The Iraqi beauty talks about why she does kiss on TV and why Tierra is a "black sheep"

By Carrie Bell
February 01, 2013 02:30 PM
Kevin Foley/ABC(3)

It isn’t often that Bachelor fans are shocked by the lack of kissing, but that’s exactly what happened Monday when Selma Alameri, a San Diego real estate developer raised by strict Muslim parents, refused to make out with Sean Lowe on their one-on-one date in the desert.

Selma, 29, explained her actions (or, well, lack there of) and talked about “black sheep” Tierra during a press call on Thursday.

You seemed disappointed – not to mention scared – when Sean took the "Iraqi to the desert" for rock climbing.
I was so scared but [I went into] survival mode and hauled ass up that rock. I was like, “I can’t think about where I am or what I am doing or I’ll go out of my mind.” I loved him so much for him giving me the opportunity to prove to the world that I am more than just a glamour girl.

Refusing to kiss Sean had everyone talking. Why wouldn’t you kiss him?
I don’t believe that showing affection in public is a bad thing but my mom does. … Her one simple request was don’t make out with somebody on television. … She didn’t mind that I was going to do the show, which is so huge, and she clearly knows that I go on dates and that I’ve kissed a boy before. It was more for the people in our Arab circle. … We have such a strong culture and my family is big in my life, so I needed to test Sean to see if he’d respect my family and culture. And it was a huge test for me to see if I could resist.

Did you regret withholding kisses or worry it’d put you at a disadvantage?
Honestly, I never regret anything … [I was] afraid that he’d take that as [as a sign that] I don’t really like him. But Sean is such an amazing man that he totally understood.

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You said you wouldn’t kiss Sean until you were last woman standing. Seriously?
At that moment, I meant it. … I didn’t know if I would end up kissing him. Things change. Life happens. You act on emotion. You’ll have to wait and see what ended up happening.

Acknowledging the obvious cultural and religious differences, if Sean does pick you in the end, would he be welcomed by your family?
Yeah. Our family is American and lives the American culture. I was born into a Muslim family. I’m spiritual and believe in God, but I’m not a practicing Muslim. My brother-in-law is blond-haired, blue eyed, very Catholic, very American. Every guy I’ve ever dated was American. He would fit right in.

If it can’t be you, which of your housemates should end up with Sean?
None. I’m the best match for him. That was my man.

But seems Sean is falling for many girls at once.
I believe him that he has a connection with each of the girls. I loved and got along with all the girls in the house after living with them and all the drama with the exception of one. We won’t mention in names.

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Assuming you mean Tierra, was she as bad as she seems on TV?
Tierra was definitely the black sheep. … She just doesn’t know how to get along with other girls. Not everybody can handle dating a man with [25] other women – it’s harder than you realize – but you signed up for this so don’t take it out on us. I was like, “Lady, hide your crazy for a little bit.”

It’s hard to believe Sean doesn’t see that side of her.
I don’t blame him because she was so good at switching it on and off. She’s got him so fooled. He didn’t live with us or see her daily. She was a completely different person with him. I’d watch her with Sean and she’d be batting her eyelashes and be like a sweet puppy just looking into his eyes.