Interview: Marshana Ritchie talks about 'The Bachelor: London Calling'
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/18/2008
Marshana Ritchie felt she lacked the same alone time with Matt Grant that he spent with the other bachelorettes -- and might have paid the price for it.
While the 27-year-old fashion designer from Brooklyn, NY failed to receive a rose from Matt during The Bachelor: London Calling's Monday night broadcast, she has no regrets about her time in the competition.
During a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Marsha talked to Reality TV World about why she chose to tell Matt about her bickering with a few of the other girls during crucial one-on-one time; how she went into The Bachelor looking for love; and why it doesn't really matter that Matt never offered her an explanation for her ouster.
Reality TV World: Do you regret telling Matt about the squabble you had with Chelsea and Robin the night prior to the Rose Ceremony? Don't you think you could have spent the time more wisely?
Marshana: My thought process looking back is it could have been a factor into why I was eliminated. But my thing is, he was going to find out about it anyway. Had I not told him about it and been the final girl standing and he's watching the show and he's like, "Well you never told me about that side of you. I didn't know about it."
I feel like I couldn't win. It was a lose-lose either way. The argument happened, and whether he heard about it from me or someone else, he was probably going to have some feelings about it. That's fine. He's entitled to his opinion. But I really don't regret telling him about it. He would have found out about it either way.
Reality TV World: Were you confident you'd be receiving a rose heading into the ceremony?
Marshana: No. I wasn't confident at all. I did not have the one-on-one time with him on the ski slopes that the other girls did. As you could see, I can't ski to save my life. As I said on the show, I was just really trying to focus on the skiing so I couldn't talk to him about he and I.
When it came down to the Rose Ceremony, I just felt like over that trip he had significant one-on-one time to at least talk about family and home [with the other bachelorettes]. I didn't have that. We had spoken about family in previous episodes, but I didn't think anything that I said during that Rose Ceremony would be enough to sway his opinion at that point in time because he had formed a really good connection with the other girls on the ski slopes.
Reality TV World: Did Matt ever offer any explanation as to why he decided to send you home?
Marshana: No. Matt and I ended on the best of terms. As seen on the show, when we ended our one-on-one time [prior to the Rose Ceremony], I told him that we were good. I was good with him, he was good with me. When he eliminated me, he told it was a pleasure getting to know me and I said the same to him.
So I never got a reason, but I think it doesn't really matter now. Whether you come in Final 6 or Final 3 or Final 2 -- if you're not the final person, it simply means he just couldn't see himself building a life with you. That was a risk that I was prepared to take, being dumped on national TV. (laughing)
Reality TV World: How were you cast for The Bachelor? Had you applied to the show before?
Marshana: I had never applied to the show before, and this will come across as a shock to people as they see me in the street but I never, ever watched The Bachelor. A lot of people think that I'm this huge The Bachelor fan and I've been watching forever. But that's not the case. I knew of the show and you see it in the papers and you read about it but I had never watched it.
On the fly one day I was just sitting in my house and I was like, "I'm single. I'm nice. I'm wonderful. Let me go see if somebody can set me up with a single, wonderful, nice man." I filled out an online application and the rest is history.
Reality TV World: So based on that, you went into The Bachelor looking for a serious relationship?
Marshana: Absolutely. I was looking for love on the show. I'm 27-years-old and I was still single. Not that I'm old by any means, but I've been dating for maybe the past nine years of my life -- eight to nine years of my life -- and I hadn't found anyone on my own.
[I thought] let me have ABC go through all the drama of finding me someone -- putting him through all the testing and the process that we have to go through to be on the show. I'll know he's sane. I'll know he is who he says he is, that he works where he says he works, that his family is who he says they are. A lot of the things that you have to find out over time dating someone in the real world, I already instantly knew about Matt.
I also knew that he was in the same place in his life that I was -- a place of wanting to settle down and put roots down and start a family. You meet wonderful people dating in everyday life, but you don't even know where they are or if they want the same things at the same time that you do. So it was comforting knowing that about Matt going in.
Reality TV World: If Matt had given you the final rose, would you have been prepared to move to London with him?
Marshana: Absolutely. I told Matt on our two-on-one date, "I am ready to go there. Absolutely nothing holding me here in New York." I speak a lot of my family, but they picked up and moved to Orlando -- I'm the only one still left in New York. (laughing) They did what they had to do, when it came time for their family and they moved into the next phase, and I'm prepared to do what I have to do for mine. They've got health care over in England -- in the U.K. -- so that's a good reason to move! (laughing)
Reality TV World: Do you think the four remaining bachelorettes are all sincere in wanting to find love?
Marshana: Absolutely. I think that Shayne, Amanda, Chelsea and Noelle -- Noelle is such a sweetheart. You just look at her and it's hard to find something not to love. She's amazing. I'm so happy with his Final 4 choices -- I think they're all genuine and they all really, really, really do love Matt at this point.
It's going to be hard for them and hard for him at this point on because he has a concept about it all and he's going to have to break some hearts. But the girls are sincere and I'm happy with his Final 4 choice.
Reality TV World: So what's next for you? What do you currently have going on?
Marshana: Right now, I came home -- I had left my job to do The Bachelor -- so I came home and I didn't have a conventional job. I was just like, "What do I know how to do? I've got to use my resources and I've got to be creative." If there's one thing I know how to do, I know how to sew some clothes and design some outfits. So I've just kind of been doing that.
There isn't anything immediately on the horizon. My duties as Miss Earth New York ended officially when I came home when I crowned my successor. But I'm still involved with the Miss Earth Pageant and organization. Earth Day is coming up, I have a lot of appearances lined up in coordinates with that.
I've just spent most of my days volunteering, helping people. I actually met with Meals on Wheels yesterday. I'm just finding ways to enrich my life until the next opportunity is brought my way.
Also in the call, Marshana talked about how she was "shocked" to receive the two-on-one date's rose instead of Holly; how The Bachelor was her first time fighting for a guy; and why she would have no problem with viewers possibly seeing her appear on additional reality shows.
Marshana: I was absolutely shocked Matt kept me. My thought going into the date was, "Well okay. I'm just supposed to make this grand exit on this show." Whoever leaves on the two-on-one date, it's always kind of grandiose. Believe it or not, I've never watched The Bachelor -- the whole concept of a two-on-one date was new to me. When I got to the house and the girls were telling me about past seasons and they mentioned the two-on-one dates I thought it was absolutely insane.
So when we were sitting there [on the two-on-one date], I figured I'd give it the best that I could. I put my heart on the line [and thought], "If I leave tonight, I feel good knowing that I gambled and maybe I lost."
When [Matt] said he was offering the rose to me, I just put down my head in disbelief because Holly had just had an entire one-on-one date with him. She had the first one-on-one date with him. When she came home, she was completely elated and overjoyed and by her own confessional she felt as though she knew Matthew than any of the other girls in the house. I had no reason to doubt her. I wasn't on their one-on-one date. I didn't know what happened.
So I was completely shocked. My heart broke for Holly. It was a very bittersweet moment because yes I was happy that I was staying, but I know that Holly is an amazing girl. She is such a sweetheart. She was nothing but nice to myself and the other girls in the house. It was hard to see her go, but I was also happy that I was staying.
Have you ever fought for a guy before?
Marshana: I have never, ever fought anyone physically for a man -- or verbally for that matter. I'm really not the kind of girl who fights or likes to argue. I've never done that for a man.
So why did it happen during Monday night's broadcast?
Marshana: What happened in that instance is -- you can ask the other girls about this, they have a right to defend themselves -- my honest felling was that Robin was being very condescending to me and I felt that Chelsea was talking down to me and making assumptions of my character. They had never, ever gotten to know me. Chelsea and I had never had a one-on-one talk. We had never spoken to each other. She didn't really know much about me.
It's one thing when people watching the show form opinions about me because they never had the opportunity to get to know me. But Chelsea had the opportunity to get to know me. She chose not to. That's fine, but then I really think you relinquish your right to make such strong statements about a person's character when you haven't made an attempt to get to know them.
Do you think Matt was worth fighting for?
Marshana: I have no regrets, so I definitely think he was worth it. He was definitely worth it. he was worth living in that house, being under all of the stress that I was under. There was a great cultural divide between myself and the other girls that we just couldn't seem to bridge. That's fine, but I really have no regrets. I definitely think he's an upstanding man of character and it was totally worth it.
If ABC gave you the opportunity, would you consider starring in The Bachelorette?
Marshana: If ABC gave me the opportunity, absolutely. 100%. Count me in. If I had to walk to L.A. to film the show I would. I would love that. Matt and I did not work out. That's fine. I have no regrets.
But I am still single. Not seeing anybody here in New York. I haven't even been on a date since I've been home. So I would love for ABC, if they would, to kind of like gather me a great cross-section of me from all different walks of life and ethnicities and backgrounds and do the picking. It's not easy, and I didn't envy Matt on Rose Ceremony evening when he had to make some very tough decisions. It wasn't easy for him, and I know it wouldn't be easy for me if I was in that position. But I'm willing to face it -- all in the name of love.
Since you're a designer, would you consider doing Project Runway?
Marshana: Oh my goodness! So many people have asked, "Would you do Project Runway? Would you do Project Runway?" I have toyed with the idea. I don't know. I see the challenges that they do with those designers. Woo! It's not easy. But then I don't know what I was thinking because doing The Bachelor wasn't easy as well but it had great benefits and great rewards, and I feel good about it. I would consider it. If Project Runway came calling, I really would consider it.