Exclusive: Travis Pope talks about Emily Maynard and 'The Bachelorette'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/25/2012
Travis Pope, a 30-year-old advertising sales representative from Madison, MS, was eliminated by The Bachelorette star Emily Maynard along with one other bachelor during last Monday night's broadcast of the ABC reality dating series' eighth season.
Travis and Ryan Bowers, a 31-year-old pro sports trainer from Augusta, GA, were both ousted during their one-on-one dates with Emily. Travis was sent home after anxiously awaiting the date with Emily, as it was his first individual date of the whole season and the determining factor of whether there was a romantic connection between them or just a solid friendship.
On Monday, Travis talked to Reality TV World about his The Bachelorette experience -- including whether he regret his laid-back approach to the competition, whom he admitted would be the best guy for Emily, whether he felt just a friendship with Emily or had much stronger feelings for her than she had for him, and what his theory was on why he wasn't edited into the show's episodes very much.
Reality TV World: A lot of our readers want to know why exactly you brought Shelley the ostrich egg with you on the very first night. Could you talk a little bit about what your motives were? Were you just trying to be really funny, or did you hope Emily would think the story was kind of corny and cute and therefore assume you were a sweet guy?
Travis Pope: (Laughs) Actually, it was kind of funny that I was trying to think of something that would stand out a little bit and kind of match my personality a little bit. I'm very quirky and kind of dorky in a way, and I knew that that would definitely stand out. It didn't have anything to do with being from Mississippi, because actually, I don't even think I've ever seen an ostrich besides the zoo.
But, you know, it was just something different and I knew that if I put something together, that it would kind of make a resemblance of what I said in the beginning, which is, "I'm going to take care of this egg in the beginning as if I were to take care of you and Ricki throughout our little journey on this show." And it actually kind of worked out in a way.
Reality TV World: A lot of the guys really have gone out of their way to fight for Emily's attention and alone time, whereas you seemed to take more of a laid-back approach, which caused you and Emily to form more of a friendship than a romantic connection. Looking back, do you regret how you handled the situation with Emily. Do you wish you had been more aggressive?
Travis Pope: You know, I actually in the real world, besides being on the TV show, that's kind of how I am in a way. I don't really just fight and talk bad about others. I'm kind of more of a "slow approach" and it takes some time a lot of times for me to develop a relationship and feelings, and Emily and I did have a great relationship with friends.
It would've just taken a lot longer -- not to say that this might've been the venue for us to connect in, I guess, a love way -- we tried and had a great time doing it, but no, I don't regret anything I did. We had a great time from actually the first minute to when I walked in the door. We had a great laugh together and it carried on throughout the show, and we had a great time together.
Reality TV World: So were you kind of missing out on that romantic connection then or were you feeling it?
Travis Pope: Yeah actually, when we were in Croatia and I had the one-on-one, I told the guys before I left that, "This is going to determine whether we take this friendship into another level or we're going to remain friends and we both know it."
So, we both kind of knew it going in, and we were just going to see if it was there. And it just turned out that it just wasn't there -- not to say that if we didn't have a lot more time and it wasn't, I guess, a dating TV show, that it wouldn't have worked out. But you know, it just didn't in this venue and I don't regret it one bit.
Reality TV World: So it sounds like you don't believe Emily led you on at all then right? It seems like you kind of knew that she was treating you like a friend and probably felt for you like a friend?
Travis Pope: Absolutely. Absolutely. No, I didn't think she was leading me on one bit. And obviously, it didn't show that I was leading her on at all.
We were both trying to get to know each other, and we actually had a million things in common -- us both being from the South and we kind of had the "slow town" kind of atmosphere that we both grew up in. We just got along great, and it just really never progressed into much more than friendship.
Reality TV World: Your face did seem to light up a little when Emily picked up the rose at the table on your one-on-one date. Many viewers thought she was going to give it to you. So were you shocked at all she denied the rose or did you ultimately see it coming because, based on everything you're saying, it sounds like it didn't come as a surprise to you.
Travis Pope: Right, you know, if she would've given me the rose, it would've been great -- which would've meant we could've probably kept trying and seeing if our relationship would ever bud out of it. But it didn't and she didn't give me the rose and therefore, I went home.
But I'm telling you, when I left, we both laughed and gave each other a big hug and said, "If it was a different situation, then maybe." But we just really couldn't find the connection in the short period of time, but we had a great time together.
Reality TV World: You did get very emotional during your final words. So just to clarify, did you get upset because obviously rejection just hurts, was it because you didn't find love in general or did it have something specific to do with leaving Emily?
Travis Pope: You know, honestly, I guess everything just kind of came together and when you start getting a little bit older and you really haven't found anybody, there's just kind of an emotion there. They ask the right questions and the answers come out, and it really wasn't over Emily.
It was just maybe just finding someone in general that's going to accept me and kind of just see what I'm worth and seeing what goes on down the line. But at the moment, the producers asked the right questions and that kind of brought out the emotion!
Reality TV World: The show didn't show a lot of you except for when you were goofing around with the guys or had your one-on-one time with Emily. Did you and Emily have a lot more alone time than what was shown or did the editing accurately depict the amount of time you go to spend together? And if there were many conversations that took place, what were those talks like?
Travis Pope: Yeah! (Laughs) It's funny. My friends asked the same question, and I mean, we had -- every cocktail party before the Rose Ceremony, we had so much time together. On the group dates, we'd always have our alone time.
But it's kind of funny. I wasn't talking bad about people; I wasn't trying to create drama. I wasn't -- it was more about her and I, and where she's from, and what I believe, and what she believes. It just didn't create the stir or the controversy that they wanted to show on TV that would keep you watching.
So we had so much fun together! It's so funny, and she would tell you this too -- that every time we would get together, we would just sit there and just laugh and have the greatest time. But honestly, we had so much time together. Every time there was a cocktail party, we were always together. Just cut up the whole time. That made it so much more fun.
Reality TV World: Do you see yourself maintaining a friendship with Emily in the future? Do you think it's a lasting one or that you two just had a great time together on the show?
Travis Pope: You know, it never budged into that. I would love that. We really did get along and formed a great connection there. I'm just kind of waiting to see just like you who she ends up with. And of course, I'm friends with that person no doubt about it.
So, I'm sure that we'll see. And yeah, definitely! Seriously, it was a really good time and we just hit it off in that way right off the bat. So I could definitely see us being friends in the future.
Reality TV World: Before you learned you'd be getting one of the week's one-on-one dates, you basically said you'd might as well pack up your bags and go home if you got another group date because you were well aware Emily's relationships were growing strong with other men in the house. So had you not gotten that one-on-one, would you actually have left? And did you ever come close to quitting the show?
Travis Pope: (Laughs) You know, it's hard to say that you would. It's just kind of disappointing when you're seeing all these guys go on these one-on-one dates and your name hasn't been called.
You go on these group dates and you only get a select amount of time that you get to hang out with her. But you know, I did get that one-on-one time in Croatia, and thankfully, I didn't have to worry about having to talk to the producers or the executive producers about going home.
It worked out great. It is tough being there, and when you're confined with a bunch of guys 24/7 and there's no outside life really going on, anybody's going to go stir crazy. Stuff comes out that you probably never would've had said, and it's said and then I guess you just have to live with it.
But no, thankfully it did come up and I had a great time in Croatia. It was a gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous place, and it's something that I'll always remember and always look back and smile on.
Reality TV World: Before you finally got your one-on-one date, were you starting to read anything into why you hadn't gotten one up to that point? Were you getting worried at all or just optimistic your time would come?
Travis Pope: You know, it got down to, I think it was [John Wolfner] and I, who hadn't had the one-on-one dates when I got to Croatia. And he had actually had a two-on-one date with [Nate Bakke]. I think that was in Bermuda, yeah.
So yeah, I kind of always had thoughts going in the back of my mind like, "I wonder why she hasn't picked me," or, "She's saving the best for last," or, "Is this just a friendship that she just doesn't see forming?" You know, there's just a million things that are going through your mind, but I'm patient and it worked out for the best. And I had a great time.
Reality TV World: You mentioned during the show you had been engaged. Would you mind sharing a little bit about what happened there?
Travis Pope: Sure. Yeah. I was engaged to my ex-fiancee. We were together for two years and engaged for one. Like I told Emily on the show, I don't know if it was something she did or something I did, there just wasn't the right connection.
It's kind of good that we both kind of saw that before we really got into [marriage] and having kids and realize that after a year of marriage and doing the wrong thing. So actually, it worked out for the best. We're still friends. We talk every now and then.
I think she's engaged again now and she's happy and I'm happy. So it worked out great, and I told her, "It's just a learning curve. Things happen in our lives that you just gotta step up and look back and learn from." That's just one of the things in my life that I've learned and I can say I'm really not excited that we got engaged before we found out, but it just happened that way and you learn from it.
Emily and I both had that same experience -- her being engaged -- and we both kind of got on the same level there. That also was one of the things that we had in common, so we really had a million things in common that we could've just talked about for days and days. That was a good thing with us for sure.
Reality TV World: You mentioned to Emily you hadn't dated anyone since your engagement ended. What made you decide that now was the right time and Emily was the right girl? What made you apply for The Bachelorette or did someone nominate you?
Travis Pope: Yeah, honestly, I didn't even know that Emily was going to be the Bachelorette and I had a friend of mine whose wife sent in a -- she called me and said, "I'd love to see if we can get you on The Bachelorette." And I said, "Sure, that's fine." I didn't think anything about it, and then she sent in a picture and it can't of went on from there.
They called me and I never really left the house. I sent in a video and everything that they told me to do, and then they flew me out to Los Angeles, where I made the Top 50. And I guess about that time, everybody knew that Emily was going to be the Bachelorette.
And of course when she was confirmed, of course I got excited, because here's this gorgeous girl who has all this -- she just shines on the show and it seemed like she had a great head on her shoulders. Of course I got excited whenever I found out that it was her, and then one thing led to another and the rest is history I guess.
Reality TV World: While you were on the show, who did you see as being the best match for Emily? Who did you think would ultimately make a good husband for her if it couldn't be you?
Travis Pope: Honestly, looking back on it now, with all the guys, I honestly think that [Sean Lowe] would be the best fit for her -- great guy, great head on his shoulders, great family, great spiritual background -- just a great, good, solid guy. He is.
We were really good friends from Dallas. He has family in Dallas, and you know, it was funny because all the southern guys kind of hung out together. You just kind of cling to what you know and what you see in yourself in other guys. I don't know. I just think Sean would seem like a good fit for her, for sure.
Reality TV World: During the preview for tonight's episode, there's a clip of Emily finding out that Arie Luyendyk Jr. had actually dated one of The Bachelorette's producers in the past. Had you heard anything about that before you got eliminated, and if not, when did you find out and what did you think?
Travis Pope: Absolutely not. I didn't hear one word about this, and I'm not so sure that this is something that's just kind of getting everybody into watching the show tonight, but I did not hear one thing with Arie. And I was with Arie 24/7. I loved Arie. Arie was one of the closest guys [to me] on the show. I don't know.
I'm just as interested as you are going into tonight to watch this, because I haven't heard anything about it until about a week before the preview. I saw online that this had happened or whatever. And of course, I was just as shocked as you are. So, I'm looking forward to seeing kind of what's evolved and what's going to take place.
Reality TV World: When I talked to Joe Gendreau earlier in the season, he said Emily was attracted to guys who were financially stable. And then he said Jef Holm probably had a good chance of ending up with her because of that reason. Did you think money weighed heavily on Emily's mind when weeding out bachelors week to week or do you think she didn't consider their financial stability at all?
Travis Pope: You know, I didn't see that at all. Yeah, some of the guys did have a lot of money, and yes, Jef does have a lot of money. But you know, I didn't see that part in her at all. So, I can't sit here and say that she was money hungry and just looking for somebody with a financial background, but no.
I mean, honestly, I think she was just trying to match her personality and who would be suitable for her and Ricki and could come in the end and be a man and a family whether they had money or not to tell you the truth. I just think she was looking for happiness.