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'The Bachelor' bachelorette Michelle Money: I wasn't silent after my exit


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/17/2011 

The Bachelor bachelorette Michelle Money appeared to have a strong connection with Brad Womack.

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However while they appeared to have an intense physical connection, The Bachelor star eventually determined he didn't have the type of feelings that warranted beginning a future with her -- resulting in the outspoken 30-year-old Salt Lake City hairstylist's elimination during Monday's broadcast of the ABC reality dating show.

During a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Michelle talked to Reality TV World about if she really remained silence during her departure limo ride, how deep she feels her connection with Brad was, what she thinks about other bachelorettes' claims that she just seemed to be "in it to win it," and whether Brad ever asked about her daughter, prior marriage and previous relationships as he did with Emily Maynard, Chantal O'Brien and many of the other bachelorettes.

Reality TV World: You've said you did have a conversation with Brad on the way to the limo but the show didn't air it.  So when you were shown sitting in silence in the limo, was that also just edited to leave out your reaction as well, or did you actually speak during that? 

Michelle Money: I did have things to say, and I react and me laying down was actually a result of me being incredibly heartsick from talking to the camera while driving down a bumpy road and lights in my face. So, the reason I lied down was because I literally was going to throw up.

Reality TV World: Could you elaborate a little on what you actually said?

Michelle Money: I just kind of hashed through the conversation I'd had outside the limo [with Brad]. We had a good conversation and I was in a good place and I felt -- I just felt good about his decision.

I felt more confident in his decision, and I talked a lot about my family, me and my daughter, and how they asked me what I had to say to the world and what I wanted to be remembered by.

And I said that I want to be remembered as a girl who's loving and who's forgiving and kind and a good mother. I spoke about my family and my daughter a lot, and I felt good about Brad's decision.

Reality TV World: The show showed you only briefly mentioning your daughter to Brad when you had a one-on-one date with him, and Brad didn't seem to bring her up nearly as much as he did with Emily Maynard about her daughter. And your divorce also seemed to get barely mentioned compared to Brad's questions about Chantal O'Brien's prior marriage or many of the other bachelorettes' past relationships. Did you never really have any in-depth conversations with him about those topics or were they just edited out of the show?

Michelle Money: Right, I felt like I talked about my daughter so much that I needed to -- my issue from the very beginning with Brad was if he did not feel like it was right for him and I don't feel like he's right for me, we need to be honest with each other and just tell each other.

"Don't wait for a Rose Ceremony. Just be straight up with me, because every second I am here with you is a second that I am away from my daughter."

And so, I spoke about my daughter in every conversation that I had with him, because I was really struggling being away from her. I had just as many emotional breakdowns as Emily did, if not more. Every girl in the house knows that my struggle and my desire to really have that one-on-one date with Brad was because I had my daughter at home. And so, unfortunately, none of that was aired, but Brad knows.

Brad and I and all the girls that were there know that was my ammunition behind this "aggression" to get to know Brad. But you know, that's why I went on the show -- was to get to know Brad -- and I took advantage of every opportunity that was given to me to be with him, because I wanted to know if he was someone I could see in my future, because if he wasn't, I wanted to go home.

Reality TV World: You and Brad obviously had quite a physical attraction to each other and some sexual chemistry, which many of the other bachelorettes noted. Do you think that was basically the only basis of your relationship with him and that it lacked the emotional or romantic aspect or do you feel you really did have a strong connection with him in more ways than one?

Michelle Money: We had a lot of connections in a lot more ways than that. Again, I wish that you could have seen that, but we did. We did have a strong physical connection to each other as well.

But it's really interesting because the last few times that we -- like when we kissed in Anguilla and all of that -- I could feel that his kisses weren't as passionate or emotional, and I think that's kind of what helped me realize that his heart was with someone else.

By the way that he would kiss me I could tell it was a little bit more cold, and so I think that because we had this great connection, great communication, great understanding of each other, and good conversation and everything, that helped the physical connection.

That helped that sexual connection too, and I think it got to the point where that went a different direction with him, where his heart was with someone else. But I think that it made him feel uncomfortable to be kissing someone that his heart wasn't with, and I think that's actually what helped me realize that he was definitely into someone else.

Reality TV World: A lot of the bachelorettes I've talked to this season accused you of having an "in it to win it" attitude and basically questioned whether you actually were into Brad or just looking to win a competition. What's your response to that?

Michelle Money: I was definitely there for the right reason. That's what -- I mean, I don't know about the other girls -- but I went on the show to find love. I made it very clear that if I felt there wasn't a connection with Brad, that I needed to go home, but I did feel a connection with Brad, and I felt like the connection was reciprocated.

I felt like he felt the same way, and so absolutely I went for it. And I think if you don't, I think you're doing yourself a disservice. I think that's exactly why you should be there. You should be there to win it. That's what you want and you should feel like that's the purpose of the show.

I was "in it to win it," but I was "in it to win it" based on the feelings that I was feeling and based on the way that he felt about me. And so, I think if you go about that in a different way, I don't think that's fair to any of the other girls and I think that that's just doing yourself a disservice. Do you know what I mean?

Reality TV World: Yes.  How did you end up on The Bachelor? Were you nominated by someone, and was it your first time applying for the show?

Michelle Money: Yeah, my little brother secretly submitted me online, and I got a phone call from a casting producer like the next day. I was very confused. Then my brother told me what he had done, so it was my brother.

Reality TV World: You reportedly got your acting start in a Backstreet Boys video, and you were apparently receiving a rose from one of them -- which is a funny coincidence considering you ended up on The Bachelor when it revolves around handing out and receiving roses.

Michelle Money: I Know!

Reality TV World: Any thoughts on that?

Michelle Money: I do think it's just ironic. I just think it's -- yeah, I mean the irony of that is really funny -- (laughs) it is. It's like, I didn't even think about that until someone had done a story on that, but yeah, it's funny to look back at that and then to be where I'm at now! It's pretty ironic.

Also in the call, Michelle talked about her mysterious black eye, whether she was surprised to be eliminated, how she feels about her The Bachelor portrayal, and if she has any regrets about appearing on the show.

Tell us about that black eye.

Michelle Money: Oh my gosh (laughs) I wish that I had some better story to give you, but truly, I woke up with the black eye. The night before, I wasn't drunk; it was just a normal night.

I washed my face, put my eye cream on and everything was normal, went to bed and woke up. And I was kind of rubbing my eyes and my eye was really sore, and I looked in the mirror and was like, 'You gotta be kidding me.'

And so it was really funny because we are were like -- I was like -- 'Does anyone have any idea how I got this?' We all sat down and talked about it, like I was so beside myself that this had really happened to me.

So, I actually think it might have been stress related or I think I popped a blood vessel. I have no idea. I wish I had something better for you because my answer, the truth, sounds really stupid.

Did you ever really feel like Brad was falling for you?

Michelle Money: Yeah. Absolutely. If I didn't feel like that, I would not have been there. I would have been home with my daughter. So, Brad and I actually had a really strong connection from the beginning right when we met.

Our connection was definitely strong and he was very -- I made it very clear to him from the first night -- that if he felt like I was not the right girl for him, I asked that he would send me home like immediately. Because I have a five-year-old at home that I left to pursue this relationship with him, and so a lot of what you didn't see was like our conversation that was a lot more intimate and connected.

We had a really great -- our communication was great and everything -- so I know that when he sent me home, he knew that that was when I should go home.

Did you have any clue that you wouldn't be getting the rose?

Michelle Money: I had a feeling that something was off. Brad and I -- even though you didn't really see it -- in Costa Rica, we had a really really great conversation. I wish that you guys had been able to see it. Unfortunately, you didn't, but our conversation was really really great and I felt really good going into Anguilla.

But once we got to Anguilla and actually had our photo shoot and we had some time at the pool to talk, I could tell that he was -- that it was different. I could tell something was different, and I think in my opinion, that he really started falling in love with Emily. That's my guess.

You didn't say anything when Brad walked you out to the limo. What was going through your mind at that time?

Michelle Money: Brad and I actually did have a conversation, but unfortunately it wasn't shown. But we had a really great conversation that gave me closure and helped me feel confident in his decision, and I was really just excited to get home to my daughter.

What exactly did the conversation entail that you said you had with Brad after your elimination on the way to the limo?

Michelle Money: The conversation I had with Brad was a very personal conversation, and I'm glad I had it. It gave me the closure that I needed. It was something that was positive. It was positive; it was a great conversation for me. I'm glad we had it.

So in terms of how you were portrayed, did you think it was a problem with things being edited out or do you feel like there were intense moments where that's just how you were feeling?

Michelle Money: I feel like I have a very sarcastic dry sense of humor, and if you don't get the full spectrum of who I am and that's not revealed to you and you're only getting that one side of me, I can see how that can come off as very intense.

So, for me, I feel like when you just get a small chopped up version of me being sarcastic, it comes across the wrong way. And so I do feel like it's a combination of both things -- not having all of my personality being shown along with the fact that I have a sarcastic sense of humor.

Would you ever go on Bachelor Pad?

Michelle Money: Yeah, I don't think I could leave my daughter like that again. That was really hard for me. I really, at this time, I would say no. I wouldn't be able to do something like that.

What if you were offered the chance to do The Bachelorette?

Michelle Money: If I were offered the chance, I would have to be able to bring my daughter with me, and I don't know when the shooting schedule -- I mean, she's got school and I wouldn't want to pull her out of school to go film The Bachelorette -- I don't see it.

My daughter is my number one priority and so I guess it's all kind of situationalized. I don't know how to answer that right now. You were adamant the whole time that none of the girls on The Bachelor were right for him and you felt like you were the best choice. Out of the women left watching it now, do you think someone could be right for him?

Michelle Money: I think out of all the girls that are left, I think the best choice for Brad would be Emily. Emily is -- I feel like Brad needs someone who is a little bit more soft spoken and feminine and she's just that southern belle. She's just very lady-like and sweet and soft, and I think that's the kind of girl that would be the best for Brad.

Were the issues between you and Chantal that got edited together actually true and accurate?

Michelle Money: I don't have anything against Chantal, nothing. I think Chantal's a great woman. I think she's beautiful and smart and I think nothing but wonderful things for Chantal. I think it's unfortunate that everyone only got to see more of this kind of catty side between us.

But I think that a lot of the issue was, for me personally, I think that Chantal was very hard to get to know for me. I felt like I had a connection with every girl in the house, except for Chantal, and so Chantal's kind of like a guy's girl. She keeps her distance from women and I think that's just who she is, but I think that that's fine.

There's nothing wrong with that. I left the show feeling like if I ever saw Chantal again, I would be so happy to see her. I would give her the biggest hug and be so happy to see her. But I still don't think she's right for Brad.

Do you have any regrets about being on The Bachelor?

Michelle Money: I have no regrets. When I left the show, I felt very confident in myself and that I was true to who I was, and all I can do is be me. I can't be anybody else but me, and at the end of the day, one very small side of me was shown and that's unfortunate.

But, I know what my experience was like and I know what really happened and I know the amazing friendships I've made and the amazing opportunity I had to get to know Brad, who's a great guy, and so I'm very glad I did it.

Is there one specific thing looking back on your experience that didn't make it on-air that you wish people would have seen?

Michelle Money: Oh there's hundred and hundreds of things (laughs). As far as one specific thing, I wish more than anything that people could have seen the kind things I had to say and the nice things I said about the other girls and about Brad.

I wish people could have heard me talk more about my love for my daughter and my family, and that my intentions of going on the show were very true to the fact that I just wanted to get to know Brad. So, there's a lot that I wish would have been shown, but that's what you get for signing up for a reality TV show.

You were portrayed as a hairdresser on the show, but there are reports you are also an actress. Can you clarify what you profession is and what you are hoping it will be?

Michelle Money: No, I've been in modeling and acting since I was 15-years-old. Growing up in Utah, I've always done that on the side. In Utah, there's not a ton of work, but there's enough to make some good extra money on the side.

So, my main source of income comes from doing hair, and so for me, it's like, I wouldn't feel comfortable saying that I'm an actress or a model because that's not where my sole source of income comes from.

It's just something I've always done on the side. Coincidentally, right before I went on The Bachelor, I booked a lead role in a film and we started filming, and during the filming process, that's when I actually got casted on the show -- on The Bachelor -- and so it was all just this ironic coincidence that I got my first lead role in a movie right before I left to film The Bachelor. So, it's been a unique coincidence.

Since you are a part-time model and actress, did you hope your behavior on the show would gain you publicity or was it just your sense of humor?

Michelle Money: It was definitely my sense of humor. If I wanted to go and promote myself as a model or actress, I wouldn't have walked off the set on the Red Cross commercial shoot where I would have this opportunity to show my acting skills. And on for the photo shoot with Sports Illustrated, I would have pushed myself as being this model, but it's not who I am. It's not my personality.

I definitely did not go on the show to promote anything other than the fact that I want to be in a relationship with someone and I want to get married again. That's the core of who I am. That's what I want.

I don't want to be known as a model or an actress or anything. I want to be known as a mother, and I want to be a good wife, and I want to be -- those are the things I value in life and those are the things that are important to me.

What is the order you think the bachelorettes left will finish in?

Michelle Money: I think it's going to go -- this is my personal opinion -- I think it's going to go next week, I think this Monday, [Shawntel Newton], next is [Ashley Hebert], and then I think it's going to be Chantal and Emily, and I think Emily is going to be the one who ends up with him.

But I will say this, I do think that Emily will be the one who ends up with him if she chooses that that's what she wants... If Brad chooses her, I think it will be a matter of like, she chooses Brad too.

Chris Harrison said in an interview that you were playing Brad really well. Did you ever intuitively feel that producers were putting you in the position to play the villain?

Michelle Money: Not even once. Not even in one small sort of way. Never. We're filming -- there's like 300 hours of footage for each episode -- and you're seeing an hour and a half of that many hours. There's so many other conversations I've had and interviews I've had and interactions with people.

I think the one thing that I -- I think the reason I'm such an easy target for something like that -- is because I am upfront, and I am direct, and I am honest, and I'm not easily sway, usually. So, I feel like I was kind of an easy target as far as being like the outspoken aggressive woman. And I think, again, I never thought I would be the villain. Ever. 

You said earlier you don't think Chantal was a match for Brad, so what do you think he saw in her and if you could reiterate why you don't believe that she's right for him.

Michelle Money: I think that Chantal is with Brad, as far as I notice while filming, she's jokey and will kind of tease him and pushes him and makes fun of him. She kind of tries to lighten up the mood in a teasing way, but to me, it came across a little bit more immature.

But, that being said, I think that he probably found a lot of like -- he probably felt very comfortable with her doing that -- and felt a little bit more relaxed and I think the fact that she fell in love with him very fast, I think that he probably really liked that.

It probably gave him confidence. It probably gave him more security with her, and you could definitely tell that she was crazy about Brad and head over heels and fully in love with him from what she said. And I think everyone loves to feel that way.

Everyone loves to feel loved and like you're queen of the world for him. I think she made him feel like she could do no wrong.


(Photo credit ABC)


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