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HOME > The Bachelorette > The Bachelorette 8

'The Bachelorette's Doug Clerget: My age argument with Chris Bukowski bummed me out


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/29/2012 

The Bachelorette bachelor Doug Clerget, a 33-year-old real estate agent from Seattle, WA, was eliminated during Monday night's The Bachelorette group date because Emily Maynard believed he waited too late in the competition to show her attention and affection.

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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. To read what he had to say, click here.

Below are some additional highlight's from ABC's transcript of the rest of Doug's call -- including what the big difference was between Tony Pieper being away from his son and Doug's parental situation, what his response was to finding out Emily thought he had been hiding something due to the fact he always answered her questions "perfectly" during the season, whom he believed was the best guy for Emily, and why his issue with Chris Bukowski's age was apparently a big misunderstanding. 

I know that your son is about 11-years-old and he was somewhat aware of whom Emily was and your purpose for going on the show. So, has he been watching the show and does he think Emily has the qualities that he's looking for in a stepmom? 

Doug Clerget: So, that's a great question.  Austin's 12 and he is going in the seventh grade next year.  And Austin is -- he definitely, you know, was aware.  A big part of me going on the show was him saying, "You know, dad, you need to get out and do some stuff for yourself."

I was really reticent to go on the show just because, you know, I didn't want to leave him. And my sister ended up marrying one of my very best friends in the world and they live down in Redding, California and they don't have kids, and they've always wanted some extended time with Austin.

And so, when the opportunity came up to do the show, Austin was, like, "Dad, go. I want to go spend time with my auntie and my uncle."  But since he's been down there, I ask him about it and he was in school down there and I would -- when I got back, I would ask him -- because he had a couple weeks before school got out while the show started -- and I'd be like, "Hey, you know, what's going on at school?" 

And he'd be like, "The kids ask me about it but I've got to be honest, dad." He's like, "It's really not the kind of show I like."  He's like, "I love you, but I..." He'd just rather watch cartoons.  So, the little girls at school would kind of keep him up-to-date on what was going on, and he'd be like, "Yes, that sounds about like my dad." 

But, so, he was very cognizant of what was going on, but I just don't -- his interest wasn't there.  He was much more interested in sports and kind of more, you know, 12-year-old boy shows. 

If you had been able to take Emily on a hometown date, at this point, you still hadn't met Ricki. Were you planning on introducing her to Austin? 

Doug Clerget: Oh, yes.  I was really hoping that Emily and I would get a great hometown date.  You know, Ricki's younger, and so, it's a little different because Austin's 12. And he's a pretty mature 12. He understands the difference between, you know -- When he was younger, like four, five, six, seven-ish, I was very, very hesitant of introducing him to anyone at all.

Now that he's older, if I go out on a couple of dates or if Emily would have come home for a hometown date, Austin would totally understand and he would have been a huge part of the hometown date.

Emily said on one of your one-on-one dates that she felt like you were hiding things and that you were telling her things that she wanted to hear and not, you know, the truth. How do you feel about that and was there any truth in what she was saying? 

Doug Clerget: No.  You know, that kind of hurt my feelings, actually.  I'm, you know, a pretty on-the-surface guy and what you see is what you get.  And I think she felt like, I don't know, like I think one of her comments was that my answers were too perfect or something. 

And one -- I did not know this about myself, but you guys can obviously see I'm pretty shy in front of the cameras, and I did not know that about myself going into this.  But, so, I think maybe that comment just came from me being shy around the cameras. 

But, I would say that hurt my feelings.  A lot of my friends and family and even ex-girlfriends that I still am really good friends with have watched it, and they're like, "No, that's just Doug," kind of. A lot of times I'm quiet, but I pretty much just put it out there, I think.

You seemed to mostly get along with all the guys. Who are you rooting for now? 

Doug Clerget: Well, so, of the guys that are left, I mean, I was really great friends with -- [Sean Lowe], I love. [Arie Luyendyk Jr.]'s awesome, you know, [Jef Holm] is one of the most hilarious guys I know. Chris and I had a little bump in the road there -- which took me by surprise -- because I really liked Chris and I still do, but, you know, it kind of bummed me out in Bermuda.

But, I think -- gosh, it's a tough call between Arie, Jef and Sean.  But, I think my -- just because of our backgrounds -- Sean and I were really close, so, I'd probably [say] Sean. 

Are you in a way pleased Emily chose to say goodbye to you before the hometown dates and before she met your family and everything like that?  Do you think it was better for her to let you go when she did considering she didn't think you two were going to end up together?

Doug Clerget: No.  Actually, I was really bummed out.  I think that if Emily would have gotten the chance -- even if we didn't end up together in the end, I think she would have had a really great experience here in Seattle. 

I've got a wonderful network of friends and I would have really loved to have her meet my son, and we would have probably gone over to my best friend and his wife's house, and she could have met my goddaughters, who are pretty much in my opinion -- but obviously I'm a little biased -- the cutest girls on the planet.

And so, no, I wasn't relieved at all.  I was bummed; I think we would have had a really great time.  And again, even if we didn't end up together in the end, I think just for an ongoing friendship, I've never not kind of maintained a friendship with anyone I've dated. And so, it would have been just good to even further our friendship if we didn't end up together.  So, no, I was pretty bummed out.

You mentioned just a minute ago about your bump in the road with Chris and you maybe thinking he was too young for Emily.  Do you still feel that way? 

Doug Clerget: No.  I never mentioned he was young.  So, what had happened -- and I'll just -- the background conversation is we were in Bermuda and [John Wolfner] and [Nate Bakke] had come home -- or Wolf had come home from his two-on-one, and John is, you know, John's a pretty mature guy and he's done a lot in the world.

And [John] was explaining to us kind of what had happened with the date and, you know, some of the things that Nate had done that John was, like, "I can't believe he did that." I had made a comment about John being more mature than Nate, and somehow Chris had taken that as a comment about just being young.  And there were guys even younger than Chris on the show. 

I mean, for gosh sakes, [Alejandro Velez] -- I think Alejandro was 23 and, I mean, he's very mature. So, I think Chris just took a comment that I made about Nate and his actions on his two-on-one with John and Emily the wrong way, and it just -- it was one of those things that I -- you know, it's a tough situation to be in. I just think Chris took it the wrong way and I was bummed out that he did.  You know, so, that kind of bummed me out for him.

So, I know that you felt a lot of chemistry with Emily, but out of the four guys that are remaining, who do you think had the most immediate physical chemistry with Emily and why? 

Doug Clerget: Oh my gosh, that's such a tough question.  You know, watching it, I did not fully comprehend the amount of chemistry that all the guys -- and that was kind of the ongoing joke while we were all together, because I was always, well, you know, like, I dig Emily. We have a great time, we have these great conversations and the guys would constantly tease me about like, "Doug, you've got to make a move."

And I did not know that, you know, now watching it and watching the dates she had with the other guys, I did not -- I guess I didn't really understand how much physical chemistry was going on. And so, that's a tough call because watching it right now, it seems like there's a lot of physical chemistry going on.  So, I definitely was -- probably should have been a little more on my toes about that.

Who did you think she had the most chemistry with of the four guys left? 

Doug Clerget: I mean, watching the last episode after I left, it was the four hometown dates [and it's] down to Jef, Arie, Sean and Chris.  And I think that it just looks from watching that Jef, Arie and Sean all are pretty much right there. 

Her last kiss with Chris seemed, you know, like I don't know, it didn't seem as if she was leaned in. But between the three other guys -- Jef, Arie and Sean -- I really can't tell you who's got the most chemistry.

If you had to pick between Jef and Arie for her, who would you pick? 

Doug Clerget: You know what?  Shoot, they're both really good guys.  I mean, that's tough.  That's like trying to tell one of your good girlfriends, like, "Between two of your buddies, which one should she date?" And you're just like, "Man, I don't know. They're both good guys."

Like, I guess whichever -- I mean, I definitely think throughout the whole process that Jef and Arie were in it for all the right reasons and, you know, our -- they're both mature and good guys, and I think that they're up for being a stepfather and a good role model.  And so, I can't say which one is better because they're both right there.

Since you, like Emily, actually have experience being a father, do you think that the guys left are truly ready to be good stepfathers?

Doug Clerget: I definitely think that Sean 100% percent. Arie and Jef, right up there.  Watching the last episode, you know, left me with some questions about Chris for sure.  There were some tough moments there. But, I think that -- I definitely think that those three guys are up for it and would put their heart into it, and I think that those guys are definitely up for it. 

Why do you have some slight reservations about Chris being a dad?

Doug Clerget: You know, I think Chris is a great guy and I think that his heart is definitely in the right place.  I just, you know, I didn't -- I just don't know.  It's a gut feeling. 

As a dad, you have these gut feelings about, you know, just if -- as a dad, you always, when you meet people -- in my opinion, I guess me being a dad, when I meet people, I always think, "Is this somebody that I could let my son hang out with? Is this somebody that I want my son being around?"

I mean, you just -- and also I was a bit of an orphan and so, you always kind of wonder, like, "If something happened to me, is this a person that...?" It's just those things you think about as you make friendships in your life.

And some people, you just get this comfort level where you just think, "Yes, you know, this is definitely somebody that's up for being a parent." And then there are some people that you just think, "Maybe a few more life experiences would lend themselves to maybe being more ready to being a parent."

Do you think that Emily was a good catch for you?  I mean, would have been a good match for you and your son and your future? 

Doug Clerget: So that's, you know, I really was looking -- and again, we go back to the hometown dates.  I was looking forward to having a hometown date so that her and I would just be able to get to spend some more time together, get to know each other better.

You know, the experience is so whirlwind. And the experience of being on the show and during the taping is very whirlwind and you're traveling, and even though you get to spend time with Emily, it's like the honeymoon stage. You know what I mean? Any relationship has that honeymoon stage, and so, I just was hoping to spend some more time with her.

In terms of, "Do I think that she would have been a good catch for me long term?" You know, or, "Are our personalities compatible to be together long term?"  I mean, I think Emily, she's obviously a very caring, sweet person, a loving mother, and she's got a good sense of humor. 

The times we had together, we had a lot of fun.  But, you know, I just wanted to spend some more time.  And again, even going back to even if it hadn't worked out, it just would have been nice to spend some more time so we could have had a stronger friendship moving forward.

So, you had gotten the first impression rose.  During previous seasons, for instance, Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez, I believe he got the first impression rose and made it all the way to the end.  So, do you think that was kind of going to give you a free pass to the final? 

Doug Clerget: No, I didn't.  I had never watched the show, so when Emily came up and she was, like, "Hey, can I talk to you?" I had no idea what was going on. And so, I was honored to get the first impression rose. 

You know, credit should probably all go to Austin on that one because he's the one that had wrote her the note and that was a product of being kind of frustrated at me because, you know, obviously he couldn't come down. And he's like, "Well, you know, you're -- I'm going to get to go to my auntie's, but you're going to get to go do this and I want to be a part of it."

So, he thought maybe he could just come down and like fly down with me just for a little bit before he went to his aunt's, and I was like, "No, buddy, you've got to go over to your aunt's." And so he was like, "Well, I want to write this note," and so he did. And it was, you know, incredibly sweet.

But, so, Austin gets the credit for that.  But, no, I definitely don't think -- I mean, the group of guys there, there was a really good group of guys.  Emily was, I think, very fortunate in the group of guys that she had to date. And so, no, there was no free pass. On the show, I was just trying to get to know her in the time I had with her in the best way that I can, or could, excuse me.

You were the one that approached Emily to discuss Kalon McMahon's baggage comment with her.  How will you confront him, if given the chance, should you cross paths again at the Men Tell All taping? 

Doug Clerget: Well, you know, I went up to Kalon and the guys came up to me and said something, and so, I went and approached Kalon about it and Kalon had said, "Yes, that was a comment that I had made."

And right after Kalon had left, we had the opportunity to chat about it, and I really don't think there's any confronting to be done there.  I hope, I mean, if Kalon wants to talk about it again at the Men Tell All, we can definitely talk about it. I just was disappointed that he made that comment. 

I wouldn't want to continue to date somebody after they made a comment like that about my son, if anyone ever did.  Obviously, Emily took care of it right there on the spot. And so, I think it's kind of a dead issue, but I mean, if Kalon wants to talk about it, I'll definitely chat with him about it. So yes.

You mentioned a few times about how much you missed Austin, obviously, and we saw Tony basically leave the show because of that earlier in the season.  Did you ever think about leaving? 

Doug Clerget: No.  Big difference.  I mean, Tony and I chatted about this. Tony's little guy, I think, is five, if I remember correctly.  And every time Tony would talk to his son, his little guy would say, "Daddy I miss you, when are you coming home?  I want you home now," and I think that was really pulling on Tony's heartstrings.

Whereas half the -- you know, when I talked to Austin, Austin would say, "I was at school today and then I went to swim practice" or "I was at school and then I played hoops after school with the buddies" or "My uncle Mike took me to a movie."

And then I'd say, well, you know, "I love you, do you want me to come home?"  My stay on the show was kind of determined [on whether] Austin would have said to me, "Dad, I need you home. You've got to come home." I definitely would have gone home and I would have felt bad about that, but I would have, you know, I think Emily would have understood.

But, anytime I asked Austin, his comment was like, "Nope, Dad, hope you're having fun. I'm going to go back to playing. Love you and miss you, but I've got better things to do." 

So, and my barometer for Austin, especially when I didn't have custody of him, if he wasn't doing okay, he was always -- if he wanted to spend time on the phone chatting nonstop, then I always kind of felt like, "Okay, something's off here."

But any time he's like, "I love you, I'm busy, I'm having fun," then I know things are good in his world. And so, you know, we would spend time on the phone, but a lot of that was just me keeping him on the phone when he was, like, "Okay dad, yes, I love you. I'm ready to go play."

You mentioned a couple of times about how hard it is for a full-time single dad to find love. So, would you ever think about doing The Bachelor or anything like that? 

Doug Clerget: You know what?  I'm probably so far down on the list to do The Bachelor, but if it ever came up, yes, I would definitely think about it. It was an amazing experience, and I think Emily was really fortunate in some of the guys she had to choose from. And I would guess that if the opportunity came up, ABC would do as good of a job picking girls for me to date. So yes, I would definitely think about it.

Arie kind of messed up this week with the whole producer thing, but then he and Emily made up and seemed to get right back on track.  Do you think she should have forgiven him so easily and what advice do you have for Arie at this point? 

Doug Clerget: Obviously Arie doesn't need my advice. He's doing a lot better than me. I think that, yes, I mean, I think Emily was good to forgive him.  Arie's a good guy.  As it was brought up in the show, his dating [Cassie Lambert] was, I think, almost ten years ago.

And, you know, I mean, that's a long time ago.  And so, I think that it's a tough place for Arie to be in.  It was a tough place for Cassie to be in.  I don't think anybody was trying to do anything malicious, and so, I think that the whole thing was okay. And in terms of advice for Arie, I mean, I don't have any.  I think Arie's doing pretty okay.

Do you think Jef is too young for her? 

Doug Clerget: Oh, not at all.  No, Jef has definitely got his world together.  I have all the respect in the world for Jef.  I just think he's a great guy.

Above are some additional highlight's from ABC's transcript of the rest of Doug's call. Click here to read what he had to say to Reality TV World.



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