Brooks, a 28-year-old marketing consultant from Salt Lake City, UT, decided to quit the show at the very beginning of his one-on-one date with Desiree in Antigua. The suitor determined he wasn't madly in love with Desiree, and although his feelings for her were strong, he acknowledged they weren't where they needed to be at that point in the season to consider asking her hand in marriage.
A devastated Desiree eventually moved on and ended up selecting Chris over Drew in the conclusion of her The Bachelorette edition. In turn, Chris proposed and the pair got engaged.
During a Tuesday conference call with reporters, Brooks talked to Reality TV World about his experience on the show and relationship with Desiree. To read what he had to say, click here. Below are some additional highlights from his interview.
Were you surprised when Desiree got engaged to Chris?
Brooks Forester: Not entirely. I had time to consider all the options of what might possibly be the outcome, so not entirely, but you know, I'm excited for them. I wish them the best. And, you know, as I said last night, it was apparent that Desiree had those feelings for Chris and I know he had those feelings for her.
I love Chris. Chris, I think he is a genuine -- he's a genuine person and very great guy. So, I think Desiree, you know, got what she deserves, a great guy. So, I couldn't be happier for him.
If there's anything to like about that sort of dramatic breakup scene, it'd be how honest you were about how weird this whole process is and that you're expected to fall in love so quickly and get engaged that quickly. Can you talk about how difficult it was to decipher your true feelings from the entire sort of romantic show, including over-the-top dates?
Brooks Forester: Yes, it takes a moment to justify in your brain all the different scenarios that are going on. The fact that she is dating 25 other guys is something that may be used -- they warmed me up to that idea when you are coming on the show and [I knew] that that's the premise of the show.
However, actually being on the show with the guys while feelings develop is entirely a different story, and it can be difficult to fall in love with the moment. Does that make sense?
Brooks Forester: So, I mean, the dates are so grand and amazing, and you only see her in those moments, so it is difficult to really decipher exactly how you feel. Are you falling in love with her or are you falling in love with that moment?
And so, for me, I really wanted a window to the outside world to say this -- "I see this relationship working after this whole journey together," and that's what I was most concerned with. I wanted to make sure that those words, you know, "I love you," are genuine and sincere and that I can fully back that up six months, a year from now, instead of just in that moment.
You really don't think it's kind of weird she got engaged after having that intense breakup with you? You asked her what she was going to do next, and she said she didn't know because she had envisioned her future with you. So that must've taken you at least a little bit by surprise, right?
Brooks Forester: Yes, because to say there was no surprise at all would be a stretch. I don't know what her process was. You know, I wasn't there to see exactly what it is that she was realizing, and going into that conversation, I was hoping she was somewhat conflicted.
So, you know, maybe she was really conflicted between Drew, Chris, and myself and my bowing out would make this decision easier for her. So I guess in retrospect, I am a little surprised, but not entirely.
But I don't know what she was going through prior to that moment, and having me gone, if that created clarity for her or more confusion, either or, I'm just not sure. That's a really hard question... I don't know. Those are the conclusions that I came to. She could've been thinking anything and she didn't communicate that to me, so.
Based on producing and editing, it really came across that you were the frontrunner early on. Did you ever feel like you were the frontrunner and that this was kind of yours to lose?
Brooks Forester: In the beginning, I had the first date. I had the first date so early on, so I had more time than any of the other guys, so I knew that I was in a situation that was going to be difficult because my next time with her to rekindle the connection that we established on the first date was going to be longer than anybody else.
So I did feel that I had -- as you say -- the position of a frontrunner early on due to my position in the dates. I don't think after others had their dates that I was any further along than either of them. I think once everybody started to get their time, we were all put onto an even playing field to some degree.
What are you doing right now with your life? What's going on?
Brooks Forester: Oh, I've been working on a couple different projects. I work at Fit Marketing. I work in sales. I do audits for new customers and then I have a little company that we've been working on for two years. I call it a project because it's, you know, it's still in its infancy and we basically help recycle old shoes and help to raise money to provide new shoes for those who don't have them.
Since you're not dating anyone right now, did you ever consider being the Bachelor and were you disappointed that you weren't picked?
Brooks Forester: You know, after watching Desiree firsthand and the process that she went through, it was emotionally taxing. There was some discussion early on, and when they had asked me, initially my response was, "No."
We had multiple conversations about it and they said, "We think we're going in a different direction anyway," so there wasn't much for me to consider in that arena, so that decision was pretty easy.
You touched on this a little bit, but this is obviously a very unusual situation. I mean, Des was dating other guys and there was this kind of pressure of the cameras and everything. Do you think that if you had met her in a bar or something or through friends and had a relationship off-screen that it could have developed more naturally?
Brooks Forester: Well, Desiree had been there before, so I felt like she had an understanding as to how to be herself early on. I think I was the one doing the learning there, so I don't think that the situation would change things entirely. I think the outcome would have been the same just based on who we are as individuals and what it is that she's looking for and what I'm looking for.
You know, and like I said before, I just -- after putting everything into that relationship and the pieces started to not come together, that was really emotional for me -- to really put my heart out there and to really try to make that relationship work and then to just not feel that click that I felt like I needed and have felt before.
This isn't the first time I've been in love and, you know, I've felt that before, so I know how to recognize it. And I just didn't feel that in the relationship, so I don't think it would change the outcome.
Are you truly happy for Desiree and Chris?
Brooks Forester: Yes, as I said before, I mean, they were looking for love and they found that, and Desiree and Chris both are amazing individuals in the fact that they found that they're comfortable with each other and comfortable with the decisions that they've made and feel like they can back up the words "I love you" to each other and commit to that relationship. That is something to be celebrated and I am extremely happy for them.
You know, the phrase is often thrown around, you know, he or she deserves to be loved. I think the less that people who don't deserve to be loved would be a lot shorter. You know, so the fact that they've found it is awesome. Everyone deserves that.
And if they invited you to their wedding, would you go?
Brooks Forester: That's a really good question. You're putting me on the spot and you can't tell I'm blushing. I don't think so out of respect for Chris and for Desiree. That would just feel like it would be awkward. I myself would go if they were entirely comfortable, but that's a weird circumstance.
Juan Pablo Galavis was one of the fan favorites that we barely got to know, so we're wondering what's something we don't know about him? Was he known for something amongst the guys in the house while you were filming?
Brooks Forester: Yes, I think Juan Pablo is known as kind of the neutral guy in the house. He is kind of Switzerland or Sweden, if you will. He would -- yes, he was always in kind of a neutral position, and if there was a conversation or debate or something, Juan Pablo usually took the neutral position. And maybe that's something that you don't know. I'm trying to think what else.
Is there like a funny behind-the-scenes memory that you have?
Brooks Forester: I think that'd be a question for Michael Garofola. Michael's got a great memory. He remembers every little detail. I myself, I, you know, Juan Pablo and I weren't the closest in the house. I didn't spend a ton of time with Juan Pablo and I'm a bad one to ask on that.
To read the first two portions of Desiree and Chris' call with reporters, click here and here. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion. To begin reading what Drew had to say about his experience on the show, click here.
(Photo credit ABC)
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