I ought to be honest now, since I was so blatantly honest then: I was probably Madison’s biggest critic when she rolled onto the Bachelor lot with a carefully constructed air of mystery and a pair of vampire fangs. It just seemed too intentionally dishonest and bizarre–even for this show.

But in the three weeks she appeared on The Bachelor, Madison transformed–and no, I don’t mean into a bat. Her facade came down, and–perhaps proving that this show can still surprise us in its 20th season, if you want to think of it that way–Madison became one of the most sincere and likable bachelorettes in the batch. And then, just as quickly, she left, saying the whole thing wasn’t for her. It goes to show an old adage: First impressions aren’t always accurate. And it tacks on a new caveat: Even less so when those impressions are cut up and edited for TV.

But what about Madison’s impressions of the other women, and of Brad? Why did she decide to walk out, and who does she hope takes home the final rose? She spoke candidly with the press this morning in a conference call. Here’s what she had to say:

On how Emily’s story affected her decision to leave the show:

By the nature of the show, I did get a little bit closer to Emily, and her story just sort of bowled me over a little bit. And then I felt like, all of a sudden, I was competing for something that I wasn’t necessarily sure that I needed.

What she makes of the girls who think Brad is going to be their husband:

It blows my mind. It seems like some girls are really in it to win it, and it should be The Bachelor, you should be falling in love. There should be no “winning” The Bachelor. It’s jaw-dropping for me, actually. I don’t understand it at all. I think the nature of the show, it’s competitive, because you’re taken away from everything else and that is the main focus, so yeah. Girls start strategizing, but then when you pull yourself back you think, “What am I doing? I don’t even know this guy!”

On whether she regrets going on or leaving the show:

Not at all. The only thing I wish is that it had been a little bit longer that I was there. That’s probably what I regret the most, is that I didn’t get to experience it as fully as I had wanted. But other than that I wouldn’t change a thing about it. It was such an amazing experience, and I left when I felt I needed to.

About Brad’s positive reaction to her fangs:

I get mixed reviews, and some people don’t even notice they’re there. Some people do and are afraid to ask, and some people run for the hills. So yeah it was definitely a vote of confidence that he was able to handle that, for sure.

On how her “whole vampire thing” started:

Very off the cuff. I’d always had a little vampire thing, been into the darker side of thing. Loved the mystery and the sexiness of the whole idea, and lo and behold I happened to run into the leader of the underground vampire world. Actually, a lot of people are mistaken in thinking that I am a member. I am not a member, I just happen to know the leader. If there is such a thing. We became friends, and he had the fangs. And I had a pair made, and I wore them for Halloween once, and had such a blast that I brought them out on numerous occassions afterward.

On whether it’s difficult to watch the competition on TV:

It’s difficult to make judgments because there’s editing and all those things, so you don’t really know. But it’s definitely hard. And you see girls coming home from dates and they have stars in their eyes, and all of a sudden you’re like, “OK! It’s my turn!” It’s difficult. It’s difficult to see someone who’s there for the competition. You just have to hope that it’s editing and that they’re not there for the wrong reasons.

On who, besides Emily, she could see ending up with Brad:

I think everybody has noticed the pure chemistry with him and Chantal. I’m not sure she’s cut out for that [Texas housewife] role either, but the fireworks Michelle talks about, you see that with Chantal. I definitely think that she’s a frontrunner. And I think Ashley H., they had a cute connection. She’s pretty spunky. They don’t show that much, but she’s a crazy, spunky girl, so I don’t know that they’d be a great match, so I’m still going to have to go with Emily and Chantal.

On why she showed so many different personalities during her time on the show:

I went in it wanting to fall in love and wanting to have fun, and a lightness. I think a lot of girls go in with such a serious tone to it, and to me it should be falling in love. You should be able to have fun and joke around, and do all of those things. That’s definitely how I went in, and that is absolutely a side of me, you know, and certainly there’s a dark, sexy side too, if you will. And the fun, joking side. Underneath all of that, I certainly am a lot more softhearted. When I found out that it probably was not going to be my fairy tale love story, yeah, the other side of me came out.

On how her relationship with Emily grew throughout the show:

At first I had no idea who she was. Of course she comes off very sweet, like the little Barbie, and she’s easy to fall in love with, and she looks like tough competition so everybody judges her that way. And I think that on the show there were a lot of judgments made before because Michelle had told Brad about her baby, and she [Emily] hadn’t. Her story hadn’t come out in the beginning, so none of the girls knew, and there was questioning about why a girl so young would have a baby, and what’s her story. I think a lot of it was just such a shock to hear the truth behind it when everyone had made such false, assuming judgments beforehand about maybe her past and all of that. Probably everyone had assumed the wrong thing. When she came clean to us, it really hit home.

On why she walked out before finding out if she’d get a rose:

I didn’t want there to be any question of another girl getting a rose that was supposed to be mine. I would feel terrible if he goes to give me the rose, I say no, and so he gives it to someone else. That would have taken away from their experience getting the rose, and I didn’t want that to be the situation, so I thought I’d nip that in the bud by leaving.

On if she’s a Twilight fan, Team Edward vs. Team Jacob:

I’m Team Louis from Interview with the Vampire! Or Team Armand. That’s quintessential vampirism, if you will. Definitely still a Twilight fan. Though I like the books better than the movies. […] Of course I have to be a Team Edward fan. I’m a vampire.

On whether she thinks Brad is genuine:

People don’t give him nearly enough credit. All of a sudden you have 30 women vying for your attention and you’re trying to give each of them attention and all of yourself. We all were questioning the fact that it came off a little redundant, like the same conversations, but how do you not when you’re trying to get to know somebody? I think he has good intentions. He seems like he has prepared answers on some of the stuff, and some of the stuff it seems like he’s so down on himself on being a changed man. […] The whole “being a changed man, and he was broken before” and blah blah blah … but I do think he’s here to find love, and it seems like he’s taking it very seriously. Sometimes too seriously. He was very nervous and felt like everyone was judging him. It took him a while to loosen up.

On what she thinks of Michelle:

On the show we all called her Mama Michelle. Watching the way she’s portrayed on the show probably shocks everyone who was there. It certainly shocks me. There were certain sides of that that we all knew were going on, but no, she was very sweet with the girls sometimes. But she made it clear from the very beginning. We had a friendly conversation and she ended it with, “I don’t know what these girls are doing here. They’re all acting so friendly toward each other. I don’t want to be friends with you. I don’t want to be friends with anyone here. I want Brad, I want to win.” I commend the girl for being honest about her intentions. She was very cut and dry about what she wanted, and very competitive.

On whether she’d ever do Bachelor Pad:

I’m not sure I’m cut out for Bachelor Pad. I may scare the crap out of those people.

(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.