While Ashley overcame trials, insecurities and heart break throughout her journey to finally fall in love with the man who had stolen her heart, J.P. also braved jealousy, the unknown and strong feelings for Ashley that weren't always reciprocated when he needed reassurance the most. However, Ashley followed her heart and not her head, and the couple's unspoken connection and obvious romantic chemistry brought them together in the end -- turning the single suitor and Bachelorette into an engaged couple ready to plan a wedding in their near future.
During a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Ashley and J.P. talked to Reality TV World about how happy they have been together and their The Bachelorette experience -- including how confident J.P. was going into the final Rose Ceremony, how they both reacted to fellow bachelor Ben Flajnik's proposal and rejection, whether they believe it will be possible to avoid media hype while living together in New York City, and why the couple insisted their current relationship is a fairytale.
Reality TV World: J.P., how would you rate your confidence going into that final Rose Ceremony? Did you believe whole-heartedly that Ashley was going to choose you over Ben or did you go into it with the fear of being crushed by the outcome?
J.P. Rosenbaum: I was confident, and I don't want to sound cocky at all, but I was confident after our Hong Kong date that I would be the last guy standing. I knew that what Ashley and I had was special and there was really no way she could have with anybody else what the two of us had together.
I think I even said it in the finale that she may love both of us, but she can only be in love with one of us, and I felt it for weeks.
Reality TV World: Ashley, what was your reaction at the time to Ben's response, or lack of rather, after you eliminated him? Did it surprise you he was angry and how did you expect him to handle the news? And J.P., had Ashley chosen Ben over you, do you think you would have acted the same way as Ben or how do you think you would have handled it differently?
Ashley Hebert: Going into it, I had no idea what to expect. My expectation was that he would be more sad, and I got a sense that he was a little bit more angry than I had anticipated. In the moment, I didn't understand that, but watching it back, I can certainly see where that anger came from. It makes more sense to me now.
J.P. Rosenbaum: To be honest, I never really thought of that hypothetical situation because I felt so strongly that she was going to say yes for awhile that I never really put myself in that mindset. I can understand Ben getting upset by it. I mean, right now if Ashley were to walk away from me, I would be devastated. So if Ben felt even a fraction of what I feel, I can understand him being hurt and sad.
Reality TV World: Both of you, you mentioned during the After the Final Rose special that you want to date for awhile until the media hype dies down a bit, so what type of rough timeframe are you two envisioning for a wedding and would you ever consider televising it to share it with viewers?
J.P. Rosenbaum: Really, we haven't given any serious thought to it just because we do have so much going on with her finishing school and moving up here and finding a job and moving into a new place. There's just so much going on that we really haven't thought about it.
We're not going to wait five years to get married, but we're going to take it one step at a time and once we settle down, we're going to start talking about a wedding seriously. And as far as having it done on TV, we talk about it in jest sometimes, but no real thought has gone into it.
Reality TV World: Also during After the Final Rose, Chris Harrison pointed out that living in New York City might not be the best move if you're looking have the media hype die down and stay out of the press. Did you two ever consider or have any concerns about that and did you ever consider both moving and starting someplace fresh together like Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez decided to do with San Diego last year?
Ashley Hebert: No, I mean, I think J.P.'s in New York and he's settled here and has a great job. He's happy here and I'm open to moving wherever. I think New York is different than LA.
I think it's going to be different. I think it's going to be a lot less than if we were to live in Southern California. I don't think it would be like living in Maine, (laughs) but I think that we're going to be okay here. I think it's what you choose to do with it, you know?
Reality TV World: It's obvious you two are very happy as a couple since the finale filmed, but is it really like the fairytale you both imagined it to be or has it been a little bit of a rocky road in that maybe you've faced some challenges or had your share of arguments since the final Rose Ceremony?
Ashley Hebert: Yeah, I think -- I don't know if we've had arguments, but I think we've definitely disagreed on certain things. We view things differently but we talk through them and we get through them. We have a fairytale. I'm not going to lie, like we really do have a fairytale.
But like the world saw, there are ups and downs. He had some tough times in Taiwan. I had some tough times early on. It's not perfect but it's great. Now, it's great! It's a real relationship. It's not like we're in la la land, you know? (Laughs)
Reality TV World: Absolutely. J.P., do you have anything to add to that?
J.P. Rosenbaum: Just once filming wrapped and we went back to our homes and we were just able to be us, even though we were hidden from everybody and under secrecy, nothing faded. Everything just got stronger.
So, any sort of buildup based upon living in Fiji and going on these crazy dates and even if you're worried things aren't going to be the same once you leave, it just got better. So, once we got through that, I knew we were going to be great.
Also in the call, Ashley and J.P. told reporters how they handled Ashley's sister Chrystie's opinions of J.P., what was going through their minds when J.P. proposed, why they said they think their relationship will last in comparison to past Bachelorette couples, when Ashley first realized J.P. was the one for her, and whether Ashley and J.P. said they have any desire to confront former bachelor Bentley Williams and give him a piece of their minds.
You had the conflict with your sister Chrystie, so at what point during the show did you guys straighten things out between yourselves?
Ashley Hebert: We actually never resolved it in Fiji. She left and it was still unresolved, and I think it was when we got home that we talked about it a little bit. But it went unresolved for awhile until she started watching the show air, and then she called me up and said, "I'm so sorry. I completely see it now. I was too quick to judge." So, it took a little while, but she came around.
J.P., you and Ashley shared some special moments during the After the Final Rose special, but did you two talk at all after? What was said?
J.P. Rosenbaum: Absolutely. The first time we got to speak after we got back from Fiji, Chrystie was so sweet, so supportive. It was a different person I was talking to, and now it's ancient history. We're close.
What was going through both of your heads when J.P. was giving his proposal speech?
Ashley Hebert: It was great. I think I was just waiting to hear what he had to say and as a woman, or as a girl, you always dream of this moment. So, I guess I was just kind of living in it and I just wanted to hear everything he had to say.
J.P. Rosenbaum: I was just so comfortable. It felt right and it just naturally flowed and when I was standing there with her next to me, it was just like nobody else was around, and that's how it's always been with us from the start. So, I wasn't nervous. It just all felt natural and I was happy with how it turned out.
Especially after the problems you two encountered with Chrystie, J.P., was there ever a moment where you thought you loved Ashley but didn't want to propose at the final Rose Ceremony, and Ashley, if he had done that, what would you have done?
J.P. Rosenbaum: Nothing that happened between me and her sister had any influence on my decision to propose. I always knew that I was going to propose. I guess pretty much two or three weeks prior, I knew it was going to happen.
So, I was just afraid that her sister's comments and opinions would influence the way she felt about me, but I was hoping that she would trust her gut, trust her heart and not really listen to her sister -- it turned out alright.
Ashley Hebert: Oh, that's an easy question. I mean, I always said that if I left with somebody that I love, it wouldn't matter if I was engaged or not.
Obviously going into it, you go through so much that you hope to be at a point where you feel comfortable enough to be engaged, but with J.P., I cared about him so much that if he wasn't ready for that, I was prepared to just leave with him in a relationship or just continue our relationship outside of it. We didn't need the engagement.
You guys got to see each other a few times when the season was airing, which past The Bachelorette couples were not allowed to do. So besides that, how do you think you guys will be different from previous couples on the show, and how will you make it work as to not follow in the footsteps of the couples who didn't last?
Ashley Hebert: We definitely were able to meet up every other week. I do believe that past contestants had done the same thing, so it's nothing different than what past contestants have done. But I don't really have the answer to that, because I don't know what they did.
I don't who the past contestants were and how their relationship was. All I can tell you is that the show really brought us together. It built a really good relationship, I think. We confided in each other, we learned how to communicate, we dealt with jealousy, we dealt with insecurity, we dealt with so many things early on.
We built this great foundation and now, we're out here in the real world. We've been engaged for two months, but I feel like we've been together for years.
J.P. Rosenbaum: We really feel like the hardest part is definitely behind us. We've had to experience some things that no one on this planet will have to experience. We've gotten past some pretty rough times, but we've come through the other side and we couldn't be happier. Now, we're just looking forward to starting our lives together.
Ashley, what was going through your mind when Ben got down on one knee? And J.P., when you were watching that last night, what were your feelings about that?
Ashley Hebert: Well, I can tell you for me, I know that whole thing is kind of a blur. Obviously going into it, the last thing I wanted to do was hurt Ben -- being the great guy that he is. So it's a blur to me, but I remember trying to talk to him and then feeling like I wasn't sure what to say, and then he got down on one knee and it was just -- I had to pull him up.
It really was just a whirlwind and I think it's really hard to understand unless you're there in the moment with all eyes and cameras on you. I think it's really hard for people to understand.
J.P. Rosenbaum: I actually haven't watched any of Ben's clips from the finale, so I never even saw it. I decided weeks ago that I wasn't going to watch it. We came out the other side so happy with what we have, and what I've watched of the finale is just Ashley and me together. It's just the way I want to remember it, so, yeah.
When did you realize J.P. was the one for you? Was it during your time together in Fiji?
Ashley Hebert: That's such a hard question to answer because there's so much that's going on. You're dating other men and you're going to continue to date other men. I think pretty early on, my heart was pulling me in that direction, but I wanted to use all the time that I had to really be sure that this relationship was one that was going to last.
Early on, with everything that happened with Bentley, I wanted to make sure that my radar was on. So, I continued to be with the other guys, but my heart was pulling me in that direction for a long time.
When you two were on Live! with Regis & Kelly this morning, you guys revealed that Ashley was actually the first person to say, "I love you." Ashley, did you feel like you were breaking the rules by telling him that before the show was over?
Ashley Hebert: I think it's really hard because when you care about somebody so much and you see them in this tough situation, all you want to do is be honest with them and tell them how you feel. There may have been a moment where I felt like I needed to just let him know how I was feeling.
J.P. Rosenbaum: But it wasn't as obvious as my, "I'm in love with you" statement. It was something much, much more subtle than that. But it put my head in the right place.
Are you both looking forward to living the quiet life or are viewers going to be seeing you on TV again soon?
Ashley Hebert: I don't think you'll be seeing us on TV unless you TIVO'd those episodes.
Who do you think would make the best next Bachelor?
Ashley Hebert: I think Ben would be really, really good. I think a ton of girls would love him, but I also think [Ryan Park] and [Ames Brown] would be good. Any of those guys would be great and we would love to watch any of them.
J.P. Rosenbaum: Yeah, it was such a great group of guys that you really can't go wrong, I don't think, with any of them. I would certainly watch Ben or Ames or Ryan -- any of those guys as the Bachelor.
Ashley, were you upset with the producers for declining to tell you what Bentley was saying about you on the side?
Ashley Hebert: Well I do have to say that in my defense, I didn't know anything. I wasn't shown any videos, and in their defense, I have to say that there was a part of me for a second that was thinking, "Why wasn't I shown?" But then you have to think back like this journey is about -- the producers can't run and tell what he said and she said. It's about your own experience and you're own journey.
So, I understand there definitely was a part of me that was upset for a short period of time, but then you realize that that's what this is all about, and it's about your own journey and your own experience.
It's led me to such a great man and I wouldn't change anything, because there's a part of me that thinks the hard times really brought me and J.P. closer together. Now we have this very strong relationship and I don't know that I would go back and change anything, so.
Ashley, when your sister had that reaction about J.P., did it make you reconsider your relationship with him at that point?
Ashley Hebert: To be honest, I knew that I would follow my own gut and I wouldn't let anyone else influence me. And that's what I loved about this whole journey. I got to trust myself. Now, the truth is, I knew my sister was being tough and I knew that she was so stubborn that she would never take it back -- even if she had a change of heart.
So, I knew that she would grow to love him and once she saw us together, I had no doubt that she would see what I feel and that things would be alright and that things would be great. And actually, they are. They're close now and they actually joke about it. So, all is well.
Ashley, do you wish you had gotten the opportunity to confront Bentley, and if so, what would you have said to him?
Ashley Hebert: You know to be honest, maybe there was a point in time when I first found out the things he was saying, I was angry at him. But that was so long ago and I have J.P. and to be honest, I forgave him awhile back. I don't have any interest in talking to him or seeing him. I'm so far removed from all that. So, I wish him well and I hope he wishes the same for me.
How do you both feel about Ashley's big move to New York. What emotions are you feeling and J.P., are you ready to accept a new dog into your life?
J.P. Rosenbaum: I always knew that it was a package deal with Ashley, so I'm welcoming Boo's arrival.
J.P. Rosenbaum: Not happening! (Laughs) I don't have one, but you can hear hers.
Ashley Hebert: (Laughs) I'm really excited to first of all, just be with him, because obviously we've been separate for awhile. I have no hesitation about moving in. I definitely don't have any anxiety about it.
I think we're ready for that, and I don't have a lot of shoes -- luckily. He cleaned out a closet for me. Isn't that sweet?! We're going to get our own place with big closets but for now, he cleaned out a closet for me.
Since you both revealed on Regis & Kelly this morning that Ashley said, "I love you" first, were either of you upset by how the editing of the show had suggested otherwise? When you watched that back, how did you feel about it?
Ashley Hebert: We lived it, so we know what happened and we both knew how we both felt about each other. So watching it, I guess we were kind of biased and we knew that we both felt the same way, but I guess I can see as a viewer how you'd be like, "Come on Ashley! Say it back!"
J.P. Rosenbaum: But I think all the viewers know that if she were to say it back to me that quickly, it would be over. So, regardless of how she felt, I don't think we would know the truth until the end of it.
It's just kind of the nature of the beast. From my end, when you say something like that and you know you can't hear it back, it's different than being afraid that she won't say it back. I knew she couldn't say anything back, and I put myself in that position but I knew what it was all about.
J.P., following up on what Ashley said about how she has no desire to confront Bentley, would you like to have the opportunity?
J.P. Rosenbaum: No. I think he made his bed and now he can lie in it. He showed who he was, and the worst part of it was watching Ashley see it for the first time and being hurt by it, and all these people judging her based on what they saw and not being able to defend Ashley. That was the hardest part, and like she said, the Bentley phase was so long ago. I have nothing to say to the guy. It's over in my book.
Ashley, how were you feeling when your sister mentioned she saw that you had more of a connection with former fifteenth-season The Bachelor star Brad Womack?
Ashley Hebert: Okay, so I knew she was completely like off with her judgment, and then when she said that she thought I was more into Brad, I thought, "Okay, I'm not going to listen to anything she says," because what I feel for him is completely different from what I felt for Brad. So at that point, she lost me.
Ashley, you admitted you and J.P. had some differences. What were those differences, but how do they play a role in your relationship?
Ashley Hebert: You know, I think when people think about relationships and who's best for them, they immediately think of the person that is similar to them. And for me, I think I need someone to balance me out. I'm definitely high energy -- I'm silly; I'm goofy. I just need somebody to balance that out. Also, I think J.P. is definitely more reserved, he's sincere, he's quiet, but I bring the fun out of him.
J.P. Rosenbaum: I think we compliment each other just so well and that's what makes it work.
Ashley Hebert: So even though we're different, we have this relationship where we have an equal mixture of fun and seriousness and romance and I don't know. We just have everything that you probably want in a relationship, and we each bring a little bit of that to it.
After the proposal when you two walked along the beach, J.P. said that at the initial cocktail party...
You said you thought your husband was in that room and J.P. had a funny reaction. Did you get a lot of laughs out of that?
J.P. Rosenbaum: Well at the time, we didn't even know we were on camera. I was just being completely raw and honest.
Ashley Hebert: I'm telling you, that was the best part of the finale for me. That moment was so real and so him and funny and I love that that was included in there.
Ashley, are you excited to learn about the Jewish faith and culture and have you guys talked about your different religions at all and how that might affect your future and potentially raising your kids?
Ashley Hebert: At first, I was nervous that his family wouldn't be accepting of me, but obviously, that's not the case. I mean, we talked about it. The truth is, three of my closest friends are Jewish, so I know a lot about it.
I know a lot about the religion and the culture. I think that I'm open to whatever J.P. wants to do. If he wants to raise our kids Jewish, then yeah, whatever you want. I'm very open and I'm not really set in anything, so whatever makes him happy makes me happy.
J.P. Rosenbaum: Religion was never really a factor for me at all. I'm going to love who I'm going to love and I can't control it. And I know my family's going to love whoever I love, so it was never an issue and we talk about splitting holidays and Christmases and Passovers with my family and it was never a stumbling block at all.
So J.P., you were never concerned your family would love Ashley but wish she was Jewish?
J.P. Rosenbaum: Never. Never, ever, ever. My parents -- my family is not like that at all. They're accepting of whomever I would bring home. So, I wasn't worried about that.
(Photo credit ABC)
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