"I was really surprised," Danielle confessed. "It just totally blindsided me."
The chemistry between Nick and Danielle was obvious from night one. The pair started off strong, as Nick offered her a group date rose on week three, and the two enjoyed a romantic one-on-one date in his hometown in week four.
Though the 27-year-old small business owner was visibly in disbelief when Nick broke things off at dinner (after already sending Whitney home earlier in the two-on-one) during Monday night's episode, watching the show seems to have offered her some clarity on what went wrong.
"When we were going over questions, in terms of our future goals and plans, it just didn't line up with what he was looking for," Danielle shared. "He said he felt like we had this incredible spark and it almost intimidated him to a certain point, where I felt like maybe he thought that momentum could be lost when the show is over. So it felt like he almost went back to his checklist and attributes of what he wanted out of a woman."
Though months have passed since the shocking breakup, Danielle is clearly still emotional about the way things ended.
"After being sent home and not getting a rose, I was almost sitting in the hotel room, like, is this really happening? Like, any minute he's going to come knocking on the door again, we're going to talk, have this discussion and everything's going to be OK," Danielle recalled, starting to cry. "It never happened."
"I really had strong feelings for him and to see him react that way, it sucks," she said. "I hope he's happy... I don't think there's anything I could have done."
Danielle also opened up about the girl sent home just before her, Whitney, revealing that she was "shocked" by the 25-year-old Pilates instructor's comments about how she "wasn't ready for a relationship," and has texted her about the emotional episode.
"Knowing or trying to see why Whitney and I were on a two-on-one date, I don't think it made sense for anyone -- for us and the viewers," she shared.
As for Corinne, Danielle says she's friends with the Bachelor bad girl, who didn't have "malicious intent." "Looking back now, we definitely underestimated Corinne," she revealed. "I wouldn't underestimate her!"
Nick also offered his take on this week's episode during an appearance on Will You Accept This Podcast? on Thursday, defending his decision to send three women home mid-date.
"It was important to me that, at any moment I realized I didn't see a future with any of these women, that I didn't have to wait for a rose ceremony to send them home," he explained. "While in the moment that might seem awkward or more surprising and might hurt people's pride, I thought it was actually better in the long run for them."
"Ultimately, I knew even going into this process, I assumed that there would be times where it would be hard to make decisions," Nick added. "I think being definitive when I did know gave me more credibility when I have to use all the time allotted to me to make decisions."
As for how the season will end, the two-time Bachelorette runner up said: "If you're an emotional person, if you’ve cried on the season before, no matter what happens, you might cry at the end."