Craig Sjodin
Carrie Bell
March 04, 2011 11:15 AM

Ashley Hebert, who was sent home from The Bachelor this week after an awkward date with Brad Womack, went from participating in what Womack called the best first date of his life to discussing mosquito nets in a South African fantasy suite. The-26-year-old, who is a few months shy of finishing dental school in Philadelphia, spoke with reporters about what went wrong.

Did you respect being booted privately instead of at a rose ceremony?
I left really heartbroken, but watching it and hearing all the things he said about it helped me [get] closure and solidified what kind of relationship we had, which was one full of respect and mutual admiration. People gave him a hard time for dragging girls along the first time. So once he made his decision, he wasn’t going to string me along.

Brad said that he figured you for final two from go. How did it feel to hear that?
(Groans) It absolutely made me feel worse, but confirmed what we had in my mind and it made it harder to live with the regret of being so closed off. No doubt, we had something really strong.

So what went wrong?
I went into the whole process not really expecting to feel as strongly as I did and I think I guarded myself. We could have had a great relationship but I never handled it well or made good use of our time. There was a lot of miscommunication between Brad and I. We should have talked more about the serious things we touched on at dinner. Instead, we continued with our really fun light relationship and that’s where things went wrong. We ran out of time and that night was the demise of our relationship.

You were also the holdout on saying I love you
When I was there, I didn’t feel ready to say, ‘I love you.’ I was falling but I couldn’t say it. When I got home I realized, I did love him but it was too late.

Would you have accepted a rose in South Africa?
I don’t know. I had a lot of questions about our relationship so I probably would have accepted it, but we would have had to have a very good conversation before I [did].

He got frustrated when you expressed doubt or insecurity and seemed to write you off as not ready to marry or move to Austin
It was clear he had a lot of questions. He wasn’t trying to pretend that everything was okay when it wasn’t. I don’t think we are at different points in our lives so as mush as we want different things. I’m certainly at an age where I’m ready to settle down. I would have been happy to move to Austin, but Brad was looking for somebody to fit into his life in Austin and not skip a beat. For me, I’m looking for somebody to create a new life with. I want them to be open to trying a new location. But him coming down on me that night had nothing to do with Austin. I think he felt strongly for someone else and he wanted to highlight all the reasons why we wouldn’t work out to not lead me on.

And who might that be?
Emily. He was falling in love before, but her confirming [her feelings] made him fall harder. He fell in love at that point. I clearly see it on the date.

Had your date come before Emily’s, do you think things would have been different?
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 the quality of our date would have been better.

Who is the best match for Brad?
I thought Chantal until the last episode. I love him and Chantal together. They compliment each other and bring out a playfulness. But in terms of what Brad wants out of life and a relationship, Emily is probably a better match. He made it clear from the beginning that he was looking for a wife and he probably found it.

Would you be the Bachelorette?
I would definitely consider it. The process worked for me once. The show primed me to start dating again and I would have a good time with it. I’m actually a really confidant, secure person with a lot to offer, fun to be around and get along well with people.

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