Bachelorette contestant Kirk DeWindt first won over Ali with his smooth acting skills during their steamy music video scene, and then he pulled on her heartstrings with the story of a mysterious mold infection that almost killed him. After traveling around the world with Ali and her other guys, it took a visit to Kirk's hometown of Greenbay, Wis., for Ali to realize that while her feelings for Kirk were strong, he wasn't the one she was looking for.
Were you nervous about how Ali would react to your dad's basement?
Kirk spoke to the media this morning about his whirlwind Bachelorette experience, his thoughts on Ali and the remaining three men vying for her love. Here's what he had to say:
I was a little nervous to see her reaction, but to me it's normal because I grew up around it. I gave her fair warning; she knew what she was getting into. You put a cute city girl in a basement with dead animals, you're probably going to get a reaction.
How did you think your father was portrayed?
I think my dad was portrayed as my dad. He's a man of integrity and character and he's a good guy, and I think he came off that way. ... I can't say a bad thing about how my family came across.
What did you learn and how might you be open now to new relationships?
I was sick for quite a while, so I was focused on myself. I didn't have a whole lot to give because I was focused on my health. As I started feeling better, I was ready to take that step forward. Feeling better and
developing a real relationship with Ali was the first time I had done so
since I've been sick.
What are you looking for in a woman?
Oh man, how long is the sheet of paper? I'm looking for someone who has ambition, and goals, and is unassuming ... athletic and takes care of themselves.
Was that the first time your dad has taken a girl down to the taxidermy basement?
I can tell you that I never had a girl that I brought home go down in the basement alone with him. Obviously it would have been with me there. I've only brought two girls to meet my dad; Ali has been the third. I have shown them the basement, but it's been more in an informal manner.
Knowing what you know now, would you rather have been cut earlier before your family got involved?
My initial thought after I got cut was I wished I had gotten
cut fifth. But now that I'm more removed from it, my family looks at it as an experience themselves. Everybody's OK with it, we're all glad it happened. I don't
think I would have had it any other way. I think now that I have had
some time I don't regret making it that far.
Do you think Ali couldn't see herself in Green Bay since she's more of a city girl?
She actually expressed to me previously that she didn't see herself
living in that part of the country. So I already knew that up to that
point. I also heard her say that she would go anywhere for love and it's more about who you're with than anything. I just think our relationship wasn't as strong as the other guys
that are left. If she truthfully had strong enough feelings for me I
don't think it would have mattered where I lived. But I don't think [Green Bay] would be her first choice.
How do you feel now that this whole process is over, are your feelings still as strong for Ali?
It's really consuming while you're there. It heightens how quickly your feelings develop, but once I got back to work and seeing my friends and family, it was a quicker adjustment than I had previously thought. I've had ample time to move on.
Did you expect your elimination?
I actually thought the hometown date went really well. As far as how she interacted with my family, I thought that went really well and we got closer, definitely. I was less worried about this rose ceremony than the previous one. I thought Ali and I were in a good place.
Who would be your pick for Ali?
Frank, Roberto and Chris are all really good guys, I can't say a bad thing about any of them. Knowing the guys, I just feel like, I don't even know if I can answer that. In the
back of my mind I always thought Frank was going to be the guy, if it
What did you see in terms of a connection with Frank? Why do you think Ali had more of a connection with him?
I think it stems from Frank having the first date. He was quite confident with his connection with Ali from the beginning. He talked about how
great his date was and this and that and how much he liked her right
away, and I think it probably started there. You can see how we all
interact, and just how Ali was around him in group settings you could
tell it was there. Frank is the definition of quirky and he's a bit neurotic in a great way, and that seems to be the type of person Ali was looking for.
She was looking for a quirky, neurotic guy?
I think so! I don't think she was looking for the safe guy. Chris and Roberto are more the safe guy.How do you feel about the Frank situation since he gets to stay longer
First of all, Frank is one of my better best friends in the house, so I
get along with Frank really well. He came on the show having feelings
for somebody else, and I came on the show not having feelings for anyone
else. It's a little frustrating, but I understand Frank was probably
doing what was best for himself, so I have a hard time holding it against
him, but it would've been nice to go to Tahiti. Did Frank ever bring up his ex-girlfriend?
Obviously we talk a lot off camera, because there is a lot of down-time
when other people are on dates. Frank had mentioned an ex-girlfriend, but
I didn't know to what extent his feelings were. But I was aware of her,
just not aware of the details.
Was there any point that you felt like Ali wasn't returning the feelings?
Yes, I would say that started in Portugal on our date. It didn't go very
well at all. Especially during the day, it was like she was on another
planet. Her mind was elsewhere. So I figured at that point, something shifted.
Do you have any regrets about doing the show?
I don't honestly. The only thing I wish I had done differently was I was a little more inhibited, I was a little more safe. My personality might be more out there than I was portrayed. I think I could have been a little more my quirky, outgoing self, but as far as doing the show, no I have no regrets.
Has it helped you on the dating front?
I'm single and I am now, I guess, exploring the dating world, but it's flattering. I get a good response when I'm out and about. People are great. I'm excited to get out there.
(Image courtesy of ABC)