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Exclusive: Chelsea Wanstrath talks about losing out on 'The Bachelor'


By Christopher Rocchio, 05/15/2008 

Chelsea Wanstrath fully expected a marriage proposal from Matt Grant.

Unfortunately for her that didn't happen, as The Bachelor: London Calling star instead presented his final rose and a marriage proposal to Shayne Lamas -- and she accepted both during Monday night's finale broadcast of the ABC reality dating series' twelfth season.

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But Chelsea harbors no hard feelings, and on Wednesday the 24-year-old from Santa Barbara, CA talked to Reality TV World about her emotions heading into and after the final Rose Ceremony; why she told Matt that she thought Shayne was the "falsest person;" how she could see Matt and Shayne eventually married but won't predict it; why she would have wanted a long engagement had Matt popped the question; and why she has no regrets about leaving her job to participate in the show.


Reality TV World:  Were you confident Matt would present his final rose to you heading into that final Rose Ceremony? 

Chelsea:  I definitely thought I was about to get proposed to.  There was almost no doubt in my mind that I was going to end up with him.  I was completely confident.

Reality TV World:  What was that confidence based on?

Chelsea:  Based on how my time went with his parents, I really felt that I just meshed with them and it felt comfortable and everything went great with them.  I really felt they didn't have any concerns with me, from what I knew.  Just my time together with Matt, I was completely falling in love with him and getting the reassurance back from him I thought for sure.

Reality TV World:  So based on that answer, I'm assuming if Matt had proposed to you, you would you have accepted?

Chelsea:  Um... Yes, probably with a few stipulations. (laughing)  I would want a really long engagement just because it would be a quick proposal -- knowing somebody for a short period of time.

Reality TV World:  Matt told you "I can't give you everything that you need" and added it had "taken us a long time" before feelings started to develop as his reasoning for picking Shayne.  Did you buy that explanation?

Chelsea:  I was essentially thinking he was giving me some bad things.  I really was waiting for him to say, "But..."  I was standing there just waiting for the, "But.." 

Then when I realized he was picking Shayne, I was thinking, "What is it he can't give me that I said that he needed?"  I was really just wondering, and I knew I had kind of taken a while to open up to him and develop those kind of feelings and express them.  But I explained to him I wasn't going to tell him anything unless I meant it.  I wasn't going to rush it unless I meant it.


Chelsea Wanstrath reacts to Matt Grant's rejection during The Bachelor: London Calling's finale (ABC/Adam Larkey)
Reality TV World:  So is that the reason why it took you so long to open up, you didn't want to rush it?

Chelsea:  I didn't want to say anything unless I could wholeheartedly tell him that and mean it.  It's hard because there are so many other girls, it's like can he actually fall in love with me if he's been dating these other women?  When it was down to the final two of us, could he actually fall in love with me when he's in love with someone else as well?  I questioned that more and just felt I didn't even know if he has the ability to fall in love with me.

Reality TV World:  It seemed like Matt only further confused you when he said he was "falling for you" and "at times, you were the one."  What were you thinking as he was giving you those reasons?

Chelsea:  Yes, I was very confused.

Reality TV World:  Did he ever shed any light on that reasoning?  Are you still confused?

Chelsea:  (laughing)  I'm still confused!  No, I do understand that Shayne... After watching the show -- and that's the thing, I didn't see a connection with Shayne and Matt, nearly as much as I saw watching the show.  Watching the show I thought, "Wow.  It was really easy with Shayne."  He was really comfortable with her and she was very open.  So I understood that they did have a lot that I didn't know about.

Reality TV World:  What prompted you to tell Matt that Shayne was the "falsest person?"

Chelsea:  Shayne and I are very different -- very, very different.  It was hard for me to see how he could love two women who are so different.  The qualities that he loves in her, I don't have and vice versa.  I didn't see their connection when I was around the two of them.

Reality TV World:  How long had you thought that and had you ever expressed your opinion about Shayne to Matt before?

Chelsea:  I had expressed just concerns in general about being there with other women.  But Shayne's young and I just find myself very different from her and I had a few times just kind of thought about how is that he could love the two of us when we're so different.  What qualities is he really looking for?  He reassured me a couple of times and actually told me, "You guys are a lot alike, you just don't know."

Reality TV World:  Were you surprised by the way he defended Shayne?  What did you expect him to do?

Chelsea:  I think he should defend her.  If he really is in love with her, he should defend her all the way to the moon.

Reality TV World:  Do you now regret making those comments?

Chelsea:  I don't regret making it at all. (laughing)  I'm very forward and honest.  The way I felt that moment is what I said.

Reality TV World:  Things seem to get a little icy between you and Matt after that, was that the case?  Have you spoken to either him or Shayne since the final Rose Ceremony took place?

Chelsea:  (laughing) No.

Reality TV World:  If you did have the chance to speak with either one of them, would you take that opportunity?  If so, what would you say?

Chelsea:  I have no bitter, hard feelings at all.  I could easily be friends with the two of them and I really hope that they do make each other happy.  I really hope that they make this last.

Reality TV World:  Did you hear yesterday's announcement that Shayne is going to be on the cover of Girls Gone Wild magazine?  What are you thoughts about that?

Chelsea:  I honestly didn't even know.  I don't know.  I don't have anything to say about it.

Reality TV World:  Have you heard from any of the other bachelorettes?  Is there anyone you're planning on keeping in touch with?

Chelsea:  I have, I've talked with quite a few of them.  I've got to tell you, I have probably made at least four close friends for life.

[Amanda Rantuccio] and I are so close.  I talked to her for hours recently, and she's actually come visit me in June.  I'm really excited.  I've talked to [Noelle Drake and Holly Durst], and they just live down the road in L.A.  I plan on seeing them.

So yeah, I've talked to quite a few of the girls and everyone's been... They're just sweet girls.  It was a great group.

Reality TV World:  Seeing as how you got to know both Matt and Shayne, do you think they'll actually get married?

Chelsea:  (laughing)  I don't know if they will or not.  I would hope that they have a long engagement.  They need some time to get to know each other and step outside the show and how they got to know each other that way, because when you come back to reality and you have all the other things in your daily life, you learnt o know a different side to somebody.

I can't say I would be shocked if they did get married.  I'd be happy for them.  I can't say that I would predict it either, though.

Reality TV World:  Was it difficult for you to watch The Bachelor unfold knowing how it ended?

Chelsea:  In the beginning, it was hard to watch.  There were moments when I kind of cringed, it kind of made me upset.  For a while I just wanted to get over things and kind of move on with life.

The last episode was the hardest one for me to watch by far.  Just because seeing myself become emotional was hard.  It brought me back to that very moment where my lip was quivering trying not to cry so hard.

Reality TV World:  Was it hard keeping the ending from your friends and family members?  Was it difficult keeping your emotions inside without being able to talk to anyone about it?

Chelsea:  Yeah, it definitely was.  It was really hard.  Especially after you get dumped, (laughing) you kind of want some sympathy, you want your friends to be there to console you about everything.  You have to be chipper and just act like things are fine. 

It was really hard, especially because they pressure you so much.  "Tell me, who have you been talking to on the phone with!"  Just trying to figure it out -- there's so many different ways people try and figure out if it was him or not.

Reality TV World:  You seemed to have a problem with public displays of affection.  Was that something you were aware of heading into the competition or was it simply a reflection of The Bachelor's format with all the other girls there?

Chelsea:  I don't have a problem with PDAs, I just have preferences. (laughing)  That's a better way to put it.  There's just a few things I -- that normally most women I guess like, and I don't like that much.   But I don't dislike PDAs, I just think there's a time and a place for it.

It's also hard to be public with your affection with Matt when you always have other women around you.  You don't want to do that because you know you're hurting their feelings.  The situation made it hard for me to display PDAs.

Reality TV World:  At what point did you think that there was actually a chance Matt might present his final rose to you?

Chelsea:  Honestly after he met my parents I thought, "Okay, there's four of us now.  But I really think that after things with my parents, there's a good chance that I'm going to be the final one left."

Reality TV World:  Is there anything more think you could have done to show Matt how you felt?

Chelsea:  I think in the situation I did the best that I could without saying things I didn't mean.  If I would have said anything any sooner or said anymore, I wouldn't have meant it.  I really think that I did the best I could.

Reality TV World:  So when you told Matt you were falling in love with him, that was true?  You were falling for him?

Chelsea:  I said I was falling in love with him.  I told Matt that I wouldn't be able to actually love him and be in love unless I was the last one just because I didn't think he could love me back unless I was the last one.

Reality TV World:  How were you cast for The Bachelor?  Had you applied for the show before?

Chelsea:  It was my first time applying for the show.  My mom loves the show -- just adores it.  I watched the last two seasons, before that I had never seen it.  So I watched [The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman with Andy Baldwin and The Bachelor's eleventh season with Brad Womack]. 

My mom said, "You're in a great position in your life, and you're single.  You've been single for a while.  Why not go try out and maybe you could really fall in love with somebody.  Maybe it could work out.  Who knows?  If not, it would be a great experience."  I was like, "Okay mom, I'll give it a try."

It just fell into place and it went really fast.  The shocker was, "Wow!  Seriously?  This is going to happen.  Oh my gosh!"

Reality TV World:  What were your expectations going into the show? Did you go into it looking for a serious relationship?

Chelsea:  I went into this thinking that I needed to have a practical head because I didn't want to get too hurt.  Watching the other seasons, just seeing the girls get absolutely devastated.  I thought I did want to find somebody, I am ready to settle down, and this guy could be him but it also could not be.  So I just kept a level head about it, and if love is there, go for it.  If it's not, than it's not for you.

Reality TV World:  What were your first impressions of Matt?

Chelsea:  (laughing)  When I first saw Matt, I noticed he's tall -- which is a big thing for me, I love tall men.  So he's tall, very handsome, attractive.  His accent, of course, is just icing on the cake.  I noticed that, but it also worried because it's like, "Oh no.  Is he going to be super proper?  That's not me at all."

But the more I got to know him, the more I fell in love with him.  He has an amazing personality, an amazing sense of humor and we just laughed so much with each other.

Reality TV World:  Had Matt presented the final rose to you, you would you have been willing to relocate to London for him? Had you discussed relocation with him?

Chelsea:  We had discussed it a couple times.  I am very much in tune with the ocean -- I love to surf and the beach is my lifestyle.  So I told Matt I would be willing to [live in London] for a period of time and then we [would] just need to make a goal to move somewhere near the water. (laughing)  I don't have to live on the coast of California, and we talked about possibly living in France or in Spain.  But I'd be willing for a period of time -- about six months to a year -- and then I would eventually want to move back to the ocean.

Reality TV World:  Do you think that played a role in Matt's decision?

Chelsea:  Who knows?  I don't really know what Shayne was willing to do or not.  That could have been a factor.  That was one thing that crossed my mind when he said, "I can't give you everything you want."  His father's getting older and has had some health problems, so he wanted to be close to him.  Maybe that's what he meant.

Reality TV World:  Some of the previous bachelors who have appeared on the show have had their "sincerity" questioned.  Did you ever question Matt's sincerity about wanting to find a wife via The Bachelor?

Chelsea:  I definitely questioned it.  Of course.  What man would not want to have 25 women fight to fall in love with them?  I think there are very few men in this world who would pass-up that opportunity. 

So you really do have to question if this guy's intentions are sincere or not -- which I did.  Several times I said [to Matt], "Do you really plan on making a go of this with the person you end up with? Do you really want to actively pursue a future?"  He said, "Absolutely."

Reality TV World:  Are you currently dating anyone?

Chelsea:  I'm dating. (laughing)  I mean the show just got over.  Nothing serious at all, no.

Reality TV World:  Did The Bachelor change the way you approach dating?

Chelsea:  No, not at all.  It wasn't a situation I normally walk into trying to date somebody. (laughing)  I'm not going to be anymore guarded than I was before.

In fact, maybe the one thing it did teach me though was that I can be a little standoffish -- or what seems guarded to me seems standoffish to somebody else.  Maybe I do need to work more on opening up and expressing my feelings so that I don't lose somebody.

Reality TV World:  It's obviously too late for this summer, but if ABC decides to do another The Bachelorette edition next year, is that something you'd be interested in?

Chelsea: Hey, you know what?  Anything is worth considering. (laughing)  I don't know.  I'd have to see where I'm at in my life at that point. 

Reality TV World:  So what's next for you?

Chelsea:  I live in Santa Barbara.  Currently, I am job hunting. (laughing)  I was a pharmaceutical rep before the show and I ended up having to leave my job because I was gone for so long.  I'm actually taking a nice break.  I just moved into a new house.  I'm just trying to get back into the pharmaceutical injury.

Reality TV World:  So was it worth leaving your job for The Bachelor?

Chelsea:  Oh yeah.  It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a wonderful experience.  I have memories for life and friends for life.  I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

(Photo credit ABC)


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