When Ashley Hebert eliminated charming Ames Brown on Monday night’s “Bachelorette,” poets, romantics, and nerds beat their aching hearts with great disappointment. However, their sorrow turned to joy (and perhaps confusion) when ABC made the recent announcement that the Yale/Columbia/Harvard-educated portfolio manager was going to make his second reality appearance on the upcoming season of “Bachelor Pad,” which airs Monday, August 8.
The 31-year-old chatted with reporters about his experience and the lessons he learned while on the “Bachelorette”— specifically, the emotional devastation he felt when Ashley let him go, what he’s looking for in his future soul mate, and why an uber-sophisticated smarty pants like him would choose to be on reality TV. (No offense to reality TV, ahem.)
Let’s start from the beginning. How familiar were you with the “Bachelor” franchise and how did you end up on it?
I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with the show almost at all beforehand. But I was on a business trip in Central Asia in one of the “stans.” I think it was Uzbekistan, and I got an e-mail on the way back from someone in the casting department that said they had found me somehow and would I be interested in it. At that point, I had been single for more than a year, and I was like, why not? So I flew to Los Angeles and followed it up. I don’t know how they find people really, but I’m very grateful that they did.
Watch Ames Say Goodbye On Monday’s “Bachelorette”:
Take us back to the night Ashley walked you to the limo to say goodbye. We saw you graciously smiling from ear-to-ear, but what were you really feeling?
I think it would be hard to eclipse my level of disappointment that evening. I definitely had a smile on my face, and maybe that was some sort of emotional guard…I can be pretty sure that it was. I didn’t want to make something that was already difficult for Ashley even more difficult. I just wanted to exit as gracefully as possible…and I just didn’t want to be any kind of blight on that. But that was an awful, awful week. I probably got out of the limousine where I did my interview and probably threw up or something like that. It was unbelievable. I have to admit I was totally disconnected in terms of what I was feeling and what was going on.
Now that you’ve been able to watch the hometown dates, did you see any differences between your time with Ashley compared to the other guys’ dates that may have indicated why she sent you home?
I felt like we had a great date, and I think one thing I really picked on, watching the hometown dates, is that my progress with Ashley certainly was a lot slower than the other guys. But I didn’t see that as a negative necessarily. In fact, in many ways, I was trying to take our relationship a little bit slower just because I wanted it to last forever, and I think a lot of times, both watching this show and out of real life, we see a lot of relationships that move super-quick and then expire just as quickly.
We got a sense that your sister may have felt that Ashley wasn’t completely sold on you. When you got back, did they say anything to confirm that, or were they supportive?
They were pretty morose because they knew that I really, really wanted to move on—especially I really wanted to move on to that next week, the first week in Fiji. So they were pretty sad, and I think that’s just because they knew that I was really sad and thought we had a lot of potential.
Do you think Ashley made a big mistake by letting you go?
I don’t know. I know what makes me happy, but I don’t know necessarily what makes her happy. And I think, generally, she makes pretty good decisions. The guys she kept around until the end are amazing, and so I think that she probably made a good decision in the end.
Do you regret how far you got with her, considering you got your family involved, too?
No, I had a wonderful time dating her. I don’t want to sound trite, but she is amazing. And so, I don’t regret it at all. It was very, very, very painful surrounding that, and for the weeks following our breakup—or whatever that’s called when that happens—and so that was painful. But it is better to have loved and lost, especially in this context.
Some people have wondered why a guy who’s Ivy League educated would consider being on a reality dating show.
I’ve been single for quite a long time—more than a year—and I guess I just believe that love occurs in unexpected places, and it’s even more romantic when it does occur in unexpected places. And for me, it actually did occur on the show, strangely…because I know how painful it was when I learned that it wasn’t going to be fully realized.
Now that you’ve had time to reflect, do you have a better idea of what you’re looking for in that special someone?
I definitely have learned a lot and got a great feeling when I was with Ashley. And that feeling taught me a lot. She’s an exceptional person in so many ways, like really smart and beautiful, and has a lot of combinations of things that are rare to find in the same person. So I’m hoping, obviously, to find somebody who gives me that same great feeling and has those same great things or similar great things together. It was a learning experience, a painful one, physically and emotionally at the end. But if I had the opportunity to do it all over again, I would definitely do it.
Be sure to catch the last few episodes of “The Bachelorette” on Mondays on ABC at 8/7c. And check out Ames bringing on his A-game once again on the “Bachelor Pad,” which busts out its 3-hour premiere on Monday, August 8 at 8/7c.