'Bachelorette's Ames Brown: I wanted Ashley relationship to be forever
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/21/2011
The Bachelorette bachelor Ames Brown had always intended to move his relationship with Ashley Hebert along slowly and naturally, but he started to fall in love with the Bachelorette along the way. While Ames was thrilled Ashley met his family and enjoyed his hometown -- a step he assumed had progressed them closer to an engagement -- Ashley was still searching for something she hadn't found yet.
Ashley had yet to develop a strong romantic connection with Ames, and the couple's lack of spark even became apparent to Ames' sister. Ames, unaware that Ashley's feelings for him were weaker than what she felt for his competition, went into Monday night's Rose Ceremony fully confident and excited to move on in their journey together. Although Ashley believed Ames was an amazing and unique person, she denied him a rose and sadly eliminated him, which determined her final three suitors.
During a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Ames talked to Reality TV World about his The Bachelorette experience -- including why he believed he'd survive his initial one-on-one date with Ashley when everyone else had sensed the odds were against him, whether he felt Ashley had offered him sympathy roses because he had a nice guy persona and was hospitalized during one date, how familiar he was with The Bachelorette before he appeared on the show, and what his reaction was to fellow former bachelor Bentley Williams' return in Hong Kong.
Reality TV World: It seemed like everyone, including Ashley and Chris Harrison, weren't expecting you to survive your initial one-on-one date with Ashley. Ashley had said she was surprised by the date's outcome because she didn't feel much of a connection, while Chris has said he thought you were a "dead man" walking into the date. What was your take on that at the time? Had you been expecting to go home, and how much of a surprise was it that you didn't?
Ames Brown: I wasn't expecting to go home, I guess, before -- during the date, just because I thought Ashley and I were a good match and maybe we just needed at the time to acknowledge that to each other. I treated the date like an opportunity to get onto the same page, and I guess maybe the show and this type of situation expects a certain forwardness or extroversion that I might not be into.
I felt comfortable being open and revealing myself on the one-on-one, and maybe that's why it worked out. Needless to say, the one-on-one gave me the opportunity to know that I -- or to reaffirm the fact that I -- thought I was right for Ashley, and that was wonderful. I was hopeful for both of us.
Reality TV World: You got really hurt during the boxing group date this season. Do you think the fact that you got hurt played any role in Ashley choosing to keep you during the next Rose Ceremony in that maybe it bought you more time because she felt a little sympathy for what you went through? Your sister even seemed to joke around about that.
Ames Brown: Yeah, I to be honest, don't remember a lot of that week, (laughs) because it was a pretty tough hit, but maybe she kept me around because that was so painful. But I don't think so necessarily. I think, at that point and through the whole process, I think we were clicking pretty well. I don't know.
With that said, I'd probably do just about anything to have more time with her. But I don't know. I think she thought we had a wonderful one-on-one date, and a lot of people who had one-on-one dates before me were already home, so I think we had something really good going on.
Reality TV World: How familiar were you with the show before you appeared on it? You've made a few comments that have suggested you weren't too familiar, so how did you end up on the show?
Ames Brown: I was -- I had to admit, I wasn't familiar with the show (laughs) almost at all beforehand. But I was on a business trip in Central Asia -- in one of the 'Stans, I think it was Uzbekistan -- and I got an email on my way back from someone in the casting department that said they found me or something somehow, I don't know how, and would I be interested in it.
And at that point, I was single for more than a year and I was like, "Why not?" So I flew to Los Angeles and followed it up. I don't know how they find people like me, but whatever. I'm very, very grateful that they did.
Reality TV World: Chris Harrison said that before Ashley went on her one-on-one date with you, she kind of told him you weren't her type so she didn't know what to expect from the date. Do you think Ashley has a certain physical type that she looks for in a man? Because Ben Flajnik and Constantine Tzortzis have a similar look with their long hair, but she's also commented on how she likes J.P. Rosenbaum's shaved head. So what are your thoughts on that?
Ames Brown: Yeah, I wasn't her physical type, but hopefully there's someone out there whose physical type I am, I guess. I don't know.
Reality TV World: The show didn't really focus on what your reaction was to Bentley's return in Hong Kong, but most of the other bachelors seemed very angry and frustrated. How did you feel about Ashley's meeting with Bentley and did you ever consider quitting because of it?
Ames Brown: I felt bad for Ashley. I felt bad because I felt like she was suffering a lot. I didn't know what was going on between her and Bentley, but anything that causes pain to somebody you care about sort of causes you pain, and so I felt bad for her.
Plus, this is supposed to be her adventure and her falling in love and having a great time, so I think it was pretty painful for me -- and I'm sure for a lot of the other guys -- to see her that unhappy.
Also in the call, Ames told reporters why he initially decided to participate in The Bachelorette followed by Bachelor Pad, whether he really fell in love with Ashley, what was going through his mind at the Rose Ceremony before his elimination and why his ouster came as such a shock to him, why he felt taking things slowly with Ashley was not a mistake, and whether he's currently single.
What were your impressions of Bentley while you were on the show and how have your feelings changed about him since you saw him make all the horrible comments about Ashley and the guys in the house while watching from home? How are you going to feel the next time you see him?
Ames Brown: I have no idea, I just hope Ashley doesn't get hurt even more. I'm sure she won't. I think she's over Bentley at this point. I hope so.
You were different than most of the contestants who normally appear on these types of reality shows. So why did you decide to go on The Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad?
Ames Brown: I guess I really didn't know I was different, well frankly, 'til it was too late. I guess if I am different, whatever it is, it didn't really work. But hopefully there is someone out there for whom or to whom my differences appeal, I guess.
What do you think those differences are?
Ames Brown: You know, that's the only question I can say I really don't know the answer to, because that's something that I hear all the time but I never really say. I believe it; I'm sure it's true. I just, I don't know. At least nominally I'm at the middle of the road. I'm not the youngest, I'm not the oldest, I'm not the strongest, I'm not the weakest, but I'm different. I get "different" a lot.
After watching back the hometown dates and comparing yours with the other bachelors, did you understand why Ashley sent you home or were you left confused because you thought it went very well?
Ames Brown: I think we had a great date, and I think the one thing I really picked up on watching the hometown dates is that my progress with Ashley certainly was a lot slower than the other guys, but I didn't see that as a negative necessarily. In fact, in many ways, I was trying to take our relationship a little bit slower just because I wanted it to last forever.
I think a lot of times, both watching this show and in real life, we feel that there are relationships that move super quick and then expire just as quickly. I was having an amazing time with Ashley and I thought I was becoming really close to her, and it was a little bit slower than the other relationships around us, but I felt okay about that.
She's the kind of person that I really wanted to make something lasting with, and so I didn't want to rush it at all. I actually enjoyed taking it slowly.
Watching the show back, did anything surprise you such as Ashley's relationships with other guys?
Ames Brown: I think everything surprised me about her relationship with other guys just because I really was just focused on getting to know her well and our relationships. So I really didn't pay attention to what else was going on, so watching the show for me, 95% percent of it was new.
In hindsight, especially after you realized Ashley didn't feel a spark between you two, do you think you were really falling in love with her like you said you had in your final words?
Ames Brown: I mean, definitely. Under the magnolia tree, I was definitely feeling -- there was no uncertainty that I was getting very close to her -- and I felt definitely like there's nothing other than feelings of love under the magnolia tree or in the day leading up to the elevator ride or in the elevator, of course. I guess I wasn't in as much of a rush or unaware of how the timeline evolved, and that got me in the end.
Do you think Ashley made a big mistake in letting you go?
Ames Brown: I don't know, because I don't know what makes me happy, but I don't know what necessarily makes her happy. I think generally, she makes good decisions, and the guys she kept around until the end are amazing. So, I think that she probably made a good decision in the end.
Do you regret going on the show and going as far as you did since your family got involved?
Ames Brown: No, I had a wonderful time dating her. She's -- I don't want to sound trite, but she is amazing. So, I don't regret it at all. It was very, very, very painful surrounding that and for the weeks following our breakup, or whatever that's called when that happens, so that was painful, but I would do it. It is better to have loved and lost, I would say about this subject.
Viewers saw a little bit of a different Ames during the hometown dates episode. What was going through your mind that day when Ashley spent time with you and your family?
Ames Brown: Well, at first, it was a tremendous relief to know that she had an interest in me to go that far. Sometimes, it's very difficult for the lead -- in this case, the Bachelorette -- to show emotion towards me, like a suitor. I think she was opening up and I was opening up at the same time, and seeing my family loved her as much as I did, was pretty compelling for me.
At that point, my hopes that she would become a permanent part of my life were becoming a little bit more realistic. So, that's when I started to really -- essentially -- started falling in love with her, and that also made it a lot more painful the next day.
What was going through your mind when Ashley was handing out the final rose at the ceremony before your elimination? Were you thinking it could be you?
Ames Brown: I'm very, very embarrassed to say that that was the only Rose Ceremony that I went into where I thought, "Oh my God. This is a sure thing."
I felt so excited about us and our future and especially about the next week, because I thought, "Oh my God. We've been through so much, she's met my family, everything went great, we had an amazing kiss and an amazing conversation in the most beautiful place I may have ever been before, and I think this next week is really going to make an engagement possible."
So I thought, "Of course I'm going to be around next week." I was just like, "Okay, let's go." It was awful, just awful.
Were you at that stage in your relationship with Ashley where you felt like you would be ready to propose if you got to the final?
Ames Brown: No, but by the end of the hometown visit, it was totally realistic and in due, and I was nothing but excited for the possibility. She really got along with my family, we had a great time together. I thought we had a good time together, you know?
I thought we really connected under the magnolia tree, and I think my expectations in terms of timing were much different than maybe everyone else's on the show just because I was thinking slow on purpose -- just because I figured, "This is going to be the rest of your life. No need to rush. Let's enjoy every step of the way and not hurry."
Do you think that taking your relationship slowly with Ashley was a big risk?
Ames Brown: I guess the only way I could have been honest with Ashley would be to take it slowly and that's what I did. I took it slowly, so I'd rather just be honest and take it slowly. This is only worth it if you end up with a relationship that's going to last forever, and I think it's sometimes hard to rush those things.
After this whole experience was said and done with, did you still think Ashley was right for you or do you have a better idea about what you're looking for in a woman?
Ames Brown: I definitely have learned a lot and got a great feeling when I was with Ashley, and that feeling taught me a lot. I will definitely look for that in the future. She's an exceptional person in so many ways. She's smart and beautiful and has a lot of combinations of things that are rare to find in a person.
I'm hoping to honestly find somebody who gives me that same great feeling and has those great things so we can share those great things together. I don't know. It was a learning experience for one physically and emotionally at the end, but if I had the opportunity to do it all over again, I would. I would definitely do it.
Do you still have strong feelings for Ashley?
Ames Brown: No. I wish they were left and it had taken me a couple weeks, but I just would really like her to -- I guess at this point -- have chosen the right guy and I would love her to live happily ever after. She deserves it. She's a great person, and I'm sorry it didn't work out between us, but I think she's the kind of person that will make a great wife and a great dentist and I'm excited to see her have a happy future.
Are you currently single?
Ames Brown: Well, (laughs) that's a great question. I think I'd get electrocuted if I answer that. (Laughs) I think you're supposed to watch the Bachelor Pad. (Laughs)
[Editor's note: According to recent reports, Ames is currently dating former fifteenth-season The Bachelor bachelorette and fellow upcoming Bachelor Pad contestant Jackie Gordon.]
Would you ever consider being the next The Bachelor star?
Ames Brown: I would totally consider it. I guess the greatest thing that I learned about the show is that -- I'm sure people will disagree with me -- but it seemed very real to me and if it wasn't, then the joke was definitely on me.
But to me, it seemed very real and I would always welcome any opportunity to find the right person to spend the rest of my life with, but I honestly haven't even thought about things like that. But yeah, I would definitely think about it.
Your Ivy League education was prominently portrayed in the show, so why would you do a reality show -- assuming you'd be skeptical of the experience or something since you are a smart guy.
Ames Brown: I've been single for quite a long time, more than a year, and I guess I just believe that love occurs in unexpected places. It's even more romantic when it does occur in unexpected places, and for me, it actually did occur on the show -- strangely. I know that because I know how painful it was when I learned that it wasn't going to be for real life.
(Photo credit ABC)
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