So needless to say the 27-year-old account executive Orlando, FL was initially "shocked and angry" when The Bachelor: London Calling star failed to give her a rose during Monday night's penultimate broadcast of the ABC reality dating series' twelfth installment.
During a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Amanda talked to Reality TV World about why it took her so long to let her guard down; how receiving the first-impression rose may have been more of a negative than a positive; where the idea for her hometown prank came from; and her feelings on the final two bachelorettes -- Shayne Lamas and Chelsea Wanstrath.
Reality TV World: Do you think Matt led you on during the competition?
Amanda: I don't know if I would say "led me on." I think he is a genuine guy. The only thing I was disappointed is that he never said any of the negative things to me, it was always positive. I think looking back, if it's a real relationship, you'd be more open, and you'd say the things that worry you. I think because there was nothing negative that was ever said, I of course thought, "Okay, I'm the girl."
Reality TV World: Why do you think it took you so long to let your guard down with Matt?
Amanda: I think because I was aware of the other girls there. That was a hard thing. He kept saying, "Forget about the other girls. Forget about the other girls." But in the back of my mind I'm thinking, "He's still dating other girls." This is real life, and I personally wouldn't be putting myself out there. I think I have a hard time doing that anyway, so to do that on camera with the guy that you like dating other girls is definitely hard.
Reality TV World: Going into it, did you know opening up would be difficult for you? Do you wish you would have been able to open-up sooner?
Amanda: I think going into the show, I was just thinking this will be a good experience and maybe I'll meet the man of my dreams. I didn't really think too much about the actual dating process. I wasn't even sure if I would even like the guy, so I was surprised when I got there and I really liked him. I don't think I thought too much about the actual process before I got there.
Reality TV World: Do you think you could have done anything more to show Matt that you really did care for him?
Amanda: I think I probably should have been more open with my feelings. I think that's something I have a tendency to do in every relationship, and coming out of the show, I learned that you do need to let people know that you like them because guys want to know that you like them just as much as you want to know that a guy likes you. That's definitely something I've learned. It's definitely been an issue in the past for me.
Reality TV World: You said you could see yourself marrying Matt during Monday night's broadcast. Did it take you a long time to get over the fact he didn't give you the final rose? How did you cope with that?
Amanda: I think when I first got eliminated I was just shocked and angry. Then the next day, I just realized that I wasn't able to really open up and really just be myself because I was so worried about everything else that was going on. I understood more why he let me go. You can't get engaged to a girl that is so guarded.
Reality TV World: What was going through your head when Matt gave you the first-impression rose?
Amanda: I was completely surprised I got the first-impression rose. I think I was so nervous that night -- because as the show moves along you get used to having a mic on and you just get used to the whole process -- so that first night, I don't think I've ever been that nervous in my whole life. Except for maybe the Fantasy Suite date when I said "like" 50 million times. I was just really shocked [to get the first-impression rose].
Reality TV World: Do you think receiving the first-impression rose maybe gave you or him a false sense of comfort about the relationship? How do you think receiving it affected the competition?
Amanda: I don't know if it was necessarily a huge positive. I was just excited because I knew that it meant that he was attracted to me. I didn't really get a chance to talk to him, so [getting the first-impression rose] was basically based off of that two-second conversation we had when I walked in.
In a way I think it might have been a negative because in the next few Rose Ceremonies I didn't have any time with him, and he was saying, "It's because I knew I was going to give you a rose." But I think it was a negative because the other girls were getting to spend time with him and actually have conversations, whereas with us it was still all based on look.
Amanda: My parents live in the middle of nowhere -- outside of Tallahassee -- they live in the only county that does not have a stoplight. So there's nothing to do there, and I didn't grow up there, so I had no idea what we could have done during the day. We saw Chelsea went and had pictures taken, everyone else had different activities. I could not think of an activity.
We were talking about pranks so much, and we were also talking about hometown dates from past season with the really dramatic mom or the dad that's super-overprotective, so I thought it would be funny to just kind of play that up and pull a prank on him. I went to the producers and I told them my idea and they helped me pull it off.
Reality TV World: Do you think Shayne and Chelsea are sincere in their reasons for being on The Bachelor? Amanda: Definitely. I think at first I was more skeptical of Shayne once I found out that she was an actress. But she's such a genuine person, she's such a kind person too. That's a question I get asked a lot. "Is Shayne nice?" She's extremely nice. She's a very kind person. I think growing up in that atmosphere, her mom's done well raising her and her sister I think.
Reality TV World: Had Matt presented the final rose to you, you would you have been willing to relocate to London for him?
Amanda: I definitely would have considered it. I lived there for a while growing up and I've been back since I moved back to the States. I love England.
Reality TV World: So what's next for you?
Amanda: I'm just back at work -- back to advertising. Trying to get America to buy things. (laughing)
Also in the call, Amanda talked about what was running through her mind when Matt failed to present a rose to her; what she would say to Matt now if given the chance; how she was cast for The Bachelor and what her expectations were heading into it; and the origin of the "meeps."
What was going through your mind when Matt failed to present a rose to you?
Amanda: I was just really shocked. That was the first Rose Ceremony that I went into thinking, "Okay, I have this one. I'm definitely getting a rose." I think at all the other Rose Ceremonies I just wasn't as confident because there's so many girls and you don't know who he's going to pick.
But I just thought I was getting one, so I was just extremely shocked. I thought our date had gone well, and -- of course -- him saying that if he were to draw the perfect girl, it would be me in every way. So all those kind of comments, it just had me thinking, "Okay, this is going to work out."
For me, it was just the beginning of our relationship because up to that point, I think it's more like, "Hey, you're cute. I like hanging out with you." I think that was the time where we actually got to have a conversation and were able to spend time off camera. I think you're able to discuss more things then. So I was just confident thinking this is the start of our relationship. I guess it was the end.
What would you say to Matt now if you had the chance?
Amanda: I think my questions for him were just... I didn't really understand why he didn't express any concerns to me. After watching the show, you see he was expressing concerns to Shayne and Chelsea. I thought we were at least friends, so I thought he would have been a little bit more honest and open with me. I just would like to know why he wasn't.
Do you think the prank you pulled on Matt had any affect on his decision to eliminate you?
Amanda: I don't think so. He actually really enjoyed pranks, and it was something we talked about at length before we went to the hometown dates. So I knew it was something he would like. I didn't expect [the prank] to last that long. I thought maybe it would last five minutes, but he was really buying it and therefore trying to convince the fake parents that this is a real relationship and pretty much defending me in the process. What you didn't see is we did get to spend a good amount of time with my real parents and my sister. It just didn't make it to air.
Which of the two remaining bachelorettes do you think will receive Matt's finale rose?
Amanda: I'm not sure. I thought Chelsea when I left, and then watching the show I think Shayne.
Amanda: From watching the show, just her interactions. That's the hard part about being on the show -- you don't really get to see what he's like on a date with the other girls. You're just seeing what he's like when he comes to the Rose Ceremony, how he interacts with everyone in the house. I feel like he would gravitate more towards Chelsea than towards Shayne.
But then watching the show, I don't know. It's confusing me. They're both great girls, so whoever he ends up with, he's a lucky guy.
Was it difficult to watch the show -- seeing Matt be with you one minute and another girl the next?
Amanda: I thought it was weird at the Rose Ceremonies how he would go around making out with everybody. I don't think I realized that was happening until I watched it on television. But I can't really blame him. (laughing)
Would you say that you were in love with Matt?
Amanda: I wouldn't say that I was in love with Matt. I think he is the kind of guy I'm looking for and I think he has all of the qualities of somebody I would want to be with. There was a potential to fall in love. I think that's something we discussed because it seemed like the other girls were able to get to that point and I wasn't at that point when we got to the Fantasy Suite date.
Amanda: This is a funny story. My best friend that I work with saw that they were casting for The Bachelorette, so she sent in my picture and a description about me to the casting company for The Bachelorette. So I was initially talking to them about beingThe Bachelorette. Then when they went with [rejectedThe Bachelor eleventh-season suitor DeAnna Pappas], the casting agent I was working with gave my stuff to The Bachelor people.
What were your expectations going into the show? Did you go into it looking to get married?
Amanda: I think I would love to find somebody that I could spend the rest of my life with. Going on the show I figured it was just another way to meet somebody that I could potentially fall in love with. You meet people through the strangest situations, so why not this situation?
Are you currently dating anyone?
Amanda: I've been on dates, but not anyone seriously.
Talk a little bit about the "meeps" -- those nervous hiccups viewers so you get on the show.
Amanda: It's so bad on television, and it's not that bad and it's not 24/7. (laughing) It actually started two years ago. I purchased a condo, and I think I was just really stressed out and I got these hiccups. It was in December, and I think between the holidays and the stress of buying the place, my body just reacted that way.
I went to a couple different doctors and I ended up at a gastrologist, and they thought it was acid reflex. Then he said it was probably just stress. So he was telling me not to eat certain foods -- friend foods -- and start taking some yoga classes. I think since watching the show I've been more motivated to stick to a healthier diet, and that's helped a little bit. It's my body's reaction to stress."