Credit: Rick Rowell/ABC Television Group © 2013 Disney

They say a girl never forgets her first and in the case of Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock and contestant Jonathan Vollinger, that’s definitely the case. Number one to leave the mansion this season, Jonathan didn’t even make it to the Rose Ceremony — Des ousted him during the May 27 Season 9 premiere after his repeated attempts to get her into his makeshift “Fantasy Suite.” An uncomfortable Desiree gave him the boot and fans wrote him off as a total creep.

But did we judge him too soon? In an exclusive statement to Wetpaint Entertainment, Jonathan offers a heartfelt and sincere explanation for his actions. And you know what? We believe him and respect him for it. Here’s what he had to say. Oh, and get comfy because it’s quite a read:


I really cannot explain what happened that first night other than to say that what started as a joke clearly got out of hand. I have not seen the episode and I don't plan to ever see it. With that said, my recollection of that night is based purely on memory.

Giving Desiree the ‘fantasy suite’ card was not my original plan, and of course I regret not sticking to that plan. Ultimately I went with the fantasy suite idea, which was in retrospect a horrible idea from the beginning, and I think I was caught off guard by her initial reaction. I thought it would be funny, a way to lighten the mood, but she didn't see it that way... not at all. And at the time I think I was just too stunned to even relay to her that it was supposed to be funny.

After my limo exit, I assure you I had zero intention of bringing it up again. However, judging from her reaction I felt the need to backtrack and implement damage control. Unfortunately, I admit I was not entirely sober at any point that night. There are cameras, you are meeting a beautiful woman for the first time, as well as sizing up 24 other strapping young gentlemen. I guess I was pretty nervous, and by the time I was able to speak with Des again, I was unable to communicate clearly and effectively.

I was not getting any positive vibes from her from the moment she read the card and I could feel the negative energy during our conversation. She was not feeling me. And why would she be? There were 24 other men who didn't make a horrible first impression. If I could do it over, I would have simply apologized and not attempted to explain what I meant or justify my actions. It was a poor attempt at a silly first impression and an even poorer attempt at explaining it. I'm not at all sure how I ever thought it would be a good idea to meet a girl that way for the first time, especially a sweet girl like Des, and getting aggressively inebriated after the fact did not help my cause.

After our conversation I came to the realization that I had pretty much shot myself in the foot. But, what transpired after that (the building of the fake fantasy suite) was not so much a self-sabotage as it was the continuation of a bad joke. Of course I did not enter the mansion thinking I was going to seal the deal on night one. I understand there are 24 other men and the show must last several months. I simply made some poorly thought out plans, which seemed funny in my head but did not translate. Looking back on it objectively, I see now how it came across, and for that, I'm truly sorry. I did not mean to make her feel uncomfortable. If anything, I just wanted to talk to her more and I played the only card I had (pun intended).

When she told me to leave, I was in complete shock. I sobered up immediately, but it was too late at that point. The first night is very long, but it goes by like a flash. You have a very small window to make the right first impression, and I blew that opportunity. While I would have liked to stick around longer because I was not myself that night, given the circumstances, I don't blame her at all. As the Bachelorette, she is in the unique position of not having to deal with any foolishness (there are plenty of other men), and she absolutely made the right decision by letting me go. I won't attempt to justify my actions, but I certainly don't want anyone thinking I had any bad intentions. If anything, I'm just a fool who made some poor decisions in an overwhelming situation.


Jonathan’s final thought: “I wish Des nothing but the best in her search for love.”