The Bachelor's Emily Defends Courtney, Sort Of

A common theme in this Bachelor season's post-elimination interviews has been a general lack of passion over Ben Flajnik, who everyone is beginning to realize is no real prize.

Emily O'Brien, the brainy blonde who may have been too smart for our Ben -- who keeps getting manipulated by Courtney, week after week -- is no exception. Though she did have some nice things to say about the man who sent her packing in Belize, friends say she dodged a bullet by not becoming his fiancee. And not just any bullet: "I've heard people say a locomotive with a nuclear bomb strapped to it."

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Here are the highlights from Emily's conference call with reporters this week:

On the skinny-dipping incident

"I don't have a problem with it. I think it sounded like fun. I understand the motivation of wanting to do that with a guy that you like, [but] I still think you should have respect for other people there. It was very early [in the process]. I think if you make that choice, and you decide to be intimate with someone in the ocean in Puerto Rico, you've got that on your mind now instead of making connections with everyone.  I don't think it's a level playing field after that."

On the tabloid attacks on Courtney

I've been surprised by it, because as much as Courtney might not be anyone's cup of tea, she's still a human being, and it's gotta be difficult for her to hear what people are saying. I was a little bit surprised by how well he connected with Courtney on their first date in Sonoma. I was watching it with my mouth open and thinking, no wonder he was so closed off to me.  I thought she was very charming and they had a  connection. Everything sort of fell into place for me when I saw that episode."

On being too smart for Ben

"I think Ben and I connected really well on an intellectual level. I think he also saw a goofy, fun side of me. He certainly didn't seem intimidated, but it's a possibility."

On why Ben sent her home

It's hard toknow what Ben was thinking. I think what it really came down to was a comparison of  chemistry between him and each of us. I really think that Ben and I connected really well on a friend level. I think he had a more romantic chemistry with some of the other girls, especially Courtney."

On whether she was in love with Ben

"I'm, you know, fairly competitive. I think most girls on the show have some element of competitiveness to their personalities and they – I think that it's really hard to disentangle that when you're there, when you're in the moment. I think that I was probably on the right track to fall in love with Ben. I definitely was not in love with him when I left."

On whether she dodged a bullet by not ending up with Ben

"I've had some people say that I've dodged a bullet. I've had others say that I dodged a locomotive with a nuclear bomb strapped to it. I think for sure we were not meant to be together, and he was not the right guy for me."