Craig Sjodin/ ABC
Smiling ear to ear, Ames Brown masked his grief as he bid a final farewell to Ashley Hebert on Monday's "The Bachelorette." Without any indication of spite in his voice, Ames explained to ET why he bowed out so "gracefully" and what his feelings are for Ashley today.
"I think it would be hard to eclipse my level of disappointment," he said with sincerity. "I didn't want to make something difficult for Ashley even more difficult." Confident going into what would be his final rose ceremony, Ames admits to being "embarrassed" over his sense of security.
Ames doesn't "regret" his strategy to take his relationship with Ashley at a slower pace than the other contestants. "I think a lot of times, both watching this show and in real life, there are relationships that move real quickly and expire just as quickly," he reasoned. "She's the kind of person I really wanted to make something lasting with."
Although he never got the chance to put a ring on it, Ames thought an engagement "was totally realistic and in view" after Ashley was embraced by his family during the hometown visit. Time heals wounds and Ames denies having any lingering feelings for Ashley. "It is better to have loved and lost," he said optimistically.
The intellectual is keeping a poker face when prompted to predict Ashley's final selection. Insisting he remained focused only on the development of his own relationship with the leading lady, he "didn't pay attention to what else was going on" with the other guys. "What I've seen so far, they all seem to have good connections. I'm jealous of them all. She has good taste. I wouldn't feel safe betting at this time."
Ever the gentleman, Ames has no ill will towards Ashley, saying, "I would like for her to live happily ever after. She deserves it… I think she's the kind of person that will make a great wife and a great dentist."
Ames said he'd be "electrocuted" if he reveals his current status. Intrigued fans will have to tune in to "Bachelor Pad" to see if this Ivy League catch is still on the market. In the event he didn't find his match on the show, Ames "would totally consider" accepting the role of "The Bachelor." "I just believe that love occurs at unexpected places and it's even more romantic when it does," he said with his heart on his sleeve. Throwing out the checklist for his perfect mate, Ames plans to rely on instinct when he meets his future wife. "I think our emotions and bodies are good judges."
He'll also be appearing on the "Men Tell All" special of "The Bachelorette." For the remainder of Ashley's quest for true love, watch an all new episode Monday night on ABC. One step closer to a potential engagement, the final three suitors fight to win Ashley's heart in Fiji.