Brittney Schreiner: I didn't want to waste anyone's time on 'Bachelor'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/19/2012
Brittney Schreiner chose to quit The Bachelor and leave the show right before she would have had her first one-on-one date with Ben Flajnik, leaving him surprised and confused during Monday night's third episode of the ABC reality dating series' sixteenth season.
During a conference call with reporters on Thursday, the 26-year-old medical sales representative from Denver, CO, talked to Reality TV World about her The Bachelor experience -- including why she ultimately chose to walk out on Ben before giving him a real chance, what caused her confusion and mixed emotions about the process, whether she avoided the one-on-one date just because she was scared Ben was "due" to send a girl home while on a one-on-one date, and how much of a role her grandmother played in her original decision to compete on The Bachelor.
Reality TV World: During this week's episode when you realized Ben was asking you on a one-on-one date, you said that something just didn't feel right to you and although it was probably going to be the most amazing date you'll ever go on, you should be thrilled and excited, but you weren't. You seemed just torn and confused. Could you talk a little bit about what you were thinking at that time? Why were you so overwhelmed and confused?
Brittney Schreiner: I think because my heart wasn't in it, I wasn't as excited as the other girls and I wasn't being as aggressive. So, it really came down to a make or break for me. I really needed to push forward through this and see if this is a good fit or I needed to go ahead and let him continue on with the other girls with this amazing opportunity, and I did some soul searching.
It started right after the second Rose Ceremony. I really had to dig deep and it dawned on me that I just shouldn't be here and I don't want to take that experience away from anyone else. It was a hard decision, like I said. It was a completely selfless act, but I wanted the best for Ben, so I decided that now is as good a time as any, and San Francisco is Ben's hometown.
So the last thing I want to do is take away a one-on-one date in his hometown. Even though the date was amazing, I'm really glad he had a good time with [Lindzi Cox]. They looked like they were connecting very well and I'm happy for them.
Reality TV World: There's been some speculation that you decided to quit because all of the girls that had been on one-on-one dates before you had gotten roses and you might have felt that meant the odds were [higher] that Ben was therefore probably going to be eliminate you during your date, and you basically just wanted to dump Ben before he dumped you. What are your thoughts on that -- is there any truth to that?
Brittney Schreiner: There's not any truth behind that speculation. I don't mind getting dumped. It's happened before. If I liked -- if I wanted to pursue something and I wanted to go further with a guy, then I think it's worth trying. I just knew that my heart wasn't in it, so I just kind of didn't want to waste anybody's time.
Reality TV World: [Erika Uhlig] said a couple times during last week's episode that [Courtney Robertson] was trying to deflate all of the girls in the house who hadn't gone on a date yet and was purposely doing things to get under everyone's skin -- which were attempts Erika admitted were actually working. Did any of the girls in particular, like Courtney, influence your decision to leave at all?
Brittney Schreiner: They really didn't. You have a lot of women around you and of course they're going to state their opinions, but at the end of the day, I focused on two people and that was Ben and myself.
When I was thinking and doing the soul searching about whether this was a good fit for me, I knew that I had to make a decision based off the two of us and not them. So when I made my decision, it was just for us and not the girls.
Reality TV World: Why did you choose to go on The Bachelor? Was it more your idea or your grandmother's and was it the type of situation where you went on to kind of please your grandmother because she loved Ben, or did you make your own decision in the hopes of finding love?
Brittney Schreiner: I made my own decision in the hopes of finding love and it was my idea to go onto The Bachelor. I knew of The Bachelor because of my grandma and we would watch episodes together. We watched [Brad Womack's] season together, but she really didn't even know I was applying for it until later on.
That's when I came up with the idea of, "Hey, why don't you come with me since you're such a big fan and you love Ben and I need to make a really big first impression. So, let's kind of do this together." So that's how that kind of played out.
Reality TV World: While you were on the show, which bachelorettes did you think would be good for Ben or considered frontrunners and did you think anyone was there for the wrong reasons?
Brittney Schreiner: I think it was half and half. I think that there were some girls who were there for the right reasons and there are some that aren't there for the right reasons. Time will tell with that. I don't really know, but there are a few girls that I think are the frontrunners and I think it's really clear when you watch the episodes on who he's attracted to and who he's connecting with on that level.
I think that there's a handful that I would recommend as great girls from the time that I was there. But it's so early in the competition that so much can change from here till now. I really can't say for sure. I think [Kacie Boguskie] is such a sweetheart. I had a chance to talk to her and she's just an amazing girl.
When I talked to her on the show, she was just very down to earth -- very genuine. I also liked [Emily O'Brien]. Emily and I hit it off really well, and I think Emily would be a good fit for Ben as well, and Lindzi and I would say [Nicki Sterling]. (Laughs) I think all those girls are great girls and have a lot going for them.
Also during the call, Brittney told reporters whether she would consider competing on a reality dating show again, what her grandmother's reaction was to her quitting when she came home, how she would have felt if Ben decided to keep Shawntel Newton around, which bachelorettes she believed were on their way to winning Ben's heart, and whether she is currently single.
Why didn't you give the one-on-one date with Ben a shot to see if you two had a connection?
Brittney Schreiner: You know, I thought about that and that is exactly why I was torn in the process. I thought, "If I don't give it a try, I'll never know." But there was something that just didn't feel right and my heart wasn't in it and I wanted to be upfront with Ben.
I wanted to be honest that I didn't think we were connecting on that level and I could've gone, but I didn't want to take that opportunity away from one of the girls that was connecting with Ben. So I just thought I could do a very selfless act and make the harder decision and let him continue on with his search with someone that he was obviously connecting with.
What was your grandmother's reaction when you got home?
Brittney Schreiner: She was surprised just like everyone else. She really wanted it to work out because she is such a big fan of Ben and of the show, but she's a great support system and she was understanding of my decision.
How did you get along with the other girls in the house and did you form any friendships while you were on the show?
Brittney Schreiner: I got along with everyone pretty well. I stayed as far away from the drama as possible, but I did form a few good relationships with a few of the girls in the house. I think there really are a few girls that are genuine and have a good head on their shoulders. So I hope to continue on those friendships.
Are there girls you're hoping make it further than others in the competition based on what you know about them?
Brittney Schreiner: I do. I secretly want the best for everybody, but more importantly, Ben. I think Ben is pretty good with judging character and I think he can rule out the fake persons and the real, so I think Ben will make a good choice.
Did you originally go on the show because you wanted to please your grandmother and make her happy since she loved Ben so much despite how you might have felt about him being the Bachelor? Did you arrive and just think, "Okay, Ben's not for me after all?"
Brittney Schreiner: Yes, I really did get there and think Ben was not for me. I don't think I'm right for Ben. I think it was a two-way street, but my grandma was extremely excited because she's such a huge fan of the show and I really brought her on to stand out from the crowd and to capture his attention.
Ben's really close to his family and I'm really close to my family as well, so it wasn't about so much my grandma. It was a little addition to the process in that I thought it would make it a little bit more special.
Given what ended up happening with Shawntel attempting to join the show and how the other bachelorettes reacted to her, are you glad you missed out on all that drama?
Brittney Schreiner: I'm really excited I missed out. Like I said, I tried to fly under the drama radar, which I think I did a really good job of doing. I'm not surprised that the girls acted the way that they did. I think I would have questioned it just as much as they questioned it, but I'm glad I missed it.
If Ben had kept Shawntel, what would your reaction have been? Do you think that'd be fair?
Brittney Schreiner: I don't know the history between Ben and Shawntel and it's hard to say what's there and what's not there. I think Ben just really needed to follow his heart as well, and if he felt like she was something that he wanted to pursue, he would have kept her, and if not, let her go.
But I do think that he has connections with girls in the house that are obviously stronger than his relationship with Shawntel and that's why he made the decision he did.
What has your life been like since appearing on The Bachelor? What have you been up to professionally and personally?
Brittney Schreiner: Professionally, I am still doing medical sales and continuing to do business in that area and personally, not dating yet, but I do have some things in the works.
Is there any chance The Bachelor viewers will see you again later this season since you left on your own accord?
Brittney Schreiner: You know, (laughs) I don't know if you'll see me on this season later on. I'm not sure what the future holds. I really don't.
What was it like to watch Lindzi go on the date with Ben that was supposed to belong to you? Was that a strange experience for you?
Brittney Schreiner: It actually kind of is and I knew that the date was going to be amazing, and it was. It was the ideal date for me -- the concert -- and I play the piano as well. So, it looked like the perfect date, but I was extremely happy. Lindzi, I think, is a great girl and they seem to have a great chemistry.
So, there's a part of me that's like, "Wow, that could have been me," but on the other flipside, I know I made the right decision and I'm extremely happy for them. I think Lindzi has a great head on her shoulders.
What would you have done differently if you had to do the experience all over again?
Brittney Schreiner: I don't think I would have done anything differently. I think that I was honest and stayed true to my heart and stayed true to myself. Maybe -- I can't really say that there's anything I would have changed throughout the process.
You said Ben wasn't the guy for you. Why is that? Do you prefer other characteristics or qualities in a guy you're looking to date?
Brittney Schreiner: There was really just no connection. I don't have a cookie cutter approach to finding a guy. I'm very open and I've dated multiple different types of men, but we just didn't have that spark that you look for when you start dating a guy. That's basically what made me torn about the situation.
When you told the bachelorettes you had decided to leave, what was their reaction? Were they encouraging you to stay or do you think they were secretly happy to have one less woman in the running?
Brittney Schreiner: Probably a little bit of both depending on which woman you talk to, but there were a few girls that were surprised and shocked and sad and said, "Why don't you just kind of wait it out and see how it goes." But to me, that just wasn't an option because I had to make such a quick decision on the one-on-one date.
I just didn't feel right taking that one-on-one date when I knew I just wasn't into it and I just wanted to make sure Ben had the best experience as possible, because this experience is once in a lifetime. So, I had a little bit of mixed feelings on both sides.
Did you find love yet or are you still looking?
Brittney Schreiner: I am looking for love and I think I will continue to look until I find it. So, I am still looking.
Have you been on any dates since you left the show?
Brittney Schreiner: You know, I haven't. I got right back into work and I've been focusing on that, but I am planning on opening up my heart again soon to see what else is out there.
How did you feel getting into the cab after you decided to leave and do you regret that decision looking back?
Brittney Schreiner: Just going back to being honest with yourself, I think that that is the most important thing in life and when I left, I was really sad because I knew that this opportunity wasn't going to come again and I also knew that the fairytale love I was hoping for coming into this, it didn't work out. It was kind of a sad moment, but I'm happy with my decision and I hope Ben finds what he is looking for.
What ever happened to the necklace Ben gave you that arrived with your date card? Did you give it back to him?
Brittney Schreiner: Yeah, I gave the necklace back. I didn't keep it. I gave it back to him.
You said you chose to quit the show because you weren't really into Ben and it wasn't so much about the other girls, but did competing on a reality show for one man kind of turn you off?
Brittney Schreiner: No. I think that any time you date a guy, there's going to be competition. They may not all be in the same living quarters, but it was definitely a different experience. Being in The Bachelor bubble was much different than watching it on TV.
Actually going through it, it does bring out a lot of emotions and it's very, I guess, interesting of an experience. But if I had to do it again, I would, and if I had the opportunity to doThe Bachelorette and have 25 guys, I would.
I think it's such a fun and unique experience that it did not turn me off and did not steer me into one direction or the other. It just really came down to the fact that we weren't really connecting and I had to follow my heart.
What did you think of Ben's hair?
Brittney Schreiner: (Laughs) That's hilarious. I think Ben's hair is okay. I definitely do not usually go for that type of hairstyle, but it seems to be working for him.
Was the general consensus in the house that the girls liked Ben's hair or were dying for him to get a haircut at some point?
Brittney Schreiner: I would say the only one, as of now, that was in love with it that I saw was probably Courtney. But we didn't really talk a lot about his hair. We talked a lot about more of his father abilities and who he was as a person rather than his physical characteristics.
Would you ever consider competing again on The Bachelor if it was for a different man?
Brittney Schreiner: If I was given the opportunity, I would. I don't know, like I said, I don't have a cookie-cutter boyfriend [type], but I would definitely throw myself out there just because I think it's worth a shot. I mean, what can you lose at that point?
Since you didn't feel a spark with Ben but you don't have a specific type, is there another former The Bachelor star or The Bachelorette suitor you think you might have had a better connection with?
Brittney Schreiner: I do. I think Brad. I'm really drawn to Brad from what I've seen of him on both seasons that he was on TV. I think there's just something there that I'm drawn to, so he would have to be my only pick as of now.