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02/10/2012

Full Transcript of Interviews with Chris Harrison and Blakeley Shea

Here is the full transcript of the interviews with Chris Harrison and Blakeley Shea!  Chris Harrison is up first, followed by the interview with Blakeley.  I've highlighted my portion in PURPLE.

Chris harrison

Question:            So we wanted to start by talking about the surprise visit you made to the girls and why you felt it was decision, given what happened with Bentley, to do that.

 

Chris Harrison:   You bet.  You know, and you love to kind of expound on that a little bit.  Because I've heard this week, people saying, “Well why'd you do it, if you didn't do it for Bentley or Wes?” And that's really the reason why we did it.  And why I did it is because of those situations.  I thought with Bentley, and I've said this several times but it's worth repeating that think I should have gone a little further. 

 

                And I regret it not going a little further in telling her more.  Yes, I warned Ashley and yes, we talked to her.  But I think we could have gone a little further in protecting her.  And the Casey S. situation was completely different than the Bentley. 

 

                I mean I don't think she came on to the scene – she didn't – she had no ulterior motives.  In fact, her motives were actually quite innocent in just trying to move on from this guy, who she didn't want to end up with.  But at the same time, it was definitely worth going in and talking to her.

 

Question:            Right.  That makes sense.  So, given that, you know, as viewers, we're seeing what seems like Courtney kind of manipulating Ben on the show this season.  Where do you draw the line? You seem like such a nice guy.  And it's like, if you're seeing somebody maybe not acting, kind of, on the up and up, how do you say, “OK, I'm going to jump in on this situation but not that one.”

 

Chris Harrison:   You know, that's another great point.  Because someone asked me about Courtney as well.  That is a completely and utterly different situation.  That is Ben making his own decisions.  I mean Ben, whereas, say Bentley was there for the wrong reasons.  Casey S. we had reasons as far as her background with a boyfriend.  And if Courtney, if I find out that Courtney has a boyfriend or she's married or whatever, then I would absolutely bring that to Ben's attention.  But Ben is dating Courtney – just like he's dating Lindzi and Kacie and everybody else. 

 

                So yes, I can give my opinion.  And I can say, “what do you see in this girl?”  But as far as that goes, it's never been my position or job to go in and say, you know, “Really, do you like Kacie B?  That Tennessee accent?”

 

                What he's going to do with Courtney is just dating.  And if he chooses to date this girl, then that's up to him.  I think it's a completely different situation.  And I know the way you phrased it is, “She's playing him,” but that's kind of in the eye of the beholder, if she's playing him or not.  And we'll see. 

 

                That's one of the beauties of this show is this guy has to choose.  This model is beautiful.  Is she here for me, or is she just playing this game?  And is he going to get sucked in to just going for this beautiful model?  Or is he going to try to go deeper and find if she's real.  That's part of the beauty of the show.  They have to figure that out.  Just like we do in real life.

 

Jennifer Matarese:         Hi.  So I was wondering if you thought Ben handled the Casey S. situation right.  I mean, I know he says he doesn't like to sugar coat things.  But can he have been a little warmer, or nicer, to her in that situation?

 

Chris Harrison:   Yeah, no I think in hindsight – I honestly haven't talked to him about that particular situation.  I've seen him several times since the show started airing.  But my guess, just knowing him, is he will have a little regret in how he handled that.  And, you know, you have to give him a little bit of leeway. 

 

                And I do, because I know.  You know, that situation was literally thrust upon him.  We showed up, knocked on his door out of nowhere.  And he's hit with this information.  Had he maybe had a chance to watch it again and rewind, he would probably be a little bit more affectionate and a little more giving to her -- you know, when she started crying, put a hand on her -- say you're – you know what I mean? 

 

                He was a little offended and taken aback and kind of took it as an affront to him.  And I don't think you quite heard everything she was saying.  And how sincere she was.  So I think he just kind of took it as, “you have a boyfriend and you're here?” 

 

                But that wasn't the story.  And so, again.  I think if he had a chance to go back and really listen to it again and go through that situation.  But I mean, literally, we knocked on his door and walked in.  And I think he just kind of did the best he could.

 

Jennifer Matarese:         OK.  And did Ben ever talk to you about maybe some of the situations where Courtney's been trying to get him to go back to her room.  And I know the one night he did decide to go skinny dipping.  But how much freedom does he have to decide to go to her room or do whatever he wants to do?

 

Chris Harrison:   Well, I mean there's not a ton of freedom to really go to their room, because they all live together.  But there is freedom for the women, from time to time, to kind of sneak out and go to his room.  And I talked to him the day after the skinny dipping incident.  And where were we?  In Puerto Rico.  I mean he was blown away.  He was like, “You're not going to believe this.” I think later he might have said, “You know, I regret a little bit it going too far.  Not being fair to the other women.  And maybe kind of closing myself off to them and giving one woman too much time too soon as far as time and affection and all that. 

 

But he's a very passionate, impulsive guy.  I mean, obviously.  And if any of these women show up at his doorstep and say, “Hey do you want a night cap?” He's probably going to let them in.

 

Question:            I wonder if – I think – OK.  Here's what I feel like.  I feel like you're a host, right -- of a show, and you're supposed to be doing – your job is to do hosting duties and to introduce these people.  And I think, based on who you are though, you're also a person.  So you get involved.  And you have feelings. 

 

                And I know we've talked about this before – that you, you become friends with these people.  And so I think in the Bentley situation, you know, you sort of get unfairly placed in the middle.  And I think fans who are watching also get invested emotionally.  And they see this just jackhole of a guy playing the situation.  And that he didn't want to be there at all.  

 

                And so I think you kind of got put in the situation where everyone was like, “Why didn't Chris say something earlier?  He's just letting her get hurt, blah-blah-blah.” And so this situation comes up.  And it's an entirely different situation.  And again, I don't think Casey S. had a malicious intention.  I mean, I think she was coming in there to try and get over it. 

 

Chris Harrison:   Totally.

 

Question:            But it makes me wonder.  Now, do you feel like, because you sort of got put into the bad guy role with the Bentley thing, that now you're more apt to act quicker?  And be like, “Oh.  We hear she has a boyfriend.  I gotta get in there now.  Because I don't want to look like a jerk.”

 

Chris Harrison:   You know what happened was.  You know with the Bentley thing – you know, you're right.  You know, I wear a lot of hats in my job, maybe, and really it is unlike any other hosting gig on any show I've ever seen, because you are the host sometimes of it.  A lot of times you are Ben and Ashley's confidant and best friend.  And you are kind of their eyes and ears.  But not so much that you're going to ruin the situation.  So there's obviously this interesting gray line and this gray area that I have to walk around sometimes.

 

                But I want to clear something up, too, with Casey S.  You know people made it seem like, “How dare you just go in and just kick her off the show?” That's not at all how it went down.  At all.  And if you kind of watch it – and again, you saw a somewhat edited version.  It was a very amicable, non-confrontational conversation. 

 

                And if Casey S.  had said to me, “Chris, you're wrong.  I am head over heels in love with Ben.  I don't know what you heard.  And yes, I was with this guy, Michael, before the show.  But right now, this is it, man.  I love this guy, and I am not giving up my chance to fall in love.” Then case closed.  And she would have been on the show, and we would never even have talked to Ben. 

 

                She absolutely had her half of that conversation.  And her half led me and everybody else to understand exactly what she said and that was, “Yeah.  I'm not over this guy.  I'm not over Michael, my old boyfriend.  You're right.” And in that situation, obviously it's not a bad thing.  But she definitely can't fall in love with Ben.  And she's definitely not going to marry Ben in that circumstance. 

 

                But she absolutely – people have made it seem like there was this one-sided ambush on her.  And that's not the way it was.  I mean she absolutely could have easily convinced me that “No.  I'm here for the right reasons.” And then you know, no harm done, we move on to the rose ceremony.

 

Question:            Right.  Do you feel like – I mean, personally, do you feel like you are in a situation where you have to react quicker now?  Or even react at all because of the situation?  Sort of the public view of your part of the Bentley thing?

 

Chris Harrison:   It's not quicker.  You know, we'll definitely let things play out a little bit and see where they're going.  Let the audience see where they're going.  But the other thing – it's really acting more thoroughly.  And really just showing the audience more. 

 

                I think the Bentley – the Rozlyn situation.  All these situations – you know, I learn and we learn as a show just as much as anybody in any other business.  And I've learned my lessons -- with Bentley, with Rozlyn -- to be more open, more honest.  And get it all out there.

 

                You know, as benign of a situation as it was with Casey S., I went very far into making it very clear what the situation was.  And she was a little confused.  And it was a big self-realization on her part.  But I wasn't gonna leave that conversation with any sort of gray area.  It was very cut and dry.  “You either love Ben – you either are in this to fall in love with Ben.  Or you're not.”

 

                And I think with situations in the past, I've kind of left that gray area – and kind of left it open to interpretation.  And thinking we all had an understanding.  And six weeks down the road, they come back with their own version of history.  And so now I'm very clear and very thorough in my conversations.  And I will get it out there one way or the other.

 

Question:            And my other question is about Courtney.  In your opinion, I know she seems like she's manipulating the guy and everything.  I know we asked the girl last week, Jennifer, if she thought, yes, she's doing those things.  But does she also have feelings for Ben?  And I'm wondering if you see any sort of good in her.  That it's not just about winning, that it is sort of, like, “oh, but I also like the guy.  It'd be nice to win, and I like the guy.”

 

Chris Harrison:   Well, and again, I think it's because I've been doing this for years, and nothing is that simple when it comes to anything, especially relationships and the fact that Courtney is playing this game – and love is a game -- there's a certain game element to it.  And this is the way that Courtney plays.  And again, it's not just to win.  I don't think. 

 

                And it's not just to play a game for her.  I think she does have feelings for Ben.  I think she very, very much cares for him.  But I also think that, from her experience in her life, this is the way she goes about it.  Does it rub us the wrong way?  Apparently it's not popular.  And so apparently, she's had success with this type of action, this type of game, her whole life. 

 

                And it's working.  You know, she's gotten Ben's attention.  She gets affection.  And I'm guessing she's gotten attention and affection from guys for quite some time using this method.  And it's hard to fault her, because it's working like a charm.  But man, it's unpopular.  And she's not going out of her way to ingratiate herself with the other women. 

 

Question:            So you said in your blog this week, it was right for Casey S. to go home and that it was irrelevant whether or not she was in love with her ex, because she wasn't in the right state of mind to find love with Ben.  But did you really think it was that unusual of a case for a girl on The Bachelor to have an ex back home that she isn't completely over yet? 

 

                And if so, will that be some kind of casting requirement for future seasons?  Because historically, it doesn't seem like it's been that uncommon for someone to be completely over an ex and then go on the show.  I mean, like Jenny Croft, for example, had made it all the way to the end with Brad Womack, but then ended up getting picked up by her ex-boyfriend at the airport, and then immediately reuniting with him when she got home.

 

Chris Harrison:   Yeah, well look at Melissa Rycroft, who literally for a time was engaged to Jason.  But went back home, and her old boyfriend realized what an idiot he was.  And realized he let the best thing in his life go away.  And now they're married and have a child. 

 

                So no, it's definitely not uncommon.  We all have a past.  And all these people bring their own baggage to the show, which is what makes our season so different every time we go about it.  But it really is a case by case basis.  Anyone who comes on our show is going to have a past girlfriend or boyfriend. 

 

                But this particular one, again, we felt was serious enough right up until she left for the show.  And from what we had heard from several people is that they very much were in love and still in love.  And she had said some things along the way that we had heard and that led us to believe she still had feelings for the guy.  So much so that, again, there's no way she was there for Ben, or that it was gonna work with Ben. 

 

                But again, it all went to – it wasn't where I came in as judge and jury and said “you're out of here.” I gave her the opportunity to plead her case, and tell me, “Do you still like this guy?  Are you still in love?  Are you here for Ben.” And at the end of the conversation, she wasn't.  And it really was up to her.  If she had convinced me that, “Hey, I love Ben.  I want a shot at this.  And I don't care about my old boyfriend.” Then that's fine, we would have moved on.

 

Question:            OK.  Sure.  And what made you so certain that Casey S.'s boyfriend was telling you the truth about how he and Casey S. were still a couple when he contacted you.  Like, how were you so sure he wasn't a disgruntled ex-boyfriend trying to, you know, stir up trouble or something?

 

Chris Harrison:   Totally.  Well, without going into too much detail about who we talked to and how we heard.  He was the tip of the iceberg. 

 

                And then we heard from several other people as well.  Sources that we believed in.  That it all kind of painted this picture that led us to – and again, this had happened over several weeks.  Where we had heard something.  And she had made a comment or two that we heard.  And then we heard from a couple other people back in the states that, OK.  There might be something to this.

 

                And it's funny, though.  Our producers were almost like, we have to do detective work and background checks as we're going through the show.  You know, we're constantly trying to cover our bases.

 

                All the information did was lead me to have a conversation with her.  It wasn't one of those situations where, “Casey, get your stuff and get out.  We know what you're up to.”  All it did was give me enough pause anyway to say, “Casey, let's have a conversation.” And in that conversation, I could tell right away she wasn't over this guy.  And that she was a mess emotionally.

 

                And I respect why she came on the show to get over this guy.  And I understand why she did it.  But it didn't work for her.  And it wasn't working.  And she wasn't there for Ben.  You know?  And as much as I would love to use this show as an emotional rehab for people to kind of move on, that wasn't gonna work.  And it wasn't working for her.

 

Question:            OK.  And I know you said you don't want to reveal too much detail about the other people who had contacted you.  But could you talk a little bit about whether they were friends of Michael her ex-boyfriends, or Casey's?  Could you share anything else about that?

 

Chris Harrison:   Yeah, they were mutual friends.  They're mutual friends of both of theirs.

 

Question:            So my first question is, Ashley rejected Ben's proposal the first time around.  This time, did you ever give Ben any advice to possibly handle rejection, God forbid it ever happens again?

 

Chris Harrison:   No, I mean, I don't know it's like, thinking about the worst possibility.  I mean the hope is that wouldn't happen if we get to the end and there's a proposal and all that, he wouldn't.  So, no, we've never discussed the negative of it ahead of time.

 

Question:            Oh, that's positive to know.  And how is Ben?  Have you talked to Ben lately, and how is he handling all this drama with all the news that's breaking about Courtney?

 

                Ben's doing great.  I talk to him quite a bit.  I mean, honestly, a lot of what we talk about is business and stuff.  He's been so involved in kind of launching this wine industry.  He's done incredibly well.  And so we really talk a lot about that more so than the show.  Because honestly we've lived the show.  We know what's happened and what's going on. 

 

                And I know what's going on in his life and vice versa.  So, we rarely talk about – not to put anybody down that's on this call, but we rarely talk about what's in the magazines or in the tabloids and all that.  And I rarely get involved in that, either,   because I know the truth.  I know what's really going on.  So that's not really where I go for my information.

 

Question:            And I guess my last question is, do you see any similarities between Courtney and Bentley?

 

Chris Harrison:   Courtney and Bentley? 

 

Question:            Yes. 

 

Chris Harrison:   No.  I don't.  Not at all.  I mean, the Bentley deal – and you know the funny thing about Bentley is, I never – and I know this might sound weird.  I'm not really sticking up for the guy.  But I don't really dislike the guy.  I never hated the guy.  I wasn't real happy with the way he acted.  And I think if we ever get a chance to talk to him or if he ever comes up to one of these interview shows, or whatever, I'm guessing he would apologize profusely for the way he acted and regrets a lot of it.

 

                I think that Courtney is probably like, maybe like Kasey on Bachelor Pad.  I don't know if you remember this summer on Bachelor Pad when Kasey, kind of watched the show.  When he came back to the reunion show and he said, “Man, I've been watching.  And that's not me.  I apologize for that.” And I bet Courtney would be a little bit like Kasey in that, I bet she regrets some of the things she's done and said.  I think she's gotten caught up in the moment a few times. 

 

                And I think that that apology that Emily gave and the way she reacted to that is a great example.  I mean last week, that was just uncalled for.  The way she reacted when Emily gave her the olive branch.  And I'm guessing she's home and regrets a lot of this.  I haven't talked to her, but I'm guessing that'll be the case.

 

Question:            And I guess, do you think she needs to offer Ben any sort of apology?

 

Chris Harrison:   Um, yeah.  Yeah, I mean.  I think she'll – you know, again, I hope to see her at “Women Tell All.” And hopefully she'll come back – or any of these reunion shows.  And I would love to talk to her.  Because, again, I don't know if it's because I'm older and wiser.  And I've been doing this for 10 years.  But I am very slow to judge these people of just this black and white.  Of, OK, you're the evil person.  You're bad, you're good. 

 

                This show does strange things.  It puts you in a very, very strange atmosphere and situation and environment that it's hard for people to understand.  And I very much do understand it.  And so the things that Courtney's done to get the attention from Ben.  Some of it, I actually respect. 

 

                I think she's done a good job of fighting for this guy.  But I also think that she will admit – and hopefully will admit – that she went a little too far.  And some of the things that she said were inappropriate.  And they were rude.  And so, you know, I think she does – she doesn't owe him an apology.  But I hope she would come up with a little bit of an apology to several people on the show. 

 

Question:            I wanted to ask about Jamie.  And that very awkward.  .  . 

 

Chris Harrison:   Poor thing.

 

Question:            She freely admitted that she's a prude. 

 

Chris Harrison:   Yeah. 

 

Question:            And obviously she's not on the show anymore.  And I feel like women like Courtney, who are not prudes, seem to be rewarded for their actions.  Do you think a woman like Jamie could never make it to the end on a show like? 

 

Chris Harrison:   Well, you know what?  It depends on the guy.  It totally depends on the guy and what they're looking for.  You know, I think again. 

 

                I don't know if you heard that last (inaudible) this show, this environment will take you out of your element and do crazy things.  The thing is, Jamie being shy or being a prude isn't a negative.  But what it forced her to do, seeing Courtney and seeing some of these other girls get attention and get affection from then, she felt like she had to all of a sudden become somebody else. 

 

                And now this sweet girl who is beautiful and perfect in her own right absolutely did a 180 and acted like she would never act.  I'm just guessing Jamie would never give anybody a lap dance.  She would never jump in their face and kiss them like that.  And so it just took her out of her element.  And so it's not that a girl like that wouldn't go the whole way. 

 

                It's, she would really have to be careful to stick to her guns.  And it would just take the right guy.  I mean, you never know what Ben's looking for or what anybody's looking for.  And if it's a different guy, maybe that's the type of woman he would be attracted to.

 

Question:            And one of the girls on the show at one point said, “Chris Harrison only shows up when something strange is going on. 

 

Chris Harrison:   I love that.  The angel of death.

 

Question:            Do you ever get worried that you have this rep now for just being the bearer of bad news?

 

Chris Harrison:   Well – I mean, obviously.  Behind the scenes, I see the cast a lot more than what's shown.  And sometimes I'll just stick my head in the same room, and say “hello.” 'Cause I'm usually in the same hotel they're at.  And so sometimes I'll show up on dates.  Depending on what the date is.  And they always laugh about, you know, “Why is Chris here?” And I'll say, “Relax.  I'm not only showing up for bad reasons.”

 

                But that is kind of the running joke.  That when I show up and the cameras are around, then they know, like, “OK.  What's going down?” so, but that's part of the show.  Usually, when something needs to be handled, obviously I'm the one that's gonna handle it.  So that I guess goes with the territory.  Goes with the job. 

 

Question:            Um.  I wanted to sort of take you back to that question that was asked earlier.  Because I think some critics look at The Bachelor and look at some of the paces you put the women through.  And ask if the very framework of the show doesn't encourage them to act in ways that are sort of demeaning to them, or encourages them to act in ways that are, acting out in ways that you, actually, you described. 

 

                Don't you think in some ways, the way the show is set up – I mean, even expecting a woman to meet a guy and hang out with him for a week or two or a month or two and fall in love with him.  Doesn't that set up that behavior?

 

Chris Harrison:   I like it that a guy is standing up for womankind.

 

Question:            Well I have three daughters, so.  .  . 

 

Chris Harrison:   And I have a daughter, too.  And you bring up a great point.  But – and you know, here's the thing.  You know, what this show does – and I love, love, love this show.  I think it's a great, just phenomenal study in human behavior.  Because look at the women that have been on this show.  Just take this season.  Look at Kacie B.  Look at Lindzi.  And look at Emily, the epidemiologist. 

 

                You know, in no way, do I feel like any of them have changed who they are.  I feel they haven't compromised any of their virtues, any of their morals.  I feel like –  you know, yes, Kacie B. went bikini skiing down a street in San Francisco, which was silly.  But did that really compromise her morals?  No.  She had fun with it, and it was funny.  And it was an experience of a lifetime. 

 

                But this show will force you to question yourself.  And force you to really take a stand on what's really important to you.  You know, for Jamie, is it more important to try and win Ben by jumping on his lap and kissing him in a way that you would never do?  Or is it more important to not do that?  And leave with your morals and your dignity and say, “You know what?  This guy's not for me.  It's not working.”  And move on.

 

                So I like that this show forces you to make those decisions.  You know, like, the guy – I was trying to think – the guy that passed out on night one with Ashley.  You know, nobody told that guy, “Hey.  Come on the show and drink more than Seattle Slew.” You know, that's up to you.  Nobody tells you “you need to drink.”  Nobody tells you at a bar on Friday night, or anywhere that you have to act like that.  Yet people do.  And I think it forces great social issues.  And then it's up to you.”

 

Question:            And I wanted to ask a real quick one, too.  I'm African-American myself.  And I have really been hoping to see a Bachelor or a Bachelorette where see a person of color doing the picking.  Could that ever happen?

 

Chris Harrison:   Absolutely.

 

Question:            And why hasn't it happened?

 

Chris Harrison:   I mean, honestly, it's well above my pay grade.  I don't do that.  Yes, they ask my opinion once we get going of what I think and all that.  But no, I think it would be fantastic.  I think that, could it happen sure?  Should it?  Sure.  And if we find the right guy, find the right girl, absolutely.

 

Question:            You have any sense of why it hasn't happen yet? 

 

Chris Harrison:   I don't, no.

 

Question:            Good, good.  I know we've been talking about Courtney a lot.  And probably gonna (inaudible).  But obviously there's many rumors going around that she's (inaudible) and she's a man-eater and all that good stuff. 

 

Chris Harrison:   You've been reading the magazines.

 

Question:            Yeah, you know.  But how do you feel about the rumors.  And do you think they could possibly be true?

 

Chris Harrison:   Which rumors?

 

Question:            Like, all of them.  Like being safe with Ben, that she's gonna (inaudible) in the end, if he does end up choosing her.

 

Chris Harrison:   The proof will be in how this plays out in the next few weeks.  And the proof will be in the future and what happens.  And the decision he makes.  You know, but again.  This show is – again, one of the things I love is that, it's up to Ben. 

 

                And it's up to whoever the Bachelor and the Bachelorette is to figure out, are these people here for the right reasons?  And you know, in any walk of life, you have to decide, is this person using me for my money?  Are they using me for whatever? 

 

                In this case, do you think Courtney is here to get her 15 minutes and become a model?  Or whatever.  You know, you have to decide those things.  And Ben is going through that right now with her.  And coming out next week in Belize we kind of have that “Come to Jesus” meeting, so to speak, where they kind of have it out  and figure it out, because more than one girl now will be coming up and warning Ben about Courtney.

 

                But at the same time, what Ben has to figure out is, are these girls jealous of Courtney because she's getting so much attention, and she's kind of dominating the game so far?  Or are they really looking out for him.  So you know, there's a lot of stuff for him to weigh.

 

Question:            The last question is, did you think Courtney would get this far?

 

Chris Harrison:   Did I think she would get this far?  Um.  Yeah.  I mean, he was infatuated with her from the moment she stepped out of the limo.  I mean, you could tell that he was taken by her.  And she for one reason or another definitely has his number. 

 

                And she knows how to excite him and draw him in and kind of play hard to get at times.  And he loves it.  He loves the way she – again, you have to understand the audience and who you're playing to.  Would this work on Brad Womack or Jake Pavelka?  Maybe not.  But Ben is a different kind of animal.  He has his own baggage and his own way of thinking.  And this appeals to him. 

 

Question:            So my question is, what can we expect for the remainder of the season in terms of big surprises?

 

Chris Harrison:   Well first and foremost, this week coming up is more of the fallout of Courtney.  And, as we get – after this week, we go to hometowns.  And so things are getting very, very serious.  And Ben is definitely starting to question now that more people are speaking up about Courtney.  And that definitely comes to a head. 

 

                And really from here on out, things are – it kind of goes to a different level.  When you get to hometown dates, you start bringing families into it.  That changes everything.  And you will see frontrunners all of a sudden fall out of favor.  And then you'll see some of these dark horses start to emerge.  This is the time where things really start to shake up. 

 

                Because at this point, those first impressions have gone a long way.  But now there has to be something else there, or that relationship is gonna fall by the wayside.  So things definitely either start to heat up with each girl or you'll definitely start to see a drastic falloff.

 

Chris Harrison:   Well, the only thing I'd love to say is for this week, if anyone ever wants to do a great story on the rating system and The Bachelor, first of all this week – against The Voice, when everything went in the toilet this week against $50 billion in advertising and post Super Bowl.  I think The Bachelor on Monday night was the only show that not only held its number but went up in the ratings, which says a phenomenal amount about our poor audience and how loyal they are.

 

                But the other thing is, we've been party crashing, two of the last four weeks, where we've gone to Bachelor viewing parties.  And it's stunning, I don't think there's any other show on TV where it's really group viewing.  I don't know many people that watch this show alone.  And there's really no way to quantify, you know, the fact that 10-20 viewers, especially women, get together and watch this show on Monday nights. 

 

                And I think that definitely skews our viewership and ratings.  Because it's amazing how many people call or write or Tweet or whatever that they watch the show together.  So someday one of you will do some good investigative reporting and dig into that.

 

Blakeley

Jennifer Matarese:         So I have to ask, because I saw today.  There's a pretty wild video they're saying is you on TMZ.  I was wondering if you've seen it, and what your comment is about that?

 

Blakeley Shea:   There's a video?

 

Jennifer Matarese:         Yeah, they say it's of you at a viewing party doing like a lap dance with a friend.

 

Blakeley Shea:   Um, no, I have not seen this video.

 

Jennifer Matarese:         OK.  And, also, I was wondering when you were on that two-on-one date with Ben, if you had expected for him to make the decision that he made.  And just what was going through your mind when he was walking you out that night? 

 

Blakeley Shea:   Well, I obviously did not expect him to not give me the rose.  And it was a little difficult.  Because every time that I was with him I took it upon myself to really open up as much as I could for the amount of time that we had together.  And it hurt a little bit.  So, I mean, if he wasn't feeling it, then obviously it was the best for both of us. 

 

                But it definitely hurt to be walked out and tried to.  .  .  It's never easy for someone to tell you that things aren't going the way you think that they are.  Or things aren't working out.  So, it's always a little difficult. 

 

Question:            Who do you hope wins for Ben?  Who do you think is best for Ben?

 

Blakeley Shea:   Well, from getting to know the girls the (inaudible) long that I was there, I really feel like Nicki is a good choice for Ben.  I think she's very down to earth, she's very real.  She knows what it's like to be married.  She definitely wants the same thing that Ben wants.  I think that they would really make a good fit. 

 

Question:            OK.  Now why didn't you ever get a one-on-one?

 

Blakeley Shea:   I wish I knew.  I don't know.  I asked Ben every time we would speak, I was like, “I was hoping to get a one-on-one with you so we could get to know each other.”  The only thing that I could take from it is that maybe he had developed a little more emotional feeling for others.  However, going on the two-on-one date, I was so excited about it because, to me, I looked at in a positive way. 

 

                If I would have looked at it in a negative way, it would have just brought me down.  So I thought, wow.  He's already been on a one-on-one date.  He's actually questioning her, and not me.  That's what I was looking at it like whenever he asked Rachel to go with him.  But I don't know.  I wish I could have gotten some one-on-one time.  But who knows?  It may have turned out the same and it may not have.

 

Question:            OK.  Now real quick, what did you really think of Courtney? 

 

Blakeley Shea:   To be honest with you, I don't know her at all, because I didn't take the time to get to know her.  And she did not take the time to get to know me.  I don't think that it's a bad thing.  I know that I went on there to meet Ben, to get to know Ben and to possibly fall in love with Ben.  If her motives were the same, we just have a really different way of going about it. 

 

                And just seeing everything that goes on, because, you know, whenever you do have one-on-one time with them you don't know what they're saying.  And if you're in a different – if you're all on a group date and some girls aren't, you don't know what they're talking about.  Even in a group date when you're off talking to him by yourself and the girls are over waiting to talk to him, you don't know what's being said. 

 

                So now seeing the things that she said, it's a little hurtful.  They were very hateful towards me I see now completely.  And I wasn't hurtful like that to them.  So I don't really have anything good to say about her, because I don't know her.  And I don't really – the only bad thing is I just wish she wouldn't have said some of the things about me that she did.

 

Question:            Are you dating anybody now?

 

Blakeley Shea:   No.  I'm not dating anyone now.

 

Question:            Good morning, Blakeley.  I was wondering if you thought, looking back, if you feel like possibly you being so open and so honest and showing him your notebook and things that maybe scared him off a little bit?

 

Blakeley Shea:   Well, I think the whole purpose of the show is you have to get to know someone.  So you have to really put yourself out there.  And I even, you know, hope he will reciprocate.  You really have to put yourself out there.  And me being sentimental, that's just the kind of person I am.  So if that's not the person he's looking for, then I wasn't right for him.  But I don't regret doing it.  I definitely was developing feelings for him.  And I was 100 percent open and honest with him.  And I don't see anything wrong with that. 

 

Question:            And my other question is – you know, I look at your age.  Right.  You're 34, yes?

 

Blakeley Shea:   Yes, ma'am.

 

Question:            So, I feel like someone who is your age is sort of like the right person to go on a show like this to find love and stuff.  And I know Jennifer was talking about Kacie B. last week and saying, “You know, she's really great.  I like her a lot.”  But she's young.  And if she gets to the end, I don't actually think that she's ready for marriage and doesn't actually know all the things that that brings. 

 

                And I'm wondering what your thoughts on that are.  If you kind of see him taking – gravitating towards these younger people who may or may not be ready to actually, you know, fall in love and get married and have kids, which are all the things he says he wants to do.

 

Question:            Well, you know, getting to know him and seeing him, I had to look at the experience like an outsider looking in.  Even though he was going on dates with other girls when we would be on group dates I had to see him interact with the other girls. 

 

                However, I saw things in him that I really liked.  And I was like wow.  He's very caring.  He's understanding.  He's energetic.  He's funny.  He's goofy.  He has a sense of humor.  I saw all these things and I was like, I knew that's what I was always looking for.  But it took me time to realize that.  I had to kiss a few frogs before I get my prince, so to speak.  As for the girls that were younger, I can't really speak for them, because I don't know where their heart was at that moment in time. 

 

                I'm not saying that they weren’t there for Ben.  I'm just saying I don't know their past experiences. I don't know what they've gone through.  But just being 34-years-old and doing some things in my life.  Being with modeling, and working in the nightlife industry, being an esthetician, I just know that that's something that I've wanted and I've been looking for. 

 

                But it's very difficult in my situation, to find that one that wants the same thing that I do.  I think sometimes the girls that were younger, I just – I don't know that they really know what it takes to be in a committed relationship and to really take that next step.  It's not just, oh, we get together.  There's an engagement.  Then we get married.  And it's not all sunshine and rainbows after that.  There's gonna be ups and downs, and you have to make sure that you're gonna be a rock for that person in their time of need and vice versa.

 

Question:            My first question is, do you think that sex appeal and aggression are the keys to winning Ben's heart, like Courtney is doing?

 

Blakeley Shea:   Well, I'm not Ben.  However, I don't necessarily think the sex appeal and aggression in the sense of what most people think is going to win his heart.  However, I do think you have to put yourself out there, put your best foot out there.  And make yourself noticeable in order for him to keep noticing you.  Because there's so many pretty girls there that are distractions.  So you definitely have to try to make yourself stand out.

 

Question:            So, do you now, watching the show, do you agree with like, everything that you're seeing Courtney doing?  Do you think that she is wrong for doing what she's doing – you know, going skinny dipping and taking her top off?  Or do you think that it's a bad thing?

 

Blakeley Shea:   Personally, I just wouldn't go skinny dipping in front of America.  However, I don't see myself if I was in Puerto Rico and we were together and we were on a trip just the two of us.  That's a different story.  But doing it in front of the cameras, that's just something I – that's something I definitely wouldn't do.  And not to mention she said some hurtful words to me.  But then it's very contradicting to see her do some of the things that she said that – yeah.

 

Question:            So, it kind of seems like she's leading him on just from what we've seen.  Do you think that Courtney would actually reject, then, if he proposed?

 

Blakeley Shea:   I don't know.  I didn't get to know her very well.  I'm not sure if she would or if she wouldn't.  I don't know what her motives are. 

 

Question:            Well just from watching the show and what you know about her as a fan, I guess.  What would your opinion be?

 

Blakeley Shea:   My opinion just from watching and seeing her, I don't see feelings.  I just don't see feelings there.  Not like that.  I can tell that Ben is attracted to her.  I can tell she is attracted to Ben.  But there's much more to a relationship than just attraction.

 

Question:            So there's been some speculation that part of the reason you reacted so strongly when Ben eliminated you was because of the way that he just seemed to casually tell Rachel she would be the one getting the rose while both of you guys were sitting there with him.  So, it was kind of like you seemed maybe a little more focused on Rachel when he announced it.  And [he] kind of just let you walk away without saying much.  So, even though you were the one going home obviously, so I mean, do you think that was actually the case?  What's your reaction to that?

 

Blakeley Shea:   My reaction to just the night in general?  Or not getting the rose?

 

Question:            Like, what’s your reaction to people basically thinking that Ben handled the situation poorly and the way that he concentrated more on giving Rachel the rose rather than giving you a better explanation of why he was eliminating you, when you were (inaudible) together?

 

Blakeley Shea:   I see what you’re saying.  Well, you know, it’s – it’s definitely hurtful when somewhat – like, you don’t understand there’s definitely closure that I feel like, you know, I need.  But, in the same sense, it’s hard because he – I felt at the time that he knew what I was wanting, and I was very open with him and very honest. 

 

                And I think that after the fact that he really knew, because it hurt me so bad, you know, just holding him and crying right before I got into the car to leave, I think he really felt like, ‘wow, I didn’t realize this was how strongly she would react to this’ because those were real feelings, they weren’t just ‘hey, I want to get to know you better and make this, you know, as far as I can go.’  I really wanted to open up and get to know him a lot more than just to get to the end of the show kind of thing.

 

Question:            And when you were dancing with Ben during the salsa portion of your two on one date, Rachel called you, quote unquote, “tacky” and said Ben was probably mixing up a sexual attraction he had for you, versus having real feelings for you I guess.  So, what’s your response to that, and how deep do you think those feelings were for you, despite what the other girls believed?

 

Blakeley Shea:   Well, I know that Ben was attracted to me, and I know we did have good chemistry, however, the times that we spent together and the times, versus other people spent together, you never know what attraction sparked him more or a conversation sparked him more, but, I don’t – I mean, I don’t mind that – it doesn’t bother me that she called me tacky.  I don’t know how I was tacky, we were both there dancing in dresses in Panama and we both had the same routine we had to dance, so, I guess if I was tacky she was too. 

 

Question:            OK, Blakeley, during your alone time with Ben on the two on one date, did he give you any indication that he might be choosing Rachel, or did you feel like things were playing out perfectly between you two?  Like, did you sense that anything was a little off with Ben?

 

Blakeley Shea:   I didn’t really sense anything was off with him, I did, however get, like, a really good feeling – he was very appreciative that I took the time to show him the journal that, you know, I’ve been kind of, like, keeping for him, and like, he also saw the little book that I made for him. 

 

And that just – I wanted him to see that, listen, this was before we even, you know, really got going in this thing.  I wanted him to know that I was here for the right reasons and I had something with me from every place we had gone from every date we had been on, I had, you know, wrote something about him and I and our time together. 

 

                And it was really about the two of us and I wanted him, you know, to see that.  And, he was very open and he was like, “wow, this is great, like, you keep surprising me, you keep opening up to me.”  And I thought, ‘well this is good, this is what’s supposed to happen.’ 

 

So it was kind of like, ‘ouch,’ like a little dagger in the back whenever, you know, he gave the rose to Rachel, because I was like, ‘wait, I thought I was doing everything I was supposed to do to get you, to open up to me as well.’  And now I felt like, wow, was it all worth it?  But, in the end, actually, it was all worth it, because I actually learned a lot about myself.

 

Question:            Blakeley, I loved your outfit on the last episode – the white dress with the high wasted belt and the sleek ponytail. 

 

Blakeley Shea:   Thank you.  It was super hot.  I had to dress for the occasion.

 

Question:            Were you sweating?

 

Blakeley Shea:   Yes, it was so hot. 

 

Question:            Oh my God.  I just have two questions: Who were you closest within the house, and were there a lot of cliques?

 

Blakeley Shea:   I was closest with Casey Shteamer in the house.  And cliques, I would say – I don't know if I would say cliques.  It's just the smaller the group got, the more intimate each of us got with each other as friends.  And like, we really sort of got to know each other. 

 

                So it kind of depended on who was on a group date and who wasn't and who would be hanging out and who got to talk a little more.  So I don't think there were necessarily cliques.  However, I might have felt differently in the beginning, because no one liked me at all. 

 

Question:            And then were you surprised she went home?

 

Blakeley Shea:   Was I surprised I went home?

 

Question:            Casey S.

 

Blakeley Shea:   Yes.  I was very surprised that Casey S. went home.  When I saw it, I was completely taken aback because I did get to know her.  And I did become friends with her.  She is an absolutely amazing person inside and out.  Not only is she beautiful outside.  But she's such a good person.  And she's such a good friend.  And I had no clue that she was even in this type of situation.  I had no clue. 

 

Question:            Sorry, one more.  And then, what was your best memory of being on the show?

 

Blakeley Shea:   If I had to choose a best memory from the show, I would definitely have to say it was in Puerto Rico, because I really came into my own person.  I found myself.  I was like, wow, I see all these great things about Ben.  This is what I've always been looking for.  I deserve this.  And I kind of did a turning point within myself.  And I think I'll always remember that.  So I think Puerto Rico was probably my favorite place.

 

Question:            What's next for Blakeley?

 

Blakeley Shea:   Um.  I don't know.  Right now, I'm just at home.  I'm working, spending a lot of time with my dog, Halo, and my friends and family, so I don't know.  We'll see what's next for me.  I'm not sure.

 

Question:            You know, I know everybody – if you're true to the show, the reason you go on is to try to find a relationship.  But do you feel like – I know you're still modeling and things like that, that this has potentially opened some doors for you?

 

Blakeley Shea:   I think that, from doing the show, first and foremost, I went there to find a relationship to see if I could fall in love.  And I honestly did go there for that reason.  And just being on the show, if there are doors that open up.  And it's something that I would want to do or that would benefit me in some way, that's always great.  That's like a bonus, the reason I went on there to begin with.

 

Question:            Right.  What did you – what's the biggest thing you learned over the course of the show about yourself and maybe about the entertainment industry?

 

Blakeley Shea:   Well the biggest thing I learned about myself was definitely to – I'm a very guarded person.  I'm very to myself.  And I think sometimes that may end up hurting me in some situations.  Becoming friends with people.  Getting the right person to get into a relationship with.  However, because I was on the show, I had a lot of time to reflect.  I had a lot of time to get to know myself.  I had a lot of time to really get to know other people on a different level.  Than a normal friendship or a normal relationship would go. 

 

                So just really figuring out that I am who I am and I don't need to try to get other people to – I don't have to explain myself to anyone.  I just need to be myself.  And people really do come through and they'll love me for just being me.  And I just need to focus on that and my friendships and my family and stuff like that.  So that's the biggest thing that I learned about myself.

 

Question:            Well, what's the reaction then from your friends and folks as you try to, I guess, settle back into your life after a little time away. 

 

Blakeley Shea:   It's like, it's so funny you asked that.  It's kind of like a double-edged sword, because I was away, and then I missed home so much.  And then when I came home, I was like, “oh my gosh, the reality is gonna hit here when the show starts.”  And then once it did, it's like, “oh man, I'd give anything to be there.” 

 

                So I would not have to answer the phone or go to work.  So it was definitely like – now, hindsight, looking back, I was like gosh, that was kind of a good getaway, personal getaway for myself.  But my family's very proud of me.  And I’m getting a lot of good responses from friends and family back home. 

 

                And people that come into my job.  It's really weird, because I don't see myself as some sort of reality celebrity person.  And it's very humbling.  I'm just like, “wow,” this is really neat to have someone get so excited just to see me or say hi to me.  It's really neat.

 

Question:            So have you been a fan of The Bachelor before and The Bachelorette?  And were you aware of them when you went on the show?

 

Blakeley Shea:   Well I've been a fan of the show, before, yes.  I've watched it.  But not going who exactly was gonna be on until – I guess it was the final rose.  When he was with Chris Harrison and they announced it was going to be him.  I was just kind of like, “Wow.  This is gonna be really interesting.”  Because I didn't have a clue as to who it was going to be.  And then when I found out it was Ben, I was like, well let's just give this a shot and let's see.  You never know what's going to happen.

 

Question:            Right.  Would you consider going on the Bachelor Pad, if they asked you?

 

Blakeley Shea:   Oh, absolutely.  Everything that I've taken from this experience has just like made me grow into such a strong person because of it.  I've made some really good friends.  And there's nothing like the experience, and it's kind of like you are like a family with the people that you were close with.  So absolutely.

 

Question:            I have to tell you, you're an awesome softball player.  I was very impressed. 

 

Blakeley Shea:   Thank you.  Thank you so much.

 

Question:            You're welcome.  One question that I had was a lot of people were focused on Courtney's antics when she went skinny dipping with Ben.  My question is, did your opinion of Ben change after seeing that.  And had you stayed on the show, would that have affected your decision to continue staying on with him seeing what he did with her. 

 

Blakeley Shea:   Well I'm not sure that any of the girls knew until we actually saw.  Like I don't think anyone that was there or that remained after I left.  I don't think anyone was aware that she did this.  However, if I would have been the one in the end chosen and I would have seen this, I definitely think it would hurt me if it was between her and myself.  Or if it was between me and someone else, and I was the one that he proposed to. 

 

                And that's the thing.  I was kind of back and forth between myself.  Like, do I want to watch this show?  Because I did have genuine feelings for Ben.  And so I was like, do I really want to see this?  Is this gonna bring back hurt?  Is it gonna bring back some uneasy feelings? 

 

                But then I kind of want to see what happened when I wasn't around.  And so it was like, eh, which way do you go.  So I feel, me personally, if I would have ended up the one with Ben, seeing him do that.  I do think that it would have hurt me a little bit. 

 

Question:            Did you think it was inappropriate for him to do that at this stage?  I mean, just watching it on TV?

 

Blakeley Shea:   Well, I don't know if I would say inappropriate.  I mean he is a guy.  And he is dating us.  And he does have to put himself in each person's situation individually.  So if that's something that he would do, then that's awesome that he's outgoing. 

 

                But it also would have helped if he would have kind of thought of like the repercussions of like, afterwards.  Like, what is he really thinking about now?  Like when he said goodbye to me, was he really thinking about me?  Was it completely over before that with me and him?  Like, I have no idea.  So.  I don't know.  That's a hard one.

 

Question:            Sorry.  All right, well thanks for your honesty.  I'm sorry.

 

Blakeley Shea:   That's OK.  That's OK.

 

Question:            So you didn't go on the group date this week with Ben and the girls.  So when you watch the episode back, what was your reaction to Courtney's behavior and her decision to basically go nude under the garments that the women of the tribe gave to the bachelorettes?  Did you think it was appropriate?  What would you have done if you were there?  Like, would you have also taken off your bathing suit to at least compete or keep up with Courtney?

 

Blakeley Shea:   Well, I think that there's different types of insecurities that come out in people.  And I think my insecurity would have said, “Blakeley, don't take your top off.”  But at the same time, you know, they were in Panama, and they were on a group date.  And it's not like something the kids there don't see.  That's how they live.  However, it's just always awkward if I were to be in that situation and she were to do that.  It's just kind of like, “wow, do you really have to do that?”  But then again, I don't know that's – that's Courtney. 

 

Question:            OK.  And you clearly went through a tough time during the beginning of the season with the other bachelorettes.  And knew they often talked about you behind your back.  Since you've been watching the season back, has anything the girls have said surprised you?  And did you realize it was that bad when you were on the show?

 

Blakeley Shea:   Oh, seeing the girls say the most hurtful and hateful things about me behind my back.  I knew there was tension and people would kind of like ostracize me.  But I didn't think that they were saying such mean things about me.  I mean those were very hurtful words.  But that's why I like to keep my focus on Ben and not worry about the other girls.  Because obviously I didn't realize they were saying such mean things about me. 

 

Question:            Sure, but after a few episodes, the drama seemed to subside.  And there was eventually footage of you doing some of the bachelorettes' hair and having friendly conversations with them and stuff.  So, when was the turning point, I guess?  When did your relationship with the other bachelorettes change, and how did that happen?

 

Blakeley Shea:   I think it was kind of really after San Francisco.  You know, the whole thing with Shawntel coming back.  I think it kind of all jolted us so much that we were like, “wow.”  Everybody just needs to stop focusing on everything else.  And at that point, I had gotten to a place where I was like, you know, I'm so focused on Ben.  And if I keep letting these girls get to me, it's just going to bring me down. 

 

                And that's not going to be attractive to Ben.  So not only that.  But I just – you don't ever want to feel down or like you're not wanted or nobody wants to be your friend.  But at the same time, I was there to date Ben and not to date all these other girls.  I went on the show to date Ben. 

 

                But I think once the girls realized that just because I wasn't there to be quote-unquote friends with everyone didn't mean I didn't want to get to know them and like co-exist with them and be friendly with them.  I just wanted to make sure that my focus remained on Ben.  So I think that's kind of the turning point with San Francisco.  And then once we got to Park City it was a little easier to talk to girls. 

 

                And they were sort of giving me more of a chance to open up and talk a little bit.  And when we started talking about things with us, like girls like doing hair, nails, our favorite movies.  When we started focusing on girl stuff conversations rather than what another person was doing the night before on the group date or whatever, it really got to be a lot easier. 

 

Question:            OK, sure.  And Ben didn't have much of an issue with the girls sharing their concerns about Samantha earlier in the season and why she was on the show.  So why did you think he got so hostile towards Emily when she wanted to talk to him about Courtney?  Do you think that Ben was just very into Courtney and maybe not so much into Samantha, and that made all the difference?  Because it seems like kind of a double standard.

 

Blakeley Shea:   That's a good question.  Well, I don't think that he was into Samantha at all.  So I don't see him having – him doing what he did with her wasn't like out of the blue if you're not (feeling) someone.  Because they weren't very close, they weren't intimate.  They didn't have like any type of chemistry, I didn't feel like.  But with Courtney, it's very apparent.  Like we could see that there was something there early on.  You could definitely tell that there was chemistry with Courtney and Ben.

 

Hugs, Kisses & Roses,

Jennifer Matarese

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