Doug and The Bachelorette star had their signals completely crossed prior to his ouster, as Doug thought the couple was having an intimate moment outside a castle in Prague and then tried kissing her as a result while Emily was just trying to let him down gently and send him home. Doug came across very shy throughout the season and insisted he had a very traditional outlook on dating, but Emily realized she had been spending more time fighting for his heart than capturing it.
During a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Doug talked to Reality TV World about his The Bachelorette experience and emotional exit -- including what was actually going through his mind when Emily was giving him her elimination speech, whether he thought telling Emily their relationship would just be "starting out" following the show ruined his chances to end up with her, what he meant by saying his "girl radar" was totally broken, and how his body language throughout the show wasn't representative of his feelings for Emily.
Below is the first portion of Doug's call. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the concluding portion.
Reality TV World: You seemed very shocked when you finally realized Emily was sending you home. What was going through your mind while she was talking and where did you think she was going with her speech? Did you think she was just mentioning things you two needed to work on or were you maybe zoned out a little bit because you were thinking about when would be the perfect time to kiss her?
Doug Clerget: Yeah Beth, that's actually a really great question and I appreciate it. I was thinking to myself, "I really probably should've tried kissing her." I thought she was saying, "Hey Doug, you gotta be a little more aggressive in terms of showing me you're interested in me," and I think Emily was such a sweetheart throughout the whole thing.
And just because I'm a single dad, I tend to take things a little more slowly. And so, I really just wanted to get to know Emily on a personal level and build a good friendship there. So she was talking to me and I thought the conversation was heading towards, "Come on, give me a kiss!" And then I really wasn't expecting to be sent home. I was hoping to get a hometown date, and so, I was kind of bummed out!
Reality TV World: When Emily asked you where you saw yourself at the end of your The Bachelorette journey, you said something like you and Emily would just be starting out. Do you think that's what ultimately made Emily's mind up? It seems like she wants to end the process engaged and get married shortly afterwards, but you made it sound like you guys would just be beginning your relationship and you wouldn't have proposed if she'd picked you. Can you elaborate on that a bit -- would you have proposed and what did you mean "starting out?"
Doug Clerget: Sure, another great question, and I appreciate that one too. When I said "starting out," you know, The Bachelorette experience is a great experience and it's one that I am so happy that I did. But it's one of those things where it's kind of surreal in that you're "dating" a girl who has been dating guys you've been hanging out with.
And you're having these experiences all around the world, which are completely amazing experiences, but you're not at home doing normal day-to-day things. I spend my days, you know, I get up, I workout at four in the morning, and then I get some work done, and I get my son up and off to school or off to camp, and then work throughout the day, and then get him home or off to practice.
So, you're not doing the normal life kind of stuff, and Emily's got Ricki and she has her normal routine. And so, the comment about "starting out" was in reference to starting to build a normal life. When you date somebody, you take two separate lives -- especially when you have kids involved -- and then you try to put those lives together. That's what I meant by "starting out." Does that make sense?
Reality TV World: Absolutely, so do you think the idea of a relationship just "starting out" was maybe a little bit of a red flag in Emily's mind? Do you think she was looking to get engaged right away?
Doug Clerget: I think Emily's heart is definitely in the right place and I don't know how the rest of it -- I've been watching and it'll be interesting to see how the hometown dates go. But I know she definitely wants to find the right person and I hope it wasn't a red flag. I was just trying to say that it would be an experience, coming home after the cameras were turned off and starting the day-to-day life of dating.
As I understand it, whoever Emily ends up with, they don't get to see each other for quite awhile after taping, between taping and the last show. So you've got some time in there, so I definitely didn't mean it to be a red flag. I was just trying to be very upfront about kind of where I saw things.
Reality TV World: In your final words, you said your "girl radar" was totally broken. What exactly did you mean by that? Were you saying you were kind of out of practice with the whole dating thing or were you referring to how you had misread the signals and attempted to kiss Emily when she was in the middle of trying to let you go or was it something else?
Doug Clerget: Yes. (Laughs) Thank you for bringing that up as if it wasn't painful enough to watch again. Oh my God! (Laughs)
Reality TV World: (Laughs) Sorry!
Doug Clerget: No, no it's okay! My friends will not leave me alone about that. I know that the comment about my "girl radar" being totally broken was kind of more of a comment in general just in the fact that Emily's sitting there saying, "I've been waiting for you to kind of show me that you're interested in me."
And I was thinking to myself, "I have been interested. I've been here away from my son and trying to spend as much time as I can." And kind of my whole life, any time I've dated, it's because a girl is finally like, "Doug, I'm interested in you. We should do something."
I for some reason, I don't know why, can just never -- I don't know why -- tell if a girl is interested in me or not. It's definitely something I should probably work on, because pretty much every girl I've ever dated has said, "Okay, we've been going out on dates," and then the girl will finally be like, "Okay, are you going to kiss me?"
And so, it was pretty much typical and I was bummed out because in the past, that's kind of worked out for me. And I've been like, "Yeah, totally, I just didn't want to -- who wants to kiss a girl that doesn't want you to kiss them?" And you can see, so I decided to take a risk in that situation, and that didn't work out well for me at all.
Reality TV World: Emily seemed to have a big issue with your body language and how you two wouldn't get close or hold each other when having conversations. Could you talk a little bit about your mannerisms on the show? Were you simply shy or was it a matter of being really nervous because so many cameras were around? Were you just trying really hard to be respectful but then maybe it backfired?
Doug Clerget: Well, no, I definitely tried to be respectful. I think that in terms of approaching the situation, I felt like Emily and I had a good connection from both being single parents, and so I felt like that was kind of like an immediate bond that we had. And then, a lot of guys I know were trying to be as physical as they could just in terms of kissing her every chance that they got.
I don't know. I just kind of thought, and again, I'm not a mindreader and my "girl radar" is broken -- I didn't know how much Emily wanted that to happen being a single mom. And so, I didn't want to be one more guy trying to kiss her when maybe she just wanted to get to know the guys. And so, I guess I just read that wrong.
Reality TV World: Similar to you, Jef Holm also decided to take his relationship with Emily slowly, as he waited to kiss her for awhile and didn't go out of his way to get her attention all the time. However, Emily said she liked the fact he kept her guessing and wondering and it seemed like it ultimately made her like him even more. Why do you think the strategy seemed to work out for Jef but unfortunately played out differently for you? What do you think the difference was?
Doug Clerget: You know, now that you bring that up, you're right! I hadn't thought about it from that regard before. I don't know why Jef got -- because mine really wasn't a strategy at all. I was just trying to get to know Emily in the time that I had with her and be respectful of her and just try to get to know her.
And so, maybe -- I definitely wasn't trying to keep her guessing. I was just trying to be nice. You know, Jef's a great guy. I have to think about that, because you're right! It worked out better for him than it did me. I don't think Jef had a strategy either. I think Jef was just trying to be himself too and just kind of read the situation and figure out what was going on like the rest of us.
That one stumps me a little. And actually though, Jef did eventually -- I'll tell you the difference between Jef and I -- Jef did eventually go and kiss her. They were on their one-on-one in London. He definitely went in and I did not.
I did not try to kiss Emily until she had made the decision to let me go, whereas Jef had his one-on-one, and he took advantage of that situation in London that maybe I didn't take advantage of in Bermuda. So, that was probably why it worked out better for him.
Reality TV World: You did get very emotional during your final words. So just to clarify, did you get upset because obviously rejection just hurts, was it because you didn't find love in general or was it because you didn't find love with Emily specifically?
Doug Clerget: Oh my gosh, that's a long -- Do you want the long answer to that one?
Reality TV World: (Laughs) Whatever it takes for you to answer it the best you can, I guess!
Doug Clerget: Okay, so being on the show was an amazing experience. What a life-changing, very cool thing to do. I was genuinely disappointed that I didn't get the opportunity to have a one-on-one date with Emily [in my hometown].
I thought to myself, "Even if this isn't the girl for me, she should be able to come home and have a one-on-one date with me just to see how I live my life and get to meet Austin and my family and friends."
So, that was disappointing, but also from the aspect of, yeah. As a single dad, a full-time single dad, it'd be nice to find some companionship. So that was, just in general, that would be nice. And then, there was a lot of missing my son. It was a long experience and so I was definitely missing my son.
And then candidly, it didn't get talked about a lot, but I don't know how many of you guys know this, my grandfather -- who was an amazing man and adopted my sister and I when we were children -- had passed away right before I went on the show.
And so, I had to give his eulogy, get my son down to California and I just hadn't had a chance to grieve at all. So, there was a lot of thinking about him and his life -- that came up in my emotions. So, I don't think I've cried since '83, but I cried the last two weeks on the show. Again, my friends are giving me an immense amount of grief over that. He had a long, wonderful life. So that was a good thing!
Above is the first portion of Doug's call. Check back with Reality TV World on Friday for the concluding portion.