Bachelorette Ashley’s favorite word to use to describe bachelor Ames Brown, the 31-year-old portfolio manager from New York City, was “unique.” It’s a mysterious, superlative term, but then again, Ames is a mysterious and often superlative guy, and one whom I absolutely adored watching (and recapping) on the show this season. Ames isn’t just a unique guy; he’s a unique Bachelorette contestant — the type who manages to make great TV, and be completely likable, just by being himself. I enjoyed poking fun at Ames’ “different”-ness, but not once did I ever find him worthy of real ridicule. Rich guys can be nice guys, too, you know.

(Whether he can maintain that likability in the slimy trenches of Bachelor Pad? We’ll have to wait until August 8 to find out.)

The man who has run 39 marathons, visited to 70+ countries, picked out a favorite tree, studied Renaissance philosophy and described his entire Bachelorette experience as ‘poetic’ spoke to the media in a conference call this morning, and remained the same guy we saw on The Bachelorette: Well-spoken, sweet and honest, even admitting that he may have thrown up after Ashley dumped him. But he had nothing but adoring things to say about the girl who broke his heart. Read on for the highlights of Ames’ conference call:

On being a “different” sort of bachelor:
I guess I really didn’t know I was different, well, unfortunately until it was too late. I guess since I am different, whatever it is, it didn’t really work. But hopefully there is someone out there to whom my differences appeal. […] I believe it, I’m sure it’s true, I just — I don’t know. At least nominally I’m middle of the road. I’m not the youngest, I’m not the oldest. I’m not the strongest. I’m not the weakest. But “different.” I get “different” a lot.

On the pace of his relationship with Ashley:
I felt like we had a great date. I think one thing that I think I really picked up on watching the hometown dates is that my progress with Ashley certainly was a lot slower than the other guys, but I didn’t see that as a negative necessarily. In fact, in many ways I was trying to take our relationship a little bit slower, because I wanted it to last forever and I think a lot of times both watching it, this show, and in real life, we see a lot of relationships that move super quick and expire just as quickly.

On whether (and where) he fell in love with Ashley:
Definitely. Under the magnolia tree, I was totally feeling — there was no uncertainty that I was getting very close to her. I felt definitely like [there were] feelings of love under the magnolia tree or in the day leading up to the elevator ride or in the elevator of course. I guess I wasn’t in as much of a rush or unaware of the timeline involved and that got me in the end.

On whether he regrets going on the show:
No, I had a wonderful time dating her. She’s — it always sounds trite, but she is amazing. So I don’t regret it at all. It was very, very, very painful surrounding that and for the weeks following our breakup or whatever that’s called when that happens. That was painful but I would do it — it is better to have loved and lost, I would say, especially in this context.

On whether he expected to get eliminated at the last rose ceremony:
No. I am very, very embarrassed to say that was the only rose ceremony I went into and I thought “Oh my God, it’s almost a sure thing.” I felt so excited about us and our future and especially the next week because I thought “Oh my God we’ve been through so much, she met my family, everything went great, we had an amazing kiss and an amazing conversation in the most beautiful place I may have ever been before.” I think this next week is really going to make an engagement possible, so I thought of course we’re going to be around next week. And I was just like, “All right, let’s go.” It was awful.

On his concussion during the boxing date, and whether Ashley kept him around out of sympathy:
Yeah. I, to be honest, don’t remember a lot of that week because that was a pretty tough hit. But maybe she kept me around because that was so painful, but I don’t think so necessarily. I think at that point, and through the whole process, I think we were clicking pretty well.

On his disappointment after he was eliminated:
I think it would be hard to eclipse my little disappointment that evening. I definitely had a smile on my face and maybe that was some sort of emotional guard or — I can be pretty sure that it was [that] I didn’t want to make something that was already difficult for Ashley even more difficult. I just wanted to, I just really didn’t want to put her on the spot or anything, I just wanted to exit as gracefully as possible. And she has great things ahead of her, I just didn’t want to be any kind of [damper] on that. But it was an awful, awful week. I probably got out of the limousine where I gave my interview and threw up or something like that. It was unbelievable. I have to admit I was totally disconnected in terms of what I was feeling and I guess what was going on.

On how he feels toward Ashley now:
I mean, I wish her the best but — and it’s taken me a couple weeks — but I just really would like her to, I guess at this point the right tense would be have chosen the right guy. And I would love her to live happily ever after. She deserves it. She’s a great person and I’m sorry it didn’t work out between us but I think she’s the kind of person that will make a great wife — and a great dentist — and I’m just excited to see her have a happy future.

On how he got cast:
I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with the show, almost at all, beforehand. I was on a business trip in Central Asia, in one of the ‘stans, I think it was was Uzbekistan. I got an email on the way back from someone in the casting department that said it found me or something somehow — I don’t know how — and would I be interested in it? At that point I had been single for more than a year and I was like, why not? So I flew to Los Angeles and followed it up. I don’t know how they find people, really, but I’m very grateful that they did.

On his relationship status now:
Well. [Laughs] That’s a great question. I think I’ll get electrocuted if I answer that. I think we’re supposed to watch the Bachelor Pad. [Note: Find out which fellow Bachelor Pad contestant Reality Steve says Ames is dating!]

On whether he’d ever be The Bachelor:
I mean I would totally consider it. I guess the greatest thing that I learned about the show is that — I’m sure people will disagree with me — but it seemed very real to me, and if it wasn’t then the joke’s definitely on me. But to me it seemed very real and I would always welcome any opportunity to find the right person to spend the rest of my life with. But I actually honestly haven’t thought about things like that. But I would definitely think about it.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.