Kirk Was Bruised and Banged Up After 'The Bachelorette'

Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC

After surviving a long-term, life-threatening illness, Kirk DeWindt, 27, was finally feeling well enough to take on the demands of a relationship and thought he was starting to build a healthy one with Bachelorette star Ali Fedotowsky. But apparently matching sweaters wasn t enough to get him out of the friend zone. The sales consultant from Madison, Wis., talked with reporters about beastly basements, blindsides and Frank s possible betrayal. –Carrie Bell

How heartbroken were you and are you over her now?
It s really consuming when you re there. It heightens how quickly feelings develop. It s a strange version of speed dating where you know she s out with other so that makes it more stressful, but it s very organic. Real relationships are formed and if I had continued, things would have gotten stronger. I was bruised and banged up for awhile. But once I got back to work, friends, family and normalcy, it was a quicker adjustment than I d expected. Watching it brings back all that emotion, but I ve had ample time to move on.

You seemed very ready to find love.
I was sick for quite a while so I didn t have a lot to give because I was worried about my health and focused on myself. As I started feeling better, I realized I was ready to take that step forward. Developing a relationship with Ali was one of the first times I had done that since I was healthy enough to move forward.

Was there a point where you realized your feelings were stronger her than hers were for you?
Yes. That started in Portugal on our date. It didn t go very well at all. She was on another planet. Her mind was elsewhere. I sensed something had shifted.

How d you feel about the hometown visit went?
As far as how she interacted with my family, I thought it d gone really well and we d gotten closer. I was less worried about this most recent rose ceremony than I was the previous ceremony in Portugal. I thought Ali and I were in a good place and I thought I would have continued.

Maybe it was the taxidermy that scared her?
You put a cute city girl in a basement full of dead animals and you re going to get a reaction. I d given her fair warning what she was getting into. She s a roll-with-the-punches girl so I figured it wouldn t be too big of a deal.

Would you have preferred being cut before your family got involved?
My initial thought after I d gotten cut was, I wish I had gone home fifth. But now that I m more removed from it, my family looks at it like an experience. They re all very glad it happened and see it as part of the process. My feelings were involved, but I don t regret making it that far.

Who would you pick for her?
I d always thought, if it wasn t me, it was Frank who d be best for Ali. It stems from having the first date. He was quite confident in their relationship from go. He talked about how great it was and how much he liked her right away. Observing how she was with him even in group settings gave me the impression that there was a lot there. Frank is the most off the beaten path, a bit neurotic and the definition of quirky and those were qualities Ali was looking for. She doesn t want the safe bet and maybe Chris and Roberto were safer. Like everybody else, I ve seen the previews so that has changed my mind.

Did his ex ever come up and did you suspect he might get back with her?
Frank had mentioned an ex, as did other guys, but I didn t know the extent of the situation or his feelings. I didn t know what he was thinking obviously because I wasn t expecting what he apparently does.

Are you upset that he made it farther than you and then may have second thought about Ali?
She obviously liked three guys more than me. But seeing those previews is kind of difficult and frustrating. He came on the show with feelings for somebody else whereas I came on the show with feelings for nobody. Frank was doing what he thought was best for himself. I have a hard time holding it against him and he is one of my best friends in the house, but it would have been nice to go to Tahiti to see where the relationship went.

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