Poor Hunter. The sweetly awkward Texas boy had the dubious honor of being the first bachelor to be rejected on a one-on-one date with Ali this season. But could it be that he just didn't have enough time to win her over?
The other bachelors (and producers) seemed to place blame on this season's villain, Justin, for sneaking up to Ali's mansion and cutting into Hunter's valuable date time. But the couple had too many awkward silences and stilted conversations to overcome in the casual BBQ date at Ali's place, and Hunter was sent home.
He spoke to reporters Thursday from San Antonio, Texas.
Do you think if you'd had a more exciting date that would've bonded you more with Ali?
I've thought that before, I mean definitely there wasn't the exciting adventure that we were able to share together. The one-on-one date we had was more like a "real" date you would have in real life. It was a lot more slow-paced sort of date, but at the end of the day I don't think either of us had chemistry there.
What did you think of Justin and the stunt he pulled with Ali?
I was pretty shocked when I read that on the ABC press release last week that he went over there. I had no idea he did that. I remember him coming back and asking him where he was all that time and he said he was on the couch. We were roommates. I was probably one of the only ones who didn't give him a hard time about being an entertainment wrestler. So for him to do that, I felt a little betrayed. Karma will come back and bite him.
Why is Justin so despised in the house? Is there something we're not seeing?
Once the cameras were around, his whole personality did change. When the cameras came around, it's almost like he got more cheesy. We'd be sitting around in the room and then the cameras would come in and he'd say, "I'm looking at the same mountains as Ali is right now." He cheese-balled it up for the cameras. He was kind of being more and more fake. When he's really putting on this persona, he raises his eyebrows, and/or he gets this half-cracked smile. So it's like I know he's lying when he's doing one of those things.
It's in the press now that Justin had two girlfriends while on the show. Did you hear anything about that in the house?
Justin never brought anything up about having a girlfriend. He was talking more about how popular he was going to be in Canada for his wrestling career. I don't think his girlfriend was even on his mind.
What were you hoping Ali would see in you on your date?
I was hoping I would open up more. I was very aware of the cameras. I was shutting down in front of the cameras and was not able to be myself.
What do you think about people running to Ali and ratting each other out?
Well, Jonathan is a character for sure. He was one of my roommates too so I got to know him, and he really did get a lot of hell from the other guys. What you don't see is that he stuck up for himself quite well. He's a quick-witted kid and he had a good comeback for everything, so it never really died off. He felt the need to go to Ali and ratted out Craig M. Do I think it was right? Not really, but he felt it was the right thing to do.
What do you think of Roberto and Frank?
I love Roberto. I think he was one of the top three guys I really got close with. The thing with Frank was, he had the first one-on-one date, and he wasn't there to hang around with the guys so I didn't feel like I got to know Frank as well as the other guys. But from what I saw he seemed like a great guy as well.
What have you been doing since you got back?
With relationships and dating-wise, I haven't jumped in. I've been wearing my hat down low since I got back, but I went out last night and got recognized a few times. So I hope that opens some doors for me.
When you left, did you feel like there could have been a romantic connection if more time had gone by, or were you happy to leave?
It was mixed emotions. When I left I was definitely happy to get back home. I was pumped to be there but when it was done I was relieved as well. If I had more time possibly I would have been more myself in front of the cameras, so I don't know. I think we both realized towards the end that there wasn't anything there.
What are you like without the cameras around?
I'm always very talkative. I've got hundreds of text messages from my friends saying "When did you get so quiet?" I thought I'd ignore the cameras. You never know what's going to happen until you actually do it. I'm usually a heck of a lot more comfortable and talk a lot more on dates.
Can you sum up the experience?
I met great guys, I loved all the producers, I really befriended them as much as the guys in the house. The experience wasn't bad. It's just Ali was there to find love, and she didn't find it with me. I was disappointed with myself that I wasn't able to open up fully.
Who do you think is the best choice for Ali?
Roberto, Kirk was definitely a great guy, Chris was an awesome guy as well. All the real guys that wouldn't change the way they acted when the cameras were around are the people who have the best chance to be with Ali.
What's your take on a report that Ali doesn't pick anyone at the end?
If she didn't find the person she saw herself with for the rest of her life, I would see her not picking anyone. I don't think she would pick someone at the end just to pick somebody.
Are you relieved this is all behind you?
I'm relieved that next Monday I will not be shown. It was tough watching yourself on television. But I'm glad I did it and I'm looking forward to watching the rest of the season.
Is there a guy on your season you would nominate for the next Bachelor?
Probably Chris L., Roberto, Kirk would be my top three. They were all good guys and real people.