by Gina Scarpa
To say that Jenna Burke was emotional on The Bachelor this season is an understatement. Practically from the moment she stepped out of the limo, she seemed to have a hard time competing with the other girls for Ben's attention, which he wasn't giving her much of. On Monday night's episode, he decided not to give her the rose, most likely because he felt she was too much drama. As you might expect, she insisted that wasn't really her that we saw when she spoke to RealityWanted and reporters today in a press conference call about her time on The Bachelor.
Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Inevitably, there are always girls who have a hard time dealing with being on the show, get overemotional, then turn around and say that it wasn't an accurate representation of who they are. Do you feel like that was true for you?
A. Jenna: Absolutely! I mean, just watching the episodes, I'm in a much better place. I'm very happy I was able to watch it and laugh at myself, the awkward moments. When you're fighting for one persona's attention, you wanna say so much. When I tried to say something, it all came out like blah. I look back at those moments and laugh. You don't realize how you're going to react until you experience. You can't help your emotions.
Q. Gina, RealityWanted: It's a little surprising how people on the show forget that, not only are cameras on them, but other people in the house can see what they're doing too - from Monica flirting with girls to Ben making out with girls in the hot tub. What were your thoughts on it?
A. Jenna: I mean, I think that's part of... as you watch everyone, that's sort of where you start to lose your confidence. You see the more aggressive ones and it seems like Ben likes that kind of person. That's how you really get the time and I'm just not like that. It caught me off guard, Monica's comment about how she didn't like Ben because she didn't know him. We all knew who The Bachelor was. Me and Monica made up, she's a great girl. It was just a rocky start. A lot of people react differently. I think we all have our own insecurities. I apparently cry and other girls come across as more aggressive. They know what they want and they won't stop until they get it. That's how they play the game. Everyone talks about strategy and I had no strategy. I was like, "Am I supposed to have one?" The timing was off for me.
Q. What do you feel we weren't shown as an audience that might explain what we saw of you?
A. Jenna: I don't think anyone can anticipate what kind of experience this is going to be until you get there. I've never been through anything like this in my life. People sign up because they're ready to find love. Unfortunately, there was a lot going on in my life at the time. I was changing my career, I was getting over a breakup and wanted to move forward, all of my things were in storage - I was ready for a life change. As I got there, it was more intense than I ever anticipated and I really went there with the mentality that, "If Ben dumps me, at least I'll make great friends." I've watched every season, I'm a big fan of The Bachelor, and I've seen great friendships come from this. I think to succeed on this show, you have to fight for Ben's attention. I'm fine approaching men but in this kind of circumstance, it was very difficult for me. When you take all your distractions away and are kind of alone, you start to feel in a very odd situation. I wasn't really at a strong point. It's kind of like one big therapy session. I didn't realize that I was carrying pain from my past.
Q. If you were on a later season, do you think it would've been easier for you emotionally?
A. Jenna: Absolutely! Everything had to do with... it was a pretty bad breakup on my part and it was hard. I just think you need to be at the right spot. This is a very intense show and you need to be at a strong point in your life. That's the only way to succeed. If you have any feeling of being scared, you don't have that confidence. I usually have confidence.
Q. What was the issue between you and Monica?
A. Jenna: I didn't understand her personality and I thought I would have great friendships formed from this experience. Even in real life, not everyone is going to love you and that was a life lesson I learned right there. Something rubbed me the wrong way that night. I overheard her saying things and I wanted to confront her and it was a very awkward, awkward moment. The next day, I didn't want to feel any more uncomfortable than I already did so I approached her and she was like a totally different person. It was like the real Jenna got to know the real Monica. We ended up being in the same group for the play we put on and we had a blast that day. She's a great girl. It was just bad first impressions.
Q. Looking back on it, do you understand why Ben sent you home?
A. Jenna: I would've sent myself home, to be honest. I have to admit, going on the group date, you kinda wonder, "Are these the women he puts together that he's unsure about?" That's kind of how I felt. Only two girls got the 1 on 1 dates. It doesn't really make you feel that good and you don't really get a lot of time to talk to him. I knew my last conversation with him was the make or break. I'm not the kind of girl to say, "Excuse me, can I snatch Ben away from you?" If he wants to talk to me, he will. You can't help but feel rejected. I'm human and I have feelings. I want him to like me and get to know me. Unfortunately, men do not like drama and I showed that side of me. It was a lot of pressure. I wanted to say so much but it came out so awkward. It wasn't even what I wanted to say. It was too much pressure.
Q. So it seems the two girls that are still in the house that everyone is talking about are Courtney and Blakely. What are your thoughts on them?
A. Jenna: Alright, so I'll start with Blakeley. I have known girls like Blakely and I had a lot of time with her. My first impression was aggressive and she doesn't wanna be friends with anyone but Monica. I didn't like how they were together and didn't talk to anyone else. In the house, they realized that they need to break up a little. They were being pinpointed in the wrong way. I got to know her more and she does have a heart. I think we all have our insecurities and the way Blakely deals with hers is she's more aggressive. I can tell why girls are not fond of that. She can only stay strong for so long and it actually got to her. She comes off very strong but there's another side to her. Courtney... I only had probably one conversation with her and I just know she's a model from Santa Monica and she plays with her hair a lot. After watching the show, I think there's a serious case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Q. It's popular for former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants to Tweet live during the episodes. Do you Tweet or read what they're saying?
A. Jenna: I'm not on Twitter at the moment but I am pretty internet savvy. After the first episode you're curious about what people say... I didn't know I was going to be a hashatg. I had to imagine on the other side how I look and I'd say the exact same thing. After it sunk in, it was like, "You know, that's not me. I have to have fun with it." I can look back and laugh at the experience. I'm owning it and I'm in a much different place. At first, I cringed but now I'm totally fine.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)