Ames Brown is a “different” kind of Bachelorette contestant and he knows it — because people keep telling him. He just doesn’t know why, since he was almost completely unfamiliar with The Bachelorette before — and this is “different” in itself — he was on a business trip in Uzbekistan and he got an e-mail from someone in the casting department asking if he’d be interested in going on the show.
In his exit interview with the media today, the 31-year-old portfolio manager from New York City said he was indeed falling in love with Season 7 rosemistress Ashley Hebert and he was shocked to be eliminated after the hometown dates. “I am very, very embarrassed to say that was the only rose ceremony I went into and I thought Oh my God, it’s almost a sure thing.” Although he smiled his way through his last rose ceremony, Ames said he was putting on a brave face.
We’ll next see him on Bachelor Pad Season 2 — another “different” choice for an Ivy Leaguer prone to 50-cent words. In terms of being the Bachelor himself, he said he hasn’t given it much thought, but he’d definitely consider it. However, when asked if he’s currently single, he laughed and says he’d be electrocuted if he said anything. “I think we’re supposed to watch the Bachelor Pad,” he said. So there’s your answer. For now, anyway.
Read on for more from Ames.
You’re definitely different from the usual contestants on the show, so why did you decide to go on The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad?
I guess I really didn’t know I was different, well, unfortunately until it was too late. I guess since I am different, whatever it is, it didn’t really work. But hopefully there is someone out there to whom my differences appeal.
After watching the hometown dates and Ashley’s time with the other guys, did it help you understand why she sent you home or did you think you had a great date?
I felt like we had a great date. I think one thing that I think I really picked up 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, because I wanted it to last forever and I think a lot of times both watching it, this show, and in real life, we see a lot of relationships that move super quick and expire just as quickly. I was having an amazing time with Ashley and I thought becoming really close to her and it was a little bit slower than I guess the other relationships around us, but I felt okay about that. And she’s the kind of person that I really wanted to make something lasting with, so I didn’t want to rush it at all. And actually I enjoyed taking it slowly.
What did your family think of Ashley?
I think my family really liked Ashley. I had a feeling they would like Ashley beforehand and afterward I was, and am still, pretty confident with that.
What were your favorite qualities about Ashley and what did you see in her that would make her right for a long-term relationship?
She’s pretty much happy about everything, I think. She chooses difficult things in life but enjoys them. … She also seems really curious about all the things we were doing and I like that in a partner, definitely somebody who wants to experience lots of fun things. I don’t know, we just got along. She made me very happy.
Anything that you saw watching the show back that surprised you that you didn’t know about, in terms of maybe her relationships with the other guys or stuff that was said on camera?
I think everything surprised me about her relationship with other guys. Just because I really was just focused on getting to know her well and our relationship so I really didn’t pay attention to what else was going on. So watching the show to me, 90 percent of it was new.
Your sister kind of noticed the lack of spark between you and Ashley and Ashley wrote about it in her People.com blog. How did your family react after watching your elimination?
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.
You are different from other bachelors who’ve been on the series. What do you see as the differences between you and the other bachelors?
You know, that’s the only question I can really say I don’t know the answer to because that’s something I hear all the time... I believe it, I’m sure it’s true, I just — I don’t know. At least nominally I’m middle of the road. I’m not the youngest, I’m not the oldest. I’m not the strongest. I’m not the weakest. But “different.” I get “different” a lot.
It’s probably that you’re a combination of being smart and driven and well traveled. You said that you felt like you were falling in love with Ashley. Looking back do you think you were really falling in love with her?
Definitely. Under the magnolia tree, I was totally feeling — there was no uncertainty that I was getting very close to her. I felt definitely like [there were] feelings of love under the magnolia tree or in the day leading up to the elevator ride or in the elevator of course. I guess I wasn’t in as much of a rush or unaware of the timeline involved and that got me in the end.
Do you think Ashley made a big mistake or...
I don’t know ‘cause I really don’t know what — 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 to the end are amazing so I think that she’ll probably make a good decision in the end.
Do you regret going on the show or going as far as you did, since your family got involved?
No, I had a wonderful time dating her. She’s — it always sounds trite, but she is amazing. 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. That was painful but I would do it — it is better to have loved and lost, I would say, especially in this context.
The hometown dates seemed to go well and we saw a different side to you. What was going through your mind that day?
Well at first it came as a tremendous relief to know that she had the interest in me to go that far. ‘Cause at some times it’s very difficult for the lead, in this case the Bachelorette, to show emotion toward me, like a suitor, and I think she was opening up and I was opening up at the same time. And seeing my family loves her as much as I do was pretty compelling for me. At that point my hopes that she would become a permanent part of my life were becoming a little bit more realistic, so that’s when I started really potentially falling in love with her. That also made it a lot more painful the next day.
What was going through your mind at the elimination at the last rose ceremony? Did you expect to go home?
No. I am very, very embarrassed to say that was the only rose ceremony I went into and I thought “Oh my God, it’s almost a sure thing.” I felt so excited about us and our future and especially the next week because I thought “Oh my God we’ve been through so much, she met my family, everything went great, we had an amazing kiss and an amazing conversation in the most beautiful place I may have ever been before.” I think this next week is really going to make an engagement possible, so I thought of course we’re going to be around next week. And I was just like, all right let’s go. It was awful.
You alluded to not expecting to go home and getting ready to be engaged. Were you at that stage of being ready to propose, if you got to the finale?
No, but at the end of the hometowns it was totally realistic and in view and I was nothing but excited for the possibility. ‘Cause I felt like the day with the family we had a great time together… and I felt like we really connected under the magnolia tree and I think my expectations in terms of speed and timing were much different than maybe everybody else’s on the show just because I was taking things slow on purpose because I figured this is going to be the rest of your life, no need to rush, let’s enjoy every step of the way and not hurry.
Do you think maybe in hindsight taking it slow was a big risk, especially on a show where there’s a certain time period before the finalists are chosen?
Yeah, I guess the only way I could’ve been honest to Ashley would’ve been to take it slowly and I did take it slowly. So I’d rather just be honest and take it slowly. This is only worth it if you end up with a relationship that lasts forever and I think it’s sometimes hard to hurry those things.
Did you think you had enough in common to last forever? She did say you had a lot of similarities. Did you think there was enough of a base there?
I thought there was enough of a base there. Maybe there wasn’t.
It sounds like everyone, including Ashley and Chris Harrison, weren’t expecting you to last your 1-on-1 date. Ashley wasn’t feeling as much of a connection at the time and thought she’d be sending you home. What were you feeling at the time? Were you expecting to go home? How much of a surprise was it that you didn’t?
I wasn’t expecting to go home before or during the date just because I thought Ashley and I were a good match and maybe we just hadn’t had the time to acknowledge that together. I treated the date like an opportunity to get onto the same page. I guess maybe this show or situation expects a certain forwardness and extrovertedness that I might not be used to and I felt comfortable being more open and revealing on the 1-on-1 and maybe that’s why it worked out. Needless to say, the 1-on-1 gave me an opportunity to reaffirm the fact that I thought I was right for Ashley and it was wonderful, I hope for both of us.
You obviously got hurt in the boxing ring. Do you think that played any role in Ashley keeping you around for the next rose ceremony and bought you a little more time? Because obviously she felt a little sympathy for what you went through? It seemed like your sister even joked about it a little bit.
Yeah. I, to be honest, don’t remember a lot of that week because that was a pretty tough hit. But maybe she kept me around because that was so painful, but I don’t think so necessarily. I think at that point, and through the whole process, I think we were clicking pretty well. … We had a wonderful 1-on-1 date and a lot of people who had 1-on-1 dates before me were already home. So I think we had something just going on.
After this experience, do you think Ashley was right for you or do have a better idea of what you want in a soul mate?
I definitely have learned a lot and got a great feeling when I was with Ashley and that feeling taught me a lot. I’ll definitely look for that in the future. She is an exceptional person in so many ways, like really smart and beautiful. There’s a lot of combinations of things that are rare to find in the same person, so I am hoping I can find somebody who gives me that same great feeling and has similar great things together. I don’t know. It was a learning experience, a painful one, physically and emotionally at the end. But if I had the opportunity to do it over again I would definitely do it.
Out of the guys who are left, who do you think she’d be best matched with?
That’s the one — I mean, I really just spent all my time thinking of Ashley and Ashley and me and was I being too fast or too slow? I didn’t even pay attention to what else was going on. I had no idea. … What I’ve seen so far? They all seem to have good connections. I’m jealous of them all, of course! She has good taste. It’s down to a good bunch of people. I couldn’t tell you, I wouldn’t feel safe betting at this point.
After the hometown dates it sounds like your family was worried about you getting your heart broken, but when you left you were smiling ear to ear. Who was more disappointed, you in the moment or your family when they found out you were coming home?
I think it would be hard to eclipse my little disappointment that evening. I definitely had a smile on my face and maybe that was some sort of emotional guard or — I can be pretty sure that it was [that] I didn’t want to make something that was already difficult for Ashley even more difficult. I just wanted to, I just really didn’t want to put her on the spot or anything, I just wanted to exit as gracefully as possible. And she has great things ahead of her, I just didn’t want to be any kind of [damper] on that. But it was an awful, awful week. I probably got out of the limousine where I gave my interview and 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 I guess what was going on.
You definitely acted like such a gentleman. In a conference call a couple of weeks ago William gushed about you and even said you should have your own TV show so everyone could learn more about you. If you did have your own reality TV show, what would we see on it?
Hopefully me falling in love and starting a family. That would be good! I really, I don’t think I have a huge entertainment future and I don’t think it’s very much in my destiny, but I’ve enjoyed my brief stint on television very much, which I can pretty much only attribute to Ashley. I was so happy when I learned she was the Bachelorette. It just made it a great experience.
Do you still have really strong feelings for Ashley?
No. I mean, I wish her the best but — and it’s taken me a couple weeks — but I just really would like her to, I guess at this point the right tense would be have chosen the right guy. And I would love her to live happily ever after. She deserves it. She’s a great person and I’m sorry it didn’t work out between us but I think she’s the kind of person that will make a great wife — and a great dentist — and I’m just excited to see her have a happy future.
Bachelorettes everywhere are wondering, are you currently single?
Well. [Laughs] That’s a great question. I think I’ll get electrocuted if I answer that. I think we’re supposed to watch the Bachelor Pad.
That answer complicates this a bit, but a lot of fans have said they would love you to be the next Bachelor. Is that something you would consider or are you going to cross that off right now?
I mean I would totally consider it. I guess the greatest thing that I learned about the show is that — I’m sure people will disagree with me — but it seemed very real to me, and if it wasn’t then the joke’s definitely on me. But to me it seemed very real and I would always welcome any opportunity to find the right person to spend the rest of my life with. But I actually honestly haven’t thought about things like that. But I would definitely think about it.
A lot was made of your Ivy League education and how poetic and smart and intellectual you are, etc. It sort of begs the question, why would you do a reality show? What made you say you want to do this?
I have 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. For me it actually did occur on the show, strangely, and I know that because I know how painful it was when I learned that it wasn’t going to be fully realized.
You said you don’t see yourself having a long entertainment career, but you are on the Bachelor Pad. Would you really be open to being the next Bachelor or you mentioned a reality show that might feature your family and a quest for love. Would you do it if approached, would you have your own show?
I doubt that would ever be an option. But I don’t know. Right now I’m just focused on finding the right woman to spend the rest of my life with and continuing my career in finance.
What are you looking for in a woman in the future. What qualities do you like?
Something I learned in the experience of the show, for me there really isn’t a list of attributes. It’s more the feeling that you get when you’re spending time with the person. I think our emotions and our bodies are good judges and I just want the feeling that I’m in love, not necessarily a checklist or a resume. And Ashley did give me that feeling and I hope to feel that again.
How familiar were you with the show, before you went on it? You’ve made a few comments that suggest you weren’t too familiar. How did you end up on the show, can you talk about that a little bit?
Sure. I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with the show, almost at all, beforehand. I was on a business trip in Central Asia, in one of the ‘stans, I think it was was Uzbekistan. I got an email on the way back from someone in the casting department that said it found me or something somehow — I don’t know how — 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.
How did you feel about Bentley’s return in Hong Kong? Did you consider leaving like Mickey did? What was your reaction?
No, I just felt bad for Ashley. I felt like she was suffering a lot. I didn’t know what was going on with her and Bentley. But anything that causes pain to somebody you care about sort of causes you pain. So I felt bad for her, plus this is supposed to be her adventure and her falling in love and having a great time, so I think it was pretty painful for me and I’m sure for a lot of the other guys to see her that unhappy.
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