Lesley Murphy was eliminated by The Bachelor star Sean Lowe just before hometown dates during last week's broadcast of the ABC reality dating series' seventeenth season.

Lesley, a 25-year-old political consultant from Washington, D.C., was ousted during the seventh episode's Rose Ceremony after Sean felt she wasn't opening up fully or fast enough for where his heart was in the process. However, Sean recently admitted had Lesley admitted she loved him, "it could have changed everything."

In an exclusive interview with Reality TV World on Tuesday, Lesley talked about her The Bachelor experience, her relationship with Sean on the show and her thoughts on some of the season's standout bachelorettes.

Below is the first half of our interview with Lesley. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion. Also click here to read our recent separate interview with Lesley's fellow ousted bachelorette Desiree Hartsock.

Reality TV World: Sean said you "exude confidence in every area except your relationship" with him. What are your thoughts on that?

Lesley Murphy: I appreciate everything he said about me thus far. On TV, I think they're all very positive things and I'm a very confident person. And you know, I don't know how I feel about it with the exception of our relationship. I can only say that maybe I should've opened up a little more, if that's where he's coming from.

Because I really thought that I had come across as confident with the exception of that last episode in St. Croix. Watching it back was interesting because I, for the first time, heard his perspective on things. I can't really agree when he said the exact quote of "you exude confidence in everything except our relationship," because I did. I think he's coming from me not opening up very much, and maybe I should've done that.

Reality TV World: Sean said he could tell you were tense and nervous during your one-on-one date with him at the plantation prior to your elimination. Was it being around Sean that made you nervous and kind of gave you butterflies or was it the obvious fact that you were dating in front of cameras to be featured on a show in front of America? (Laughs)

Lesley Murphy: I know what you're saying. I found it -- if the tables were turned and a guy told me that he was nervous around me, I would find it very endearing and cute. And I think in a way, Sean did find that endearing and cute, but it was kind of a turnoff for him. So I think that's ultimately what led to my demise in St. Croix, but yeah, he did make me nervous!

I think it's a great thing. In my mind, not a lot of men can do that to me, and so, I'm not here to apologize that he made me feel that way. I think it's a good feeling and I think there was maybe some miscommunication there along the way, because I did have feelings for him and I think he took those feelings maybe in a little bit of a negative light.

Reality TV World: So just to clarify, you were really falling in love with Sean, right? Looking back, you don't think it was the environment of The Bachelor or the show's fantastic dates that kind of sped up your feelings for him?

Lesley Murphy: The environment of The Bachelor definitely intensified things. I'm not going to sit here and lie to you, because it definitely does, but there's nothing that I didn't like about him. I love that he was southern. He was a family guy, he likes football. I mean, we have so many of the same interests. So yes, I was falling for him and I can look back and say that.

Reality TV World: Sean did actually seem fine with the fact your relationship was slow-burning after your one-on-one date at the plantation. Do you have any idea when he might've changed his mind and determined that that wasn't enough for him in that point in the process?
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Lesley Murphy: I think that Sean obviously had feelings for me. I think he probably was confident in his statement when he said other relationships had surpassed ours and he had stronger feelings for maybe some of the other girls and he needed those commitment words for him to keep me around. And I didn't give them to him. So maybe that was it.

Reality TV World: At the Rose Ceremony, who did you think was going to go home instead of you? I'm pretty positive you thought you were getting a rose that night, correct?

Lesley Murphy: Mhmm. I did feel confident. It was tough to say at that point. There were five of us standing there and before that point, we were on-camera discussing who should be going home and my only thought was the huge blowup with [Tierra LiCausi] and AshLee right before we got ready for the Rose Ceremony.

And I know Sean is not a fan of drama, so I thought that maybe it could've been AshLee because she really got into it with Tierra that day.

Reality TV World: Once you got back home, how did you handle the breakup? How did cope? Were you okay with things quickly or was it a difficult transition for you?

Lesley Murphy: It was tough. It was tough being out of the environment of The Bachelor and getting back into work and family and friend life. It's just a different life, you know?

So being back in the groove of things was pretty difficult. After about two weeks, it was fine. I just threw myself into the real world again. I went to a football game and started work again and life turned back to normal. So all was fine after a few weeks of coping and getting over Sean.

Reality TV World: Do you think it's easier or more upsetting to get eliminated right before the hometown dates? Because I would think you might be relieved to avoid the situation knowing that you probably wouldn't be the girl to end up with Sean, or was it the case where you thought maybe Sean meeting your family would push your relationship in the right direction?

Lesley Murphy: Right. I think that if Sean were to meet my family, it would've sealed the deal. They are my everything. They're amazing. They're an amazing group of people and I am totally okay with how things turned out. They turned out for the best, and my only regret is that American couldn't see how awesome my family is and how much of a stark contrast it would've been from last night's episode.

But that's pretty much it. I'm in a good place and I think it would've been harder getting sent home after hometowns. I think it would be a little bit of a slap in the face after meeting your family. So I'm happy to have gone home before hometown dates.

Reality TV World: Are you happy overall with the way Sean handled things then or was there a part of you that felt he had led you on?

Lesley Murphy: Um, you're asking -- you're basically signing up for that. I don't know exactly about such an intense phrase as "leading me on," because I know he had feelings for me, and I had feelings for him.

Every week, he has to let somebody else go, and like I said, I think I would've rathered gone home before him meeting my family. Even though they're so awesome and I want America to see how awesome they are, I don't want to bring them into something like that. It wouldn't have worked. So I'm glad he let me go when he did.

Reality TV World: After you got eliminated, Catherine was shown basically crying her eyes out and saying that her beliefs in what Sean wanted in a girl were shattered because although she didn't want to admit it, she thought you had more in common with him than she did. So what was your reaction when you saw that, and what do you think the qualities or commonalities are that she's talking about you sharing with Sean that she didn't? Any idea?

Lesley Murphy: Catherine and I are best friends from the show and we will be best friends forever. We shared such a great bond and that's such a pleasant surprise to come out of that experience. It's such an unexpected surprise. I think nobody really gets it. Going through this process is really intense and it's just crazy. And to make a friend in that environment is a really strong bond.

I think some people were confused by Catherine's reaction, but I definitely wasn't. We were so close and honestly, when I was watching it back, I started crying. Because we were so close and even though we were going after the same guy, we were smart enough girls that we could separate our relationship with Sean and our friendship, and we could really build that friendship even though we were dating the same guy.

And I know that sounds weird, but it's true. Based on the qualities she was talking about, I mean, I think Catherine and I share a lot of the same qualities, so I would go ahead and say maybe it was the southern factor that she was talking about -- that we bonded over the South so much and football and we had a lot of the same qualities in our family lives growing up.

They were pretty similar, so maybe she was touching on that a little bit, but I think all in all, we share a lot of the same qualities. So yeah, I was kind of shocked to hear that part of it because we are so similar, and I think that's why we bonded as well.

Reality TV World: So even though Catherine said she thought you had more in common with Sean than she did, it sounds like you don't think that necessarily means Catherine's not a good fit or the right match for Sean, right?

Lesley Murphy: No, no, I'm not saying that at all. I think she would definitely be a good match for him.

Above is the first half of our interview with Lesley. Check back with Reality TV World soon for the concluding portion. Also click here to read our recent separate interview with Lesley's fellow ousted bachelorette Desiree Hartsock.


About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.