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'The Bachelor' bachelorette Jackie Gordon: "I was shocked to go then"


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/10/2011 

Jackie Gordon's The Bachelor experience got off to a great start when she received the season's second one-on-one from Brad Womack.

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However, while the pair seemed to hit it off well during the one-on-one date, Jackie and Brad's connection wasn't strong enough to convince The Bachelor star to make the 28-year-old New York City artist one of the final six women competing for his heart and she was eliminated during Monday's broadcast of the ABC reality dating show.

During a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Jackie talked to Reality TV World about if she had really fallen in love with Brad, why she feels she puts up walls in relationships, whether she agrees with The Bachelor host Chris Harrison's claims that she had fallen into Brad's "friends" category, and if she regrets letting Brad know she was upset he opted to rappel with Michelle instead of helping her overcome her fear of heights.

Reality TV World: In your final words, you said not having the ability to grow in your relationship with Brad and getting eliminated so soon really hit you and hurt because you were actually in love. So did you really fall in love with Brad while you were on the show?

Jackie Gordon: You know, I think I was in the beginning of falling for him. I can't say that I was completely in love. As Brad even called out, I am cautious, and it does take some time for me to really get to know somebody -- to really put in my trust -- and 100% percent to form a loving relationship. But I can say that I was extremely interested in him, and I was hoping that his feelings were right there with me and were mutual.

Reality TV World: So after you were eliminated, do you think you were more upset and disappointed that you hadn't found love in general or that your hadn't found love with Brad?

Jackie Gordon: Well, I was upset that I hadn't found love in general. I've had a really hard time in the past. I've had a lot of let-downs with dating and relationships and I think the fact that -- here's another shot that I gave it with Brad -- that I was rejected by him just added to that feeling of, 'What's wrong with me? Why am I constantly getting let down in relationships?' So, it kind of goes both ways.

Reality TV World: Also in your final words, you said you constantly put up a wall and try to make sure no one can get through it. So are those past unsuccessful relationships you briefly mentioned the reason you put those walls up? And why did you have trouble refraining from keeping your guard up while you were on The Bachelor?

Jackie Gordon: Well, yeah, time and time again, I've become a little bit better at letting down my walls even in the past before going on The Bachelor. But I'm continually let down by people that I meet, so the walls -- as much progress as I make in bringing them down -- I tend to just build them back up again, and that's something that I have to battle with personally in my life.

On the show, when I met Brad, I did try my hardest to let down my guard and I think I did a pretty good job knowing myself in letting him into my world. And I think that maybe physically, I could have almost put in more, even getting closer to him and maybe giving him that reassurance that I'm not so afraid. I think I tried my hardest and I did the best that I could have done with him, and if it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be.

Reality TV World: Chris Harrison said in his blog that you fell into the "friends" category for Brad. Did you have any sense that Brad looked at you in that light and a friendship was maybe the kind of connection you two made, or does that come as a surprise that you might feel is inaccurate?

Jackie Gordon: That does come as a surprise to me. In the beginning, I definitely don't feel like he looked at me as a friend at all. As the season went on, I feel like because of our lack of time together and our lack of interactions with one another, that maybe that was kind of the only option for me at that point. Again, he was forming some seemingly stronger bonds with the other women, that I guess it's not completely a shock that he considered me more of a "friend."

Reality TV World: On the group date during last week's episode you seemed pretty terrified of heights, dreading having to rappel down the waterfalls. What was your reaction when you saw that Brad was going to descend down with Michelle and not you when you seemingly needed him the most?

Jackie Gordon: I was really hurt by that, but Brad had explained to me later that they made a pact to rappel down something else -- if they were ever in that position again -- that they do it together. Well, that to me, is very strange. First of all, why would they ever be rappelling together? Like why do they even think that that would be something that happened again? Which is weird.

Secondly, I think Brad saw how afraid I was and the fact that he didn't care to help me and go down with me -- just to ease my nerves a little bit -- did strike me as weird. And it also kind of left me feeling like maybe he was losing his interest for me, or maybe this was the end of my journey here. I think if you were really feeling something with me deeper, that he would have definitely gone that extra mile with me. So, I was to say I was hurt when I saw that.

Reality TV World: Do you regret showing Brad your jealous side or were you glad that you remained honest with him after the rappelling date, and did you think it had anything to do with him deciding to send you home?

Jackie Gordon: I definitely do not regret anything that I did during my time on the show. I think that more than anything, it's better that I showed him that I did have a streak of jealousy in me, because I am human. And up until then, I had only shown Brad my happy-go-lucky optimistic side and, I think, my sweeter side.

But I also think it's important for him to see that I am a real person and that these feelings really do exist. Yes, I was jealous, and I should not have had to deny that.

Reality TV World: It seemed apparent that Brad was frustrated and overwhelmed during the week in Costa Rica. Did you get that vibe while you were with him and why do you think he was so stressed out?

Jackie Gordon: I did get that vibe. It was kind of strange how his mood seemed to change all of a sudden. I'm not really sure what set him off -- maybe we were kind of boiling down to the lower numbers and things were getting really serious -- maybe it was letting [Alli Travis] go on her one-on-one date.

I think that was probably a really difficult experience for both of them. I can't even imagine how awkward it is to bring a girl on a date and then tell her that she has to go home from there. That's so awkward. So, I think there were a few things that definitely played into his change of mood.

Reality TV World: Were you shocked when Brad decided not to hand out the rose during the group date? What do you think his reasoning was behind that and were you upset that you didn't receive the rose, especially because on the date you faced your biggest fear for him?

Jackie Gordon: I was shocked that he didn't hand out a rose on that group date. To this day, I still think that he should have. I think, and yes I do think that the rose would have -- could have -- potentially gone to me and that maybe it should have. I did overcome my fear and I wanted to prove to him that I am more than this shy nice girl.

I'm also adventurous, and yes I may have a fear of heights, but I'm able to face my fear and I have a sense of -- a carefree sense about myself as well -- so I was definitely shocked by the fact that he didn't want to hand out that rose. 

Also in the call, Jackie talked about whether she thought things might have gone differently if she'd gotten to go on another one-on-one with Brad, how she was surprised to go home before fellow bachelorettes Michelle Money and Britt Billmaier, what she really thought of Michelle, and who she feels is the right woman for The Bachelor star.

Do you think things would have gone differently if you got the one-on-one date this past week instead of Alli?

Jackie Gordon: I actually do. That is something that I felt -- that I realized from watching it -- that my one-on-one date was so early on in the season, and as wonderful as it was and perfectly fitting as it was for me, I think that Brad would have sensed a strong enough connection and an attraction to me and to each other to keep me around until last week's episode. And then I believe that the timing was just kind of not on my side.

It seems like Brad had it with Michelle Money and he and Britt Billmaier didn't have much of a connection, so how do you think those things affected his decision to eliminate you?

Jackie Gordon: Yeah, that was -- going before Britt and Michelle was hard for me to grasp -- Britt didn't have any time with him barely. She hadn't had a one-on-one and I, the whole time was questioning, 'Well why would he get rid of somebody that he knew?'

We had a great date together. He knew that our feelings were pretty mutual, and here he's keeping around somebody that he really doesn't know anything about at all. So, that was definitely confusing to me.

As for Michelle, clearly I'm seeing a lot of this, all of this really, for the first time -- her conversations with Brad, how forward he was -- and how I think kind of, out of line she is.

I was a little bit shocked and hurt by the fact that he would keep her around after me. I think she is very intense and I think that -- I can't see how he is attracted to her personality and how upfront -- and I think unladylike she is.

Do you think it's a total shock how Michelle has been acting since you've been watching the show?

Jackie Gordon: It is not a shock to me. I did find her to be nice enough to us. Yeah, she did do our hair, she said sweet things to us. I think outwardly, she did try to fit in with us so her time wouldn't be completely miserable on the show. Because pretty much, when you're not on a date with Brad, we're all you have.

But I did sense that she was a little bit shady. I never really felt like I could get too close to Michelle. I always felt like there was something keeping a little bit of a wall up between her and the other girls, and especially me, so I actually never really got to know her too well. But it doesn't come as a shock to me to see all of this come out now.

Were you surprised to be sent home?

Jackie Gordon: Yeah, uh, yes and no. At that point in our journey, I was sensing the distancing between us. I really had not had much time with Brad at all after our one-on-one. Aside from a few one-on-one moments at group dates, where you had a very short amount of time to get in all you wanted to say.

So, I sensed that our connection was kind of slipping a little bit. And maybe, I was also seeing how strong his connections were becoming with some of the other girls. That definitely played in my mind.

But I was shocked to go when I did, because I certainly feel that I had a stronger connection with Brad than Britt did, and also that as I said before, Michelle -- I think is not quite what he's looking for and I just -- I'm very different from how she is. So, I understand that, but I found it shocking that he was so entranced by her.

Is there a woman in the house that you think is right for Brad?

Jackie Gordon: I'd have to say [Chantal O'Brien]. I think that her -- she really let her emotions out right from the beginning. I could personally tell by my time spent with her, even in the house, that she was really forming a very strong bond with him. And she was really opening up her heart to him.

Externally, she can definitely put up a kind of hard exterior, but inside, she's very much a very deep and, I think, loving person and also very vulnerable and looking for love.

I think that Brad in the same respect, really felt a strong connection with Chantal. I think he appreciated the fact that she was so open with him, and really let her emotions just go, and he could get to know her better. 

Did you ever get to ask Brad why he didn't choose to give you the final rose of the episode?

Jackie Gordon: I didn't. When I was let go during that Rose Ceremony, and when he walked me to the car, I was completely shocked and shaken up to the point of I couldn't say what I really wanted to say. I couldn't really articulate the words to even ask what happened.

I was just so shocked and my emotions overcame me, and I think I just became kind of introverted at that moment. Looking back at it, sure there were probably some things I would have said to him in my goodbye.

Would you ever consider doing a show like Bachelor Pad?

Jackie Gordon: I can say right now that I would consider it, but it would depend on where I am in my life at that time. Of course if I was in a serious committed relationship, that's not something that I would consider, but it would just depend on the timing.

Are you ready to start dating again and what are you looking for in a man?

Jackie Gordon: I've never felt so ready in my entire life. I completely know what I want now more than ever in a man and in a relationship. I'm really looking for someone to be all about me, especially after The Bachelor experience. When you have to share those feelings with other women, it's very hard.

I'm looking for someone 100% percent about and committed with me, that has eyes for nobody else, that's funny, charismatic, smart, well-educated, spontaneous, and honest and I think my biggest personality turn-ons are really a sense of humor and just being witty and charming, and having a very big personality.

Did it come off while you were on the show that Michelle is playing a game or was it something you've discovered now that you're watching the show?

Jackie Gordon: I have to say I kind of had a little bit of a feeling that she really was "in it to win it," and she was playing this game. She was one of those girls that just couldn't really get close to.

It doesn't come as a shock that she said all of those things behind our back and was very forward. She struck me as that type of girl. She definitely knows what she wants and she's not afraid to go after it.

She's super confident, if not in my opinion, overly confident, and no I'm not really that shocked. She did some weird things right from the beginning. You see that she got a black eye randomly and woke up with it, and I think she seemed to really enjoy the attention she was getting by having this mysterious black eye.

To me, I thought it was a nonsense story -- who cares -- but she kind of built up this weird, kind of shady back story. I just didn't always get the best vibes from her.

If you could ask Brad one question during The Bachelor: Women Tell All, what would it be?

Jackie Gordon: I would probably ask Brad why he didn't take the time to take me on either another one-on-one or spend a little bit more time getting to know me on a one-on-one following a group date. I feel like that effort just wasn't really there after our one-on-one date.

So, I just kind of want to know why did he -- Was he so afraid of me from what he learned about my past dating history on our one-on-one that he just didn't want to go there? -- Maybe he thought that I was kind of a lost cause. I'm not really sure, but I'd want to know that.

Your description of what you look for in a man -- like "witty" -- doesn't seem to match up with Brad's personality very well. Do you think he just maybe wasn't the right guy for you?

Jackie Gordon: Yeah, I do agree with a lot of the statements. When I was there, that was something that I thought about. He may not be the wittiest and the funniest guy, but he certainly struck me as being a very genuine and loyal and trustworthy guy.

So, I kind of overlooked some of the qualities that I'm looking for in return for others. I mean, dating in New York, there are a lot of witty, funny, smart, great guys, but they lack the trustworthy aspect. They lack the genuine, loyal type qualities.

So yes, he didn't fit every single one of my desired characteristics in a man, but at the same time, I haven't met anybody that has. So, I was willing to give him that chance and physically of course, he's very attractive, and he's an easy person to talk to.



(Photo credit ABC)


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