The Bachelorette: Ali Fedotowsky Interview

By Fred Topel Ali Fedotowsky was a controversial contestant on The Bachelor. Even though she left Jake Pavelka to pursue a job with Facebook, she’s back as the star of The Bachelorette. Ali wouldn’t give away whether she found her soul mate on the show, which begins airing May 24. She did give a conference call with the media to answer for her scandalous behavior and preview some of the drama coming up as she meets a batch of 5 contenders for her hand in marriage.

Q: Were you confident going in that this would work and you could find your soul mate on the show?

Ali Fedotowsky: Oh, I was so confident going into this that I could find my husband on the show. I would not have done the show otherwise. When I was first approached to be The Bachelorette, I actually had a lot of concerns. I was so happy in my career, my job and I loved being in San Francisco. I just didn’t know if it was the right choice. I had the conversation with my best friends that I’m living with now, and they said to me, “If you find your husband on this show, then nothing else matters.” That’s when I knew being on the show was the right choice. I was absolutely confident from night one that my husband was going to be in that room. I like to think I kept that confidence.

Q: Were you happy how it ended?

AF: I’m happy right now. I’m really confident with the decisions that I made all along the way. Whether it was the third rose ceremony, the fifth one or the last one, I don’t have any regrets. I’m super confident with each decision along the way and I’m really happy right now.

Q: Are you ready to have children, and were you looking for guys who also were?

AF: Thank goodness you asked that question. Let me clear this up. There are some articles I’ve seen out there so far of people suggesting that I want children right away. No, that is not the case. I did say to Chris Harrison when he asked me where I wanted to be in five years, and I said I’d like to be pregnant in five years, meaning that when I’m 30, I would like to be pregnant with my first child. So am I ready for kids now? Absolutely not. I still have a career I want to build and things I need to accomplish before I’m ready to start a family. I think that most of the guys probably felt the same way this season. I definitely never made it seem like I wanted to have kids right away and I don’t think they did either. So thank you so much for asking that question.

Q: Were you scared to be rejected by these guys after your own Bachelor experience?

AF: Did I have a fair rejection on that show? I absolutely did and I think that’s because I’ve been heartbroken in the past. Not just from my relationship with Jake but a lot of relationships I had before even being on The Bachelor. I think my big fear was that I knew that I was choosing each guy because I wanted them to continue with me and I didn’t necessarily know that because they were accepting a rose it meant that they actually wanted to be with me. Yeah, I questioned that a lot along the way and I was scared.

Q: What will the drama be this year?

AF: Oh man, I can’t get into specifics but there is definitely a bit of drama this season. Rumors are rumors and whether there’s truth to them or not, I cannot say. I actually haven’t even got a chance to look at any of them really on the internet because I just got back, but yeah, I went through a lot. There’s a lot of emotion, good and bad. I think it will be really interesting to watch and see how it unfolds.

Q: How did your dramatic decision to move to California after college affect your life?

AF: Yeah, I was going to school and while I was actually finishing up my last two years of college, I was actually in a long distance relationship with a guy who was in a Ph. D. program at Stanford so after two years of long distance, we decided that when I graduated, I would just move out there and we’d give it a shot. I made that move for love and it didn’t end up working out, but ending up in California was probably the best thing that ever happened to me because I feel like being in the Bay area is the perfect place to sort of surround myself with other really educated people who could challenge me. I’m really happy I made that move.

Q: How important were your first impressions of the guys on the show?

AF: You know, actually I was going in thinking that the first impressions were not going to really mean anything to me honestly, because I’ve always been the type of girl that when I go for a guy, it’s because he’s told me a story that’s really interesting or made me laugh by telling a joke. Maybe not a joke but a little bit of a conversation before I decide whether or not I’m interested in him. I was so nervous that first night that I don’t even know that I remembered a lot of the first impressions, never mind them weighing that much. So it doesn’t weigh that heavily.

Q: What’s the timeline of taking your job, getting over Jake and deciding to come back for The Bachelorette?

AF: Well, I actually got the phone call from my company and actually talked to them about whether or not I could stay or leave hours before the rose ceremony. Then I made the choice to leave the show. I went right back to work that following Monday when I got home. I believe I was approached, it was after I was already off the show as it aired. So it was a while later and it honestly was never something that I ever imagined I’d be asked to do. I was really shocked when I was asked and nervous when I was first asked to do it.

Q: Had you spoken to former Bachelorettes or even Jake about being the one handing out roses?

AF: I haven’t spoken to Jake at all actually, not even to this day. I actually think there is a good chance that I may be running into him and his fiancé, Vienna, soon so I hope to talk to him about my journey a little bit. I did talk to Jillian Harris beforehand. She really wanted this to be my experience and she just wanted to wish me good luck and her advice was basically to make sure I had a lot of travel hairspray on hand while we were on the road. She just wanted to just wish me luck and she was really sweet about saying, “I’m so glad you’re the next Bachelorette.” That felt really good to hear from her. I haven’t actually met her in person but I hope to in the future.

Q: Why do you think all the guys were so against Justin in the house in the first episode?

AF: I was shocked actually when that happened in the first episode. For me, that first night Justin seemed like a really sweet guy and I didn’t really know what to take from that. I think for me, I was shocked about the ballot box. I didn’t really know what to make of it but at the end of the day, I remember thinking from my season, I thought I had a better idea of what girls were maybe there for the right and wrong reasons the first night than maybe Jake did. So I definitely didn’t want to let the ballot box be the be all end all but I kept it in the back of my mind.

Q: Will we see the hardcore Ali on The Bachelorette?

AF: Oh man. Yeah. Last season, and I’ll say again, I cannot apologize enough for my behavior then. I lost my cool and I am glad that I was able to see that on the show because I learned a lot about myself and how I should treat others. No, I don’t think that I will be treating others badly this season but will you see a little bit of the bold side of me coming out? If someone maybe does something that I don’t think is so great, I’ll let them know. For one thing, I can say so far, I haven’t seen all the episodes, but I’m very proud of the way I handled situations this season. I think I would do it all the same way if I had to.

Q: Now that you’re The Bachelorette, do you think you made the right decision leaving the show with Jake?

AF: You know, I do think that at the time, I think it was the right decision in the sense that I don’t think that I’m supposed to be with Jake. I think he found someone and he’s with Vienna and they’re happy and I’m happy for them. But, do I think that choosing a job over someone who is potentially the love of your life, do I think that’s the wrong choice? I do. So it’s hard to answer because if I stayed, would I have ended up with Jake? I don’t think so. I think he would have ended up with Vienna anyway. So in that sense I think it’s the right choice but I’m so glad that now I know that I will never, ever make that choice again and I can promise you that I won’t.

Q: Have you had a chance to visit Canada and would you consider moving if you chose one of the Canadian guys?

AF: I have not actually been to Canada and I’d love to. My dad was actually born in Montreal so I should visit. For love, absolutely. I would move to another country, no question. Not only did I realize from last season that I would never choose a job over family and love, but I realized I would never let any decision be swayed over my decision to put love first. Nothing can stop that so I would absolutely move. Who knows? I could be a Canadian resident soon.

Q: What kind of engagement ring would you like, what kind of wedding dress and what kind of party?

AF: Oh my gosh, I have never in my life thought about what my wedding would be like. Engagement ring, gosh, if I had to pick a style, my uncle’s actually a jeweler and he’s always told me Asscher cut is pretty nice, so I guess if I had to pick something that’s probably what I would go for. Wedding dress, I would want something really simple. I want my hair to be really natural. I plan on wearing Converse under my wedding dress so it’s got to be long enough to hide those. I don’t like to be all glammed up. I like to be natural so I think I’d have a really natural look.

Q: Were you happy with the 25 guys they picked for you?

AF: I’m so happy with the 25 guys that I got this season. One thing I said to the producers coming in is I do not want the male model who can’t put two sentences together. I want smart, interesting guys that are going to just keep me excited about the relationship and who they are and what they bring to the table. That’s exactly what I got. I am so happy with all of them and I want to thank I guess each and every one of them for coming and being there. It made the experience really great for me.

Q: What were you looking for in a husband?

AF: I really wanted someone that was interesting to me. Just someone who, when they would talk, I would just be on the edge of my seat because I couldn’t wait to hear what they had to say next. Someone who’s funny and intelligent but as the show went on, I think I actually learned that qualities aren’t necessarily the things, like funny, interesting… I think what makes a relationship, I learned, is just how that person treats you and makes you feel. I don’t think you can put a specific quality on that in terms of who they are. I think that’s what I learned. What I went in thinking I needed was not exactly what I found out that I necessarily needed.

Q: Does this give you insight into what Jake was going through?

AF: Absolutely. Gosh, I just remember thinking when I was on The Bachelor, “Gosh, why would Jake be insecure about anything? He has all these girls here vying for his attention. He has nothing to be concerned about.” Then being the Bachelorette, oh my gosh, I get it. So people can say to me all day “I’m falling for you” and “You’re beautiful” and all these words. To me, I always found myself questioning that. Is this person being sincere? Do they really care for me? One thing that was really important to me to make clear to all the guys as we were going through this was I’m offering you a rose, but you’re accepting it back. Don’t accept it if you don’t want it. That was really important to me that the guys knew this was serious and not just a game. I hope they got that but I have so much more respect for Jake and Jillian, Jason, everyone who’s been through this because it’s really difficult. It’s by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I would do it again but it was very, very difficult.

Q: Were there things Jake did that you’ll avoid doing?

AF: I totally respect Jake and all the decisions he made. I think the only thing that was really different for me was Jake had a really big heart and he had felt that he had fallen in love with more than one person. For me, I don’t feel like my heart is capable of loving more than one person. So going in, I sort of made a promise to myself that I really just wanted to make sure that I didn’t share those type of feelings unless I’m sharing them with one person and I was completely positive that that was the person for me.

Q: Did you really have to leave your job and apartment to go back on The Bachelorette?

AF: I did leave my job at Facebook. At this point, I don’t have plans to go back. I mean, I have hopes to go back in the future but it would probably be a while before that would happen so it’s pretty final at this point which is sad because I really loved it. I think at some point, I would either be able to hopefully go back there or I actually have some ideas of my own company that I’d like to possibly start so we’ll have to see what happens with that. With my apartment, yeah. I completely moved out. All of my stuff is in storage right now. I’m living with my two best friends, a married couple and they’re taking very good care of me while this whole season airs. Then I can find my final location that I’ll be settling down in.


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