The Bachelorette bachelor Jef Holm has emerged as one of the frontrunners to win the heart of Bachelorette Emily Maynard, playing the role of the dark horse of the competition.

Jef got off to a slow start with Emily and had developed a strong friendship with her before making his first move to kiss her and convince The Bachelorette star there was a real romantic chemistry between them. However, Jef's decision to hold back a bit seems to have worked to his advantage thus far, as Emily is intrigued by the suitor and has claimed he continues to keep her guessing.

During a Thursday conference call with reporters, Jef talked to Reality TV World about his experience so far on The Bachelorette and his perspective on some of his fellow bachelors who have been eliminated, and also, those that still remain. To read what he had to say, click here.

Below are some additional highlights from ABC's transcript of the rest of Jef's call with reporters -- including who he believed would be the best match for Emily if it can't be him in the end, whether there were any guys left at this point in the season who were on the show for the wrong reasons, how he gushed about his feelings for Emily and how amazing he thought she was as a person, and which bachelor in the house acted as a "locked vault" when it came to discussing his feelings about Emily.

Historically on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, the nice guy or girl doesn't tend to go all the way.  So, do you think it's possible for someone who's nice like you to actually win?

Jef Holm: Well, first of all, I appreciate you thinking I'm nice.  That's very nice of you.  I think, yes, I definitely think so.  I think yes, The Bachelorette is an interesting thing. And it takes awhile for mine and Emily's relationship to get to the good point, I think, you know, and we started off slowly. 

We developed a really good friendship at first, and I think as time goes on, you'll see that friendship turns into, you know, more of -- more and more of a romance.  I definitely think it's possible for the -- for a good guy to go all the way, yes.

Obviously at this point, there's multiple people left and multiple people have feelings for her. If it can't be you in the end, who would you say would be the best match or right person for Emily?

Jef Holm: I got to know all the guys really well, and that's a tough question to answer, because I don't know.  I mean, I was crazy about Emily, and it's hard to picture someone you're crazy about being with somebody else, especially some of your friends. And, I don't -- I don't know.  That's a tough question.  I think there were some amazing guys there. 

They did a great job getting some great guys.  Well, I think Arie. I think the world of Arie.  I think he's a great guy.  [Sean Lowe] is so nice and, you know, really faithful and just a really nice, genuine guy.  [Chris Bukowski] and [Doug Clerget], I mean, there's just so many different personalities. 

I think the biggest key would be how the guys' personalities mesh with Emily's, and I didn't really get to see them interact, you know, personally except just when I watch it on the show.  And so, I don't know, that's a tough question to answer.  You know, if I could choose one for Emily, with all this said, I would want to choose myself, you know? But there are some great guys [on the show].

Obviously you guys had all sort of agreed that Ryan Bowers was not there for the right reasons or not the right choice for Emily or simply too arrogant. Do you think that now that he's gone, everybody else is there for the right reasons -- that everybody is ready to be a step dad and get married?
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Jef Holm: That's a good question.  I think -- Ryan made me laugh.  You know, Ryan, he's -- and not because he's funny, but just because he's crazy -- and he just continually digs himself a hole over, and over, and over.  And I think he was there for the wrong reasons, 100% percent.  Now that he's gone, I think it's kind of -- I think everyone there now is there for the right reasons. 

And, you know, everyone has different personalities, and everybody says they're there for the right reasons at least, and I hope they are.  There's a big surprise elimination this week that's kind of a mystery, you know, and it'll be interesting.  You guys will have to watch and see.  It's crazy, but yeah, I think all the guys that are left now are there for the right reasons.

Could you tease what might happen for you at the next stop? Can you talk about whether or not you get a one-on-one date and things like that?

Jef Holm: I, as you know, I got a date in London.  And so, my time isn't really up for another date.  But it's all up to Emily and she gets to choose people who she has the most fun with or the biggest connection with. So this next week, Emily and I do get to spend some time together.  It's a really cool -- this is a huge changing pivotal moment in our relationship, and you'll have to tune in and watch.

You've mentioned that you were close to Arie out of the guys.  Who do you think you were least close to and why was that?

Jef Holm: Who was I least close to?  Probably Ryan.  I think we were probably the least.  He probably didn't think that we were not that close.  You know, he just thinks that everybody loves him and everyone is "Team Ryan."  But I would just listen to him.  And, you know, he thought we were good friends. 

I think he thought everybody was his close friend, but I think it was so hard to listen to and talk about his chemistry and relationship with Emily just because I didn't see it.  I mean, it was just unclear to me why he was still around, you know, at this point. But I think he makes really good and funny TV.

During the premiere episode, your introduction was riding in on a skateboard.  I know you're still a child at heart, so do you think that you could relate well to Ricki if you do get the chance to meet her?  Perhaps in a later episode, you've already met her?

Jef Holm: At this point, up until this point, I would love the chance to get to meet Ricki.  I am a child at heart, and I would love to hang out with her.  And I mentioned to Emily a lot of times, you know, I want to skateboard with Ricki and play soccer with her because I grew up playing soccer.

I know Emily mentioned that she had played soccer, and yes, I don't know, I just think it's something that Emily and I connected over -- is Ricki.  And I didn't see her having a child as a bad thing, like even for one second ever in my mind. 

All I thought about was hanging out with Ricki if I ever got the chance and playing with her.  So yes, I think that helped our relationship -- thinking about being able to spend time with Ricki if that ever happened.

Obviously we've all seen that you've got this connection with Emily, but did you have any idea of what stage the other guys' relationships were at with her when you were in the show?

Jef Holm: Yes, pretty much all of the guys except Sean.  We would come back from the dates, and we would all talk about it.  We'd all -- it was kind of just like a guessing game.  We'd all ask questions and try to figure out, you know, what happened on the date, and if they kissed, or if they developed like a good chemistry, or what kind of happened.

And all of the guys except Sean would talk about it.  Sean was just -- he was this locked vault.  He just would never talk about anything that happened on his date with Emily or anything.  And especially Arie and I, we would talk about everything that happened on our date just because we weren't jealous of each other or competing.  We didn't see it as competing at all, and so, yeah. 

I don't know if you've been watching the show, but do you think it's strange watching Emily kiss other guys and being on dates with other guys around the same time you were doing those same things?

Jef Holm: You know, I've hardly been watching it, so I've -- I did get a chance to watch last night.  I watched this last episode in Croatia.  And yeah, to be honest, it's a little hard to watch this because I completely fell for Emily. 

I didn't really know what was going on, you know, on her dates with the other guys. And it's definitely hard to watch someone you care about or, you know, fell in love with -- you watch them kiss other guys -- for sure that's difficult. And that's kind of -- I think that's normal.

At this point in the journey, who did you see as your biggest competition?  You had to have had some sort of like jealousy for other guys at this point.

Jef Holm: Up to this point, I mean, like I said, I became good, really good friends, with Arie.  I knew he was a great guy and I had no idea about the whole, him dating a producer thing.  And so, up to this point I thought -- I knew Arie had a really strong connection with Emily. 

I wouldn't see it as competition, because I honestly think if you love somebody, you want them to be happy.  I didn't see Emily and Arie as a bad thing.  If they did work out -- or Emily and Sean --  I think Arie and Sean were probably the two that I knew had really big connections with Emily, and Sean because I didn't know anything. 

I mean, all I knew is that it was good and he was still around getting [roses], because he wouldn't talk about his dates.  And so, and it was just interesting.  So, I would probably say Arie and Sean.

If you in fact win and Emily moved across the country with Ricki, are you going to be able to take time away from work and your own company to spend time with them?  And also, what kind of dad do you think you're going to be?

Jef Holm: I can't wait to be a dad and I can't wait to spend time with my kids and to have a family.  If it's with Emily, great, and if it's not, then I'll -- you know, I can't wait to have a family some day.  No matter who it is, I can definitely take time off from work. 

I want to be that type of dad who is just fun and hangs out with my kids and plays with them and we travel together.  I know Emily's the same way, and that's something that we had in common, you know? 

She's a great mom.  She's one of the most amazing people I've ever met, and she's so patient and loving.  I mean, she's seriously one of the most amazing people in the world.  And, you know, I have really strong feelings for her.  I could definitely, at this point in Croatia and moving onto the next episode in Prague, I could definitely see myself fitting into the role of being a father to Ricki and a husband to Emily.

Considering the fact Emily decided upon Brad Womack during his The Bachelor season and he's sort of the traditional Texan cowboy-type,  did you think that she would go for you since you were the skateboard hip kind of guy?  Did you think you had a chance with her?

Jef Holm: Yes, I did.  I mean, I didn't know at first.  Like the first night that I met her, I had no idea.  I mean, honestly, it's like a blur to me.  We sat there and we got to know each other a little bit and we talked for, you know, 20 or 30 minutes, and I could tell that there was something. 

And so, as soon as we got to know each other a little bit more and then we finally got to go on a one-on-one date,  I felt like we had something really special and I felt like it could work out between us.  And yes, I think she kind of dug that I was way different than the guys, not only the guys in the house, but anyone that she's ever dated, I think.  I think we had a lot of fun together, and, yes, she is so much fun. 

When we talked to Arie last week and asked him if he would be interested in being the next The Bachelor star, he said, "My fiancee wouldn't be happy with that."  I know you're very good friends with him, so do you have any reaction to the notion that he may be engaged?  He clearly didn't specify if it was to Emily or not -- just that he may be engaged to someone.

Jef Holm: I don't know if he's engaged or not.  If he is, that's awesome and I'm pretty confident that he'll invite me to the wedding, I hope.  But I don't know that I'm -- I didn't -- I am not sure if he is.  And if he is, you know, congratulations to him.

If Arie is engaged to Emily, would you be comfortable attending that wedding or possibly even being part of the wedding party since you are close friends?

Jef Holm: Man, that's a touch question actually.  I don't know if I -- I don't know if -- I don't.  I know for a fact it wouldn't be awkward between Arie and I if I was invited to the wedding.  But, I would worry about if it would be okay with Emily if I was there, you know, because we had something completely different than anything she had with any of the other guys.  And it was really special. 

But, I would want to be there, you know, because I love and care about Emily.  And I love and care about Arie.  I think he's great.  So, I would hope that I would be invited.

You mentioned that you cut your hair to try to fit the mold of what you thought Emily might want in a man.  But, were you being true to yourself when you decided to cut it?  Would you ever want to go back to your old image and hope that Emily still wants you for you despite what you look like?

Jef Holm: I think who I was portraying on the outside was totally me.  I mean, if you noticed, I'm completely different from any of the other guys.  I'm kind of a weirdo.  I'm kind of like, I'm definitely, you know, different than any of the other guys on the show.  And so, I think just because I cut my hair, I mean, I didn't try -- I wasn't by any means trying to fit a mold of what I thought she would like. 

I was still trying to be true to myself.  I just wanted to have shorter hair.  Still different, it was still, you know, crazy.  But yeah, to answer your question, I still want to grow my hair out again.  And, I, yeah, I mean, that's just me, you know?  I don't really have one hair style that I stick to.  I change it up a lot and just hang out and be me.

How did you get on the show?  Did your friend sign you up or did you sign up yourself?

Jef Holm: That's an interesting story.  My sister-in-law submitted an application for me without me knowing.  And so, I got a call from casting and I had no idea what they were talking about.  They were like, "We received your application."  And I was like, "No, you didn't.  I think you have the wrong guy." 

And so we ended up talking and I kept getting calls back from casting.  They were just like, "We want to meet you.  We want to see pictures.  We want to see a video."  And I just -- I was really hesitant to even send them anything because I'm a really -- I come from a really private family. 

I'm really private about my life, and I didn't want to, you know, go out on a dating TV show, as I saw it, you know? And then I -- let's see, what happened, then?  I sent in a video after a long time of them talking me into it, and then I went out to California and met them. 

They said that they wanted to put me all the way through and I was still really hesitant to go on.  And then as soon as I found out it was Emily in, I think, the end of January, the first of February, that's when I committed to do the show -- is when I found out it was her.

You keep saying how private and conservative your family is, and I guess from reading up on you a little bit, you're supposedly half Mormon.  Can you talk about that a little bit?

Jef Holm: Yes, I'm not half Mormon.  I was raised Mormon and my family is still Mormon.  My parents are serving in a Mormon mission as Mission presidents in South Carolina, and I was raised with the standards of Mormonism in the church. 

I'm just not practicing right now.  I'm still, you know, really -- I mean, faith is something that's a huge priority on my list and in my life, and I'm really active, you know, in church and everything.  I'm just not active Mormon.

You mentioned that you and Doug went to the gym in your spare time.  Can you talk about other stuff you guys did when you weren't on dates or anything?

Jef Holm: Yes.  When we weren't on dates, we were mostly in the house being filmed and talking about Emily.  I mean, we were talking -- and what's weird is at first, I thought that would be so weird.  I thought being stuck in a house talking about a girl the whole time sounded so strange, especially talking about one girl that we were all dating. 

But, as time goes on, we start to develop relationships.  And all of the other guys too, I mean, that's what we want to talk about.  And it's weird to sit there and think that it got to that point, but it definitely did.  We would sit there when we went on a date with Emily and we would talk about her. 

We'd talk about why we thought we'd be the best for her or we'd talk about what she was like when we were with her or we'd talk about the possibility of being a step dad.  We'd talk about what we did at home.  I mean, it was mostly just like talking and hanging out.  And once in awhile, we'd get to go to the gym and do stuff like that.  It was just, yes, that was what we did.

Can you tell us a little bit about your first kiss?  Do you remember it?

Jef Holm: I definitely remember it.  It was in London and I wanted to kiss Emily so bad and didn't do it.

No, I mean, your first kiss ever.

Jef Holm: I thought you were talking about, okay, sorry. I was like, yes, I definitely remember that.  My first kiss, ever -- I don't think I remember my first kiss ever.  I don't know, I think I was probably like 15 or 16 and I was living in St. George, and I can't -- I know who it was with, but I can't remember where, and what, or --  I don't know. 

So you can't compare your first kiss ever with your first with Emily then right?

Jef Holm: Yeah, I can't really. (Laughs) I mean, my first kiss with Emily was the most anticipated kiss and the best kiss of my life by far.  I mean, the place -- the placement or like the setting, and the surroundings, and the girl, and like, our chemistry, and everything was perfect. 

It was all about timing, you know, our first kiss was all about timing. I'm really glad and I wouldn't have it any other way than to wait for it like we did, because it made us both want it. And I was trying to figure my situation out from the show, and she really wanted me to kiss her.  And when it happened, it was awesome and it was the right timing.  And then our relationship just started to blossom after that.

So, if you in fact do end up with Emily, and 10 years from now Ricki comes to you for advice about her first kiss, how would you handle that situation and what would you say to her?

Jef Holm: If Ricki came to me and asked for my advice about a first kiss, I would say you know, I would say the same thing that I just told you.  I would say, "Make sure that the time is right and make sure that you really like him. Make sure that" -- I'd want to meet him probably, and I would hope I could. 

I don't know, though.  I think if she's anything like Emily, then she has an amazing head on her shoulders and she's going to know when the time is right.  And yes, if she's anything like Emily, then she's an amazing girl.

Are you going to be the type of father that's waiting by the door with a shotgun? (Laughs)

Jef Holm: No.  I'm going to be waiting by the door with two skateboards.  We'll go hang out together, and skate, and get to know each other instead of intimidating him with a shotgun.

You keep saying that Emily is amazing and finding out she was The Bachelorette star got you excited about doing the show. So what is it about her a little more explicitly?  Why is she so amazing?

Jef Holm: Emily is amazing because she is so funny.  I don't think it shows. On the show, it doesn't show how sarcastic, and how dry, and how funny she is, and sassy. 

I know that she'd be -- On this next episode, Emily and I get the chance to get talking, and I know she talks a lot about how embarrassed she is about the language she used when she kicked [Kalon McMahon] off the show in London.  But I think that's cool.

And that's one of the reasons why I'm so attracted to her, because she's herself -- not because, I mean, I care about a girl who swears or kicks guys out --  I just love how true she is to herself and she doesn't care if there's cameras on her or who's watching.  She is herself and she's sassy when she needs to or when she wants to be.  And she's really funny.

She's gorgeous and she's really good in difficult situations.  She's really composed, and I was really surprised by that. I mean, I had no idea how well spoken she was and how smart she is.  She's really witty, and yeah, all of those things.  She's really faithful and she's a really good mom. 

As you can tell, she talks about Ricki all the time, and that's really important to me. All of those things that I just talked about are really important to me, and then, she honestly is the most amazing girl I've ever met so far.

Above are some additional highlights from ABC's transcript of the rest of Jef's call with reporters. To read what Jef had to say to Reality TV World during his interview, click here