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Emily & Jef, Arie Talk About Life After 'The Bachelorette'

Now that "The Bachelorette" has aired and it's been revealed that Jef and Emily are engaged, the happy couple took some time to talk to reporters.  Also, Arie joined the call after Jef and Emily were done and filled us all in on how he is doing.  But, before we get to that, ABC released some amazing details about Emily's engagement ring: 

ABC: For those of you who are interested about the ring, which is amazing and gorgeous, it is a handmade ring designed and signed by Neil Lane.  It is a platinum and diamond ring set with a central emerald-cut diamond weighing 2.5 carats.  It's accented with 87 smaller round-cut diamonds and the approximate total weight is 3.5 carats.  So, for those of you who like to dream, there's that.

Emily jef
Now to the conference call interview...



Jennifer Matarese:         Hi, Jef.  Hi, Emily Congratulations.


Emily Maynard:                 Hi.  Thank you.


Jef Holm:             Hi.  Thanks.


Jennifer Matarese:         So, I was wondering how you kept Ricki from spilling the big news to everybody, and does she know that you guys are engaged?


Emily Maynard:                 She doesn't know we're engaged yet.  It just happened just like we got engaged again, since everybody just now found out, but I told her that it was a big surprise and that it was like a surprise party and that we don't want to ruin it for everybody, so she's a pretty good secret-keeper, I found out.


Jennifer Matarese:         That's great.  Thank you again.


Emily Maynard: Thanks.


Question:            So, Jason and Molly, along with Trista and Ryan, have been the only bachelor couple to get married and they both aired their ceremonies on television, and RadarOnline reported recently that, Emily, you'd love to do a spin-off show and document your wedding planning and the event itself, so do you and Jef see yourself starring in a spin-off show or at least airing your big day to share with fans?  What are your thoughts on that?


Emily Maynard:                 My thoughts on that are pretty clear.  I have no interest in ever doing any spin-off show or anything like that.  I don't know how that got started but it's certainly not true.  I have been looking forward to the day that I get to go back to normal and not have to worry about cameras or anything like that and Jef and I can just be two people who fell in love on a show and left that behind us.


Question:            Hi, guys.  Congratulations.  This is a bit more of a personal question.  Since you all didn't get to spend the night together in the overnight suite, we were just wondering if you've gotten the chance to spend some intimate, private time together since the show has ended and how that's gone.


Emily Maynard:                 Well, I mean, we didn't spend the night together on the show but we have weekends where we get to spend the whole weekend together, and we're engaged.  So, yeah Thanks.


Question:            I just wanted to know what the biggest surprises that you've learned about each other since the shows ended and you've got to spend this extra time together off camera.


Emily Maynard:                 I am really surprised.  Jef has a lot of really great friends that he's really close with that I didn't get to meet.  I met two of his friends at his hometown, and they're wonderful and they really accepted me, and I didn't know that about him before.


Jef Holm:             I guess mine would be she just continues to surprise me with how good of a mom she is and now nice she is to everyone.  It wasn't really much of a surprise, but it's just shocking with how patient she is with everything.


Question:            So, Emily, have you had the chance to meet Jef's parents yet, and if so, Jef, how has your family been in receiving Emily?


Emily Maynard:                 I got to meet Jef's mom the other night, the night after the final rose.  It was a surprise for me.  I didn't even know she was going to be there, but she was so sweet, I mean, just amazing and couldn't have been nicer, and I got to talk to his dad on the phone and he was the same, just could not be nicer, more down to Earth.


Jef Holm:             And my family is, as Emily knows, very close, and they are absolutely in love with Emily.  They are crazy about her and they're so happy for the both of us and they're looking forward to - my dad's looking forward to meeting Emily and Ricki, and the rest of the family's looking forward to meeting Ricki and having them join the family.  They're very excited.


Question:            Hi, guys.  Congratulations again.  So my question's for both of you.  We were wondering what are your plans for the future as a couple, as a family and in terms of wedding plans and bringing your lives together?  And, Emily, are you interested in pursuing a career in television, whether it's reporting or hosting?


Emily Maynard:                 Well, first of all, Jef is going to move to Charlotte and we're just going to - he's going to get an apartment there and kind of see where things go and just kind of live our life every day and he's going to kind of join in Ricki and I's schedule and figure things out.  And obviously I am a girl, so I've been looking at wedding magazines and all that, but nothing's set in stone.  And, no, I have no interest in pursuing any kind of broadcasting career or anything in TV.  I think being the Bachelorette was a good enough experience and I'll leave on a good note.


Question:            Hi, guys.  I have a question that's actually for both of you.  The first part is, Emily, did you feel at all that Arie might be insulted that you didn't read his journal after he traveled all the way to Charlotte?  And for Jef, was it important to you that she didn't read it out of respect for your new relationship?


Emily Maynard:                 Well, I was really surprised that Arie came all the way to Charlotte, and I think it says a lot about who he is and how open he was to this whole experience, and I'm very grateful for that, but I have a journal and I know I wouldn't want anyone to read it unless they shared the same feelings for me that I have for them, and I think that later on down the road that he'll be able to see that, even if he can't right now, but I think he does.  And just out of respect for Jef, I didn't think that that was a good idea either, just because I don't think anything good can come of that.


Jef Holm:             And I feel the same way.  Just when I found out that Arie left his journal there - I've always felt secure in what Emily and I have, and so I gave her the option.  I mean, I said, "It's OK with me if you want to read it.  I'd rather you not just because it's not really going to help us.  It's not going to do any good for you to read it and know all those things that are in there."  So, I guess I wasn't too for it.


Question:            Just going a little bit more on the journal, Jef, what exactly did you say to Arie, and, Emily, did you know every - their whole conversation?  Did you know what they exactly said to each other?


Jef Holm:             Well, Arie and I, we've talked a few times since the show ended and we've just called each other randomly to see how the other person is doing.  And I thought he knew at first.  I thought he knew that Emily and I were engaged, and so when I found out he showed up in Charlotte and left his journal, it was a shock to me because I thought he knew we were engaged and he went behind my back and did that kind of thing.


But then I found out it wasn't communicated to him that we were engaged, and so he didn't know and he dropped off his journal.  And after that, we talked a few times and he felt like he just wanted Emily to read those things and maybe see if the door was still open, and so he and I would have a conversation and I let him know that we were very happy and very much in love, and Emily did the same thing and then it kind of stopped after that.


Question:            Emily, obviously some in the NASCAR world have been following the show, so I'm curious if Jef has gotten to meet Rick Hendrick yet, and how has your relationship been with the Hendricks, and did that relationship change going through the process of the show?


Emily Maynard:                 The Hendricks are just like my own family.  I love them like my mom and dad and they love me just like a daughter, and I've been very close with them for a lot of years and they've seen me go through ups and downs and they want to meet anybody who makes me happy, and Jef does.  So, this is our first day even allowed out in public, so - and we've been in New York doing media all day, so I'm sure that meeting will happen soon.


Question:            My question for you is what's your favorite way to bond as a family with Ricki?


Emily Maynard:                 She's seven, so she's pretty easy.  We had a weekend where all three of us got to hang out, and they went fishing and -


Jef Holm:             We caught frogs together.


Emily Maynard:                 Played soccer.


Jef Holm:             Fed goats, made obstacle courses, things seven-year-olds like to do.


Sammi Turano:                  Wonderful.  You seem so wonderful with her, Jef.  I think you guys are wonderful.  Thank you so much.


Question:            Hi.  Congratulations.  Emily, I know you said you're not interested in a spin-off show, but would you two be open to the idea of having your wedding be televised at all?


Emily Maynard:                 I mean, I never in a million years thought I'd be the Bachelorette, so if there's one thing I've learned it's to never say never, but I also think a wedding is a private thing and it's one of those things that we just have to talk about when the time came?


Question:            And what about you, Jef?


Jef Holm:             I feel the exact same way.  I feel like we're really privileged to be able to go through this experience together and have it televised and have all of our memories taped.  It's really cool - the first time we met and the proposal and everything, and so I think it would be a really sweet thing to let people see it on TV, but at the same time it is a personal and a private matter, and so we just - when the time comes, we'll discuss it and we'll decide.


Question:            So, I have a question, which is obviously, Jef, you were pretty open on the conference call a few weeks ago that you come from a Mormon background, but on the show they kind of hid that a little bit.  I mean, do you understand why that wasn't revealed?  I mean, it seems like a big part of your life and your family.  What are your thoughts on that?


Jef Holm:             There was no intention of hiding any part of my background or any part of the way I was raised or religious beliefs or anything like that.  My family's very private, and what my parents are doing right now is private to the family, and I didn't really want to create any media attention to what they were doing so that they could focus on what they're doing, and so that's why it was never - Emily and I discussed things off camera, but I didn't really want to bring any attention to that.


Question:            So you intentionally didn't talk about it when the cameras were there?


Emily Maynard:                 Well, no.  I mean, we talked about everything.  We never even worried about if the cameras were there or not.  I've watched "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" for years and I've never seen them discuss religion or anything like that.  My faith is very important to me as well and I had that exact same conversation with a lot of the guys, and those weren't aired either.  So, I mean, it's "The Bachelor."  It's supposed to be about light stuff and fun and things like that, and it would be impossible to show every single conversation we ever had.


Question:            So, when I talked to Joe after you, Emily, eliminated him earlier in the season, he predicted you'd end up with Jef because Jef has, quote, "got some money," unquote, and that you wanted someone financially stable.  And fans have also noted that Arie also seems pretty well off.  So, I just wanted to give you a chance to respond to Joe's comment and also address how much of a role financial stability really played in your final decisions.


Emily Maynard:                 I'll be honest with you.  I thought Jef lived at home for the better part of our relationship while the show was airing, and I still kept him around, so I don't know what that says.  I don't know how Joe knows anything about me or Jef, for that matter, but considering he was sent home first, but who knows?  But I certainly do not care about anyone's money.  I don't need it.  My father has worked really hard his entire life so that his children will never have to want for anything, and I'm very grateful for that.  And it played absolutely no part of it, and I find it pretty insulting that anyone would ever say that.


Question:            Sure.  And when you eliminated Arie before your final one-on-one date together really even began, did Arie react how you would have expected him to, or did it surprise you in some way?  For instance, maybe you had anticipated him being more emotional than angry or something like that.


Emily Maynard:                 No.  I mean, I felt like I really got to know Arie, just like he got to know me really well, and it's hard.  Relationships are hard, and it was real life, and I can't say I would've reacted any differently.  He was just going off how he felt in his heart and I respect that 100 percent.


Question:            Hi again, guys.  Emily, I just wanted to ask you, because obviously Ricki only met Jef, which makes sense, but was there ever a time when you thought about introducing her to Arie?


Emily Maynard:                 Coming into the total experience, I didn't know if I was going to introduce her to anybody, but as time went on, I realized I felt so strongly for Jef.  I knew that I wasn't going to introduce her to two people.  It was either introduce her to one person or no one, so (inaudible) the way things went.


Question:            Then you kind of decided on Jef before you introduced him to her, then?


Emily Maynard:                 Well, I felt really confident in what Jef and I have, and I'd fallen in love at that point, and then after seeing him and Ricki together, I just knew that I was done.


Question:            Emily, for those of us who knew Ricky kind of remembered him as kind of a free spirit kind of guy who kind of beat to his own drummer, and I'm curious if Jef kind of has some of the same - I don't want to say qualities or personality traits - that you saw in Ricky.


Emily Maynard:                 Absolutely.  I mean, I think I've always been attracted to that type of guy, and Ricky was absolutely one of a kind and so is Jef.  He is one of a kind, too, so in that aspect they have a lot in common.


Question:            Hi.  I got cut off for a minute, so if this has been asked, I apologize.  To follow up on the earlier question, Jef, there's been talk on various sites that your dialogue - that you dubbed in different dialogue that said that your parents were doing charity work instead of on a mission.  Did that happen, and who decided to do that?


Jef Holm:             I have no idea.


Question:            So, it didn't happen that way, then, or -


Jef Holm:             Did what happen?  Did I say they were doing charity work?


Question:            Yeah.


Jef Holm:             No, I never said they were doing charity work.


Question:            I mean, because that was on the air.  So somebody did dub it in and you weren't aware of it.


ABC:      I don't think this really honestly pertains to the happy couple and what's going on now, so let's try to focus the questions on them, please.  Thank you.


Question:            Hi again.  So you guys said that during the time "The Bachelorette" was on TV that you guys were going off on these secret getaways.  I'm just curious where you guys went.


Emily Maynard:                We went all over the place.  For the most part, they were in California.  We were in New York.  For the most part, they were in different parts of California.


Question:            And, I mean, it's crazy that you guys were able to stay away and not have your photo taken or anything.  Was that sort of nerve-wracking having that on your mind?  I know you said you were like FBI agents and -


Jef Holm:             It was nerve-wracking sometimes.  I mean, we were just trying to keep it a secret because it's fun to let everybody watch, your family, your friends, and everybody, so it was fun for us.


Question:            Definitely.  Well, congratulations on keeping it a secret.  And I know that last night on "Jimmy Kimmel," Jef, you said maybe when Jimmy asked if Arie would be in your wedding party.  Emily, would that be awkward for you or -


Emily Maynard:                 No.  I was just kidding.  I think Arie's great, and I was on the show as a girl - 1 of 30, so I know how you bond with the other people that are going through the experience with you, and I think Arie's great, so I wouldn't have any problems with that.


Question:            Hi, guys.  I know you said that, Jef, you'll be moving to Charlotte to spend - get closer to Emily and Ricki by having your own place and everything, but we were wondering if you could tell us how you guys will be kind of merging your schedules together, how you'll be pursuing a dating life and engagement dating post the show and post cameras?


Jef Holm:             I'm really excited about it, because so far we've just been talking on the phone and Skyping and seeing each other, obviously, during these weekend getaways, and so we're going to be continuing our relationship as an engaged couple in what I think will be a normal, ordinary way, because we'll be face to face.  


We'll be in the same city.  We'll be able to go out on dates.  I'll be able to take Ricki to soccer practice and swimming lessons and whatever she has going on and be an intricate part in her life and Emily too.  We'll be close together and be able to plan a wedding face to face, and it will be really fun.


Question:            Absolutely.  And, Emily, now that your season's done, is there anybody that you two have in mind that would be a good candidate for the next bachelor from your season?


Emily Maynard:                 I mean, I think I had the best group of guys in the history of the show.  I think that a lot of the guys from my season would be great.  I think that Sean would be great.  I think Arie would be great.  I also think somebody new would be fun, too, so there's lots of options.


Question:            And so what is it about Sean that would - why would he make a good bachelor?


Emily Maynard:                 I mean, why wouldn't he make a good bachelor?  He's so sweet and just his heart's in the right place and he really does want to find somebody.


Question:            Hi, guys, again.  Now, this is actually a follow-up question to what the girl was just asking before.  Would it be hard for you guys to watch Arie as the bachelor if Arie ever became the bachelor?


Emily Maynard:                 It wouldn't be hard for me at all.  I think Arie is so funny and I think it would be entertaining just as a viewer of the show.


Jef Holm:             I would love it.


Question:            And if it came to Sean or Arie, who do you think would be the more interesting bachelor to watch and why?


Emily Maynard:                 I mean I got to know them both very well and so did Jef just living with them, and I think they both would be so much fun to watch in different ways.  They're both very different from each other, but it's like you can't go wrong.


Jef Holm:             It's a tossup.  I don't know if I could choose, because they're so different.


Question:            And just my last question is, Ricki - she was so well-behaved on the show.  I just want to give you guys congrats on that.  I just wanted to see how she is adjusting to Jef being a part of her life, both of you (inaudible) for that.


Emily Maynard:                 Well, thank you.  It hasn't been that long ago since we left Curacao, so I've been easing her into everything very slowly, and right now - just for secret's sake she knew that Jef was our friend and lots of fun and all of that, because I didn't want her running around telling everybody, but now that the secret's out, we can get back to our normal schedule.  I am excited about spending more time with the three of us.


Question:            I'm just curious.  Have you talked about what kind of wedding you'd like, what your kind of dream wedding style would be like, a big wedding, a back yard wedding, an island wedding, things like that?


Emily Maynard: I mean, I'm a girl, so I've been planning it since I was six.  I'm not a huge wedding type of girl.  I would be happy just with a back yard, low-key, casual wedding, everybody wears jeans, whatever.  I don't even care.  To me it's not about the wedding and the flowers and all that.  It's more about the person I love and family and just celebrating that.


Question:            Jef, what about you?


Jef Holm:             I just say yes to what she wants to plan.  I think the same thing.  I want our family to be really close, just like my family has been growing up and hers has been, and that's the most important thing, our families being together and our friends, and whatever we decide to do will be magical.  I promise you that.


Question:            Just a quick question.  I know you guys were talking about going to Africa.  I was wondering.  Could you go into a little bit more detail about what you guys are going to do there, and is Ricki going to go with you guys as well?


Jef Holm:             Ricki is not coming with us.  Basically what we're going to do is one of the first conversations that Emily and I ever had was after the whole Bachelorette thing, she wanted to get away and maybe do some humanitarian work in Africa or go just kind of unwind and get away from everything.  


And it just so happened that my company, People Water, what we do is sell bottled water and build wells all over the world, and so our next project was already scheduled to be in Africa.  And so I thought it was cool that since this whole thing is over and Emily and I are engaged I thought it would be fun for her to come and help out and get involved.


And it was cool, because right when she found out she was coming with us, she went out and got tons of toys and games for all the kids in the villages that we'll be visiting, and so she's awesome.  She's just jumping in and wants to help as many people as she can.


Question:            Hey.  I just have a couple last questions for you guys.  Jef, you mentioned yesterday that you and Emily never really talked about an engagement, so technically it came as a surprise to both of you.  However, you two seemed to have some deep, meaningful conversations throughout the season about life, marriage, children, et cetera.  So I guess how did the idea of a proposal never get discussed?  Jeffrey, you kind of purposefully avoiding the topic because maybe you thought throughout the season it wasn't going to be a real possibility, or did it just simply not come up?


Jef Holm:             Well, as you watch through the season, we took it step by step.  When we first met, we were just friends and there was obviously an initial attraction that we had with each other.  There was a lot of chemistry, and then our feelings grew for each other and we started liking each other and I told her I had a crush on her.  


And then we fell in love and it just took gradual, normal steps that two people take when they meet each other and begin dating and then get engaged.  And so, it didn't really come up and I wanted to keep it a surprise once I knew that I was going to propose to her, and I knew that I was going to propose to her in Curacao.


Question:            Great.  And, Emily, you said that you planned to tell Ricki soon about how you're engaged to Jef, considering your relationship has gone public now.  So, how exactly do you plan to explain things to her and how soon?  And do you think she'll fully understand what your engagement means or maybe wonder how it's different from the one with Brad?  Do you know what I mean?


Emily Maynard:                 Yeah, absolutely, and that's something that I've thought about and asked my friends about.  It's something that I'll have to be very sensitive to, and she's obviously the most important part of my life, and Jef is, too, so I want those two worlds to collide and I want it to be easy.  And I know that Ricki and Jef are going to get along great and I don't think it's going to be a problem.


Question:            Awesome.  And my last question is for Jef.  When do you think the big move to Charlotte will happen, and have you already begun looking at houses or apartments, and also what do you think is going to be the hardest part of leaving Utah for you?


Jef Holm:             I have begun looking at houses and apartments and stuff in Charlotte.  I'm really excited for the move.  I think it's going to take place the first, second, third, maybe fourth week of August.  Ricki starts school the 22nd, so I want to be there to support her and get involved in her life as quickly as I can.


And the hardest part about leaving Salt Lake will be my family lives there.  My friends live there.  My business is there.  It's a big transition for me, but I'm fortunate enough I can work from anywhere and I'll be making frequent trips back to Salt Lake to work and see friends and family, and I'll bring Emily and Ricki with me.


Question:            Hi, again.  Emily, I'm wondering if you have a vision for your wedding dress yet or if there is a specific designer you're interested in working with.


Emily Maynard:                 Honestly, I don't even - I mean, I care what it looks like, but I just feel like it's one of those things that when you put it on, you know, and I haven't started that yet, but I know as soon as I put on the dress that's meant for me, I'll know it.


Question:            Hey, guys.  So, I know that Jef's parents weren't on the hometown date and you got to meet some of the other parents on the other hometown dates, Emily, so I'm just wondering if you guys have met post-taping.


Emily Maynard:                 Yeah.  His mom was at the after the final rose as a surprise for me, and I had no idea, so I was really excited, and she was so sweet and we got to spend a lot of time together and I got to talk to his dad on the phone, and they could not be nicer and more down to Earth and just excited for both of us.


Question:            Did they watch the show?


Jef Holm:             Yeah, they did.  They watched every episode and they would call me with insights right afterwards.  They loved it.


Question:            Hi again.  Jef, I wanted to ask you about the proposal, because it was obviously a beautiful speech.  I mean, was it sort of improvised or did you think about it a lot beforehand?  How did you sort of come up with it?


Jef Holm:             Some of it was premeditated, because I knew in Curacao that I wanted to propose to her, and so I began working on what I was going to say and I wanted to make sure it was special and meaningful and incorporated things that I knew about her and had learned about her and experiences that we went through throughout our journey.  And so, some of it was just random and on the spot but most of it was premeditated.  I stayed up the entire night before practicing, scared to death.


Question:            Absolutely.  It was gorgeous.  And, Emily, you said that you weren't sure if you wanted to get engaged, so what was it that changed your mind?


Emily Maynard:                 Well, obviously I didn't come on to "The Bachelorette" looking for a boyfriend.  That would be a waste of time, I think, but I also didn't want to be the girl that gets engaged 15 times, 2 of them being on TV, before she gets married.  And it wasn't until I really got to know Jef and fell in love with him and saw him with my daughter and - the proposal speech didn't hurt, either.  It was some of the nicest things somebody's ever said to me, and I knew in my heart that I had all the confidence in the world.


Question:            Hi, again.  Jef, you had mentioned how your parents had watched the show episode by episode, and, Emily, I was wondering.  I know you're going to tell Ricki eventually that you're engaged, but how are you going to explain being on "The Bachelorette," and would you ever allow her to watch it when she gets older?  How's that conversation going to go down?


Emily Maynard:                 It won't go down until she is way older, like 30, maybe.  No, I really am proud of the way I handled myself on "Bachelorette," and I'd be proud to show her when she's older and it's appropriate, because I think that even the mistakes I made, I learned from them and I don't expect perfection from her.  So I think it'll be good for her to see me make mistakes and fall and pick myself back up and keep on trying.




Then, Arie joined in on the call after Emily and Jef has left.


Jennifer Matarese:         Hi, Arie.


Arie Luyendyk:                  Hi.  How are you?


Jennifer Matarese:         Good.  How are you?


Arie Luyendyk:                  I'm doing well.


Jennifer Matarese:         I was wondering if you were happy with the way you were portrayed on the show and if after watching yours and Emily's break-up back if you were happy with how you handled yourself there or would you change anything?


Arie Luyendyk:                  I don't think I would change anything.  I feel like the show portrayed our relationship pretty well.  Obviously there was a lot more conversation and they did show our physical side.  And although the live show was very nerve-wracking for me, I feel like it went well and I got to explain what happened post-show and I was happy with it.


Jennifer Matarese:         And overall you thought that the show showed you the way you really are?


Arie Luyendyk:                  Yeah.  I really felt like I opened myself up, and I'm just really glad that everyone got to see my personality.


Question:            Hi, Arie.  I actually have a two-part question for you.  The first is, would you have left the journal for Emily if you'd known that Jef and Emily were engaged at the time, and the second part is when did you actually find out that she had decided not to read the journal and when you did, was any part of you offended or hurt by that news?


Arie Luyendyk:                  Let me think about this.  That's a big question.  Your first part, when I decided to go to Charlotte, I had no idea the outcome, and after talking to Emily's mom, I really felt that Emily's mom wanted her to wait, so I felt like she wasn't engaged to Jef.  I really felt like it was still - her mind wasn't made up yet, so I flew to Charlotte with that on my mind.  And so, if I knew Jef and Emily were engaged, I would never have flown to Charlotte.  I have too much respect for their relationship and for Jef.  So, what was the second part of your question?


Question:            It was when did you actually find out she had decided not to read it, and when you did, was there any part of you that was offended or hurt by that?


Arie Luyendyk:                  I found out that she hadn't read it when we talked on the phone.  She called me about, I would say, a month after the show wrapped, and we talked for quite a while and she said it wasn't right for her to read the journal and I totally respected that, because at that point I knew that they were engaged.  So, I wasn't really offended, because that was obviously a very tough decision for her and she had to follow her heart, and I really believe that reading the journal probably wouldn't have been best.  And like she said, it's something that's close to my heart and it's my experience on the show and out of respect for their relationship that was probably the best decision.


Question:            I was wondering what was your reaction when you found out that Emily didn't invite you to the Fantasy Suite, and also as a follow-up, America would love for you to be the bachelor, so is that something you would consider?


Arie Luyendyk:                  As far as the Fantasy Suite goes, I think that it was obviously - I'd never watched the show before, so I didn't know or expect anything, and when that date had arrived, I definitely respected her decision.  Obviously she's thinking about Ricki and she was in love with Jef and myself, and I could see how she'd want to save something for Jef.  And I'm only seeing it from my perspective, so I definitely respect her decision to forgo that.  And then -


Question:            And "Bachelor"?


Arie Luyendyk:                  That's a very tough decision and I'd really have to put a lot of thought to that.  Obviously, months have gone by since the taping, but it is a very emotional journey and it'd be a tough decision for me, but I would be flattered if they asked.


Question:            I think I speak for all women when I say we would love for you to do it.


Question:            I wanted to see since the show finished taping and you're back in Arizona, what does it do for your dating life being on a show like "The Bachelorette"?  Are you very popular now?


Arie Luyendyk:                  I haven't dated at all, actually, really out of respect for the show.  And obviously the viewers really felt like it was either Jef or I, so I didn't want to give anything away for the show, so I haven't been on any dates, and I have yet to see that impact.


Question:                            Well, are you getting recognized a lot in the valley?


Arie Luyendyk:                  Yeah, and I've been getting recognized and it's very sweet, and everyone's been very kind and it's been great to see that I have so much support on the show.


Question:            So when Emily sat you down during your final one-on-one date together and she kind of burst into tears on the bench, you didn't really seem to have a clue about why she was so upset.  It almost seemed like you thought she could've been sad about anything but not because she was about to send you home.  Would you say that's accurate to say?  Could you tell where that conversation was going, or were you totally caught off guard when she made her point?


Arie Luyendyk:                  I was very, very caught off guard, and you kind of hit it on the head.  I didn't know why she was so upset at first, because I really felt so confident in us, and that's why I was so shocked.  And I didn't know if it was just the weight of the decision itself or the fact that she had decided to be with Jef.  So, it was shocking and it was very hard for me and hurtful, and I think that's why I ended up flying to Charlotte, because I really felt like there was a lot of questions that I had that were unanswered, and I think that's why it took a little longer for me to move forward, but I have no regrets and I had such an amazing time on the show and it really did open me up to love, and I'm really happy that I did it.


Question:            So, you said you would be interested in doing "The Bachelor," so do you think you would be a better bachelor than Sean?  Why or why not?


Arie Luyendyk:                  Well, I didn't say that, not in many words.  I really feel like it's a tough decision and I have to give it a lot of thought.  And for me, the most important thing is that I realize through the experience I did find love, and it was a really great experience for me, because it opened me up and it really allowed me to self-reflect a lot, and I do think there's someone out there for me.  So, who knows what the future holds, but at this point it'd be a really tough decision and I haven't really made that yet.


Question:            So do you think you'd be a better bachelor than Sean?


Arie Luyendyk:                  Sean is a great guy and I think we'd both be great, but I think it's a tough decision, and once you've been through it and realize how emotional it is - and it is a very unique experience.  It's a very hard decision to make, so I think either Sean or myself would be good for that.


Question:            Hi, there.  So, do you think that anything would've gone differently if you had met Emily's family before or you had had your last one-on-one date prior to Jef?  Is there anything you look back and think, "I wish this had happened differently," and maybe there would've been a different outcome?


Arie Luyendyk:                  It's so hard to say.  I try not to look back at things and I think everything happens for a reason, and things may have turned out differently, but I know that Jef is an amazing man and he's going to be very good to her, and I could really see that she's happy and that makes me happy.  So, I try not to look back at it, just try to look forward, and I know that although she wasn't the right person for me, there is somebody out there for me, and so I just try to look forward and stay positive.


Question:            Hi.  Earlier we were speaking to Jef and Emily.  They mentioned how you could possibly end up being Jef's best man at their wedding.  Is this something you discussed or would be on board for, or would that be a bit awkward?


Arie Luyendyk:                  No, I'd totally be on board for it.  I have nothing but love for them and they're a big part of my life, and Jef and I were best friends on the show and we always joked about it and talked about it, and so there's no hard feelings and I really feel happy for them, and it's so heartfelt to know that they're in a good place.


Question:            Absolutely, and now that you're getting a little bit more recognition, kind of entering the celebrity world, would you ever consider dating a celebrity, someone whose name is out there, or would you rather go back to, I guess, dating someone who isn't in the limelight?


Arie Luyendyk:                  I haven't ever thought about that.  That's the first time I've ever been asked that.  I guess for me it's just about the person.  It's not about anything else, so who knows who I'll meet?


Question:            And do you have any celebrity crushes in mind you wouldn't mind hearing from?


Arie Luyendyk:                  I would say my celebrity crush is Kate Beckinsale.


Question:            And why is that?  She's kind of married.  Wait a second.


Arie Luyendyk:                  I think she's married, so I guess I don't really have a celebrity crush, then.  She's taken.


Question:            I knew you said that you haven't been dating, but I know when "The Bachelorette" was airing there were photos that surfaced of you and your alleged ex-girlfriend, Sonya.  Was that just a platonic meeting, or could you explain what that was about?


Arie Luyendyk:                  Totally.  I mean, I'm still really good friends with Sonya.  I'm good friends with some of my ex-girlfriends, and I think that - and I was in L.A., and so we just met for coffee.  And she's always been a friend of mine ever since we broke up, and we dated in our early 20s and there isn't anything there.  She's just a really good person and she offers me a lot of good advice, so we still talk.


Question:            Cool.  And so do you think you'll be going on dates again soon in the near future, or are you sort of taking a break from dating right now?


Arie Luyendyk:                  I don't really know.  It just all depends on who I meet, and I know that I'm open and that I'm ready to start dating, and you just kind of never know.  I think it's a - whenever it comes to dating, it's usually best if it happens and it's organic and it's by chance, and I really feel like you - I don't know what my future holds, but I'm definitely open and ready to start dating.


Question:            Good.  So, do you wish you could've met Ricki, and do you think that would have changed things?


Arie Luyendyk:                  Like I said before, I try not to look back and ask the question "what if?"  I know that Emily and Jef are really happy, and I'm happy for them, so I really can't look back and ask that question.


Question:            You said that you're really happy for Emily and Jef, which is great.  Do you think it made it easier for you that you were good friends with Jef, or do you think it made it a little bit harder?


Arie Luyendyk:                  I think it definitely made it easier, because after the show I would still even talk to Jef.  I would call him and we'd chat a little bit, and that really helped me move forward as well.  And because we're such good friends, we could talk so openly.  That was a big factor in me obviously moving forward.


Question:            Hi, Arie.  I just have a couple last questions for you.  Emily obviously decided to not enjoy your final one-on-one date together, and in your own words she apparently saved you from the embarrassment of the final rose ceremony, so, looking back, are you glad things played out the way they did because she spared your feelings as best as she could, or do you kind of wish you could've enjoyed that last date with her, maybe because then you'd still have time to change her mind or fall deeper in love?


Arie Luyendyk:                  I think absolutely I really feel like she made the right decision and she was - through the whole experience she was very good at making decisions, and she knew when she needed to make them and I really feel like that was the best time.  And I was happy that she had done it at that point in time, because it's a very - a proposal would've been very difficult emotionally to get rejected, so I was happy that she did that when she did.


Question:            Great.  And Emily clearly didn't read the journal you left for her on her doorstep after your elimination.  Was there a specific message you were hoping Emily would receive after reading it?  What exactly did you want her to get out of it?  And then since she didn't read it at all, how did that change your perspective on everything, including your relationship with her and her relationship with Jef?


Arie Luyendyk:                  Well, my intention with the journal is just to show her how genuine I was and just for her to read my thoughts.  I mean, I wrote down so many things throughout the whole experience, not just about her, just about everything in general and my life and where I was at that moment.  So, I really felt like it would give her a little good insight.  So, that was my intention is just for her - to show her where I was coming from.


And the fact that she didn't read it really shows me that her and Jef are good and that she's in a good place and she really wants to move forward with him.  So, I was not offended at all that she didn't read it, and now, looking back, it probably wasn't the best thing to fly to Charlotte, but I didn't know they were engaged.  So, at the time it felt right to go there, and the least I could've done was leave that journal to prove to her that I did take the chance on us.


Question:            Hi, Arie.  Did you ever feel mad that Jef didn't tell you before you flew to Charlotte that he was engaged to Emily?  Do you ever feel you wish he would've told you beforehand?


Arie Luyendyk:                  At that point I hadn't talked to Jef.  I got home and there was just a few days before I had to leave for the Indianapolis 500, and I really wanted to gain that closure or to move forward, and so I didn't tell anyone I was flying to Charlotte.  I flew there by myself and that's - I think that's something that - everything was so fresh, I didn't want to call Jef at that point.  I just wanted to find out for myself, and so I didn't really confide in his (inaudible).


Question:            Hi again.  Back to the "Bachelor" idea.  I was just wondering if you could give three reasons why you think you would be a good bachelor and why people should tune in.


Arie Luyendyk:                  Like I said before, I'd really have to put some thought to it, so for me to be trying to promote myself, it doesn't feel right at this moment, so can you - sorry.


Question:            Hi, just a follow-up question.  I know you were talking about the journal and how you didn't want to stay home because you didn't think you could go out publicly and be OK.  We were just wondering how you moved on after you returned from Charlotte and how you prepared yourself for the season airing.


Arie Luyendyk:                  That's a good question.  It was very tough.  It was very tough to be around people, especially people I love, my friends, my family.  My parents knew but my siblings didn't, and it was tough to put up that front and to not show everybody how hurt I was, and it helped talking to Jef and Emily, and that is what got me through.  


And so it was a tough time, but I feel like in any breakup you go through that, and it's good, because it makes you stronger and it really gives you clarity on what you need and what you want out of a relationship.  And I really feel like now I'm in that place to know more of what I want out of a relationship, and I know that Emily and I weren't right for each other and that helped me get through it.


Question:            Absolutely.  And, again, how did you prepare for the season airing and all America watching your relationship with Emily and hers with Jef?


Arie Luyendyk:                  I didn't watch at first, and then after tons of people coming up to me and talking to me about the show, I felt like I had watched it, so I ended up watching it and it was good for me, because watching it was very therapeutic.  I could see her relationship with Jef and I could see that they had something really special, and that also helped me get through it.


Question:            Absolutely.  And what was the reason why you didn't start watching it from the beginning?  Was there anything specific?


Arie Luyendyk:                  It just felt too soon.  I just got home and literally just a few days later the first episode aired.  So, I felt like everything was very fresh, and I remember everything just how it happened, through my thoughts and my memory and my journal, and I didn't want to see the TV version of it.


And, like I said, after talking with a lot of people about the show and everyone coming up to me and talking about it, I really felt like I had to watch it, because it seemed so entertaining.  And it really was, actually, and it was great to see their relationship.  And it made me miss that journey and it made me miss all the other guys in the house, too, because although there was a relationship with Emily and I, there was also a lot of friendships formed and it was such a great experience for me.


That was a lot of information!  I hope you enjoyed it!


Hugs, Kisses & Roses,

Jennifer Matarese


Ann Dee

Great interview! I wish more people read it so they could stop the mus-slinging and bashing over her decision. It's obvious she made the right one.

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