that spark and if that’s the case, that’s fair enough. But yeah, that’s a million dollar question. If you could find out, call me back and let me know.

So what’s next for you post-Bachelor? And would you do the Bachelorette if you were asked?

Well, post Bachelor is, for me, just getting back home and getting back to work. And you know, making sure that my friends and family know that I’m okay and thanking everybody for their support.

And as I said on the show, you know I’ve got a very positive life back here in Vancouver. And I’m a very grateful girl for everything that has happened to me – or woman I should say. So I think I’ll just continue to do what I’ve been doing because it’s made me happy.

In terms of me doing the Bachelorette, that’s something I haven’t thought too seriously about. Biggest thing for me is just putting myself in a position that I’m happy and healthy and hopefully that’ll attract my prince charming.

What was your take on Molly and what kind of relationship did the two of you have?

Well, Molly and I became very, very good friends with Melissa and Naomi and a lot of girls in the house. You know, I think Molly is really what you see on TV. She is bright. She is funny. She is smart. You know, I would say that maybe in sharing emotions she’s a little bit more reserved than I am.

And I saw that during the family day but that’s not to say that that’s right or wrong. I think to each their own and it sounds like she’s built a really great life for herself.

What was it like for you during the meet and greet?

The meet and greet is obviously very overwhelming. I think it’s so, you know built up all this excitement to what you signed up for and I think at the meet and greet it’s the first sign of a very unique experience. The girls were all really great. I mean I’ll say that over again and again.

I was blessed with how sweet the girls were to me the whole time. And the biggest thing that stood out in my mind during that meet and greet was just, you know, talking to Jason and grilling him on his hot dog toppings and realizing that I was actually attracted to this person.

You said in the episode that you were really beginning to fall in love with Jason. And now that you have some hindsight do you still think the same way?

I think naturally when you are rejected, for lack of better word, I try to find a reason why he would do what he did or reasons why we might not have worked. It just sort of helps me cope.

And so, you know, I would say on a scale of one to ten, would he be a ten for what I’m looking for? Maybe not but out of all it, the men that I’ve dated in my life, he possessed the most qualities that I was looking for. And so I still love him, but I don’t think I’m in love with him anymore.

I think that, you know you have to heal yourself and I’d wish the very best for him. And I think, you know, you just sort of have to get over it and move on. And it’s like any other breakup and hope the best for the person.

How did you feel about Jason’s concern that you might be too independent or too strong for him?

I guess it threw me back a little bit to hear him say that. And even to see it on TV. It’s something that I always thought that was most attractive about me was that I worked so hard to pay my own bills and to support myself. And I did realize from watching the show that moving forward it’s okay for me to let my guard down.

And it’s okay for me to look for somebody that wants to take care of me. So I’ve learned a lot about myself during this adventure and that’s one thing I have learned. But I am independent and I am strong and that’s kind of the person I am. I just need to find somebody who’s, maybe a little stronger than me and can handle it.

You’re an interior designer, so what was it like for you living in the Bachelor pad? I mean did you get any decorating ideas from living there or do you have any decorating tips for the Bachelor pad?

Oh, that’s a great question. Actually, I am a restaurant designer. I specifically do more restaurants more than anything. I’ve never done residential but when I saw where I was going to be living I was floored. And I thought the mansion was absolutely beautiful, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It was a dream living there. I definitely got a lot of ideas that’s for sure.

In this last episode there was a quite steamy little hot tub scene with you and Jason, and I wanted to know what was it like to watch that hot tub scene back on TV and what was the reactions from your friends and family?

Well, apparently my dad just stared at the TV with his jaw open. When I watched it, I had a good laugh. I guess it’s one of those things that in real life once you’ve gotten to that point in your relationship, that’s probably what we all would be doing, but the difference here is there are cameras there. And it is now being shown to a lot of people. I don’t know. I still don’t really have any regrets. That was, you know, it happened and it was kind of funny to watch and it is what it is.

When Jason decided not to give you a rose, he kind of said he felt like maybe you guys were more friends. And in light of that, for the obvious chemistry you all have there in the hot tub, what do you think about him saying that?

Well, you know, like I’ve said before that’s the million dollar question. I think when I watch it, there is a different part that he has with say Melissa between what we had and what Melissa had. I still think our relationship progressed similar to what it may have in real life.

So maybe he felt at that point in time that he wasn’t as wrapped up in the idea of him and I but you know, I don’t know why – I still felt like we had all those components to make it work. But you know, you never know. You can’t never get into somebody’s head and I wonder why they think differently.

Was there anything that surprised you from watching the show on TV?

I think the biggest thing that surprised me is while I was taping the show, I thought I had the cat in the bag and – but you still question about you know what relationship he has with the other girls. Aside from seeing how much chemistry he had with Melissa, I was actually surprised to see how well I really did seem to fit in his life. And how many things in common we did have and how much my fans and the general public thought I was a good match for him.

You know, at the time, you always question, you know am I good for him? And is he good for me? And when I watched it, I was surprised to see how good we actually did fit together and then he still let me go.

As far as your hot dog theory goes, do you feel like you have to rework it now? Or do you wish that Jason maybe had thrown some relish on there?

Oh, no actually I still stand by my theory. I think my theory is a little bit more complicated than I initially thought. But Jason might be having some hot dog topping denial. I don’t think he’s a sauerkraut. I don’t think he’s a bad guy but I think he’s actually has a little bit of ketchup in him. And he’s a little bit of a ketchup, mustard, and I need a little bit of a sauerkraut mustard. If you know the hot dog theory, you’ll understand.

I had never heard it before but I got very intrigued and did a lot of research on it afterwards. But it seems like you were right. Now, as far as the fantasy suite. Can you tell us more about that? Did you spend the entire night with Jason?

Yeah, I did. Jason and I obviously had a great time in the hot tub. I’ve said before, Jason and I had great, great conversation and it was really great to have a lot of off-camera time with him. And to be able to chat about the things that we weren’t able to chat about on camera.

I thought that that would have solidified things in his mind of whether I was the one or not based on those conversations and maybe it did. But it was – yeah it was great to have that time to be able to chat with him.

After you got eliminated, who do you feel’s a better fit for Jason, Molly or Melissa?

I can see reasons why both girls would be great for him, and I can obviously see reasons why they both might not. Like I said before, me and Melissa became very close in the house and her and I always talked about if she did win, how fun it would be for us all to one day get together and have barbeques and laugh about it.

So, you know, a little selfish part inside of me hopes that it’s Melissa, but the bottom line is now that I’m not the one, I really hope that Jason chooses the right person and that he’s happy and, hopefully, we’ll see him again.

You had said after your elimination that Jason had broken your heart. When was the first moment you realized how strongly you actually felt about him?

I think the moment I felt most strongly about Jason was when I brought him home to my family and I saw how excited my parents were to meet him. What you didn’t see was how excited my parents were about Ty and they had a lot of questions about Ty and they had gifts for him.

And it was really wonderful to see how comfortable I was with Jason in front of my family and how well he fit in, and how much my grandma adored him. At that moment, for me, I saw him fitting in with my family perfectly, and that’s when I think I fell for him hard.

Everybody that does a reality show has a scene they wish they had never made the air and they have a scene they wish had have made the air. What are you two?

See, that’s a hard question to ask because there are a few scenes that I cringed at but I’m a no regrets girl. So I probably wouldn’t take anything back.

There’s one thing that I wish wouldn’t have aired was there was maybe a bit too much detail about my family history and I wish I would’ve considered my family a little bit more when I was, you know, divulging so much. But my family has been so supportive and my mother has just been an absolute inspiration as she is so strong. You know, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

So you know, that would maybe be the only thing, but other than that, I have no regrets. As far as a scene that I wish they would’ve shown, I wish they would’ve – me and Jason had a really great conversation at the General Hospital date. That was never aired. And it was just a lot about family and friends and losses and children and about, you know, finding somebody that you can share your life.

And I was disappointed that that didn’t make it to air because I thought it was just one of our best conversations.

Everybody had been wondering where did Jason get this idea during the General Hospital scene that you were a really strong woman? It must’ve been in that conversation.

Well, what had happened that day actually is I think all the girls had a lot of anxiety with seeing him kiss other girls and I had had that wonderful conversation with them that I was just on top of the world. When we got to the restaurant, everybody was drinking quite a bit and we were starting to have a lot of fun.

But it was the first real sign that a lot of girls were getting a lot of anxiety about him and about the situation. Just because of the way I am, I have no problem breaking down as long as I know there’s somebody else around that maybe can support me. But I think a lot of the girls were having a tough time with it that night, and you saw that Melissa cried and you saw that Naomi had a tough time with it.

And then we saw that scene with Lauren, you know, demanding the rose and Shannon crying. And so when Jason wasn’t talking to the girls, I was telling the girls, you know it’s okay and this is going to be tough. And I was one of the only ones who didn’t cry. I think there was a few other girls who didn’t cry and you know, I think I wanted to but I was just so overjoyed with my conversation and my day with Jason that I didn’t feel the need to get emotional.

And I think he came up to me at one point and said, “You know are you okay?” And I said, “No, I’m fine. Things – you know everybody’s having a tough time with it.” So I think he just saw that I didn’t get emotional that day and I think that’s what he was referring to.

Tell us something that we would surprised about the final two women.

Honestly, I think you guys got to know them as much as I did. I mean we – I keep on saying me and Melissa became excellent friends throughout it. I’ll tell you something you’d be surprised. If Melissa was the winner, her and I would be friends and I would be a part of their life. That is a surprise. Other than that, you know I think they’re both great, wonderful girls. And I wish them both happiness and I can’t wait to see what happens.

Was there a reason in your final video to Jason you didn’t mention anything about falling in love or being in love with him?

I think that’s part of me having my guard up. I mean I don’t think anybody knows how tough it is to continually open up to somebody and to continually let them know how much you feel about them. And knowing that they can’t really reciprocate those feelings or words back to you.

And so, you know, I’m used to being the one that’s wooed. I’m used to being, you know, a guy telling me first that he loves me and I think it was just the anxiety of knowing that if I tell him I love him, he would break my heart, which ultimately happened. So I think I was just – I couldn’t move that quick, and I was really worried that he didn’t love me back which he didn’t.

You did a lot of cool stuff on the show from the Robin Thicke concert to the helicopter ride. What was the favorite thing for you that you got to do during The Bachelor?

Let me just think about this here for a second. I did the Robin Thicke day, oh definitely the Keep-A-Breast date. And that was actually one that I was a little bit nervous about because as everybody knows, I’m not that well endowed up there but I had so much fun and really helped me to take those walls down.

And I realized how important the women are in my life that have helped me shape who I am and to be able to do something for a greater cause. It put me out of my comfort zone but I had so much fun.

You had mentioned yourself that you see a lot of sparks flying between Melissa and Jason but you know, the show IS giving us some peeks at a monkey wrench being thrown by DeAnna Pappas showing up. Did you see her while you were there or did you interact with her at all?

I can’t really comment on that but she hasn’t been shown yet on any of the episodes that I’ve been in. So I think it’s pretty safe to say that no I did not see her.

Can you tell us about your story for getting on the show? How did you get on?

It was a funny story. I’ve been a huge fan of the show for years. I’ve always wondered how the girls can fall in love so quick, but at the same time, in the back of my mind I secretly wish for my fantasy fairytale ending. And one day during a Matt and Shayne season when Matt proposed to Shayne and of course, I had tears in my eyes. I said to my girlfriend, “I’m going to apply for this show.”

And I really didn’t say too much in my application. And they – I don’t know what I said or what I did, but they called me right away and before I knew it, I was on a show and now talking to you.

How difficult was it to respond to people’s questions about what happened? Not being able to really reveal much.

That was actually been more difficult than I anticipated because I wear my heart on my sleeve. And as you guys have seen, I’m very open. I don’t have much of a filter when it comes my feelings. And so it was really hard to, you know, put on a straight face and get back to work and tell everybody, oh you’ll just have to wait and see. And try to say it with a smile. That was difficult but thankfully, I was able to open up a little bit to my mom and my cousin Torre. And they really supported me so much that it helped me sort of get through every thing since.

Don’t miss the next episode of The Bachelor when The Women Tell All Monday at 8:00 PM on ABC.

We’ll be watching on Fancast.