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HOME > The Bachelorette > The Bachelorette 6

'Bachelorette' suitor Hunter Wagner: I was leaving even without Justin


By Christopher Rocchio, 06/10/2010 

Hunter Wagner believes the fact that fellow bachelor Justin Rego snuck some private time with The Bachelorette star Ali Fedotowsky before their one-on-one date didn't help his chances of receiving a rose, however he feels he probably wasn't getting one anyway.

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"It had an impact. She even said it took the fire away from our date. I don't think she was fully into it either because Justin went there and spent some time with her. Do I blame her? No. Justin was the one that decided to trek on over there and do it," Wagner told Reality TV World during a Thursday conference call.

"But in all honesty, at the end of the day, there just really wasn't that connection. I think no matter what -- whether Justin went to visit her or not -- I do have a feeling that I was going home any ways."

The 28-year-old Internet account executive from San Antonio, TX failed to receive a rose from Fedotowsky at the end of their one-on-one date during Monday night's episode, and he told reporters he was unaware of Rego's trip until recently.

"I was pretty shocked. I read that on the ABC press release last week -- that he went over there. I absolutely had no idea that he did that. I knew he was gone for a couple hours and I remember him coming back. I even asked him where he was the whole time, and he said he was on the couch sleeping in another room," Wagner told reporters.

"When I read it I felt a little upset and betrayed. But he did what he felt like he had to do. I think [suitor Ty Brown] said it best last episode: 'Karma will come back and bite him.'"

While Rego, a 26-year-old entertainment wrestler from Toronto, Canada, was singled out by a majority of his fellow suitors during the first night's cocktail party for being on the show for the wrong reasons, Wagner said he had a "strange relationship" with him.

"We were roommates, and I was probably one of the few that never really did give him a hard time about being an 'entertainment wrestler,'" said Wagner.

"I really did try to get to know him and ask some questions about his job because I've never met an entertainment wrestler before, so I was kind of interested."

Wagner added he also tried to help Rego -- who had a broken ankle when the show began filming -- however he noticed how he was different when the cameras were around.

"His whole entire personality did change. When we were just sitting around by the pool and just talking like guys, he was himself. But then when the cameras came around, it's almost like he got more cheesy in a way," said Wagner, providing a specific example.

"I remember we were sitting there, laying in our room one day and the cameras came in. He started talking about how he was looking at the same mountains as Ali is right now. He just cheeseballed it up for the cameras. I think that's what rubbed people the wrong way."

Wagner claims he gave Rego "the best shot to really open up."

"I really did try to find a connection with that guy," he said.

"But I did slowly start realizing that he was kind of being fake -- and more and more fake. He had two tells. When he's putting on his persona, I realized he raises his eyebrows and/or he gives a little half-crack smile. When I'm watching it now, it's almost like I know when he's lying because he's doing one or those two different things."

Rego reportedly had two girlfriends back home in Canada while he was competing for Fedotowsky's heart, however Wagner said he was "never" aware of it.

"Justin never brought anything up about him having a girlfriend," he told reporters.

"To be honest with you, he was too busy talking about how much more popularity he's going to get in Canada to help his wrestling career. I don't think his girlfriend was even on his mind while he was there if he had one."

Wagner's one-on-one date with Fedotowsky was delayed due to Rego's unexpected visit, however the impact was minimal given the date only featured the pair hanging out at her mansion.

"Definitely, the biggest difference between my one-on-one date and the other guys was there wasn't this exciting adventure that we were able to share together -- which I think kind of did pull those two people together closer when they were experiencing that," he explained.

"The one-on-one date we had was probably more like a real one-on-one date that someone would have in real life, but we didn't share the excitement like the other guys did. It was a lot more slow-paced sort of date."

In addition, Wagner said he thinks a more adventurous date could have helped his cause.

"I think the more adventurous the date is, the easier it is to find a connection because you are doing something out of your element and you're doing it together. The only person you have to lean on is that person to the left or right of you," he explained.

"But a relationship is more than walking a tightrope over two buildings. It has to be a deeper connection at the end of the day."

Wagner said he had "mixed emotions" about his elimination.

"When I left I was definitely happy to get back home. It was something where I was pumped to be there, but when it was done I was relieved as well," he explained to reporters.

"Would things have changed between Ali and I if I had more time? That I really don't know. I think if I would have had more time, possibly I would have been more myself in front of the cameras. But then again, who knows. I might have just kept shutting down more and more."

Wagner said he was hoping that the one-on-one date would have given him an opportunity to "open up more" since he was having a hard time dealing with the cameras constantly being around.

"What's strange and different about me I think is the cameras kind of had an opposite affect on me. A lot of people would say the cameras just disappear after a while. At first, I didn't see the cameras. But the more and more time that went by, the more and more I realized they were around. I was shutting down in front of the cameras and not really able to be myself," he said.

"I was hoping that with this one-on-one date with Ali and I, if we found that connection, the cameras would kind of disappear in the background. But they never really did. Was it because we never found that connection or was it because I was just too concentrated on the cameras? I'm really not sure, but it's too late to worry about it now I guess."

Still, Wagner said the one-on-one date wasn't as bad as Monday night's episode made it appear.

"It was less awkward than how it was really shown. But it was still awkward," he said.

"We had a fun time -- we laughed a lot, we got to know each other. But I don't think there really was that romantic spark at all. That's what kind of was the end. I think you could kind of tell between the both of us, we realized towards the end there wasn't anything there."

Wagner said he was cast for The Bachelorette after his married brother -- who is "forced to watch the show" -- sent ABC a video clip of him giving a wedding toast for one of high school friends.

"My brother sent that link off to ABC and that's how this all started. I never really thought that I was going to get picked in the first place. I was going with the process, kind of taking it as a joke," he said.

"When I was asked, there was a point where I sat down and couldn't say no to the opportunity... I'm definitely glad I did it. Did I need a national television show to get a date? No. But it was definitely one heck of an experience."

Once he arrived with Fedotowsky's 24 other bachelors, Wagner said they spoke about staying out of each other's way despite the fact that it was a competition for her affection.

"We kind of had an agreement at first that we wouldn't step on each other's toes and we wouldn't talk bad about each other with Ali because we wanted Ali to see the person in her eyes and not get other opinions from other guys around the house," he explained.

"What I've noticed, that has started breaking apart a little bit. I think it's becoming more of a competition now that there's less people. It's becoming more of a cut-throat game now. I think that's how it's going to keep getting more and more as each episode goes by."

Eleven suitors remain in the running for Fedotowsky's heart and Wagner named Roberto Martinez, Chris Lambton, Kirk DeWindt and Jesse Beck among his favorites.

"I definitely think there's a handful of guys that would be perfect for Ali," he told reporters.

"All the real guys that wouldn't change the way they acted when the cameras were around are the people that I think have the best chance to be with Ali and make it last after the show's done."

Wagner also addressed a Fedotowsky's own coy claim -- and former The Bachelorette star DeAnna Pappas' own subsequent comments -- that the sixth-season star may not selected either of her Final 2 suitors (while it won't air until August, the finale was already filmed this spring).

"If she didn't find the person that she saw herself with for the rest of her life then I would see her not picking anyone," he told Reality TV World.

"I don't think she would pick someone at the end just to pick somebody. She let me go because there wasn't anything there. So I think she would do the same thing with the guys, even if it was the Final 2."

While he's currently busy with work, Wagner said he has yet to begin dating since leaving the show.

"I haven't jumped back in. But now that I'm officially kicked off, we'll see what happens," he told reporters. "Hopefully a couple of doors will open in the dating market here."

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