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Emily Maynard: I could not be happier about my 'The Bachelorette' journey


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/17/2012 

Emily Maynard believed she had found lasting love with Brad Womack on the fifteenth season of The Bachelor, however, their romance quickly fizzled out after a few months.

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So after some initial hesitation, Emily accepted the role of starring on The Bachelorette's eighth edition with the hopes of getting a second shot at finding a potential husband on reality TV and a suitable father-figure for her daughter Ricki.

During a Wednesday conference call with reporters, the 26-year-old single mom talked to Reality TV World about her The Bachelorette season which premiered Monday night. Click here to read what she had to say.  

Below are some highlights from ABC's transcript of the rest of the call -- including why she told Ricki that cameras were going to be following them around, whether she worried Doug having a son might make their potential relationship especially difficult, how she explained there's more to her than just a "southern sweet" side, and how many kids she'd like to have.

Did you have any reservations about becoming The Bachelorette star and what ultimately made you decide to do it?

Emily Maynard: I had a million reservations about being the Bachelorette.  You know, they had asked me to do it previously and I said no to anyone who would listen.  I told everybody I would never do it -- never in a million years.  And then, time went on and after coming off the breakup with Brad, the last thing on my mind was putting myself through all these again -- and even dating really. 

And then, we started talking about it a couple of months later and they were just so accommodating with Ricki and moving the entire production to Charlotte.  I just thought that it is such a great opportunity that I could not pass up.

And did you discuss the decision with Ricki, and if so, what did she say about it?

Emily Maynard: Ricki really does not know a whole lot about what is going on.  She's only six years old, so I like to keep her a little bit sheltered from all of this.  We don't talk about Bachelor or Bachelorette at all.  I don't think she has ever heard me say those words, to be honest. She just loves any kind of chaos going on in the house and she loves it.

So there seems to be a lot more gimmicky entrances this year than maybe in the past and I was wondering what you made of those and if you had a hard time taking those guys seriously.

Emily Maynard: Honestly, it was -- I was standing there in the moment.  I didn't even really notice because I was so nervous. 

You know, it was a nerve-wrecking night and it is really overwhelming because there's so much stuff going on and so much stuff you have to remember, and everything is so -- It really did not even hit me until watching it just on Monday night with everybody else. But definitely Travis with the egg.  That one you know was a tough one, even in the moment.

What about Doug made you want to give him the first impression rose?

Emily Maynard: I mean, obviously, he is a great looking guy and so sweet, but more than anything, I know what it is like to really put yourself out there and take a chance at love and have to leave, you know, the biggest piece of your heart back home. 

And so the fact that he had enough faith in me to leave his son back home really meant a lot to me.  I wanted him to know that it wasn't something that I took lightly.

You clearly come across as a very sweet girl, so some viewers are wondering whether you could be feisty or decisive enough in certain situations. However, during a preview clip shown Monday night, there was a scene where it looks like you told someone off and said, "Get the f-ck out." Did you know you had that in you and did the guys know about that side of you too? Do you think they were very surprised to see that?

Emily Maynard: I definitely think that all the guys came in having this one image of me in their head, but as time went on and they got to know me better. they all said the same thing like, "You are nothing like we thought you were going to be.  And I hope that's a good thing."  They all said it was a good thing whether they meant it or not.  But anybody that knows me, you know, laughs at all that. 

People are saying she is too this and too that because they know me and they know that I am feisty and I am sassy, and you know,  it takes a little bit for me to really feel comfortable but once I do -- I have never been called boring before in my normal everyday life.  That's for sure.

Now that you have gone through the process and can tell us about it, are you happy you changed your mind and made the decision to star on the show?

Emily Maynard: I cannot even begin to think about -- you know, well let me start that over.  I am so happy that I came back and did everything.  It was the best experience. Even just getting to travel so much, and Ricki got to travel with us a lot.  So, getting to give her that opportunity to see everything that she got to see -- and I learned so much about myself. 

And there are moments that I'm never ever going to have back and I'm never going to go through again, and I'm so, so grateful that I was given the chance to do it.

The Bachelorette is an interesting method for a single mom to do for dating.  How did the other single moms feel at Ricki's school?  I'm sure that there are other people there as well.

Emily Maynard: Everybody has been so supportive.  I mean single moms, just single girls, married moms, everybody has been so, so supportive and I couldn't be more thankful.

Kalon made a grand entrance and rubbed the guys the wrong way.  Was that a bit too flashy for you?  He certainly outdid Lindsey Cox trotting in on horseback last season.

Emily Maynard: Honestly, it was.  Anybody that knows me knows I would take, you know, a classic pickup truck over a brand new Ferrari any day.  So, if he was trying to impress me, he probably took the wrong approach.  But, you know, he's very unique and he is who he is.

Obviously on the first night, you have to make a decision very quickly.  Looking back, are you happy with the man you kept or is there anyone that you wish you'd kept around longer?

Emily Maynard: I am so happy with all the guys that I kept.  I really had a great group of guys.  To be honest, if I could go back and maybe keep one extra, I would have kept (Randy) -- the guy that dressed up as a grandma -- because that took a lot of guts.

What were you looking for from the men since the first night on?  Were there certain things you were hoping to see in them?

Emily Maynard: Obviously, I wanted somebody that was at a point in his life that he could -- that he wanted to get married and have kids and step into my life and everything that I bring along.  But really I just wanted to stay open because I didn't want to shut any of the guys off, especially the first night just off the first impression.  And I think I did a pretty good job of that going through the season.

So this is the first time a Bachelorette had to worry about her child liking the men, so could you talk about the qualities you were looking for in a guy in that sense? 

Emily Maynard: Yes.  I mean even in my normal everyday life Ricki is at the forefront of my mind with dating, everything.  And you know, it wouldn't matter how much I was into a guy or crazy about them. If he wasn't at a point in his life where he wanted to settle down and step into the role of being a stepdad and husband and all of that, I would have to, you know, say, "No, thank you."

If you did fall in love, and the bachelor and Ricki just didn't click, what would you do? Do you have any fears about that happening?

Emily Maynard: No, not really.  I mean six-year-olds are, you know, pretty easy to figure out.  Ricki is just like any of the other ones.  You know, you play a game with her 15 times, you give her a piece of candy and play hide and seek, and she is your best friend forever.

Were there any guys that didn't seem genuine right off the bat that was easy for you to pick out?

Emily Maynard: I will -- I will give myself a pat on the back.  I think I have a pretty good sense of someone's character right of the bat.  And, yes, there were a couple of guys that I knew probably weren't there for me.

I think the selection of guys for you is actually really good compared to past seasons.  They all seem put together, good looking and mature.  What was your impression of all the guys?  Were you happy with the group they selected?

Emily Maynard: I mean I can't even begin to tell you how great all the guys were going through it.  I'm excited for you all to see as the season goes on.  The first episode is always kind of hard because a lot of the guys are completely out of their element and I was not super comfortable just yet. 

But even some of the guys that didn't make the greatest first impression on me, the strongest first impression, really surprised me.

Do you think you'll be keeping in contact with any of the guys that you sent home?

Emily Maynard: Absolutely.  I mean I know that a lot of the other bachelorettes have stayed in contact and just been friends with a lot of the guys that they had, and it's such a unique experience going through everything and nobody can understand unless you were there.  So, I think it's really great to have that kind of bond with other people who might do the same thing you did.

I know that you said you don't mention the word Bachelor or Bachelorette to Ricki, but how did you explain this process to her since it's such an adventure with the cameras and the traveling?  I mean, how did you wrap a six-year-old head around what exactly was happening?

Emily Maynard: Honestly, I really didn't even know what to do because it's not like you can Google it, you know?  But I just told her that I'd be working a little bit and she really did become so close with all the people on the crew and their kids and she loved traveling with everybody and all that.  But I told her that it was for a very elaborate family home video that she'll be able to watch way, way later down the road.

So, you said on the premiere that you looked forward to having a lot more kids.  How many do you foresee yourself having?

Emily Maynard: I mean I would take any that I could be blessed with to be honest, but ideally, I would like four.

Do you see yourself having kids some time soon?

Emily Maynard: I mean if there is anything I've learned, it is to never really bank on anything, but I hope so.

Are you in love right now?

Emily Maynard: You know, I don't know.  I don't know.  You have to watch.  I'll get in trouble.

I just have to get some Canadian content in here, so were you upset or even appalled that there were no Canadian men represented in the 25?

Emily Maynard: I was.  Absolutely.  Of course.  (Laughs)

Have you been to Canada and maybe a honeymoon on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls border?

Emily Maynard: I had actually been to Niagara Falls.  My dad is really into fishing and there is some kind of great fishing up there and all of our family vacations growing up were centered around wherever had the best fishing that time of the year.

No one has accused you of discrimination, but did you know there was a race-relations lawsuit against The Bachelor franchise when you decided not to pick the real estate consultant?  Did it impact your decision in any way?

Emily Maynard: No.  Not at all.  Not at all.  And I want to say that all that stuff happened far after we filmed any of this.  He was cast on the show way before any of that happened.  So, no, I didn't even know what was going on.

I wanted to ask you a little bit more about the experience of filming in Charlotte. Because you started at home, did the experience feel less like a reality show than it would've if you were in Los Angeles? Also, was it hard to switch gears between taping and then going back to your domestic life?

Emily Maynard: As far as it being more like a reality show, it was definitely more just real life for me -- getting to come home and sleep in my own bed and everything else, and you know, I get to see my girlfriends.  Life went on pretty normal.

It was hard just because of the lack of sleep I got.  But to be honest, I didn't even feel like we were filming.  It didn't feel like work or anything like that.  It was just -- I was having the time of my life and I was just having so much fun.

What was your favorite room in the mansion in Charlotte?

Emily Maynard: My favorite room in the house was probably the Rose Room.  It was just so beautiful and it looked out over into the courtyard and I love the whole pool area too.  I mean it was an amazing house for sure.

Last week, we asked Chris Harrison about the overnight dates and told us they were just getting underway.  Have you shot those and could you tell me where they were and did you decide to take advantage of them?

Emily Maynard: I can tell you that, you know, overnight dates are over and that filming is done, but I can't tell where they were or even if they happened.  I'm sorry.

But did the show at least offer the overnight dates to you and then leave it up to you to decide whether to do them?

Emily Maynard: Oh, yes, ma'am.  You know, Chris Harrison always offers them to everybody no matter who the Bachelor or Bachelorette is.

In the opening montage of the show, you were spending time with your daughter, but we didn't get to see a lot of your personal life or your job.  What will we get to see outside of your identity as a mother on the show?

Emily Maynard: Obviously, there is a lot more to me than just being a mom.  The biggest part of my everyday is just running errands and doing mom stuff though to be honest, but I teach a jewelry class in my church at a middle school close to my house on Thursdays.  I take photography lessons. 

I'm a mentor to a little girl at a school close to downtown in a lower income part of town that I go to see probably twice a week to have lunch with her.  I spend a lot of time with my girlfriends, and obviously there are other moms too, but you'll get to see that a little bit further in on the season too.

And with Ricki, how did you explain to her when the cameras would be going into the house and stuff?  Did you guys sit down and have a conversation about all that?

Emily Maynard: I tried to explain it to her the best way I knew how for a six-year-old but I don't think she is at an age where she can even begin to understand the reason behind the cameras being in house.  And I don't -- it's not something that I want her to know right now to be honest.  She grew to love it though.  I mean she just loved everybody on the crew just as I did and had the best time with it.

I know you touched briefly on relocating, and in a heartbeat you would go across the country or even to a different nation for the guy you love, but Doug did get the first impression rose and he also has a young son living with him.  So, would it be difficult to uproot one child or another for either of you, and is that something you discussed with him? It would obviously be a different situation that if you selected a guy who only has to worry about himself.

Emily Maynard: I always take into consideration the fact that Doug was a dad but I don't see that as a negative at all just because I have a daughter too, and I know what a blessing she is in my life and anybody would be lucky to get a bonus along with Doug. 

But I just -- you can't help who you fall in love with and I never -- Doug and I did talk about what would happen if it all worked out and if he would be willing to move.  But honestly, I would never just expect anybody to move to Charlotte.  As much as I love Charlotte, I would honestly welcome a fresh start somewhere else.

I noticed that a lot of the guys are from California and not from the South.  I know you said you're happy with the casting, but do you wish they had thrown in some more southern gentleman in the mix so perhaps you wouldn't have to relocate as far?

Emily Maynard: Well, you know, I live in the south so I feel like I get my fair share of southern gentleman just living here in Charlotte and meeting them at the grocery store.  So, it was fun for me to get to meet a lot of different guys that I wouldn't meet in my everyday life.

Every season of The Bachelor or Bachelorette seems to have one villain whom the viewers see through right away but the star may not necessarily. Will we be seeing anyone like that during the course of this season where you don't find out his true identity until weeks had passed? 

Emily Maynard: I think that I am a pretty good judge of character and I trusted my heart going through the entire experience.  Everything that happened -- there was nothing that really surprised me that happened.  You know, some things hurt my feelings but nothing really surprised me, because I kind of had the feeling.

I think viewers are really rooting for you to find happiness.  So, now that filming is over, are you happy and what are your thoughts now that it's over and done with?

Emily Maynard: I am really happy.  I was happy before I went on the show, but I'm really happy now.  Just having gone through it and just learning so much about myself. It really seems like I grew as a person in the past couple of months.  And I really couldn't be happier.

When a lot of viewers realized a racecar driver was cast on the show, they were like, "Wow.  That seems kind of cruel of them considering what happened to her late fiance." Even Arie himself was worried how you were going to react to his profession. So could you talk about what your initial reaction was when you heard that information? Was there ever a time you thought it was maybe a cruel thing for the producers to pull?

Emily Maynard: No.  I mean I was really just grateful that Arie was so open about it the very first night he told me.  But I know about NASCAR.  I don't know anything about IndyCar Car and they're very -- they're two completely different worlds.  I have never even seen one before.  So, I didn't know anything about it.  And I mean, Ari is such a great guy.  He could be a taxi cab driver and I wouldn't have cared.

So it didn't serve as a "shocking moment" for you?

Emily Maynard: No.  Not at all.  And maybe that's what people were expecting, but no.  I didn't care about that.

I'm sure you at least heard a little bit about the entire Bentley Williams and Ashley Hebert issue when she was The Bachelorette star. Were you nervous the show would seek him out for your season?

Emily Maynard: I was a little bit to be honest.  I know Ashley, and I absolutely adore her.  She is one of the sweetest, most down-to-earth girls I've ever met.  And to see her go through that and -- I mean, every girl has experienced something like that -- not on that level, but every girl has gone through and dated a Bentley-type. And I think every girl's heart broke for her in that moment and mine certainly did.

I don't -- I also know just based on the people that I've met from the show that are completely different than the way they were, whenever I watch it from home, I want to give Bentley the benefit of the doubt.

And you know, just hope that he was able to watch it and grow from it, because I think everybody does watch themselves and kind of sees a side of them that they don't love and, hopefully, he was able to fix a couple of things.

What was it like for you to watch this all back? Is it fun and interesting or is it excruciating for you given you don't really like being the center of attention?

Emily Maynard: It is -- it's fun for me in one way because I get to see all the behind the scenes stuff with the guys and all that I didn't get to be there for, but at the same time, it is just painful.  I am my own worst critic.  Yes, it's not fun.  I have to watch it by myself.

Who did you watch The Bachelorette premiere with?

Emily Maynard: I didn't even watch it with everyone else to be honest.  I had to TiVo it.  But I watched it by myself, and you know, just kind of watched it like everybody else I guess and tried to take it easy on myself.

Earlier in the call, you said you weren't so sure about the gimmicky entrances.  I'm just wondering if any of them did work for you.

Emily Maynard: Yes.  I love Ryan's little note that he wrote.  The one that said, "I'm so nervous and you're so beautiful."  I thought that was really sweet and endearing. 

Jef rolling in on a skateboard I thought was so cool.  There were a lot that I thought were just funny in the moment, and even the really cheesy ones were a great ice breaker I think, especially in that moment when you're so nervous.  It was just -- even though it was for fun.

Above are the rest of the highlights from Emily's call. Click here to read what she had to tell Reality TV World. 





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