During a Tuesday conference call with reporters, Lindzi, a 27-year-old business development manager from Seattle, WA, talked to Reality TV World about her The Bachelor experience -- including whether she still believed Ben would be a "total fool" for wanting to marry Courtney, how she felt about being denied air-time during the After the Final Rose special after flying to Los Angeles for the taping, whether she felt cheated out of the opportunity to become the next The Bachelorette star due to Emily Maynard's selection, and what her blunt response was when asked whether she reunited with her ex-boyfriend following The Bachelor's finale.
Below is the first half of Lindzi's interview. Check back with Reality TV World on Wednesday for the second portion. In the meantime, also read our separate interview with The Bachelor host Chris Harrison.
Reality TV World: During your final words, you said that if Ben does want to marry Courtney, you'd be completely shocked and he'd look like a total fool. Now that you've watched the After the Final Rose special and have seen his relationship with Courtney play out all season, do you still stand by that comment? What are your thoughts on how they are currently engaged and said there will be a wedding in their future? Do you think they'll last?
Lindzi Cox: No, I think that -- I don't still mean what I said. And watching the show, I got to see how their relationship was and I think that ultimately, it's not my place to say if it'll last or not or if he's making a good decision or not, because he has to do what's best for him and I really wish Ben nothing but the best.
Reality TV World: In his blog this morning, Chris Harrison explained that you were actually at the taping of the After the Final Rose but they decided to not bring you out and interview you based on how things were going with Ben and Courtney. How did that make you feel? Did that upset or frustrate you that you traveled to L.A. for the taping and then didn't have a chance to tell Chris your side of things or maybe get some answers from Ben?
Lindzi Cox: You know, it really didn't upset me. I think that Ben and Courtney both came out and they had a really -- it was a really emotional time for them, and I think that Ben has bigger issues to deal with right now, like his engagement.
Clearly, they were in a fragile and emotional state, so we just kind of decided that I'm in a good place, I got my closure, I didn't have any pressing issues that I had to talk to Ben about, so you know, I think it was better for him and for me to just kind of move on with it.
Reality TV World: Were you surprised when you learned that Ben and Courtney have already broken up once?
Lindzi Cox: I don't really know. I don't really know what their relationship is like. I know it from the outside and I know them from the outside, but I don't know them together. So I wasn't really surprised, but I wasn't really not surprised, you know what I mean? It was kind of like, "That's too bad. I hope that that's good for the both of them."
Reality TV World: As the runner-up, you were in the prime position to be the next star of The Bachelorette but they ended up choosing Emily Maynard from the last season instead. Did you feel cheated at all out of the experience, because based on comments you've made in other interviews, it sounds like you would have been interested in being the Bachelorette.
Lindzi Cox: Yeah, I definitely would have been interested, but I feel like this was such a cool experience and I'm so lucky that I had gotten to do it, so I can't feel cheated at all. I got to do so much awesome stuff, so yeah.
Reality TV World: During your Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance last night, you said you felt like Ben led you on a little bit. Can you elaborate on that and why you felt that way?
Lindzi Cox: I just, I don't know if Ben led me on. I'd like to think that Ben -- the things he said were how he really felt -- but early in the game it was really -- going back and watching it, early in the game, it was really evident that he had very strong connections with other people.
So, it just kind of naturally makes you wonder like, "Hmm, I wonder if he really likes me or if I was just kind of fun to keep around." But I don't necessarily think he did. I kind of think that maybe at the end, it was kind of a tough decision for him.
Reality TV World: Looking back, do you still believe you truly were in love with Ben or do you think a part of you got caught up in the competition and environment?
Lindzi Cox: I think that yeah, I did have really strong feelings for Ben and at some points, I think that maybe I was not caught up in the competition, but caught up in the moment.
Because the time we had together was so great, but then in between dates was when I saw him going on dates with the other women, and then I kind of started to second guess myself. So, I didn't let myself go there as much as I could have.
Reality TV World: It sounds like you don't have any harsh feelings towards Ben and you wish him and Courtney the best, but if Ben ended up choosing you in the end, looking back on everything, do you think your relationship would've lasted or do you think you might've broken things off?
Lindzi Cox: I think that's really hard to say, because I don't know -- a lot of time has gone by and a lot of time we would've spent together, so it's really hard to say.
Reality TV World: What was your reaction when you found out that Courtney went skinny dipping with Ben? Did your opinion of Ben change at all, and if you had discovered that happened while you were still on the show, would their behavior have impacted your decision to either stay or quit?
Lindzi Cox: I think the skinny dipping, like any other situation, go for it. But that was kind of something, that watching, kind of stung a little bit because he still had a lot of other really great women there. Knowing that and then watching their connection kind of escalate fast afterwards kind of came as a surprise.
Reality TV World: How did you end up on The Bachelor? Did you apply or did someone nominate you, and was it also your first time applying for the show?
Lindzi Cox: Yeah, it was my first time applying! I just showed up at a casting call where I live and the rest was history! (Laughs)
Also during the call, Lindzi told reporters why she didn't bash Courtney to Ben's family when she had the chance to throw her under a bus, when she received closure from Ben, and what surprised her most when watching the season back.
When Ben's mom and sister asked you about Courtney, you took the high road and didn't say anything very negative. Why did you react that way and do you wish you had said more?
Lindzi Cox: I think in talking to both Ben's mom and sister, I said how I felt about Courtney and you know, when I was there in the house with her, I didn't -- I didn't really have anything that negative at all to say about her. So, I just kind of stated the obvious that her and I are two very different people and I don't regret saying that. And if I said more, I would have just been kind of making things up.
There tends to be a pattern on The Bachelor in which the final two women consist of one bad girl and one sweet girl. However, the guy most often picks the bad girl, so do you think that's accurate and do you believe picking the bad girl works out in the end?
Lindzi Cox: Well first of all, I don't necessarily think Courtney is a bad girl, and I don't think that he -- it's up to them if their relationship works and I wish them nothing but the best.
What was the biggest surprise to you when you watched the season unfold on TV?
Lindzi Cox: The biggest surprise to me -- because a lot of what I saw, I was seeing for the first time too -- so I would say I was genuinely, and I hate to say this about Courtney, but I was genuinely kind of shocked to hear what she said.
Do you think it's actually a good thing that Ben didn't pick you now, or are you still hoping he'll call you if things don't work out with Courtney like you had told him following your elimination?
Lindzi Cox: I think that I'm in a really good place now and Ben made his decision and I completely respect that, and I wish them nothing but the best.
You mentioned earlier in the call that you have received all the closure you need. When did you reach that point? Was it when you stepped onto the helicopter after Ben let you go or was it a slow realization as you've been watching all The Bachelor broadcasts?
Lindzi Cox: I think I did get the closure on that final day in Switzerland. He was really honest with me, I think, and told me that he did have strong feelings for me. But ultimately, he loved someone else more and at the end of the day, I respect that, because I don't think anyone wants to be with someone who doesn't know without a doubt that they want to be with that person.