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Full Transcript of Interview with Emily O'Brien

Here is the full transcript from the interview with Emily O'Brien from the other day.  It's very telling to what her actual feelings towards Ben are at this point, and you may be surprised at how nice she is in what she says about Courtney.  I've highlighted my portion of the conference call interview in PURPLE.


Question:            So, how shocked were you at the Rose Ceremony?


Emily O'Brien:    To be completely honest, I wasn't totally shocked.  When Ben pulled Courtney aside, it was sort of like a last glimmer of hope for me.  I thought maybe, you know, he's finally listening to all of and seeing what we all see, but I think I kind of knew at that point that he was going to keep Courtney and that Rachel and I were going to be going home.  Just a feeling I had.



Question:            Yes.  Do you think that – I mean, partly I'm sure it's editing, but Ben seemed to mention a lot how smart you were, which I'm sure on some level that's flattering, but on another level, think he was intimidated by how smart you are?


Emily O'Brien:    You know, I think that Ben and I connected really well on an intellectual level.  I think that he also saw sort of a goofy, fun side of me and I try not to take myself too seriously and I think that came across to him.  At least, that was my intentions.  So, he really didn't seem intimidated, but it's a possibility.  Most of the time, I felt very comfortable around him and I think he felt comfortable around me also, so I think that we were – we are pretty much on the same page on that regard.


Question:            Hi.  Aside from your conversations with Ben about Courtney, what other factors do you think led to you going home, sort of surprisingly?


Emily O'Brien:    Yes.  Well, it's hard to know what Ben was thinking.  I think that with the six women that were there, he felt like any one of us was a possibility and I think he saw things that were attractive to him in each one of us.  But, I think what it really came down to was just a comparison of the chemistry between him and each of us and how that compared.  So, I really – I really think that Ben and I connected really well in the friend level, but I'm thinking that he maybe had more romantic chemistry with some of the other girls – Lindzi and especially Courtney, so I think that that was absolutely a factor in his decision to send me home.


Question:            Right.  And, more so in this season, it seems like viewers are really sort of outraged by, you know, the moves Ben's making especially in terms of Courtney.  Are you watching it back?  Are you surprised by anything or, you know, watching the things that have happened?


Emily O'Brien:    Yes.  Yes.  I have seen the outrage and I've sort of been surprised by it because, you know, I think that as much as Courtney might not be anyone's cup of tea, she's still a human being and it's got to be difficult for her to hear what people are saying and to know that she's not being particularly well received.  But, yes, I was a little bit surprised by, you know, how well he connected with Courtney on their first date in Sonoma. 


                I was watching it and just sort of, you know, with my mouth open thinking, "No wonder that he was so closed off to me when I tried to speak to him about Courtney maybe showing – not showing her real self to Ben."  Because, I thought she was very charming and I thought that they certainly had a connection that wasn't there between him and me and I don't know – it's – everything sort of started to fall into place when I watched that episode and saw how well they got along and how obviously attracted to her he was. 


                So, I – you know, I didn't see that when I was there and I think I maybe would have acted a little bit differently.  I would have maybe stepped up my own game a little bit if I knew that he was connecting with other women on that level.  But yes, watching it, everything is starting to make a lot more sense to me.


Question:            OK.  So, now that you've been away from it for a while, do you think that you were really falling in love with Ben, or do you think you got caught up in the competition of it, you know?


Emily O'Brien:    Yes.


Question:            All the girls vying for one man and you want to win?


Emily O'Brien:    You know, it really is a great question and I'm, you know, fairly competitive.  I think most girls on the show have some element of competitiveness to their personalities and they – I think that it's really hard to disentangle that when you're there, when you're in the moment.  I think that I was probably on the right track to fall in love with Ben.  I definitely was not in love with him when I left. 


                But, I saw some things in him that I really liked and, you know, I felt we had some really great times together.  It's hard because you're in these beautiful locations and the dates are perfect.  Everything's set up for you and you're with this great guy whose – you know, is also there, completely focused on you and also wanting to find love.  So, it's hard to know how much of it is the environment and how much of it is what's really going on in your own heart. 


                But, for me, I tried to sort of adjust and adapt as time went on and ignore everything else other than what was going on between the two of us.  And, in that sense, I felt like my feelings were strong.  I wasn't at the point of being in love, but I certainly really liked the guy and I certainly liked the direction that things were going.


Question:            OK.  The last bachelor who didn't listen to what the women had to say – when he picked Vienna.  And we don't know if Ben is going to pick Courtney yet, but do you think that he'll be making the same kind of major mistake?


Emily O'Brien:    Yes.  You know, it's hard to say "mistake."  I think what might be right for me or what I maybe was looking for coming into the experience is maybe different than what Ben was looking for coming into the experience.  I know he was open to finding love, but from the beginning he said, "You know, I'm not here looking for a wife. 


                I'm here looking for someone to fall in love with."  So, in that sense, it's possible that, you know, whoever he ends up with, it really fits the bill of what he's looking for at this point in time.  I think – I think Ben is also – you know, he's a great guy and he's not really the type of guy to let others tell him what to do or how to think and he kind of marches to the beat of his own drum. 


                So, I think that given that he really liked, you know, whoever he ended up with it, obviously since he chose them, I'm not sure that anyone really could have said anything to detract from that because he's, you know, very much an individual and trusts his own judgment, and I think those are good, strong qualities.


Question:            OK.  So do you regret talking to Ben so early about your feelings about Courtney?  You know, do you think that's what ultimately started – you know, you off on a bad foot with Ben?


Emily O'Brien:    Yes.  It's a great question.  It's one that I've thought about a lot over the past couple of months and over the course of watching the show.  And, you know, really after our date in San Francisco, I thought that we were really on a good, solid path and I got to see a goofy and smart side to this guy and I really liked what I saw. 


                But, that sort of fun, relaxed side, I think, disappeared pretty quickly once I talked with him in Park City and after that conversation, I just felt like there was sort of a negative element that became a part of our relationship.  I think now after that conversation, he started to sort of see me as antagonistic to what he wanted, at the time at least, which was Courtney.  So, I did get the feeling that he was sort of going through the motions with me after that, and, you know, it's disappointing, because I wish that he'd responded differently. 


                I wish that he had sort of supported me and encouraged me at that point and not reacted in the way that he did, which was sort of telling me to be careful and what almost felt like a threat at the time.  So, I think that that made me a little bit uncomfortable in my interactions with him directly after that.  And, at some point, I think that we sort of got back on track to where we needed to be, but I think it was just too little, too late. 


                And, I think that there were some red flags in my mind, too, that I'm looking for someone who respects my opinion and respects me as a person and when I have a concern, they take that to heart and, at least can respond in an appropriate way and in a way that's supportive of me and understanding.  That's not the way that I felt that he responded.


Question:            And, I feel like one thing about Courtney is that she's very aggressive and you probably even notice that more now watching the show.  You know, she always – you know, told Ben how she felt.  She wasn't afraid to make sure she had time with him.  So, do you think you and the other girls should have been more aggressive like she was?


Emily O'Brien:    Absolute – well, I really do.  And I've thought about this a lot myself.  It's an intimidating environment, especially when you're on a date with lots of other women and they're all beautiful and fun and, you know, outgoing.  And you know that he's also interested in all of them. 


                So I think that it maybe chipped away at my confidence a little bit and I wish that I had been a little bit more forward in at least telling him how I felt because he seemed to respond really well to that.  And, watching the show back, that's something Courtney last episode – that she seemed like the one who really – who really cared.  And, I kind of – I don't know.  I was upset to hear that because I felt that we all cared and we're all obviously there.  A lot of us had uprooted our lives and none of us would have been there if we didn't care.  It was just an issue of not maybe showing it to the same extent that Courtney did. 


                I think he kind of always knew where he stood with her.  I think she brought up her concerns and was totally open.  And, a lot of us felt like we maybe couldn't do that with him.  I know I certainly did after I spoke with him in Park City because I felt like he wasn't very responsive to what I had to say.  So, I think that contributed a little bit to my being closed off.  But, yes, overall, I wish that maybe I had been a little bit more forward – at least more expressive about the positive things that I was feeling towards Ben.


Jennifer Matarese:         So, I was wondering – you touched on this a little bit.  When you and Ben were talking the second time, you kind of apologized for bringing up Courtney to him.  You ended up kind of talking about it again and he said you should tread lightly and something to that effect.  I mean, what went through your mind when he said that?  You said you kind of took it as a threat, but I mean, didn't it make you angry?  I mean, I was mad for you, and I was like, "Get up and walk away and tell him that's not acceptable."  I was just so mad.


Emily O'Brien:    Yes.  I mean, to be honest, I was sort of in disbelief.  At that point, I felt like things were good and strong between us and I was expecting him to say, "I'm sorry you're going through this and you know, please continue to come to me with these issues.  I've taken your opinion to heart and I'm planning on paying attention to these things."  And, he really didn't react that way at all.  I thought he was very defensive and, you know, the statement about "tread lightly" and "you may not know me as well as you think you do" – those things were not what I expected to come out of his mouth at all. 


                At that point, I felt badly because I felt like I was the one who'd make a mistake, but looking bad, I think that that conversation really should have been a red flag to me.  You know, I think it showed that he did really respect what I was saying and that, I don't think, is a great sign for dealing with conflict in relationships.  So, yes, at that point, I think I was maybe a little embarrassed and just surprised and sort of didn't really expect it.  So, I'm not sure I reacted in totally the right way.  What I probably should have done was walk out the door.  I didn't do that because I sort of felt like I was in the wrong and that, you know, that I needed to make things right.


Jennifer Matarese:         OK.  And what was your reaction to seeing that he had skinny dipped with Courtney and, what's your impression of him as a guy after seeing all this stuff that he's done and said?  And, like he said, sometimes not the most sensitive person?


Emily O'Brien:    Yes.  You know, in terms of the skinny dipping, I think other girls have said this and I completely agree.  I don't have a problem with it.  I think it sounded like fun.  We probably would have, you know, liked to have done it – maybe in a group or just – I mean, I think it would have – I understand the motivation behind wanting to do that with a guy that you like. 


                But, you know, I still think you should have some element of respect for other people there.  It was very early.  We were only in the fifth week at that point and, you know, I think that if you make that choice and you decide to be intimate with someone in the ocean in Puerto Rico in this romantic setting, you sort of – you've got that on your mind now instead of really developing these connections with everyone.  And, I don't think it was a level playing field anymore after that.  And, I think it sort of clouded Ben's judgment a little bit because it was – you know, I think he had that sort of physical intimacy on his mind, instead of – instead of taking things, you know, with each woman one step at a time.


                And, I – I don't really disrespect Ben for that.  I understand why he did.  He's obviously very attracted to Courtney and wanted to take advantage of that opportunity.  And, I understand that.  I just wish that he had been a little bit more respectful of us and taken a second to think, "Hey, maybe – maybe this will you know – this won't keep my mind clear and help me to make the decisions that I need to make to get to the point where I need to be, which is looking for a life partner, not looking for someone just to hook up with." 


Question:            It seems kind of like listening to you talking about red flags and maybe you guys were looking for different things that in the end it wasn't a bad thing that you were sent home?  Do you kind of feel that way looking back on it?


Emily O'Brien:    You know, I do.  I think I – I really liked Ben and I really enjoyed our time together – our one on one time.  And, my respect for him has gone down certainly since the show has aired and since I've gotten some perspective on things.  And, you know, I've had some people say that I've dodged a bullet. 


                I've had others say I've died a locomotive with a nuclear bomb strapped to it.  I'm not sure that I would put it that way, but I think for sure, we were not meant to be together and he was not the right guy for me.  And, I started to feel that a little bit towards the end, but I – that has been completely confirmed in my mind watching the season.


Question:            There's a lot of people that seem to be saying that maybe he deserves to be with Courtney and she deserves him.  Do you feel that way?  Or, do you think one of the other girls maybe would be a good match for him?


Emily O'Brien:    You know, I think that there's some really great girls that were there and I – I mean, I have to be honest at this point, I won't be happy if Ben ends up with Lindzi, Nicki, or Kacie.  I think they deserve someone a little bit different.  And someone who – I don't know, is maybe a little bit more on their level, a little more grounded and I – I'm not sure that I think that Ben and Courtney deserve each other but certainly I think they're what – they're what each other is looking for, so in that sense, I think that – you know, they may – if they end up together, I think they may be very happy with each other.  We'll have to – we'll have to see.


Question:            I just have a question.  Do you think this process works – the Bachelor?  Would you go on the Bachelorette?


Emily O'Brien:    This is a great question.  And, you know, I think – I think that, you know the same problems that exist with regular dating exist in the bachelor world so to speak.  I think that, you know, it takes a while to get to know someone and you put on your most attractive face in the first few weeks or months of a relationship and, you know, you're trying to get to know someone.  And, as you get more comfortable with them, you start to show more of your true self, I think, and I think that's true in any relationship in real life or on T.V.  


                I just think that because the time is so limited, it's difficult to get to that point of really knowing the real meat of someone and who they are and what makes them tick in that setting.  I do think that it works.  It can work.  I think that a lot of it depends on your mindset going in.  I think that you have to be very certain of what you're looking for and try to prevent yourself from becoming distracted.  And, I think you have to take it seriously.  I think that you can't look at it as a time to just go on great dates and travel.  I think you have to be aware of, you know, of the effort it takes to make connections and to – to determine if someone's values line up with yours. 


                So, yes, I absolutely think that it works.  I think that the real – the real test comes after the show's over and if you can survive the day to day with someone and all of the – all of the reactions that you get from being part of the show, so, I think that that's where a lot of couples falter, because I think they're just not prepared for that.


Question:            Yes.  I totally agree.  And, then something about Courtney.  If you could see Courtney and tell her one thing, what would it be?  I know you had tried to apologize on the show and she wasn't really receptive to that.  So, if you could see her now what would you tell her?


Emily O'Brien:    Yes, I haven't actually thought much about this.  You know, I would just – I'd express to her regret that she had a hard time.  I saw especially in the last episode that, you know, she was – she's struggling with a situation and I don't like to be the cause of someone's pain.  And, I – you know, I don't think that she deserves that, really. 


                You know, we're very different people and, you know, I'm not sure that she's someone that I would really want to be an important part of my life, but I certainly think that it's sad that she – she had a hard time in the show and I think that's it's also very sad that she's probably having a hard time now with some of the fall out and some of things that people are saying.  You know, I think she has feelings just like anyone else, but I – I would encourage her to take this as a lesson that, you know, if you want people to like you, you have to change your attitude. 


                You have to be nice and polite and respectful.  And, you can't say mean and spiteful things.  In that sense, I would just wish her luck and wish her the best and, you know, hope that we could be on good terms.


Question:            I was wondering, there were rumors on the Internet earlier this week that Ben does wind up with Courtney.  Of course, that's unconfirmed.  We'll have to wait until the finale to find out.  But, if they are engaged right now, do you think that they'll make it down the aisle, or break up before the wedding?


Emily O'Brien:    I don't know about the rumors but if Ben does choose Courtney, you know, it's hard for me to say.  To be honest, I didn't get to know Courtney all that well and looking back and thinking that maybe I didn't know Ben all that well either.  And, if he chooses Courtney, then I think I really didn't know him.  So, you know, in terms of how compatible they are, you know I think that's still – I still don't know the answer to that. 


                I think that, like I said before, it's difficult for every couple to deal with the public reaction to the show and Ben's a strong person and Courtney's a strong person and I think, you know, that they're both individuals.  They both know what they want and if they can – if they are together, and if they can stand the public reaction to this, I think they can make each other very happy. 


Question:            And, if you had ever been a Bachelorette – I know the next season is already chosen and released from a previous year, if one of the guys came to you with concerns about how set a certain woman was, how would you interpret that?


Emily O'Brien:    Yes.  I mean, I – to be honest, I think that the most bothersome to me about the entire experience was the sort of double standard that I felt like was there in terms of speaking with Ben.  He asked at the start of the cocktail party in Park City and several other times throughout the journey for openness and honesty and that's really the only reason that I ever talked to him about Courtney and if he'd said, "Please just trust me and don't worry about anything else" then obviously that's what I would have done instead. 


                But, he did ask us to be honest, and I tried to put myself in his situation and, you know, if it were me, I think I'd realize pretty quickly that I was only getting a small part of the picture in my time with the women – that there was a bigger picture there.  I think I'd really want as much information as I could get and if that information was coming from people who I respected and multiple people, then I hope, I think I would have taken it to heart. 


                But, you know, and I think he did do that with some of the other women's opinions about other things going in the house.  But, he didn't apply that same standard of wanting complete honesty with Courtney and I kind of felt like he was in her corner from day one.  So, you know, if it were me, I would try, you know, maintain a little bit more objectivity and sort of take a step back and realize that people are taking a risk if they – if they come to me with that type of information.  They wouldn't do that if it weren't an issue of substantial importance. 


Question:            Very good.  So in an interview this week, (Chris Harrison) suggested that, although you had all the perfect qualities a man would be looking for in a woman down on paper, such as being smart, beautiful, funny, Ben was starting to see you as more of a sister to him.  What is your reaction to that?  Like, does that hurt you?  Or, turn you off a bit, because obviously, sisters and brothers don't kiss each other and stuff like that?


Emily O'Brien:    It's a great question.  So, yes, I mean, Chris Harrison – I love the guy, but I wasn't happy to read that.  And, you know, it particularly hit home because of my history of being matched to close relatives on online dating Web sites, so that was a double whammy.  But, yes, I think that Chris sort of had an inside look as to what was going on and probably had some conversations with Ben so it's obvious to me that Ben did express some – you know, some doubt about our compatibility as a romantic – you know, as a romantic pair. 


                And, you know, sister comments sting, but I think that you're not going to have chemistry with everyone and if I felt like it was there and he didn't then that's just part of life.  That's, you know, that's part of dating someone and figuring out if it's there for both of you and if you're on the same page.  And I think, you know, that his chemistry with some of the other girls was sort of off the charts, so it's possible that I just didn't compare with those women in that regard.


Question:            Sure.  And there has been a report that things are already over between Ben and the bachelorette he picked in the end.  If that's true, what's your reaction to that and would that surprise you?


Emily O'Brien:    Yes.  I have heard those.  I don't know if they're true or not.  I really have no idea.  You know, I have a feeling, a persistent feeling from watching the show that I'm not completely certain that Ben was ready for a long term commitment.  It's possible he was and I just didn't see it.  So, in that regard, it wouldn't be all that surprising to me if he were not with her at this point.  But, you know, it's difficult to say without knowing who he chooses in the end. 


                And, what I can say is that I think that it's a difficult environment to have to get engaged with someone and then not be able to see them on a day to day basis, and not be able to experience real life with them.  And, I think that it's an integral time in their relationship so that the fact that you have to be away from someone for several months before the finale airs is difficult and I think that in absence, it's not surprising that anyone breaks up after that.  But, I do think that, you know, he knows himself well and if he is single now, I think he has probably taken quite a bit from this experience and learned a lot and I think he'll certainly land on his feet.


Question:            Sure.  And Chris Harrison has also said this week that it really bothered Ben about how you had discussed Courtney during your alone time with him and Ben saw it as quote unquote "a personality flaw."  So, you couldn't ultimately redeem yourself.  What's your response to that and do you think that's a little harsh considering it seems like you were only looking out for Ben and what was best for him?


Emily O'Brien:    Yes.  I do think it's harsh.  I don't think that honesty and you know, caring about someone is a personality flaw.  But, I do think that I could have handled it probably better than I did and I think that, you know, if you look at the example in (inaudible) where Nicki and Kacie speak with Ben about what's going on and the whole situation with Courtney, I think that they both handled it a lot better than I did and definitely approached it in a more appropriate way.  So, in some ways I think that I – I probably could have taken a page from that book and been a little bit more tactful about the way that I – that I brought it up to him. 


                But, I  – you know, it came from a genuine – a genuine feeling of concern for Ben and it came from me wanting to help him and it ended up, I think really hurting my relationship with him. 


                But, in a sense, I think it was a blessing in disguise because I saw sort of – well, I saw two things.  I saw that he didn't really respect my opinion and I also saw that he was already far gone for this girl.  So, you know, I think that it gave me all the information that I needed at that point.


Question:            I just wondered – I know – I don't know.  To me, it seems like, at least in this last episode that Courtney maybe actually does have feelings for him and maybe her reactions towards the girls or the things she says – the kind of snippy little naughty comments and stuff are sort of like a defense mechanism.  Like, like if she offends you guys, then she doesn't have to like admit that maybe he also feels something for other girls?  And, I'm wondering if you think that that's the case, or that you think that she is just kind of bitchy?


Emily O'Brien:    Yes.  I mean, I think it's an excellent question.  And, it's hard because I don't know Courtney in real life.  People act strangely in these environments so it's difficult to say if that's the real her or not.  In terms of – in terms of Courtney's approach to the whole thing, I think she's very competitive.  I think she's very good at getting what she wants with men and I think that it's possible that those little jabs and those sort of snarky comments were a tactic to try to intimidate all of us and get us all sort of off our game, and to take the focus off of Ben and to put it on herself which I think works really well for her. 


                But, you know, honestly, my impression of Courtney was that she was just not a nice person no matter how you slice it or dice it, or excuse me, I think that some of things she said were just hurtful and mean.  A lot of them were not provoked.  Things about (Kacie B.) who everyone in the house loved and thought was just the biggest sweetheart, and who I personally wouldn't have seen very nice to Courtney.  Just the comments that were unprovoked.  That's what makes me most angry.  I don't think that anyone else displayed that kind of behavior, so that was the most off putting thing for me.  Was it a defense mechanism?  Probably. 


                But, you know, it's hard for me to excuse someone and say that's just the way she is.  To me, there's not really much of an excuse for acting that way, especially when – you know, that everyone else is also feeling a little bit insecure or a little bit unsure of the situation.  And then, it's hard for all of us.  It wasn't just hard for her.  It's hard for all of us.


Question:            Right.  No.  I agree.  I did not mean to make it sound like I was excusing her behavior.  I just – it's hard because we – we're only seeing you know, small parts of things and obviously when she says something snarky that makes for good T.V. 


Emily O'Brien:    Of course.


Question:            So, that stuff gets put on there.  I guess I was more trying to figure out if you thought that she actually – like her crying about him was real.  Or, her thoughts about –


                Emily O'Brien.  Oh yes.  I actually – I think Courtney has the capacity to feel emotions.  I think, for sure.  But, I think that – you know, it's hard to know – it's hard to know if she really feels something for Ben.  When I watch it, she doesn't seem all that interested in what he's saying.  She seems like she's trying to get him to really, really like her.  And, I think it works well.  The crying – you know, we all cried and it was an emotionally draining situation but I'm not sure that the tears were one hundred percent for him because she would turn around and say things like, "If you didn't give me a one on one date, I was going to leave." 


                And, if you're really, you know, head over heels in love with somebody and emotionally invested and if you want to take things forward, you don't make demands like that.  You say, you know, "I trust you" and "I'm here for you" and, you know, "I'm looking forward to spending more time with you."  You don't threaten them and demand things of them in order to – in order to get what you want.  The emotions I know were real.  Whether or not they came from a place of genuine feelings for Ben, I'm not convinced that they did.


Question:            Well, you know, it also seems like that, I don't know, that other people are saying maybe they do deserve each other.  I mean, if he's going to kind of disregard – like not notice, like, "Oh wait.  She just threatened me."  Or, "She just gave me an ultimatum and really I'm the one in control here" or whatever.  Like, it seems like he's not really, I don't know, that he's not really picking up those clues, so maybe he does deserve her.


                Emily O'Brien.  Right.  Yes, you know, when we were – you know, we were all very surprised because we kept going on and on about how perceptive he was and, you know, he's going to see all these things.  I think that we just didn't understand the extent to which he was attracted to her in sexual and physical ways.  So, I – you know, we've all made decision that maybe we shouldn't when we have that type of – that type of draw to another person.  I think he had that with Courtney.  So, I'm not sure that he was totally thinking about things clearly and I – you know, it's – it's hard to tell.


Question:            Hey, Emily.  So, just one more question.  Let's say you weren't on the show and you're sitting at home and you're watching Courtney's behavior.  You know, with even you guys, like were you just sitting at home watching this episode, like, "Oh my God, she's an awful person."  Like, "How could she be saying this stuff about me and my friends?"


Emily O'Brien:    Yes.  I'm shocked by a lot of the things.  You know, a lot of the things she said to me were to my face.  And, I will give her credit for that.  For me, I just got very defensive about some of the things said to the other girls.  Girls who I think are just absolutely think the world of.  I mean, every single one of those girls that I became friends with was just a gem and had a huge heart and so fun.  So, it's difficult for me to hear someone talk badly about these people, especially knowing how great they are.  If I were just a viewer and watching by myself, I mean, I know that I would be reacting really negatively towards her. 


                I think there's some things that no matter what level of editing there is, that are just inexcusable.  And, knowing, you know, from being on the show that those things were not provoked by someone being mean to her first, that's the part that's most infuriating to me now.  And, I'm not sure totally what the intention was there – if it was some sort of – some sort of defensive mechanism, or if she wanted to go on the offensive to try to throw everyone off.  I don't know what the reason is behind it. 


                But, I can say that those things absolutely did happen – that they were shocking to me and you know, in real life, and shocking to me when I saw them on television.  So, I'm not – I still don't know what the reason is.  I would love to hear, you know, what it is.  I think that in some ways Courtney thought she was being funny, even though no one was laughing.


                I think an important part of acting appropriately is to recognize other people's reactions to what you're saying and doing.  As soon as the first snarky comment came out of her mouth and she realized that people weren't laughing at this and some people were kind of hurt, I think that should have been a clue to change course and maybe take a more pleasant approach to her time with us.


Question:            And, how has life been since the show?  Have you found a lucky man? 


Emily O'Brien:    It's been great.  It's been great.  Yes.  I've been dating.  I'm spending many hours – many, many hours a day working on my dissertation.  I'm hoping to graduate in May so I have gotten right back into the swing of things and I'm enjoying watching the show.  Yes.  It's been great.


Question:            If could have been able to take Ben home on a home town date in the next episode, what would your family's reception of – has been with him at that point of time versus their perception of him from watching the show now?


Emily O'Brien:    That's a – that's a good question.  You know, I think that Ben is a genuine guy and I think that he's very down to Earth and kind of, you know, he's a regular guy.  He's super nice and friendly and I think he would have gotten along really well with them.  At that point, I wouldn't have known about everything that had happened between him and Courtney – neither would they, so I think that, just from a general first impression, I think they would have loved him.


                And, I think that he would have loved them.  Watching the show, I think those opinions probably would have changed.  You know, my dad has always been a man of really great character and I think that he's hoping that I'll find someone who also has great character and good respect for his wife and other people. 


                And, not since I think that Ben's behavior may have called that into question.  So, I think that had I brought him home, they probably would have had quite a few questions watching the show and seeing this sort of different side to him than they knew in person, which is, you know, they're the same questions that I have.


Question:            And, lastly, if you had been the lucky lady at the end of the show with the ring on your finger watching the show back, do you think the relationship would have lasted, or would you have broken things off?


Emily O'Brien:    It's a great question.  I just don't know.  I know there's several things that I would have been really, really upset about and really disappointed about.  And, who knows if Ben would have shared those things with me, you know, throughout the course of the last few months and before they aired.  I would probably – it would have taken probably some time to build up trust again. 


                And, I think I would have been just pretty flabbergasted by some of the things that went on.  If that would have been a deal breaker for me, I really don't know.  I didn't – like I said, I didn't get to the point of actually falling in love with him, so if those feelings were there at that point in time, then I may have been a little more forgiving.  I know myself and I think I would have had a really difficult time watching some of what transpired.


Question:            So, you've made some comments that suggest you weren't too upset to be eliminated.  So, can you clarify that a little bit?  Had you already decided Ben wasn't the guy for you while you were still on the show, or had you only come to realize that while you've been watching the show from home?


Emily O'Brien:    Yes.  That's a good question.  I – there was a sort of – as I mentioned before, a negative element to our relationship that was introduced after I talked to him in Park City and I, you know, I wasn't sure where things were going to go.  I wasn't feeling a whole lot from him.  As I said before, I felt like he was sort of going through the motions and all that makes sense to me now watching the show because I think his heart and his mind were somewhere else. 


                So, yes, I was upset to leave.  I thought that maybe we could get back on track and I thought that maybe that he would show himself to, you know, be perceptive and to be smart and to make a good decision about who to keep and who to eliminate.  And, in my mind, you know, he didn't do that, so I think that sort of solidified my feeling that this was probably a blessing in disguise.  And, I – you know, that I wasn't the right girl for him and he wasn't the right guy for me.  So, at that point, I think I was sort of ready.  I knew that our time was coming to an end and that he was already really sort of focused and sold on someone else. 


Question:            So, based on what you've been saying, were you actually a little relieved or somewhat happy that Ben eliminated you before the home town dates and, you know, he didn't go to meet your family?  Or, do you think if you did have more time with Ben and he did get to know your family, do you think your connection would have strengthened at all and that the outcome might have been different, or?


Emily O'Brien:    Yes.  At that point, you know, I was really still trying to be open to him and to the possibilities there and I thought, you know, in my mind I was trying to separate out what was really there for us – and what had sort of transpired and maybe set us back a little bit.  So, yes, I think in some sense, things could have moved forward had he come home to meet my family. 


                Watching it now, I am completely thankful and relieved that it didn't get to that point.  I wouldn't have wanted to involve them and they – I certainly – you know, I'm glad that that was the point where he chose to eliminate me, because I think it probably would have been a huge mistake to bring him home knowing what I know now. 


                So, you know, at that point in time, there were a lot of things I didn't know about – you know, just the way that he acted and what he was looking for.  And, as I've watched the show and as I've gotten some time to think about it, I think it's obvious that he is not the type of guy that I would want to bring home to my family anymore and I am certainly glad that things did not go down that path.


Question:            OK.  And, Ben didn't seem to mind when some of his bachelorettes voiced their concerns about Samantha and why she was on the show early in the season.  But, then he clearly had a problem when you and the other women confronted him about Courtney.  I know you touched a little bit about a double standard and how Ben was basically, you know, kind of treating situations differently when it came to girls approaching him about their concerns.  So, I guess, what do you think made the difference between Samantha's situation and Courtney's?  Do you think it was simply he was more into Courtney than he was to Samantha, so he got much more defensive when Courtney was discussed?


Emily O'Brien:    A hundred percent.  I think that the connection with Samantha was just not there on the same level as it is with Courtney.  And, you know, as I said before, Ben is very much an individual and he marches to a beat of his own drum.  And, he doesn't, I think – doesn't particularly like for people to question his judgment. 


                So, I think it was because the judgment of other women about Samantha aligned closely with what he had already decided and I think he reacted negatively because the judgment of (Kacie) and (Nicki) and myself and some of the other girls that talked to him about Courtney was very opposite of what he was thinking about her.  So, that's why I think that he pushed back quite a bit when confronted in that sense. 


                And, I understand that.  I think we've all been in that situation where we – you know, we feel like maybe everyone else doesn't know the whole situation or they don't know us that well and that we know what's best for us, and that kind of thing.  And so, in that sense, it does make sense to me why he reacted the way that he did.  I still think that it was a big mistake.  I still think you need to be open and not let your judgment be clouded by other superficial concerns instead of – instead of taking into account the concern of people who you respect and their opinions.  Unfortunately I don't think that that's what he did.


Question:            Absolutely.  And, I just have one quick last question.  Why do you think it was that you were the only bachelorette to confront Ben about Courtney until this week's episode when Kacie B and Nicki voiced their concerns about her to Ben on the group date?  Like, did you ever try to convince the other girls to try to approach Ben about Courtney's behavior as well, and did the other girls want to but maybe they were just scared to bring it up or something?  I mean, what do you know about that?


Emily O'Brien:    Yes.  What I can say is that this is a group of really spectacular women who I think get along phenomenally with most people and don't like confrontation and don't like drama and really just wanted to have a positive and pleasant experience where, you know, we all got the most out of it and got along with one another.  And, for the most part, that did happen. 


                So, I think that people are reluctant to stir the pot and I think that they had seen sort of the writing on the wall from seasons past – that this isn't a good move to make.  Part of the reason why I thought that this might be – you know that I might be the good one to be the messenger was that we had just a great date in San Francisco, and I really thought that Ben respected what I had to say.  And, if he were going to listen to someone about this, that he would probably listen to me.  So, that was part of why, you know, I chose that time, and I knew that things were getting, you know, more serious as more and more women were eliminated. 


                And, I didn't want him to make a mistake of sending someone home early on who might be a – you know, a really compatible match for him, if he didn't have all the information that we had from spending the majority of our time around each other.  So, you know, the other women I think are – were smart to stay away from it and to kind of just let things, you know, happen and let him see, you know, see things for himself because I think that obviously it didn't make a difference in his mind what we had to say.  If anything, I think it made him think negatively instead of the people who did come forward to him about Courtney.



Hugs, Kisses & Roses,
Jennifer Matarese 


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