The curse of the First Impression Rose lives on! This season, the curse proved true for Seattle-area single dad Doug Clerget, who could never quite live up to that great impression he made on Bachelorette Emily Maynard the very first night.

Despite misgivings that he was “hiding” something and too uncomfortable to go in for a kiss, Emily kept the sweet dad around until her top six. But an awkward three-on-one date was made even more awkward when Doug finally went in for that first kiss … in the middle of Emily breaking up with him. Then, to add embarrassment to injury, in the car on his way to the airport, Doug cried and said his “girl radar” was broken. Ouch. 

Doug talked to the media about his up-and-down journey on The Bachelorette yesterday. Here are the highlights from that call:

Why he mistakenly kissed Emily when she was in the middle of sending him home:

I thought she was saying, “Hey Doug, you gotta be a little more aggressive in terms of showing me you’re interested in me,” and I think Emily was such a sweetheart throughout the whole thing. And just because I’m a single dad, I tend to take things a little more slowly. And so, I really just wanted to get to know Emily on a personal level and build a good friendship there. So she was talking to me and I thought the conversation was heading towards, “Come on, give me a kiss!” And then I really wasn’t expecting to be sent home. I was hoping to get a hometown date, and so, I was kind of bummed out!

On his broken “girl radar”:
Thank you for bringing that up as if it wasn’t painful enough to watch again. Oh my God! (Laughs) My friends will not leave me alone about that. I know that the comment about my “girl radar” being totally broken was kind of more of a comment in general, just in the fact that Emily’s sitting there saying, “I’ve been waiting for you to kind of show me that you’re interested in me.” And I was thinking to myself, “I have been interested. I’ve been here away from my son and trying to spend as much time as I can.” And kind of my whole life, any time I’ve dated, it’s because a girl is finally like, “Doug, I’m interested in you. We should do something.” I for some reason, I don’t know why, can just never tell if a girl is interested in me or not. […] And so, it was pretty much typical and I was bummed out because in the past, that’s kind of worked out for me. And I’ve been like, “Yeah, totally, I just didn’t want to — who wants to kiss a girl that doesn’t want you to kiss them?” And you can see, so I decided to take a risk in that situation, and that didn’t work out well for me at all.

On his comment that if he and Emily ended up together after the show, they would just be “starting out”:
You’re having these experiences all around the world, which are completely amazing experiences, but you’re not at home doing normal day-to-day things. […] And so, the comment about “starting out” was in reference to starting to build a normal life. When you date somebody, you take two separate lives — especially when you have kids involved — and then you try to put those lives together. […] I was just trying to say that it would be an experience, coming home after the cameras were turned off and starting the day-to-day life of dating. As I understand it, whoever Emily ends up with, they don’t get to see each other for quite awhile after taping, between taping and the last show. So you’ve got some time in there, so I definitely didn’t mean it to be a red flag. I was just trying to be very upfront about kind of where I saw things.

On why we saw him cry so much:
As a single dad, a full-time single dad, it’d be nice to find some companionship. So that was, just in general, that would be nice. And then, there was a lot of missing my son. It was a long experience and so I was definitely missing my son.My grandfather — who was an amazing man and adopted my sister and I when we were children — had passed away right before I went on the show. And so, I had to give his eulogy, get my son down to California and I just hadn’t had a chance to grieve at all. So, there was a lot of thinking about him and his life — that came up in my emotions. So, I don’t think I’ve cried since ’83, but I cried the last two weeks on the show. Again, my friends are giving me an immense amount of grief over that. He had a long, wonderful life. So that was a good thing!

Who he thinks is right for Emily:
Of the guys that are left: Sean I love, Arie I love, Jef is one of the most awesome guys I know. Chris, we had a bump in the road which took me by surprise. Gosh, it’s a tough call between Arie, Jef, and Sean but I think because of our backgrounds, Sean and I were really close so probably Sean.

On Arie’s dating past with a Bachelor producer:
Obviously Arie doesn’t need my advice since he’s doing a lot better than me! I think Emily was good to forgive him. Arie is a good guy and his dating Cassie was almost ten years ago. That’s a long time ago. It was a tough place for Arie and Cassie to be in. I don’t think anyone was trying to be malicious. I think everything was okay.

(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.