That’s the theory Ashley S. shared in Thursday’s media conference call. The 26-year-old nanny — originally from Ellerbe, North Carolina, and now living in New York City, preparing to go to law school — said she told Brad she would be broken-hearted, no matter which Ashley he sent home from that date.
To Ashley S., that broken-hearted comment changed Brad’s mood and he told her, as he was walking her out, that he was worried she wasn’t there just for him.
Read on for more from Ashley on that awkward two-on-one date; how coming out of a string of bad relationships affected her time on the show; what she finds most attractive about Brad; how she really wanted the Bachelor to be Chris Lambton; whether she’d consider The Bachelorette or Bachelor Pad; what it was like getting her first tattoo in Las Vegas; her thoughts on the real Michelle Money, who is nothing like what we see on the show; and why Chantal O’Brien is her choice for the wrong woman for Brad:
Was there any indication during the dinner that you were the one that would be going home? Ashley: OK, so this is a question I thought was going to come up. I’m kind of upset that they didn’t show a lot of the dinner conversation, because I think it would have shown the viewers more of maybe why I was sent home. But during the dinner conversation, it was obviously really awkward, and I made a comment where I said, “No matter what happens after this dinner, I’m gonna be broken-hearted.” Because if Ashley H. got sent home, who was my best friend in the house, I would just be completely distraught. Because I knew how strongly she felt for Brad at that point. But then, however, I’d be really broken-hearted if I got sent home, ‘cause I was looking forward to getting to know him better. And after I said that, I could kind of tell that his mood changed and after he didn’t give me the rose — and he said that I’d make a great wife, but I wouldn’t make a great wife for him — before he walked me to the limo, he sat me down and said that question bothered him, because then it made him think that I wasn’t just there for him. He didn’t want me being, you know, so concerned with other girls in the house. I don’t think that’s wrong, I’m not trying to throw him under the bus, however, that’s my personality. I’m a nanny. I care a lot about other people, I take care of other people all day long. And that was one thing I hadn’t anticipated going into the house — that I would love the girls as much as I did. Maybe that’s what hurt me. Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten so involved with the other girls, but I think it’s inevitable when you spend 20 or more hours a day with these girls and you get to know them so well and you only have a couple of hours with the Bachelor.
Is there any one woman or are there maybe a couple of women who you think are really truly right for Brad? Ashley: I would say, even in watching the show now, I still feel the same way I did when I left. I think Ashley H. and Emily have the strongest connection with him. What he says he wants in his wife, I feel like Ashley H. and Emily fit the qualifications best.
It doesn’t seem like the other Ashley is right for Brad. A lot of people expected her to go home this week. Why do you think she might be right for Brad? Ashley: I think, there’s a lot of stuff that isn’t being shown. Whenever he had any time with Ashley H., I think he showed a different side of himself. You could tell that he was really happy with her. Then when he came in that one day and took Ashley to the side, even though he had a date with Michelle, I think that said a lot, because who wanted to endure the wrath of Michelle? He was taking a big risk by offending her like that. It was more important to him to make Ashley H. feel better and make her feel secure in their relationship than make Michelle mad.
Is Michelle still around because he doesn’t want to make her mad either? Ashley: I think he’s intrigued by her. I think maybe he thinks maybe all of this is an act and he’s trying to crack her a little bit to see what’s really there.
What was Michelle actually like to live with? Ashley: You know, watching the show I’ve been really surprised. Because I would say that Michelle was one of my favorite people in the house prior to this, so I had no idea she was saying that in interviews — like the comment she made about Ashley and I, how she wanted to split us up. She never acted that way toward me in the house. She was an absolute sweetheart. She even did my hair for most of the Rose Ceremonies. Yeah, I love her. I’ll still say this. I don’t know if she’s just playing a character, or if she knew that if she acts a little she gets more screen time. I’m not sure, but honestly she’s a sweetheart and how she’s being portrayed on camera isn’t the real Michelle.
You told us who you think is right for Brad in the house. Is there anyone you think is not right for him? Ashley: There was one person while I was there who I knew they had a connection, but I wasn’t really sure that that connection was what Brad was saying he wanted in a wife — that I thought they had more of a sexual connection, and I would say that person was Chantal. I think that Brad, you know, he says he wants a best friend and someone to make him feel better at the end of the day and I think Ashley H. and Emily fit that better. And then I feel like he just had more of that sexual connection with Chantal.
You seemed to have gone into the 2-on-1 date a little defeated. Is that how you felt and, if so, why did you think you would be going home? Ashley: I would say that you’re right, assuming that I was defeated. Only because I think my issue going into the show was I had always felt like I had to convince people to be in relationships with me, or compete all the time with either other girls, you know, that they would interact with in bars or things like that, and I just really did not want to do that again. And I really didn’t think I was going on the 2-on-1 date in Vegas. There were so many other girls who hadn’t been on 1-on-1s that I just really didn’t think he needed to figure that out with me. I was so surprised and it was more about defeating my own personal demons and the fact that I was going on a 2-on-1 with my best friend in the house. It was just an awful situation.
You said you were fighting a lot of inner demons, which demons are you referring to? You also said normally the case you have to convince men to be with you, can you elaborate on that and does it refer to any of your past relationships? Ashley: The thing about inner demons, my initial reaction whenever I heard I was going on the 2-on-1 is that I wanted to just ask to be sent home. Because at that point I knew that Ashley was really emotionally invested in Brad, and not that I wasn’t, but she was just at so much more of an invested level than I was and the thought of, for whatever reason, if I had been kept there and Ashley was sent home, it would’ve killed me. Maybe this is kind of messed up for me to say this, actually, you know, I was more in love with Ashley H. than Brad. I spent more time with her in the house and I couldn’t imagine how guilty I would’ve felt if she would’ve went home. So I would say that I was kind of putting her happiness above my own, which is something I tend to do in relationships and life in general, so that was one inner demon I was really fighting. […] And then the comment about how I feel like I have to convince guys to be in relationships with me, before this show — I’ve only been in three relationships and they’re really long relationships, one was four years, one was three years, one was two years. That’s nine years of my life I’ve dedicated to these long relationships and after, like, a year, I’ve always felt like the guy needed convincing to stay in that relationship. So the remainder of those relationships I felt like was me convincing them to stay with me. This was one time I didn’t want to have to do that again and I kind of feel like that’s what a 2-on-1 date is. Either you throw the other person under the bus or you really try to top them and “See, look I’m better than her!” I really just didn’t have the heart to do that anymore.
Is there anything you would’ve done differently, in terms of that date specifically? Ashley: I would say that maybe I wouldn’t have gone into it feeling so defeated, ‘cause you could probably tell that I just completely wasn’t into it. Another thing that really got me down about the date as well is we were having to dance. And as much as I hate singing, I hate dancing just as much. So I was completely out of my element and, I’m sure y’all know, Ashley is a dancer — the other Ashley. I was just like, Jesus, I’m not going to be good at this date at all! So I probably would’ve brought my A-game a little bit more when it comes to dancing and staying positive and upbeat, if I could go back and do it again.
You said how badly you would feel if you had to send the other Ashley home. Did she say anything to you before you left about how badly she felt? Ashley: She did. We actually got to hug before I walked away, so it wasn’t that I just got up and left. We had talked before and said no matter what, we weren’t going to have any hard feelings or be upset at the other person. It was just a horrible situation and that if we made it to the end we would just invite the other person to our wedding and hopefully they’d be happy for us.
What attracted you most to Brad? Ashley: I would say the thing that makes Brad really attractive is he’s a real man. He’s manly with muscles, he’s absolutely gorgeous in the face and he’s a gentleman. That’s one thing that’s hard to find here in New York. Someone that just has good manners, they’re always making sure you don’t trip over something, or they give you their jacket when you’re cold — I mean, he’s a true Southern gentleman and I think that’s really attractive.
When you went home, were you more upset at not finding love or not finding love specifically with Brad? Ashley: Am I taking the easy way out if I say it was equally both? I really feel like I did not anticipate that I was going home on that episode. I really thought that I would be there longer. So, one, that just surprised me. And then I was just really upset that I wouldn’t have the chance to get to know him better. And then it was also equally, I had just come out of a string of really bad relationships and here was another one that I kind of felt like I had failed in. So it was a combination of all those things that just really upset me.
Chris Harrison said in his column this week that the girls were convinced that it was going to be Alli and Britt on the 2-on-1 date. Why did you girls think that and why do you think Brad chose you two instead? Ashley: I can’t remember actually if I said Alli and Britt, but I thought it would be Alli, Britt, Lisa or Marissa, one of them, just because they hadn’t had a one-on-one date. So we just automatically assumed that we wouldn’t be on the two-on-one. To this day, I am not really sure why he took Ashley and I, because it was pretty well known that we were really good friends in the house. But I don’t know that maybe he wanted to split us up, maybe, because he didn’t want us focusing too much on the other one and not enough on him, or what? I mean, it’s still just a complete surprise to me. I was actually really looking forward to watching this episode because I hoped it would provide more insight into it.
Brad is an older Bachelor and a lot of the ladies are in their 20s. Do you think that’s an issue, that he might be a little too old for the ladies on the show? Ashley: I think that even though some of us are on the younger side, there are certain things that we have been through that maybe have made us old souls, in a way. I know that Emily is one of the younger ones, she’s 24, however she’s been through, like, a horrible tragedy that makes you grow up. So in a lot of ways I would say she’s probably, you know, 34 in terms of maturity. And I would say I am too, in a lot of ways. I feel like I’m kind of goofy and high-energy and a lot of people take that as being young sometimes, but I dealt with my father’s death and when he passed away I had to become the executor to his estate, so I’ve done things that people in their 40s take care of, usually, or older than that. So I don’t necessary think that it’s a problem in this way. I think that while we might seem young, there are a lot of ways that we’re more mature than other girls our age. So I don’t necessarily think that that’s a hindrance in any of the girls falling in love with Brad.
We heard that you, Ashley H., Lisa, and Marissa got rose tattoos that week in Vegas. How do you feel about having a permanent reminder of the experience? Ashley: I’m still perfectly OK with it. I hadn’t had any tattoos prior to the experience and it’s something I had always wanted to do, so I couldn’t figure out anything better than commemorating this experience. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime [experience]. I did it with my best friends in the house, it really just signified how different I wanted to be in relationships, on the show and also after that. So I don’t look down at it all the time and go “Oh my God, that’s right before Brad eliminated me,” it’s more that it reminds me of how much fun and how good of a time I had on The Bachelor.
Have you watched past seasons of The Bachelor or Bachelorette? Are there any guys from past seasons that you’d like to meet? Ashley: I did not start watching it until Jake’s season. And I would say that I went on this show thinking that it was gonna be Chris Lambton. And I don’t want to get myself into too much trouble by saying that that was one I wish I would’ve gotten to meet. ‘Cause I know he’s in a relationship right now, so I’m not trying to step on Peyton’s toes, but that would be the one person that I did want to meet.
So Valentine’s Day is coming up. What qualities are you looking for in a man? Let’s put it out there and get you a date! Ashley: Oh wow, do you have hours? I’d say I want someone that I will feel like can take care of me. I don’t know exactly what characteristics, but someone that makes me feel safe. Someone that makes me feel like they’re not going to hurt me. I feel like I’ve always dated guys that are always looking in the other direction, looking for the next best thing. I’d say that the next guy that I’m with, I want them to just be completely enamored by me and think that I’m the best thing out there. Obviously I want someone that’s attractive, someone that has a good job and not only that, but they love what they do, that they’re really passionate about it. I definitely want someone that loves kids, that’s something that’s very important to me. I want them to be well-educated, I want them to have a great sense of humor, someone that can also kind of be goofy, not always serious and worried about how other people are going to look at them. That’s about it. Maybe tall. Tall works.
If you were given a chance to be the next Bachelorette, would you do it? Ashley: Oh, absolutely! Definitely.
Would you do Bachelor Pad? Ashley: I would have to think about it. With Bachelor Pad there’s more room, maybe, to do things that might hurt my image. […] I would definitely love to win $250,000 and meet other castmates, but I might have to think a little harder about Bachelor Pad.