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The Bachelor

In Defense of Jenna Burke: Employer Speaks Out Against Bachelor Portrayal — Exclusive!

New York blogger Jenna Burke definitely left an impression with viewers on the Season 16 premiere of The Bachelor – but it wasn’t necessarily a good one. First, there was her awkward standoff with fellow contestant Monica Spannbauer. Seemingly unable to cope with the competition from Monica and the other women, she then retreated to a side room and spent considerable time weeping off-camera until it was time for the rose ceremony.

Credit: Rick Rowell/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney    

Either because he was genuinely intrigued or took pity on her, Ben Flajnik offered Jenna the last rose of the night. Mustering the best tear-stained smile she could manage, Jenna accepted, but the damage had been done. Her fellow contestants – as well as the millions of viewers who tuned in – were left with the notion that Jenna seemed pretty fragile and, possibly, unstable.

Now, one of Jenna’s colleagues is coming to her defense. Speaking exclusively with Wetpaint Entertainment, the colleague, who hired Jenna at one of the many websites she contributes to, says the real Jenna is nothing like what she’s been portrayed as on TV.

“That was not the person I know at all,” the colleague tells Wetpaint Entertainment. “They portrayed her like she was insane! I was watching it with my mouth open. I was like, ‘What is this?’”

“Jenna is very photogenic, so I understand why they wanted to give her a lot of screen time, but they were pegging her like some kind of…I don’t know.”

But editing can only do so much. The sad truth is, Jenna did break down, both on and off camera. The footage proves that. Does the colleague have any idea what could have sent her over the edge that night? “Normally, Jenna is an articulate, sweet and very well-balanced girl. She’s charming and adaptable. I can only imagine that what we saw on TV was a reaction to the very strange and bizarre environment she’s in. You know, in New York, single people go to bars or lounges. This is not a situation she’s used to dealing with.”

“Before she left, she didn’t really give us a reason why she wanted to go on the show,” the colleague adds. “She just said she wanted to do it and we told her, ‘Go for it.’ We’re all looking forward to having her back. She’s a great writer with her own, special voice. She has a lot of friends waiting for her when she gets home.”

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01.5.2012 / 01:07 AM EDT by Beth Sobol
Related: The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Jenna Burke

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