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INTERVIEW: Sheena Stewart talks about her 'The Bachelor' experience


By Christopher Rocchio, 10/31/2007 

Despite not being an avid dater, Sheena Stewart came close to capturing Brad Womack's heart.

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However the 23-year-old Internet marketing executive from Walnut Creek, CA was sent packing during The Bachelor's sixth eleventh-season episode Monday night on ABC.

On Tuesday, Sheena talked to Reality TV World about how she's a hopeless romantic; why Brad's identical twin brother speaking so highly about her should have been a tip she'd eventually be eliminated; what her fantasy one-on-one date was like; and how she's been able to find her own bachelor since being booted from the show.


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

Sheena:  That's a great question.  I had never applied to The Bachelor before and had never even thought about ever going on reality TV.  I was sort of at a point in my life where I really wanted a more meaningful relationship and of course I'm at a point where I at least wanted to start to look for the right person that I can settle down with. 

It just so happens that I had worked late, got home alone on a Friday night, drinking a glass of wine and watching ABC.com.  I hadn't really watched The Bachelor -- it was Officer and a Gentleman at the time -- and I was kind of catching up and watching some episodes.  At the very end I saw [Andy Baldwin] propose to [Tessa Horst], and I was like, "God I want that!"  It was sort of a cheesy moment, but I was on the phone with my really good friend from New York, and she was like, "You should apply."  I was like, "No, no, no."  She sent me this fun picture of me in New York.  It was pouring rain in the middle of the summer, I was in a sundress with a big smile on my face.  She was like, "Just do it."

So totally out of a whim, probably at 1AM on a [Saturday], I submitted a photograph.  I got a call the very next day.  So I never went to any major casting calls or anything, they were actually almost finished casting.  [Casting] was like, "Oh we'd like to meet you as soon as possible."  From that point on, I just filled out the paperwork and went through the process.  Before I knew it -- it was like a whirlwind -- I was there.  So I didn't have a whole lot of time to think about it.

Reality TV World:   You just kind of touched upon this, but what were your expectations going into the show?

Sheena:  I am a hopeless romantic at heart.  I think along with a lot of other women I sort of want the fairy tale.  So I thought why not? Take a chance.  Who knows?  It's a really fun opportunity.  At first i was really skeptical and my roommate kind of talked me into it.  She was like, "You have nothing to lose at this point.  You can take off work at this point.  Just sort of take a vacation and find out if maybe something is there."  So I really had nothing to lose and everything to gain.  I didn't really have any expectations.  I didn't even know who the guy was or what he was going to look like.  They don't tell us anything...

Reality TV World:   That leads well into my next question.  What were your first impressions of Brad?

Sheena:  (laughing)  My first impressions of Brad... Well we drove up in the lino [during the premiere broadcast], and I was so nervous because I was the first girl that was supposed to get out of the limo and meet him.  I could see him in the distance standing there in his suit. 

My first impression was that he was different than I had expected.  For some reason in my mind -- you anticipate meeting somebody in your mind and you sort of make somebody up -- and I was anticipating someone similar in his body build but for some reason with dark hair and definitely cleanly shaven.  More of a clean, dark-haired kind of guy.  But to my surprise, Brad was standing there... A little more rugged than what I had anticipated.  But definitely the minute I spoke to him and the minute I saw his eyes and heard his southern accent, I definitely was excited to get to know him better.

Reality TV World:   Some of the previous bachelors who have appeared on the show have had their "sincerity" questioned.  Do you think Brad was sincere about wanting to find a wife via The Bachelor?

Sheena:  I do.  I don't believe he's the type of person who would go on a show like that for publicity reasons or whatnot.  His bars were already very successful and I think that... Yeah, I do think he was there for the right reasons.  It wasn't even until after that we found out what bars he owns.  He was never on the show talking about [the four Austin, TX bars he owns].  Girls would ask, "Oh I was in Austin.  What bars [do you own]?"  He's like, "That's not why I'm here."  One of the girls used to live in Austin, and he wouldn't even tell her.  So later of course it comes out -- but at the time -- I don't question his motives at all.

Reality TV World:   So you were the bachelorette who discovered Michele had fallen down the stairs.  Could you explain what happened and what your reaction was to the situation?

Sheena:  Well it was just mortifying.  It was awful.  She was by the pool, maybe a half-an-hour earlier, and we were jumping in and playing football by the pool.  She got stung by a bee, and she's a little bit allergic to bees.  So she got a little woozy, and I think somebody told her to take a Benadryl or something and to lay down.  So she went upstairs to lay down, and half-an-hour later she was coming down the stairs to get a glass of water or something and slipped.

I heard it because I was in the kitchen around the corner.  It was awful.  It was an awful sound.  Then she was laying there on the ground and it was a horrifying feeling because we had known that she had had back surgery years prior.  I didn't want to move her, and one of the other girls Lindsey was standing there too.  There was nobody in the house.  No producers or camera people in the house at that one moment.  So I just went running down the driveway screaming.  Luckily it wasn't as bad as it sounded or what I anticipated, but they did carry her off in a stretcher.  God it was just so awful for her because she's such an amazingly kind woman.  It was just disheartening.

Reality TV World:   You always seemed to be one of the more reserved suitors vying for Brad's attention.  You never really kicked up a lot of drama.  Is that just your personality or was it a strategy you had going into the show?

Sheena:  It's funny, I never had a strategy at all.  Maybe I should have (laughing)!  But I didn't and all I could do was be myself.  I definitely don't think I'm shy in any way, I'm actually super outgoing and super talkative.  But I'm not the type of person that would ever wish harm on anyone or that would ever say, "I don't want someone to come home." or anything like that.  As a matter of fact, it did surprise me that I became such good friends with all the girls.  I didn't expect to find such great friends.

I felt like there were cameras in my face 24/7 for six weeks.  But because I wasn't dramatic and because I wasn't talking bad about people, you know I tended to just often be in the background [during the episodes].  But in real life I was actually talking a lot.  I tend to just be laughing and very optimistic and I have fun in my life, some of the other girls were a little bit more emotional through the stages.  So I think that's why you see me in the background quite a bit.

Reality TV World:   What happened when the harbor patrol reprimanded you while riding jet skis during that group date?  Did they explain any rules to you beforehand or did the fun you were having just go a little too far?

Sheena:  What happened... I don't think it got out of hand at all.  The sailboat [the group date was happening on] actually parked right in-front of the Long Beach Marina, and we were on the jet skis, and doing donuts and causing a raucous... The real reason the Coast Guard came out is because we had to move a little bit further back and not do as many donuts because we were right near the entrance to the marina. 

So it wasn't necessarily that we did anything specifically wrong (laughing), it was just that we were having a little too much fun in-front of the marina.

Reality TV World:   Brad's identical twin brother Chad apparently had a high opinion of you from the time you two shared together prior to that Rose Ceremony.  How were you able to tell the difference between the two brothers and did Brad ever say what Chad had told him about you?

Sheena:  Yeah, that's a really good question.  Let's start out with the first part, how I was able to tell the difference.

It was late at night and of course it was dark outside by the pool and then the camera lights are on you so it's like a spotlight on your face.  At first, you see my face look kind of funny.  At first, I couldn't tell right off the bat.  I was like, 'God he looks weird!  Something's different."  But really, they're so different.  They're two completely different people.  They have a different smile; different voices; different eyes; and everything about them is different.  But of course it took me a second to sort of figure it out because we had talked about Brad's brothers before -- we had asked him questions -- and he just said he had one older and one younger and both were married.

Late that night I had absolutely no clue they would pull a switch on us!  So of course, you see me hesitate for a minute.  But they're just completely different people, and the moment I looked into [Chad's] eyes I was like, "That's not the same person!"  Then I make a funny comment about Brad's blonde ear peach fuzz (laughing).  But that was just because I felt like I had so many conversations with Brad prior to that -- we were always sitting side by side -- and I know he has a lot of facial hair but he has this little patch of blonde peach fuzz right on his ear, on his earlobe.  I know it's just something that I noticed, so at the end I joked, "And he doesn't have the ear fuzz!"  But maybe that was more of an inside joke between Brad and I.

But they're just two completely different people and Chad is a great guy and a great sport for doing that for his brother.  I'm so glad I got to meet him.

Reality TV World:  So did Brad ever tell you what Chad told him about you?

Sheena:  Yes.  He did actually, and I was really flattered when Chad came out and Chad was like, "Oh, Brad had nothing but good things to say.  You guys went jet skiing and blah, blah, blah."  So Chad knew a lot about me and then one our one-on-one date -- on my fantasy date with Brad -- he definitely opened up a little bit about his brother had said.  He said, "My brother was just singing your praises and said that you're an amazing girl and that you really stood-out to him."  So he definitely said that, and then on my hometown date he told my parents, and he was again telling my parents how much Chad really liked me and that I really stuck-out in his mind.

I do find it slightly ironic though that in a prior conversation with Brad right after we knew that he had an identical twin brother, one of the girls asked him, "Have you guys ever had an issue where you like the same girl?"  And Brad had said something like, "No.  We got really lucky.  Chad and I always tend to go towards other girls, so we never had that issue.  Someone that Chad really likes or was dating I never really felt that way about."

So I think it's sort of ironic now that I look back on that conversation, that Chad spoke so highly of me and thought that I stuck-out, and then Brad in the end said that we didn't have as much chemistry.

Reality TV World:  Yeah, that is interesting.

Sheena:  It's kind of ironic that they mentioned that they have somewhat different tastes.

Reality TV World:   You questioned whether Jenni "really fell for Brad" or if she was just driven by the whole element of the competition.  Do you think Jenni was there for the right reasons?  Were there any other girls you thought were there for the wrong reasons?

Sheena:  I do think Jenni was there for the right reasons.  I do think she's at a point in her life where she does want to settle down and eventually start a family.  She's such a kind girl, she laughs a lot, she had a kindred spirit.  I never once -- even when the girls were giving her a hard time for bringing her modeling book -- I never once thought anything bad about her.  So I definitely think after she got to know Brad and everything she definitely did have feelings for him.

As far as the other girls, you know I think for the most part the majority of the girls were really there for the right reasons.  At time I sort of questioned Bettina's reasons and motives for being there.  Especially after my fantasy date, when I got the dress and the earrings and Bettina makes the comment that her date sucked and it was boring.  That sort of made us question it too, because it wasn't about the gifts it was just about spending time with [Brad].  So it was exciting that the public finally got to see what we saw in the house all the time.  She sort of had that mentality that it was a little bit like a competition and stuff like that.

Reality TV World:   You were the last bachelorette to go on a one-on-one date with Brad.  Did he ever explain why he waited so long to go on a one-on-one date with you?

Sheena:  He didn't actually, and I didn't really ask.  I think I was just so ecstatic that I finally got a one-on-one date, because I think in total there were only four one-on-one dates -- Hillary, Jenni, Bettina and myself -- and I know DeAnna and Jade went on the two-on-one.  So out of 25 women, I think even though I was last, I think I was just so ecstatic to get a one-on-one date and to get my time.  It didn't matter what my date was going to be...

Reality TV World:   And it was a pretty good one-on-one date, seeing as how you received the diamond earrings and your choice of a gown.

Sheena:  Exactly.  It was the most romantic date I've ever been on.  It feels so special to have been chosen for that date. I think I made a comment at the end of the date, "I think he saved the best for last."   I was just so thankful that I got my time.

Reality TV World:   Were you surprised at how emotional Hillary was when she was eliminated?

Sheena:  You know Hillary was one of my really great friends in the house.  I knew that she was worried about that Rose Ceremony.  She had heard some girls say, "Oh [Brad] thinks of her just as more of a friend."  I think she didn't want to believe it, so I know she was having anxiety about it.  I didn't expect her to get quite as emotional as she did.  I knew she would cry and I knew she would be upset, but I never -- even her being a close friend of mine -- I never expected her to hyperventilate and be quite that bad... But I know that out of many of the girls, her thoughts and feelings were really, really genuine and she really did get her heart broken.

Reality TV World:   After watching Monday night's episode, what was your reaction to the conversation Brad had with your mom?  I ask because you asked Brad point-blank during the episode if your mom had embarrassed him.

Sheena:  Well I love my family, and I believe my mom is a very strong-willed, intelligent woman.  She is also sort of a hopeless romantic.  There was a lot of footage from our hometown date that didn't [air in the episode].  My sisters were there, we had a sunset barbeque, we were flipping steaks outside and my whole family was there.  My dad was teaching [Brad] how to open-up beer bottles with his wedding ring.  There were so many great things that didn't make it, and at the end of such a really, really long day we were on the Sacramento River and then back at my house.

After just a long, exhausting day, my mom was sitting on the couch with [Brad], sort of being a hopeless romantic, being like, "I'm ready to plan her wedding and I know my daughter wants to settle down."  And she makes the comment like it hit her that I am going to settle down soon -- and that she knows I'm "the one" -- and maybe I'm not "the one" for him but I'm someone's one.

Definitely I wish it came-off a little more eloquently than it did, but I know Brad was there the whole day and he met my full family and he knows exactly who I really am and who my parents really are.  So that's all I can really say about that... There's a lot of stuff that wasn't shown that was really amazing stuff.

Reality TV World:   Did Brad talk to you prior to Monday night's Rose Ceremony?  If so, what did he say?

Sheena:  No... He went straight from the hometown dates and then I had to wait a couple days while he went on the other girls hometown dates.  Then we showed up at the Rose Ceremony and the moment he walked into the Rose Ceremony was the first time I had seen him since he left my house.

Reality TV World:   After Brad failed to give you a rose, you commented on how you didn't expect to be eliminated.  Why was that?

Sheena:  I think that our one-on-one date was so romantic and so amazing, and the kiss was amazing (laughing).  Then taking him home to my family I think sort of made it a lot more real to me.  Like I said, there was so much stuff that we did that wasn't shown.  My family is so easy-going and welcoming, and so he looked like he had a great time.  We were dancing in the backyard, and flipping steaks and we went boating and we went tubing... It was just so fun that I thought if the elimination was based on family, no one has a better, more laid-back, fun outgoing family than mine. 

I really didn't expect to go home THAT Rose Ceremony, per say.  He used the word "chemistry" as a deciding factor... I just expected to at least go on the tropical date to sort of our relationship, I just didn't expect to go home that... I just wasn't expecting it!

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

Sheena:  Let's see... I would love to see Jenni win.  I think that Jenni is really his type.  I know that he had mentioned before that he had dated a cheerleader [Jenni works as a Phoenix Suns cheerleader].  I think that she's got such an outgoing personality and she laughs a lot, and I think he needs someone that makes him laugh and doesn't take themselves to seriously and they can just have fun.  I think that she would truly make him happy.  She was a great friend to have in the house.  She was kind, she took care of girls, cooked breakfast in the morning... I think that she would truly make him happy.

As far as someone that I hope that they don't make it, I would never want to wish anything bad upon anyone.  I truly want him to choose the best decision for himself.  However I don't see Bettina getting engaged to him, especially for her second marriage.  Especially since her family really wasn't welcoming of him and not approving.  I think that can be a huge burden on a couple...

Reality TV World:   Did The Bachelor change the way you approach dating?  Are you currently dating anyone?

Sheena:  The Bachelor did not change how I date people or how I picture that.  I did learn a lot about myself I think -- and for my family too -- how welcoming they were to a complete stranger.  Again, like I said, the footage that didn't make it, my dad was like, "Sheena, you have such a great sense of who you want to be with and that we truly would be happy in who you decide and we trust your decision."  I got a lot of really positive feedback from my family in that sense and how they sort of are excited for me to settle down, whether it's with [Brad] or the right person for me. 

So I learned a lot from it in that aspect, but as far as how I date people?  I've never really been a huge dater.  I don't date for the fun of it.  I tend to date people that I truly care about or at least sort of kind of see myself with in the future, otherwise it's sort of pointless for me if they're not somebody I want to be with in the future.

As far as dating someone right now, yes I'm currently dating a really great guy right now.  I'm not really the type of person to go from one relationship to the next, but it just so happened that I happened to meet a really fantastic guy and sometimes timing is just the key to life.  It might have been bad timing -- especially with the show airing -- but when you get along with someone you can't really pass it up.  It's still in the new stages, but he's an amazing guy.

Reality TV World:   So other than that, what else is currently going on in your life?

Sheena:  It's just sort of getting back to my normal life.  It's sort of difficult to jump back into after being on a whirlwind romance/vacation for so long -- so it was definitely a little bit difficult to adjust -- to my small apartment and my day job.  But I've never been happier and I love where I am in my life right now.  I feel so thankful for the experience, the people that I met, and the things I learned.

(Photo credit ABC)


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