Interview: Naomi Crespo talks about her time on 'The Bachelor'
By John Bracchitta, 02/12/2009
Naomi Crespo will not hesitate to admit that growing up with her family was not a run-of-the mill experience.
The 24-year-old flight attendant from Carlsbad, CA, who has relocated to Austin, TX in the last year, used her unique upbringing was one of the reasons she wanted to begin a more stable family of her own with The Bachelor star Jason Mesnick and his son Ty. However, after doubts from Jason that Naomi was indeed ready to settle down and an outrageous date with her family that included the eulogy and burial of a dead dove, Naomi was eliminated from the ABC reality dating series during Monday's broadcast.
During a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Naomi talked to Reality TV World about how she felt about Stephanie Hogan's assertion that she was "less mature" than the other bachelorettes, if she truly believed Jason's comments that her odd hometown date had no effect on his decision to eliminate her, and whether or not she would be interested in appearing on The Bachelorette.
Reality TV World: Jason said that your family's antics did not play a role in your elimination. Do you believe that, or do you think that maybe they did?
Naomi: No I do believe that. I had a tough time that night because [I think] Jason is intuitive, and I think that as far as the way he felt about letting me go, deep down inside it didn't matter what I said, it's just how he felt as far as me not being ready at this time in my life. I think that the reason that was, and the reason that in a different situation that [is] obviously, outside of this whole experience, I am ready. I absolutely want kids, I absolutely want a family, but because we weren't meant for each other it didn't feel right.
So when you feel like that, despite what somebody's telling you -- and it's very easy to get caught up in that whole world. I mean I think I absolutely got caught up in it. There's part of me that feels like I absolutely built Jason up a lot in my head at the point where I came on the show and [felt] like I already knew him. And as I got to know him more it was like "Okay, I don't know. Would this be any different outside of [the show]? Like if we just met in everyday life and got to know each other."
I just think that, I don't even know what I'm trying to say. I definitely think that my parents are crazy and maybe had something to do with it. But I think ultimately in his heart he just felt like I was not the one for him.
Reality TV World: And kind of going off of that, you said during the show that you were fully prepared to move to Seattle if chosen [by Jason]. Now that you've had some time away from [the competition], do you still think you would have been willing to make the move, or that it would have been a good decision to do so?
Naomi: This is the way I felt. I went to Seattle, I'd never been, and I just fell in love with Seattle. I actually loved it. And I think when you're in that situation and you make it that far... You know, I didn't think I'd be on [the show] that long by any means. I had no idea I'd still be there.
But at that point, yeah, your feelings... That's when you start getting emotionally attached and invested in the person and just [start] thinking about a life with that person, and it doesn't really help that I loved Seattle. I was like "Wow, I could totally see myself living here."
But as far as now, having come out of it? In hindsight, I'm looking back on it with a more, I guess, clear picture of the way I was thinking. I can absolutely say that I got very caught up in it, and it's hard not to. It is very hard not to when you have this great guy who's got this love for his son. I think I got caught up more in the idea of it all, and so in hindsight I realize that there are things in life that can be a huge blessing in disguise, and you can't know it when you're going through it, but coming out of it you can look back and see it.
I think that Jason letting me go was absolutely a blessing in disguise, and I'm so happy now. I don't regret the experience, I don't regret anything. I'm thankful for it. I thankful I met him, I'm thankful I met all the girls, and it's one of those things that I know he and I were not meant to be, so I'm at peace with that.
Reality TV World: After your elimination you said how you didn't like that [the one reason you didn't want to go home was the reason you ended up going home]. Could you comment on that?
Naomi: Yeah. I mean I watched that and I definitely, like I said earlier, at that point you're so invested in [the show] and you become more emotionally invested, and I think that I built everything up in my head and that was my problem. It's almost hard not to, but at that point you're kinda so wrapped up in this whole idea of being with this person and fitting into their life, and I think that he felt I wasn't ready for Ty. That was his biggest thing, and that was the week before when he pulled me aside.
I did not, throughout the course of the whole thing, talk [to Jason] about "Oh I can't wait to meet Ty and tuck him into his bed" and this and that, because in my mind I'm thinking "I wanna fall in love with you first, and than anything that you're in love with I'm naturally gonna fall in love with as well, but let's work on this first."
I wasn't really trying to get ahead of myself as far as having a relationship with Ty, so I didn't talk as much about that. I absolutely love children. I mean, I want kids, I absolutely want kids and it will be with the right guy at the right time. I want to adopt, that's a big thing with me, I've traveled overseas: I went to Southeast Asia, I worked in [several different orphanages] for a month with kids who come from really rough lives like trafficking and AIDS and this and that. I wanted to adopt every single one of them.
I'm not a girl who doesn't want to be a mother, I absolutely want to. I mean, my niece and nephew they're like kids to me, I love them like they're my own. I know for a fact that I will be a mother and I will be a great mother one day. I just think it wasn't meant to be with Jason.
Reality TV World: Would you be willing to be the next TheBachelorette star if ABC wanted you to come back?
Naomi: Oh gosh! (Laughs) Uh, I, I don't know. I mean, I don't even know if I would qualify for the running [I thought it was the runner-up]. I don't know, I mean it would be something to think about, I guess. I don't know (pauses) I'm gonna say I don't know about that (Laughs).
Reality TV World: [Last week] Stephanie said that you were "a doll," but maybe not at "the same maturity level" as some of the other girls. So was that [impression that you were not as mature] something that you were getting from the girls and Jason while you were on the show?
Naomi: You know what, I actually was a little surprised by that comment, and it hurt a little bit coming from Stephanie. But, you know, it doesn't change the way I feel about her, I think she's great and I really loved her.
As far as her saying that, I think that maybe it was that she didn't get to see some sides of me that the other girls did. There's certain people that you really open up to, and there's certain people who know more about you than others and I don't think she knew enough about me.
There's times when I even feel like people don't take me seriously and they look at [me] like [I'm] just some... you know... I was a bartender [so people talk about] that and you just kinda get stuck in that whole association like "I don't know if she's mature enough." What are you gonna do?
But I don't hold it against [Stephanie], I think that she was just expressing her opinion. Maybe she felt that, as far as the other girls, that they just had more stability in their lives -- I'm a flight attendant so I'm kind of back and forth all the time -- and maybe she just felt that, as far as the mother thing... I never really talked too much about Ty and wanting to be this and that for Ty because in my mind it wasn't appropriate. [You can] emphasize about wanting to get to know Ty tonight, but I want to get to know Jason first. I'm the type that if I fall in love with somebody it doesn't matter if you have a kid. I will love your kid because I love kids in general and I know I have the potential to be a wonderful role model and step-parent if that was the case. But maybe she just didn't get to see sides of me that the other girls did.
Reality TV World: By the time you had all gathered for the Rose Ceremony for Monday's show, had you heard that Melissa's parents did not want to take part in the show? And then if you had, did you think that was going to save you at the time?
Naomi: You know, that's a good question. The three girls -- Molly, [Jillian] and Stephanie -- they were out on their date [in Seattle], and Melissa and I were back at the suite and that's when she found out. She had talked to her parents and I was there with her.
You're not gonna see any of this [on the show], but she really had a breakdown and it was really, really tough for her and we had a great talk that night. I told her "You just gotta trust that if it's meant to be, if you're the one, it's not gonna matter. In the end he can't hold that against you. If what you're saying to him is true." And her parents, [she said] "They're awesome people and they're great. I love my parents, they're awesome. Yeah we're really different, but I know that they would accept him. I know that they would love him, they're just very private people. Obviously they don't wanna go out and be recognized on the street. They're private."
So that is completely understandable, and I don't think Melissa's parents were too supportive with her doing the show in the first place, but they support her because they love her. So she's got a great relationship with them, it was just really tough and she definitely had a breakdown. We talked it through, and she felt better, and she's still in the running. She's great.
Also in the call, Naomi told reporters about how unique her upbringing was after her parent's divorce, how she'd originally been approached about appearing on another The Bachelor edition, and what she thinks went down between Jason and Molly during their overnight date together in the tent.
Has your mom ever made any of your boyfriends do any awkward things when they have visited in the past, such as giving a eulogy for a dead dove?
Naomi: Oh gosh no.(Laughs) That was so, it was embarrassing, oh my God. My mom has met one serious boyfriend, and that was my longest relationship and obviously nothing that crazy [happened]. My mom is kind of out there, but I think she definitely could not wait to make her television debut so i think that she's really excited. She's quirky like that and she's just, I don't know. Sometimes I wonder...
She may have never done anything that embarrassing, but did she ever do anything to a date in high school or anything?
Naomi: My mom and I, we had a strange relationship for a long time. My parents divorced when I was younger and my dad got custody (pauses) well, my mom kind of gave him custody. She was experiencing, I don't know, a mid-life crisis or whatever.
But we moved to New York with my dad, and actually I kind of spent the rest of my childhood there -- I was and back and forth between high school. I spent my freshman year in Puerto Rico, I moved out to California my sophomore year and was living with my [older] sister who was always kinda like my motherly figure, I guess you could say. Then I was back in New York for junior and senior year.
So I didn't have really a relationship with my mom throughout that time. So she didn't have the opportunity to do that.
What about Dad? He seemed a lot more mellow, but did he ever embarrass you in front of a date?
Naomi: You know, I love my dad. He's hilarious because he's just got the sweetest heart and he just loves me so much. I have overcome a lot of resentment towards both of my parents and my relationship with them wasn't always the way it is now.
But people change and people make mistakes, and both of my parents have owned up to that and I think that, with my dad, he's so true to what he believes in and he wants the best for me, and he wants me to be with a man of God, and he wants me to be happy. But he's very supportive, and he knows that I've kind of grown up on my own, and the choices I've made in life, I've made these choices with my life and my parents trust my judgement.
As far as the embarrassing thing with my dad, he's never done it. Like, in high school I dated guys and I never really brought guys home. But actually my junior and senior year I went to a private Christian school out in New York that my dad taught at, so all my friends were in class with him. But everybody just loves my dad.
Are you seeing anybody at the moment?
Naomi: No, no. I'm just taking time... (pauses) I'm waiting. I'm waiting on, like, I've always had a very strong faith. I'm not by any means the most religious person but I have a strong faith, and coming out of the situation with Jason, the next day I was just crying, crying, crying and I felt like when that right guy comes along now I'm gonna be patient, and God's got something out there for me and I can't even get ahead of myself. I gotta focus on me right now, and focus on getting myself settled down into a career and that sort of thing. When the right time comes and the right guy comes along, it's gonna be worth it. So, I'm waiting.
Some of the other eliminated bachelorettes have said that Jason is hard to read. Do you agree, and did you have a feeling you were going to be eliminated? When you interacted what was his behavior like?
Naomi: I felt that with Jason I would have to agree with the girls. At times it was very hard to read [him]. And there's only so much that he's able to say to us as far as what he's thinking and feeling because of the situation, but I kinda definitely [thought he was hard to read].
I felt the chemistry with him, and we had a lot in common so far as the different things that we've done and that we care about. I think we started off more on a friendship level, so that got to grow, and even like that, yeah, I don't feel like I totally got to know Jason, and that's what I'm saying. In this kind of situation if that's even really possible. I didn't get to see him in his normal day-to-day life.
I mean, I think that he was honest with me in as far as his reasons for letting me go. Did I see it coming? I think I felt it coming more than anything, and it showed on my face. It shows in the last couple of episodes. The week prior it definitely was when Stephanie left, I mean that was the really emotional night where I thought I was definitely going home. I really did. And then when she left, and she's just incredible... Stephanie's just... [I'd use the word] "amazing" but I hate to use the word "amazing," but she really is and it was tough. But I thought I was going, I think I felt it more than anything. I think towards the end I was kinda hanging on a string and just hoping, again, to go back to the whole idea. I got caught up in the idea of Jason and the life in Seattle.
So, coming out of it though, I realized that I'm okay and I'm gonna be okay and that it just really wasn't meant to be.
How long have you lived in Austin, TX and how did you come to your decision to apply for The Bachelor?
Naomi: Well, it's funny. I was actually living in L.A. beforehand [and] pursuing acting at the time. The director of [The Bachelor] had been in my restaurant and saw me and was kinda trying to recruit me for the [The Bachelor: London Calling] season, [but] at the time I was pursuing acting and I don't believe that reality TV and the world of acting should ever intermix. But I just kinda laughed and was like "Yeah, yeah, [the fact is] if I were ever going to reality TV that would not be the show I would do, no offense."
And so I ended up moving to Austin and I kinda gave up pursuing an acting career -- and going into this season I said I didn't wanna be typecast as "that girl" because that's not what I'm doing anymore. But anyway, I got into Austin [over a year ago] and I ended up watching that season [of The Bachelor: London Calling] and I actually went to college with [Amy, the nanny from Stockton, CA] so I kept on watching because I was interested.
One night I got home from work, I was bartending at the time, and I'm watching and just kinda drinking a couple glasses of wine, and at this point I'm like "This looks like a lot of fun actually, I should apply." And so I did again, and then they got in touch with me and they were really interested.
[What made the deal for me] was definitely finding out that Jason had been chosen to be The Bachelor, because I knew enough about him and wanted to meet him. So that [decided it for me] and I ended up doing it. I'm glad I did, it was a great experience.
And, at the first Rose Ceremony the director actually goes to me and says "You look familiar," [and] I'm like "I know I do!"
How did your family react to their segment on the show?
Naomi: My sister is definitely really disappointed. I think that (pauses) you don't want to come off as "the crazy family." I guess I tend to be a little less embarrassed when it comes to my family because it' like "You know what, everybody's different, and that's my family." You know, I'm a product of somewhere in the middle of that.
My sister was a little frustrated, and I wish... they didn't show her conversation with Jason, and then the three of us were talking for a long time and I really wish they did, because my sister is, I mean, she's my best friend and she knows me more than even my parents do. So I guess [it made] for good TV. (Laughs)
My mom, she was disappointed that they didn't [show a conversation between me and my mom and my sister]. I told my mom [that] I saw it obviously, and her conversation with Jason... I was a little bit like "You know, maybe tone it down a little bit. Obviously you have your beliefs but I'm thinking all of America doesn't really need to know this." (Laughs)
It kinda is a little bit embarrassing, but you know I'm whatever about it. That's my family. (Laughs)
Which remaining bachelorette are you rooting for?
Naomi: Oh my gosh, Jill[ian] or Melissa. Those two are like, I love 'em. I love 'em to death. I mean, I think Molly's great too, I just didn't get as close with Molly as I did with those two girls. [Jason] will be happy with anybody though. I left really trusting that [I was leaving] three great girls behind. But yeah, I love them.
Naomi: You know what, it was one night, and actually it was before I was working at this bar and he was in there drinking. He owns a bar called The Mark right around the corner from where I worked. So I was dancing on the floor with my friend and I was like "I think that's The Bachelor." (Laughs) From what I remember there was glances exchanged, but I didn't go up to him and say anything, I just kinda left that night. That's the closest encounter I've ever had with Brad.
Were you surprised by the intimate nature of Molly's intimate overnight date with Jason?
Naomi: That whole night was just crazy because he had been on such a long date before, and then by the time they got to... it was just a late date. And so in that situation, for any one of us to have gone out that late, I mean... She came home the next day, and obviously she was wearing his clothes. Talking to her, she was like "Obviously nothing happened. It was innocent," and they both say that and I would never be like "Oh, they're lying." It was innocent, yeah.