Helene and Gwen were polite enough to participate in a brief interview with me before the show. It was as follows: Q: Why do you think the producers of the show specifically chose you to be on “The Bachelor?”
Gwen: Maybe because we weren’t trying so hard. That’s what I think it was. We were just natural, everyday people. I don’t think they like it when people try too hard to act a certain way.
Helene: I think they tried to match us up with what Aaron wanted. Aaron wanted someone who was independent, had their own career, was closer to his age. So I think they picked us based upon what he was looking for.
Q: When you meet people in the future, such as job interviewers or guys, how soon, if they don’t already know, will you tell them about your time on the show?
Helene: If they don’t know, I probably wouldn’t tell them! (Laughs)
Gwen: I probably wouldn’t tell them either! They usually, you know, find out or they’ll be like, Where are you going and why? And why are you doing the interview? It comes up.
Helene: A lot of guys that I speak to never watched the show, or that’s what they say.
Gwen: Guys that do are usually either married or they’re watching with their girlfriends.
Q: Your new book, “Nobody’s Perfect,” explains that all men have baggage, offering tips of how women can accept their faults and make it work. Will there be any lessons learned from your time on “The Bachelor?”
Helene: Well, I guess I did. I incorporated dates with Aaron in there; of course, I had to change the names around so nobody knows exactly who it is. I think you can pick out a couple in there, but they’re definitely from all of our dating experiences.
Gwen: Before the show, during the show, and even after the show.
Q: On your Web site, Gwen, there’s talk of a confidentiality contract that includes the book, meaning there are certain topics you definitely can’t talk about? Gwen: No. (Laughs) There’s certain things that happened behind the scenes or how it’s produced – certain things that they don’t want you to talk about.
Q: In the beginning you had a different idea for the book, but couldn’t use it. What was it?
Gwen: Actually, we wanted to tell about all the stuff that we’re not supposed to talk about. But we found out that we couldn’t talk about it.
Q: What is an example of some of the advice you give in the book for girls?
Helene: A lot of it is just knowing yourself–what you can deal with and what you can’t deal with. We talk a lot about following your gut and intuition. If they have baggage that’s too heavy for you to carry, maybe it’s time to step away. It all depends on what you can tolerate, I guess.
Q: Was it hard for you, when you guys came off the show, not to tell your family what happened? Were you pressured for answers?
Helene: It was hard not telling my parents that I was engaged! I told them it would be better when everything was out and open in the end, that it would be a fun surprise. My friends were kind of shifty. They would read the message boards. My friends sort of figured it out; they followed a tip that could have even been a rumor, but it ended up being the truth.
Gwen: People asked all of the time! But they knew we couldn’t say anything. I was pretty good about it. They didn’t really pressure us. My friends would joke with us, but…
Q: Would you ever be on “The Bachelorette,” if given the chance?
Gwen: It has its pros and cons, but I think we would give it a shot. It depends. There are some things I wouldn’t want to go through again, but in a way it would be nice to have the tables turned.
Q: Do you think it’s possible to find true love on a reality show — to truly know someone and fall in love with them even though they’re dating other people at the same time?
Helene: I don’t know. I think you can fall in love anywhere, in any kind of situation, so I think it’s possible. I really do. I mean Trista and Ryan did, I think Andrew and Jen did, and I know Aaron and I had pretty intense feelings for one another. But that only takes you so far. There’s a lot of effort that goes into a relationship and sustaining it.
Gwen: It’s definitely — I think — definitely harder. You’ve got a lot more to deal with. Usually, if you’re engaged, you spent some time dating exclusively. Here, you go from the guy dating a bunch of different people to just you, and you’re engaged.