Viewers wondered why Ashley H., a 26-year-old dentist from Philadelphia, was surprised to be sent home Monday on ABC's 'The Bachelor.' After an awkward date in Sabi Sands, South Africa, it seemed obvious she would not receive a rose from 'Bachelor,' Brad Womack. Now ETonline talks to the ousted bachelorette for some clarification.
"It's a misconception from people that are watching," Ashley explains. "When I said I was really surprised, it wasn't that I was surprised that I was leaving. I knew I was leaving. I was surprised that from start to end, that it came to this, our relationship falling apart."
Brad broke the rules when he pulled Ashley aside before the rose ceremony was to begin. After a final private conversation, Brad told Ashley he needed to say goodbye, and Ashley tells ETonline, "After watching it and hearing all the things he said about pulling me aside instead of not giving me the rose, I have a whole new respect for him. I left really heartbroken, but after seeing that, I think it kind of helped me put a little bit of closure and solidified what kind of relationship we had, which was one that was full of respect and mutual admiration. So, that made things a lot easier for me to hear him say that."
Brad and Ashley seemed to have trouble communicating and connecting on their date, but Ashley thinks she was doomed from the outset: "Since [my date] was directly after Emily's, he was done for. I think that he fell for her, he knew what was going to happen and I think part of the downfall of [our] date had to do with him falling in love with her right before. But then again, I think that he had stronger feelings for both Chantal and Emily [than] for me. So I don't know if it would have changed the end result, but I certainly think that the quality of our date would have been a little bit better."
"[Brad] coming down on me that night had nothing to do with me moving to Austin," Ashley continues. "I think he just really felt strongly for someone else and he wanted to highlight all the reasons why we wouldn't work out as a way to kind of not lead me on."
On which of the two remaining bachelorettes is best suited for Brad, Ashley muses, "It changes from week to week. I thought Chantal O. until last episode. Now, I'm a little bit more apt to say that he's falling in love with Emily. In terms of what I think Brad wants out of life and a relationship, I think Emily is probably a better match. But I love him and Chantal together. They compliment each other well and [have] a playfulness that I love to see."
In the end, Ashley feels that she and Brad are looking for different things: "To say this in the most respectful way, I think Brad was really looking for somebody to fit into his life in Austin and not skip a beat. And for me, I'm looking for someone to create a life with. I want to start a new life with somebody."
Rumors abound on the internet that Ashley will be the next "Bachelorette," but she plays coy with ETonline. "If they asked me to do 'The Bachelorette,' I would definitely consider it. I feel like the process worked for me once and I would be so excited to do it. The only requirement I have [in a husband] is just [that he be] a good person."
Finally, Ashley puts her dental expertise to use and shows that she has no hard feelings for Brad. "Brad has great teeth! You saw in one episode that I saw his crown. He needs to get that replaced, but otherwise he's in good shape," Ashley laughs.
"The Bachelor" airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on ABC.