Abandoned bachelorette Peyton Wright talks about 'The Bachelor'
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/20/2007
Peyton Wright stood on the deck of the USS Midway as The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman star Andy Baldwin took-off in a helicopter with another woman. The 24-year-old Tri Delta sorority marketing coordinator's attempt to find true love through ABC's tenth installment of The Bachelor had officially come to an end.
"It wasn't the most ideal situation for me to be left standing there... but it was part of the date and that's unfortunately how it ended for me," Wright told reporters during a Thursday conference call. She had accompanied fellow bachelorette Tessa Horst, a 26-year-old social worker who currently resides in San Francisco, CA, to the Midway with Baldwin for a two-on-one date where only one of them would receive a rose to stay in the competition. Wright did not receive that rose.
"That whole day and whole evening was so emotional because all that was going through my head was, 'I don't know if I'm going to be here or not.' And so when [Baldwin] chose Tessa -- I was happy for her, I was happy for them -- but at the same time you know, I put myself out there and I told him exactly how I felt and I took that risk and it didn't turn out the way I wanted to, so that was very emotional for me," explained Wright.
Prior to the two-on-one date, both Wright and Horst revealed how they had become friends and were not looking forward to be competing against one another for a single rose.
"It was really tough to know that we were going against each other," she said. "We had formed this great friendship living in the house together, our personalities were very similar, we're both happy-go-lucky girls that wanted to have a great experience out of this. So it was hard going head-to-head with her. Sometimes [on the Midway], I forgot what we were actually doing. I forgot that at the end of the night there was going to be one of us going home because we were having so much fun together."
Wright grew-up in Tennessee before attending the University of Tennessee, from which she graduated in 2005. During her years in college, Wright said she "only had one boyfriend, a fraternity man," and they eventually went their separate ways when he graduated before her.
"I was just really active on campus and active in Tri Delta, and really didn't make time for dating," she said. "I was totally into my friends and wanted to have the ultimate college experience and see what I wanted to do."
Following graduation, Wright said she moved to Dallas and began taking "all these risks."
"I thought the show was a good opportunity for me to take another risk and put myself out there and see if love was the ending result," she said. "I've always been a really guarded person and I didn't know what to expect. I went to it saying I was going to be myself and be completely open and honest because I didn't want to leave and say, 'Oh, I wish I would have done this, or I wish I would have said this."
Wright described herself as a "huge Bachelor fan" and added she's "watched every season that's been on." So it was only natural that after watching The Bachelor: Rome's finale last fall, she discussed with co-workers the following day how ABC had offered viewers a glimpse of the 30-year-old undersea medical officer stationed in Pearl Harbor, HI who would serve as the star of The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman.
"We thought that Andy was a hot man who looked like he had a lot going for him and I had a lot in common with, so I decided to go and audition and see what happens," said Wright. "I really look for someone that puts himself out there and he's done so much as far as going to Duke, swimming there, and then moving across the country to go to med school, joining the Navy, moving to Hawaii... he's just taken a lot of steps in his life to make himself happy and that's something that's very appealing to me. I want someone that's been able to make themselves happy before they're going to settle down with someone else."
Upon meeting Baldwin during Officer and a Gentleman'spremiere, Wright described him as "very outgoing, great personality, very easy to talk to and get along with." Being a self-described The Bachelor buff, Wright said she took a few pointers from seasons past as she entered the competition.
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"I made sure that before I went on the show that I was going to be myself and be true to myself and not do anything on television that I wouldn't ordinarily do at home or with my friends or with any other man I was dating. I wanted to completely be 100% myself," said Wright.
However being a fan of The Bachelor couldn't prepare her for what it would be like to fight for the affection of one man with 24 other woman.
"I've watched the show, I knew what it was all about, I knew it was a competition, but I don't think it really sinks in until you're actually there," she said. "You actually have feelings for this person, and then seeing him talk to other women, the jealousy just builds from that. You tend to forget that the other women are there. I almost had tunnel vision that when I was with Andy I was the only one there, and then you finish your conversation with him, and he's all of a sudden engulfed in a conversation with another woman. That was really hard to grasp, that you weren't the only one that he was thinking about."
Having spent the two-on-one date with Horst and Baldwin, it's no real surprise who Wright thinks will go far in the competition.
"She's probably the one I'm going to be rooting for to win in the end," said Wright of Horst. "I think Andy is an amazing person. He has worked so hard to get where he is in life, and I just really hope that he found someone through the show. I heard he's engaged, and I heard that they're truly happy, and I really hope to see a wedding come out of this one."
Admitting it's "a little weird to watch" the show, Wright added she hopes "that one day I will meet someone who has similar qualities [to Andy] that I will spend the rest of my life with."
"I think definitely this experience has taught me that you have to open yourself up to new experiences and take some risks. So I think in the future, for relationships with me, I think it will be a little bit easier for me to open my heart and to be honest with people because I'm at that point in my life where I need to be honest with others to find exactly who's compatible with me," she said. "I just think it's really important to put yourself out there and make it known what you want in a person. Other than that, know what you want in yourself, because I think you have to make yourself happy before you can truly be happy with another person."