By Gina Carbone
Ali Fedotowsky held a conference call with a bunch of media outlets on May 19. For a more concise look at her answers, read my still-not-short-but-at-least-shorter-and-easier-to-read story here at TheBachelorShow.com.
I’m posting all of her Q&A here on my blog because I know there are “Bachelorette” nerds like me who will want as many details as possible.
Everyone on the conference call got one question and then a few people got to ask follow-up questions. The call went on for about 45 minutes or so. Ali seemed very upbeat and comfortable. She only paused when asked to talk about the show’s ending. That’s when she said “You know, I’m” (pause) “I’m happy right now.”
Just listening to her tone there — and Chris Harrison saying in a separate interview that Ali had to make several tough choices and he thinks she’s “satisfied” with the ending — I think we’re in for a non-engagement. Nothing about her answers suggested she’s madly in love and about to move in with someone. But I could be totally wrong.
1. So did being rejected by Jake when you originally tried to come back weigh heavily on you in a sense that you were scared to be rejected by these guys?
I don’t think that my phone call with Jake sort of brought up that insecurity in me. Did I have a fear of rejection on this show? I absolutely did. And I think that’s because, you know, I’ve been heartbroken in the past and I mean not just from my relationship with Jake but a lot of relationships I had before even being on The Bachelor.
And, you know, I think my big fear was that I knew that I was excusing each guy because I wanted them to continue with me. And I didn’t necessarily know that because they were accepting a rose, it meant that they actually wanted to be with me. So, yes, I questioned that a lot along the way, and I was scared.
2. So the season hasn’t even started yet and there’s talk that there’s going to be a scandal this year. Can you talk about what the drama is going to be this year?
Oh, man, I can’t get into specifics, but I mean there’s definitely a bit of drama this season. And, you know, I – you know, rumors are rumors and whether there’s truth to them or not, I cannot say. I actually haven’t even got a chance to look at any of them really in the Internet because I just got back; but, yes, I went through a lot and there’s a lot of emotion, good and bad, and I think it will be really interesting to watch and see how it unfolds.
3. Ali, I wanted to ask you about your move like change earlier because it seems like a big thing. You’ve grown up in kind of, you know, academic kind of area and so forth with Phi Beta Kappa; and then to all of a sudden pack up and move to California from college, it seems like a drastic change of life. Kind of tell us about that time in your life.
Sure. Yes, I was going to school and while I was actually finishing up my last two years of college, I was – I was actually in a long distance relationship with a guy who was at – in a Ph.D. program at Stanford. So after two years of long distance, we decided that when I graduated I would just move out there and we’d give it a shot. And, I mean, I made that move for love.
And it ended up not working out, but ending up in California was probably the best thing that ever happened to me because I feel like being in the bay area is the perfect place to sort of surround myself with other, you know, really educated people who could challenge me, and I’m really happy I made that move.
4. So I know – you know, everybody knows you had an advertising job before this and everything like that. I’m kind of wondering being from the advertising world, how important were first impressions to you from these guys? Like, did you have to be sold right away or anything like that?
That’s a good question. You know, actually, no. I was going in thinking that the first impressions were not going to be – not really mean anything to me, honestly, because I’ve always been the type of girl that when I go for a guy, it’s because he has told me a story that’s really interesting or made me laugh by telling a joke. So I thought, you know – well, maybe not a joke but a little bit of a conversation before I decide whether or not I’m interested in him.
And, I don’t know, so I just sort of – I was so nervous that first night that I don’t even know that I remembered a lot of the first impressions, never mind them weighing that much. So, it doesn’t mean – it doesn’t, you know, weigh that heavily.
5. So I’m assuming you can’t say whether you ended up getting engaged or anything like that at the end of the season, but I was wondering if you could just talk about the ending. You know, were you happy with the way it turned out?
You know, I am happy right now, and I’m really confident with the, like, decisions that I made all along the way and whether it was the third or fifth rose ceremony, fifth one or the last one. I’m really – I don’t have any regrets, and I’m super confident with each decision along the way, and I’m really happy right now.
6. I’m curious if you can sort of give us a timeline from when you went to the business (Facebook) and when you got over Jake and when you were approached, how it came that you came back.
Right. So, gosh, let me think. So I left the show. I actually – I got the phone call from my company, and, well, actually talked to them about whether or not I could stay or leave hours before the rose ceremony and then I made the choice to leave the show. And I went right back to work that following Monday when I got home. And I believe – I mean, I was approached – it was after I was already off the show as it aired.
So it was a while later and it honestly was never something that I ever imagined I’d be asked to do, and I was really shocked when I was asked and nervous when I first asked to do it. And I really don’t know the exact dates or timeline, but by the time I was approached, I feel like I was healed from the show. And actually, in fact, in order to make my decision of whether or not I wanted to become The Bachelorette, I wanted to make sure that I saw the season finale of the Bachelor so I could just have closure with that and be ready to move on with my – with my next adventure.
7. So I guess being a Bay State girl, I noticed that there’s at least several New England guys, two Bay State guys in the roundup. Did it help having some local people in the mix? I mean, did that sway your decision in any way?
Oh, no, it didn’t sway my decisions in any way. Really, it’s so funny because things that I thought maybe would sway my decisions didn’t throughout the season. It was more just a feeling I had with each guy. And, you know, if there was a guy who, you know, I had things in common with, like he was, you know, from my area, then it just gave us more to talk about. So, I’m sure it was good for a conversation starter, but, no, it definitely didn’t sway my decision either way.
8. I’m just wondering if you had spoken to any of the former bachelorettes or maybe even Jake, if they had given you any advice or you kind of talked about being the one handing out the roses as opposed to getting them.
I have – I haven’t spoken to Jake at all, actually, not even till this day, but, you know, I actually think – I think there’s a good chance that I may be running into him and his fiancée, Vienna, soon so I hope to talk to them about my journey a little bit. But I did talk to Jillian Harris beforehand and, you know, she really wanted this to be my experience and she just wanted to wish me good luck. And her advice was basically to make sure I had a lot of travel hairspray on hand while we were on the road.
So, you know – and she just wanted to just wish me luck and she was really sweet about saying, you know, I’m so glad that you’re the next bachelorette and things like that, and that’s really good to hear from her. And I haven’t actually met her in person, but I hope to in the future.
9. I’m wondering about the challenge of meeting three men – three men named Chris all at once and what was your impression of Chris from Orlando?
Three guys – Chris all at once. I’m actually really good with names so it wasn’t too difficult for me to handle the three Chris’ names but, you know, I got a great impression from him. I can’t get into too many details about him. You’ll have to watch the episode and see, but definitely a sweet guy and had a really good heart. So I think you’ll – I think you’ll see some of that when you watch the show.
10. Now, I’m calling from Canada. And I’ve seen the first episode online, so I got to ask you about the three Canadian guys that took part. And I feel like Justin kind of – he got unfairly vilified by the guys in the house in that first episode.
Yes, you know, I was shocked actually when that happened in the first episode. And, you know, for me, that first night, Justin seemed like a really sweet guy, and I didn’t really know what to take from that. I think, for me, I was shocked about the ballot box and I didn’t – I don’t even know what to make of it. But at the end of the day, I remember thinking from my season that I thought I had a better idea of, you know, what girls are maybe there for the right and wrong reasons the first night than maybe Jake did.
So, you know, I definitely didn’t want to let the ballot box be the be-all end-all but, you know, I kept it in the back of my mind.
11. Last year – last year, initially, you were the most popular bachelorette. You were everybody’s number one choice until you got hardcore on Vienna. Are we going to see some of that hardcore Ali this season?
Oh, man. You know, yes, I – last season – and I’ll say it again. I said it before. I cannot apologize enough for my behavior then. I lost my cool, and I am glad that I was able to see that on the show because I wonder a lot about myself and how I should treat others. And, no, I don’t think that I will be treating others badly this season. But we’ll see a little bit, you know, of the bold side of me coming out. And if someone maybe, you know, does something that I don’t think is so great, I’ll let them know.
And I’m – for one thing, I can say, so far, I mean, I haven’t seen all the episodes, but I’m very proud of the way I handled situations this season. And I think I would do it all the same way again if I had to.
12. Looking back now that you’re the bachelor – you know, now that you are the Bachelorette, do you think that you made the right decision by leaving the show and if – you know, with Jake?
You know, I do think that, at the time, you know, I think it was the right decision in a sense that I don’t think that I’m supposed to be with Jake. I think he found someone, and he’s with Vienna, and they’re happy, and I’m happy for them. But do I think that choosing a job over someone who’s potentially the love of your life, do I think that’s the wrong choice? I do.
So, I mean, it’s kind of hard to answer because if I stayed, would I ended up with Jake? I don’t think so. I think he would have ended up with Vienna anyway. So in that sense, I think it’s the right choice, but I’m so glad that now I know that I will never ever make that choice again. And I can promise you that I won’t.
13. So I just wanted to ask you, are you really ready – do you think you’re ready to have a child? And if so, did that come into play when you were picking guys who might also be ready to get some right away?
(This was my Q)
Oh, my God. Thank goodness you asked that question. OK, let me clear this up. So there’s some article that I’ve seen out there so far, people suggesting that I want children right away. And, no, that is not the case. I did say to Chris Harrison that if he asked me where I wanted to be in five years, and I say – I said, “I’d like to be pregnant in five years,” meaning that when I’m 30, I would like to be pregnant with my first child.
So am I ready for kids now? Absolutely not. I have – I still have a career I want to build and things that I need to accomplish before I’m ready to start a family and, you know, I – think that most of, I guess, the guys probably felt the same way this season. I definitely never made it seem like I wanted to have kids right away and I don’t think they did either. So, yes, thank you so much for asking that question.
14. I’m also on the line from Canada. I’m curious whether you’ve had a chance to come up here at all and also whether you’d consider moving to another country if your guy was one of the Canadian guys.
I have not actually been to Canada, and I’d love to. My dad was actually born in Montreal, so I should – I should visit. And for love? Absolutely, I would move to another country; no question. There’s one thing that – I mean, not only did I realize from last season, that I would never chose a job over family and love; I realized I’d never let any decision be swayed, you know, over my decision to put love first. Nothing. Nothing could stop that. So I would absolutely move. Who knows? I could be a Canadian resident soon.
15. I just wanted you to give some details about what kind of engagement ring you like, what kind of wedding dress you would see yourself in, you know, down the line, and what kind of party you’d want to have as a wedding?
Oh, my gosh, I have never in my life thought about what my wedding would be like. I – you know, engagement ring – gosh, if I had to pick a style – my uncle is actually a jeweler and he’s always told me that Asscher Cut is pretty nice. So I guess that if I had to pick something, that’s probably what I would go for.
But wedding dress – I don’t know. I would want them really simple, something – I want my hair to be really natural, and I plan on wearing Converse under my wedding dress so it’s got to be long enough to hide those. But, yes, just I don’t like to be all glammed up. I like to be natural, so I think I’d have a really natural look.
16. So, now, it’s safe to say that thousands – I mean, tens of thousands of men applied on your season of The Bachelorette. Were you happy with the 25 guys that they picked for you?
Wow, that many applied? Why? No, I’m kidding. I’m so – I’m so happy with the 25 guys that I got this season. I mean … one thing I said to the producers coming in is I do not want the male model who can’t put two sentences together. I want smart, interesting guys that are going to, you know, just keep me excited about the relationship and who they are and what they bring to the table, and that’s exactly what I got. And I’m so happy with all of them. And I want to thank, I guess, each and every one of them for coming and being there because they made the experience really great for me.
17. My question has to do with the decision-making process because I’ve always wondered, you know, there’s a different decision every time you have a rose ceremony. Is it a different set of criteria when you’re up there? You know, how do you make that? Do you have things in your head that you know that you want each time?
That’s a great question. You know, I just really went with the feeling. It was just a feeling I had about each person, and I didn’t really weigh a lot – well, this person has these qualities, and this person has these qualities. I never – I never wanted to compare the guys; I just didn’t think that was fair. And I just more, instead of comparing the guys and their qualities, I compared my feelings for the guys.
And, you know, I felt pretty confident each – I felt extremely confident each rose ceremony and the decisions I made. I knew they were the right ones and I never questioned them.
The only rose ceremony that I’d say I had any question about at all would be the first one because I had so little time and, you know, you just wonder afterwards, “Oh, if I just had a few more minutes with that person, would I have realized something about them that, you know, I didn’t see before?” And that was the only rose ceremony that was really, really tough in terms of making my decisions. But after that, I just – I really knew what I wanted and the only really hard part was hurting somebody in order to, you know, find my, you know, ending, I guess hopefully find my guy. Well, thank you so much.
18. What I want to know is now that you’ve gone through this yourself, does it give you sort of an added sense of maybe sympathy or insight into what Jake was going through on The Bachelor?
Absolutely. Gosh, I just remember thinking when I was on The Bachelor, “Gosh, why would Jake be insecure about anything? He has all these girls here, you know, vying for his attention. He has nothing to be concerned about.” Then, you know, being on – being the Bachelorette, I was like, “Oh, my gosh, I get it.” You know, so people can say to me all day, you know, “I’m falling for you,” and, “you’re beautiful,” and all these words.
But to me, I always found myself questioning them. You know, is this person being sincere? Do they really care for me? And one thing, you know, that’s really important to me and made it clear to all of the guys as we were going through this was I’m offering you a rose, but you’re accepting it back. Don’t accept it if you don’t want it.
And that was really important to me that the guys knew this was serious and not just a game. And I hope they got that. But I have so much more respect for Jake and, you know, and Jillian, and Jason, everyone who has been through this because it’s really difficult. It’s by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I, you know – sorry, I just had a thought in head; I lost it. I would do it again but it was very, very difficult.
19. I wanted to ask if you were a fan of the show before you went on The Bachelor and what was your impression of it?
The first season I ever saw of The Bachelor was Jason Mesnick’s season. And I loved it and I thought he was such a great guy and I remember thinking to myself, “Oh, if I could only find a man like that.” And that’s when I applied for the show. I thought, “Why not?” I can’t lose and I really never in a million years thought I would be on it, never mind be the Bachelorette. So, yes, I watched Jason’s season and that’s what that has got me hooked and I guess I fell in love with the idea of falling in love, I don’t know. So, here I am.
20. Based on your experience on The Bachelor, are there things that maybe Jake did that you wouldn’t want to end up doing this season of The Bachelorette?
You know, I guess the only thing, really – I mean, I’ve totally respected Jake and all the decisions he made. I think the only thing that was really different for me was, you know, Jake had a really big heart and he had felt that he had fallen in love with more than one person. And for me, I don’t feel like my heart is capable of loving more than one person.
So, you know, going in, I sort of made a promise to myself that, you know, I really just wanted to make sure that I didn’t share those type of feelings unless I was sharing it with one person and I was completely positive that that was the person for me.
21. So, what’s something that viewers may be surprised to know about you that may come out on this season that perhaps didn’t come out – not – you know, just personality-wise or quality about you?
That’s a good question. I don’t know. I mean, I think people might be a little – I think, you know, and I saw that actually Chris Harrison touched on this on one of his blogs. I have the same insecurities that, you know, every other girl has. And, I mean, I consider myself like a confident independent woman and there are so many things about myself that I’m proud of and feel good about; but there’s also – I still have those insecurities that if I love someone, are they going to love me back. And I’ve been through – I’ve been in a lot of relationships where I have put my heart out there and I have been completely in love and, well, actually, I think – you know, I have been completely in love and that person didn’t love me back. So, that was a fear of mine and I think that weighed heavily, like, on my heart this season.
22. One of the things – I’ve talked to Chris last Saturday – that he talked about was you have fabulous locations. Can you talk a little bit about that and how the volcano affected you?
Sure, yes. Wow, I mean, we traveled everywhere. The thing that was so great about the travel, I feel like, is there are places where maybe you wouldn’t necessarily think to go on your own like Iceland and Turkey but, you know, I got to go there and I loved it. We got so lucky in Iceland. You know, we were there while the volcano was erupting, but not before those huge eruption. The volcano was erupting and you’ll have to wait and see if we have any good footage of that. But we went to Turkey and Portugal and we left Portugal pretty much days before the big eruption that caused all the travel delays. So, you know, someone was watching over us because we got really lucky and got out just in time.
23. A (Daily Beast) material mentions that you had abandoned your apartment and your job to go back to do The Bachelorette. How final was it? Did you really have to leave your apartment? And also, is your job one that you cannot go back to or would you be able to go back to it?
I did leave my job at Facebook. And at this point, I don’t have plans to go back. I mean, I have hopes to go back in the future, but it would probably be a while before that would happen. And so it’s pretty final at this point, which is sad because I really loved it. But I think, you know, at some point, I would either be able to hopefully go back there or, you know, I actually have some ideas of my own company that I’d like to possibly start.
So, I will have to see, I guess, what happens with that. And with my apartment, yes, I completely moved out. All of my stuff is in storage right now. I’m living with my two best friends, a married couple and they’re taking very good care of me while this whole season airs. Then I can find my final, you know, my final location that I’ll be settling down in.
24. When you watch the episodes and you see that things that went on when you weren’t there, would you have liked to have known some of that stuff? Would any of that have changed any decisions you made?
I’ve also seen the first two episodes so far. But, you know, and I’ve seen some teasers – a few – a little bit of footage of teasers and there are some things that I wish I had known that I didn’t get to see. You know, you’ll see – I guess, early on, in the first episode, there’s – I get to hear people’s opinions on different guys on the house. And, you know, there’s a couple where I was like, “I wonder why they’re pointing him out.” And, you know, I guess – either way, it might have changed my journey, I guess, along the way but I don’t think the ending would have been different. So, it’s OK that I didn’t see those things.
25. I know you can’t tell us how it ends but going into this, were you confident that this could be it and you could find the one?
Oh, I was so confident going into this that I could find my husband on the show. I would not have done this show otherwise. When I was first approached to be The Bachelorette, I actually had a lot of concerns. I was so happy in my career, my job; and I love being in San Francisco and I just didn’t know if it was the right choice.
And I had a conversation with my best friends that I’m living with now, and they said to me, you know, “If you find your husband on this show, nothing else matters.” And that’s when I knew being on the show was the right choice. And I was absolutely confident from night one that my husband was going to be in that room and I’d like to think I kept that confidence.
26. I got to ask you a tough question because you’ve been talking about – you’ve been going with your feelings and your values. And I’m quite sure that The Bachelor faced the Fantasy Suite date night with a different attitude than perhaps somebody such as yourself and the ladies. How did you confront that knowing there might be assumptions on the part of the guys?
I’m, I mean, I don’t know. I just sort of – was I scared even going into it? Yes, I was. But I think going through, you know, this whole experience together, I think when I know when I am presenting those cards and the guys get those cards, I think we’re just so excited to be off-camera and be able to talk, you know, without the cameras around. And, you know, it’s a very easy to talk with them there. But there are some little things that you want to keep to yourself and make personal.
So, I mean, it’s a perfect opportunity. I didn’t get any sleep those nights because we were up talking all night. And I think that it’s really important, those nights, to building the relationship and, you know, taking it to that next step by just having those really intimate conversations.
27. Actually, I’m going to pass. I was going to ask a question about picking the people I want. Actually, I guess, I’ll just ask if you – I know in previous – one of the previous seasons, they actually had the bachelor I think looking – or the bachelorette looking at all the pictures and saying, I want to, you know, talk to that one. Did you have that opportunity?
Yes. What I would do at the deliberation, I look at all the photos. I absolutely have the opportunity if I chose to go talk to a guy before handing out the roses. That was always an option. And, you know …
Q: No. I mean, before they pick the 25 men.
Oh, before they picked the 25 men? No, no, no. I have no idea at all. The first night that I saw those guys step in the limo, that was the very, very first time. So – and I liked it that way. It made it more exciting. And, you know, I think fate plays a role on this, too. I think fate plays a role in everyone’s life and their relationships. And I was – I just had a lot of faith that they were going to pick the right guys for me.
28. What were you looking for in a husband going into this show?
Going in, I really wanted someone that was interesting to me; just someone who – when they would talk, I would just be on the edge of my seat because I couldn’t wait to hear what they had to say next, you know; someone who’s funny and intelligent. But you know what? As the show went on, I don’t really know – I think I learned actually as the show went on that qualities aren’t necessarily the thing that’s – like those kind of qualities like funny, interesting.
I think it’s more – what makes a relationship, I think I learned, is just how that person treats you and makes you feel. And I don’t really think you can put like a specific quality on that in terms of who they are. I don’t know. I think that’s what I learned. What I went in thinking I needed is not exactly I think what I need or I found out that I necessarily needed. Those are kind of weird wordings. Does that make sense?
29. I was just wondering; before, you have referenced that, you know, this time around, you’re not maybe going to lose your cool so much. I was wondering if there was any other regrets that you had had from your time on The Bachelor?
You know, I don’t – the only thing I really regret honestly is – I mean, I regret making the choice. Like, it’s hard to explain because I do regret making the choice to choose work over love but I know Jake isn’t the right one for me so I know that was supposed to happen even though I don’t think it was the right choice. Does that make sense?
And then I absolutely regret, you know, my relationship with Vienna and how that turned out. I mean, there’s no question. We’re both to blame in that situation and I take a lot of responsibility for it. And I do feel bad about it. And I would – can I say that I don’t lose my cool on The Bachelorette? I think I might lose my cool slightly to be honest but for the right reason.