At least The Bachelor contestant Jackie Gordon was treated to a private Train concert, a lap around a NASCAR track and a trip to Costa Rica before being sent home to New York without a new beau named Brad. The artist, 28, spoke with PEOPLE about how disappointing it was to be eliminated before “unladylike” Michelle and whether her limo love confession was for real.
What was going through your head when it was down to you and Michelle at the rose ceremony?
My heart was pounding out of my chest. I was sweating and thinking, “Please God do not say Michelle and make this moment end.” And when he said Michelle, I lost my breath.
Was there any interaction we didn’t see as Brad walked you out?
I was completely shocked and shaken up to the point that I couldn’t say what I wanted or articulate the words to ask what happened. My emotions overcame me.
Did Brad give you a fair shot?
My date was so early on in the season and, as wonderful as it was, I was sensing distance between us and hadn’t had much time with Brad since [then]. Our connection was slipping [while] his connections with some of the other girls were becoming strong. Timing was not on my side … Michelle is not what he is looking for. I found it shocking that he was so entranced by her [despite] how forward, intense and out of line she is. I can’t see how he’s attracted to her personality and how unladylike she is.
Ashley described Michelle as nice, but is there a more manipulative side?
She was nice enough. She did our hair and said sweet things to us. Outwardly she tried to fit in so her time wouldn’t be completely miserable because when you’re not on a date, we’re all you have but I couldn’t get close to her. I sensed she was a little bit shady and putting on a show. She did some weird things from the beginning like waking up with the mysterious black eye. She enjoyed the attention she was getting because of it. I thought it was a non-story.
What has surprised you watching the show?
A lot of the girls were very physical with him. I didn’t know that much making out was going on with so many different people. That’s hard to watch because I kissed him and he said similar things to me. He really enjoyed all the physical attention.
You used the L-word in the limo. In hindsight, did you fall?
I was in the beginning of falling for him. I can’t say I was completely in love. I’m cautious and it takes time for me to really get to know somebody and put my trust in them. But I was extremely interested. I was hoping his feelings were mutual.
But are you more upset that you didn’t find love or that you didn’t find it with Brad?
I was upset that I hadn’t found love in general. I’ve had a hard time in the past and a lot of letdowns with dating and here I gave it another shot and was rejected. It added to the feeling of “what’s wrong with me?”
Are you ready to get back on the market?
I have never felt so ready in my entire life. I completely know what I want in a man and in a relationship. After The Bachelor and having to share with other women, I am looking for someone to be all about me 100 percent. I am looking for somebody funny, charismatic, well educated, smart, spontaneous, honest, witty and charming.
Who will be in the finale?
Emily and Chantal O. Chantal let her emotions out right from the beginning. She was forming a very strong bond with him and opening up her heart to him. Externally she puts up a hard exterior but inside she’s a deep, vulnerable, loving person. I think he appreciated the fact that she was so open with him and felt a strong connection with her. It’s obvious Brad’s smitten but Emily. She’s beautiful, very sweet and charming. I think Brad gets the sense that he can take care of her. Brad wants to be the man in the relationship and carry a woman’s burden. I think he sees the possibility of playing that with Emily. I don’t think they are meant for each other. But that’s just me.
Is she ready for a new relationship?
Yes, but she’s extremely cautious. She has a hard past to deal with and she doesn’t want to bring every man she’s dating home to meet her daughter.