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Ben Flajnik: Keeping Shawntel Newton would have cost my credibility

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/17/2012 

Ben Flajnik says keeping Shawntel Newton around would have jeopardized the relationships The Bachelor star had developed with his original bachelorettes.

"I knew if I kept Shawntel around I would lose all the credibility I had built with these women and it wouldn't be easy to dig myself out of that hole," Flajnik wrote in his People blog about eliminating Newton, the former fifteenth-season The Bachelor bachelorette who showed up during Monday night's episode in attempt to join the bachelorettes and fight for Flajnik's heart.  

"Let's put it this way -- if Shawntel had started the journey with the rest of the women it might have been different. But I was already so happy with the group of women that I had that I wasn't about to jeopardize the rest of my experience in trying to find love. I do want to thank Shawntel though for coming. She gave up a lot to try this and I really respect her for it."

Newton wanted to compete on The Bachelor's sixteenth season because she believed she had bonded with Flajnik before he decided to appear on the show and she wanted to see if they could find love. However, the 29-year-old winemaker felt the moments they had shared just weren't enough to pursue a relationship when giving her a rose would ultimately hurt his bachelorettes.

"Shawntel and I had chatted a few times in between seasons and I thought she was an interesting, beautiful woman and she was right to assume that there was a connection. There was, but the timing was wrong. So, you can imagine how surprised I was when she showed up to the cocktail party unannounced," Flajnik said, adding that the ladies' angry reactions to Newton's arrival were equally if not more surprising. 

"After watching, I didn't realize that the women were so mean to Shawntel and I was a bit taken aback. I mean I knew it was a bold move on Shawntel's part, but some of the women took it a bit too far."

While Flajnik chose to send Newton home, bachelorette Brittney Schreiner chose to quit and leave the show on her own -- a decision that left The Bachelor star confused but somewhat grateful.

"Brittany's departure came as a total shock to me. I respected that fact that her heart wasn't in it and that she didn't want to take away from the other women and their time with me. I wonder what Grandma Sheryl had to say when Brittany got home," Flajnik explained, referencing how Schreiner had brought her eager grandmother with her the very first night.

Flajnik summarized last night's cocktail reception preceding the Rose Ceremony in which he ousted Newton and bachelorettes Jaclyn Swartz and Erika Uhlig as being completely out of control.

"So I have heard from everyone that makes this show happen that this was truly the craziest cocktail party and rose ceremony in Bachelor history. Having only seen one other season (Brad Womack's), I would have to agree. Wow. Nothing in my life would have ever prepared me for the s-- storm that happened that night," Flajnik said.

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