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INTERVIEW: Michele Leavy talks about her 'The Bachelor' experience


By Christopher Rocchio, 10/04/2007 

Michele Leavy put the spotlight on another suitor, got stung by a bee, fell down the stairs and was one of three girls booted by The Bachelor eleventh-season star Brad Womack during Monday night's broadcast of the ABC reality dating series.

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On Thursday, the 30-year-old realtor who currently resides in South Brunswick, NJ spoke to Reality TV World about how being cast for the show had a tinge of revenge; why she wanted to see Jenni dance so badly; her various medical problems during filming and if she thinks it hurt her chances with Brad; as well as who she feels has the best shot at receiving his final rose.

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

Michele:  It was the first time I applied for the show and I applied online.  I just sent my picture in and a little blurb about myself and they called.  It just kind of escalated from there.

Reality TV World:  What prompted you to apply for the show?

Michele:  Oh goodness (laughing).  A guy I was talking to -- or dating, somewhat -- his family wanted him to apply.  He kind of pissed me off, so I was like, "F him! I'm going to apply!"  That's kid of how it happened.

Reality TV World:  So it was kind of a revenge sort of thing.

Michele:  It was... It sort of was.

Reality TV World:   What were your expectations going into the show?

Michele:  I didn't have crazy-high expectations.  I just really wanted to have fun with it.  I thought it would be a wonderful story to tell, and I hoped that I would find a really great guy.  It would just be like a crazy story to tell in a fairytale.  Meet a guy, fall in love...


Michele introduces herself to The Bachelor star Brad Womack during the show's initial cocktail reception (Photo credit ABC/Karen Neal)

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

Michele:  When I first met him, he was physically attractive and my type, with the light hair and the light eyes and being tall.  He was definitely my type.

Reality TV World:  What did you think about him personality-wise once you got to talk to him?

Michele:  To be honest, I really didn't get to spend a lot of time with him.  So, I kind of based my opinions on him on what the other girls told me.  The other girls said he was really nice, genuine, down to earth.  I took their word for it.  I mean he seemed really nice, I didn't have any reasons not to think that he wasn't nice.  I didn't really get to spend a lot of time with him or really get a lot of time to chat with him.

Reality TV World:  This might be a tough question to answer then, but some of the other bachelors who have appeared on the show have had their "sincerity" questioned.  Do you think Brad was sincere about wanting to find a wife on The Bachelor?

Michele:  I can't really answer that.  I'm assuming since he signed up that he's sincere since I signed up and I was sincere.  But I don't really know.  If you're signing up for it I'm assuming everybody would be sincere... Sorry.

Reality TV World:   That's okay.  When all the bachelorettes first met Brad, you implored Jenni to show-off some of her dance moves, and he subsequently gave her his "first impression rose."  Did you regret that decision? 

Michele:  I do not regret my decision to push Jenni to dance because I like Jenni and she's a nice person and I didn't know she was a dancer so when I heard, I was excited for her because if I could do it, I would want to be a dancer.  I wanted to see it!  I liked her as a person, so I didn't think at the time if she danced he would have given her the rose. 

After it was all said and done and he gave her the first impression rose, I was like, "Wow I just helped her!  Gee!  What about me?"  I would have liked her to say, "Thanks Michele!"  I mean I did help her out and I'm glad she got it because I like her as a person in the time that I spent with her... But if I would have went home that night, I would have been like, "Wow, that stunk."

Reality TV World:   Can you explain what happened when you were injured during the second episode?

Michele:  We were out by the pool, and I mentioned to one of the girls that there was a lot of bees around and that I could not get stung by a bee because I'm allergic.  So I jinxed myself, and about a half-hour later -- low and behold -- I get stung by a bee.  So the girl that I mentioned it to is like, "Oh my God Michele's allergic to bee stings!"  So there's like cameras in my face, and I am starting to get really dizzy and nauseous, so I just grabbed my towel and said I needed to go upstairs and lay down.

So I went upstairs and laid down and they called in the paramedics -- or just somebody that was there -- and somebody looked at me, looked me over, I took some Benadryl, I had some soda.  I was freezing cold, I was nauseous, I was dizzy.  But after about half-hour, I didn't want the girls to think I was playing up my so-called injury.  So I wanted to go downstairs and hang-out with all the other girls.

I went to the top of the stairs with Lindsey and I don't remember, but we did have a conversation up at the top of the stairs.  She even said to me jokingly, "I'll catch you if you fall."  But I don't remember that.  The only thing I remember is being at the bottom of the stairs and waking up with everybody around, the camera crew there, all the girls are around and somebody asking me if I was okay.  I said, "No.  I'm definitely not okay."  I had a hard time breathing.

What I think happened, I think I may have passed out because Lindsey had mentioned the way I was holding my glass of soda.  I just opened my hand and the glass just fell down, opposed to if I slipped I would have probably thrown it up.  So I think I passed out, I don't really remember the top of the stairs and all I remember is being at the bottom of the stairs.

Reality TV World:  Did you go to the hospital after that?

Michele:  Yeah, they called 911 because I explained to them that I really had a hard time breathing.  I'm a klutz, so I've fallen down stairs before and gotten concussions before to be honest with you.  But this, it was almost like I was looking out a kaleidoscope, like everybody's heads were spinning, but in their own little sections. 

I knew I couldn't breathe and something was wrong.  And I have previous back surgery, so I was a little concerned just falling down 11 wooden stairs and the fact that I couldn't breathe... So 911 was called and the paramedics came and they tried to move me and that's when I started screaming and crying.  You didn't see that on TV, but I was hysterical.  They put me on the stretcher with a neck brace and they took me to the hospital.  I was hospitalized and it was painful.

Reality TV World:  About how long were you at the hospital?

Michele:  They asked me if I wanted to stay overnight, but I chose not to.  I wanted to come home.  But I ended up having a concussion and I bruised my ribs.

Reality TV World:   When you called Brad, was it from the hospital?

Michele:  Yeah, I was carted out in a wheelchair and they had just released me from the hospital.  So I had called him as I was leaving the hospital.

Reality TV World:   How disappointed were you that you were unable to go on the beach group date due to your injury? 

Michele:  All night I was being woken-up every four hours to make sure I was okay.  I was given Vicodin, of course (laughing).  In the morning I was in so much pain, but I was looking forward to going, thinking I was going.  So I woke-up intending on going on the date, and that's when I got the bad news I couldn't go.

I was sincerely upset.  All the girls were talking about it the day before, how wonderful it was going to be to play football at the beach.  We were practicing football in the pool.  I had a good spiral going!  I thought I was going to impress him with my football skills.  I was really upset.

But thinking about it now, it was probably a good thing I didn't go because I was miserable all day and I basically just tried to get to know the other girls, but I slept a lot of the day.


Michele says goodbye to The Bachelor star Brad Womack after failing to receive a rose at the the show's second Rose Ceremony (Photo credit ABC/Karen Neal)

Reality TV World:   After your elimination, you told the cameras "I'm going to say my slip and fall ruined me because it will make you feel better, but if he didn't feel it, he didn't feel it."  Do you still think that was why you were eliminated?

Michele:  I think it was because he didn't feel it.  The first night, I didn't think I was getting a rose.  I didn't really feel a connection the first night.  If you watch it, my face, I was like, "Oh my God I got a rose!"  I was happy that I got one because I didn't know if he felt it because I didn't really feel it.  I'm not one to fall for somebody real quick.  It takes a while for my walls to break down.  So I was like, "Wow, maybe I'll give it a shot."

But if he's not going to feel it he's not going to feel it.  I didn't really feel it, but my fall definitely didn't help.

Reality TV World:   On Monday night's show, you said the pre-Rose Ceremony time you spent with Brad "felt rushed."  Did he spend any extra time with you?  What kind of stuff did you guys talk about?

Michele:  That sit-down was literally two minutes.  When I first spoke to him the first initial night, a lot of the girls were talking about how they wanted to get married and have kids.  Twenty-four girls were all saying the same thing!  I said to him, "I signed-up for this show to fall in love and get married.  Of course.  But I want to know what makes you happy?  What drives you?  What interests you?"  That first night, I was like let's just have fun with it.

So the fact that I played so calm and laid-back, I didn't know if that helped.  Now that I had two minutes to tell him everything about myself, I was like, "Well, he didn't really appreciate the fact that I was so laid-back about it."  I'm like, "I better speed it up." 

I like babbled -- I was on Vicodin -- I don't even know what I said.  I watched the show thinking, "Why would I say that?  I would never say that!" I babbled about my age.  I don't care about my age!  I babbled about wanting to get married.  Yeah, I want to get married, but I'm not thinking I need to get married in the next year or so!  And having kids!  I want a lot of kids, but I certainly can't have any kids right now!  My dad was yelling at me yesterday, "Michele!  Why'd you say that?  That wasn't even you!"

It was just a two-minute thing and I had to get it all out because I didn't really spend any time with him so I kind of had to lay it all out there.

Reality TV World:   Do you think Brad had decided to eliminate you before those two minutes?

Michele:  I think he had it in his mind that he was going to eliminate me from the get-go.

Reality TV World:   Did Bettina mention her divorce to you?

Michele:  I had no idea!

Reality TV World:  Do you think Brad would care about something like that from what you know about him?

Michele:  I don't think he would care.

Reality TV World:  Anything specific that makes you think that?

Michele:  I think everybody has a past -- whether it's a divorce or a long-term relationship or no relationships at all --  and every relationship that you've been in will make you the person that you are today.  So if he likes Bettina and who she is today, it's because she went through that divorce.  I don't think that divorce will play a role in it, no.

Reality TV World:   What do you think about Jenni's decision to bring her modeling portfolio to the house? 

Michele:  In my opinion, I wouldn't have brought the book myself because I know how girls are and I know
how it looks.  It looks as if she wants to further her career.  In my opinion I wouldn't have brought the book if I had it.  She might've just brought it to say, "Hey this is what I do.  Look at me."  But I think she probably in hindsight realizes she probably shouldn't have brought it.

Reality TV World:  Were there any other women that the rest of the house thought weren't there "for the right reasons?"

Michele:  No especially no.  I think generally a lot of the girls developed feelings for him right away.

Reality TV World:   Although Brad's 34-years-old, most of the bachelorettes were in their mid 20's and despite only being 30, you were actually one of the older women.  Do you think being closer to Brad's age helped or hurt you?

Michele:  I don't think it mattered.

Reality TV World:   Anybody you'd like to see win Brad's heart?  Anybody you don't want to see win?

Michele:  There was a few girls that I really, really adore and I think are really sweet girls.  Lindsey, love her to death.  Solisa, love her to death.  Jenni, I really have a good respect for.  So one of those three girls I would really like to see take it.

Reality TV World:  You didn't butt heads with any of the girls while you were there?

Michele:  I probably would have if I stayed longer.  I don't think I came-off bad.  I don't think I had a problem with any of the other girls.

Reality TV World:   Who do you think Brad will present his final rose to?

Michele:  I think he looks really good with Bettina.  They look really pretty together, and I told Bettina that.  But I was like, "I'm here for me!  It's Team Michele here!  But you look pretty with him..."

DeAnna... right away when I saw her I was threatened by her because she had this elegance about her -- composure about her -- that a lot of the other girls didn't have.  I knew it stood out and that he appreciated [it] because the way he looked at her versus the other girls.  I wouldn't be shocked if she made it to the end.

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

Michele:  Back to normal-day life.  I'm waiting for my Prince Charming to come on his white horse and sweep me off my feet.  If you have any takers, let me know.

(Photo credit ABC)


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