Shawntel Newton will forever be known as the cute chick who embalms the dead for a living, but after last Monday’s “suicide mission for love” on the “Bachelor,” she’ll also be remembered as the girl who survived the Mean Girls on Ben Flajnik’s season.
In a conference call with reporters this week, the 25-year-old funeral director from Chico, Calif., went into detail about what went on between her and Benji before the show started (apparently, Twitter is the new Match.com for him), what she thought of the girls’ vicious attack on her, and if she’s willing to confront them again.
When we saw you on the show, you had mentioned that you and Ben had previously spoken. Can you give us the deets on that? Yes. When he was on Ashley’s season, I made it really clear and apparent that I had a crush on him on Twitter. I would send posts out saying, “Oh, my gosh, I want to meet this guy, I really like him.” And he sent me a message on Twitter, and so we both were kind of private messaging each other back and forth.
We exchanged numbers…and so we just had some good conversations, getting to know each other a little bit and since he lives in San Francisco and I live in Chico, we were like, “Oh, we should meet up sometime and get to know each other even more.” And it just never really happened.
But we continued texting and talking and then once it kind of got towards the end, I didn’t hear from him as much, and I learned that he was becoming the next Bachelor.
Were you surprised at the way the girls reacted towards you? Oh, my gosh. I was beyond surprised. I mean I expected going in to that cocktail party to have some girls—well, probably to have all the girls upset with me or a little confused. I would be the same way.
But I did not expect to get the reaction that I did. It was really, really uncomfortable to sit there and have, like, 15 really pretty girls pick on me. I really felt like the kid on the playground that everyone picks on. And literally it was like out of [the] movie “Mean Girls,” and I just was not expecting that.
To my face I had a girl just say some really harsh things. I was very thrown off by Elyse. She was one that was kind of yelling…and this girl Jaclyn, too, she actually sat me down and told me, “Honestly, when you walked in the room, I said that I wanted to punch you in your face.”
And watching on Monday, hearing girls even comment on my body image, saying that I’m “uglier in person,” or that I’m a “b–ch,” it was like, whoa, this was not easy. I really was hurt by all the comments that were made. There is not really one thing that was said that was nice.
Do you think you’ll confront them at the reunion? Yes, at the Women Tell All. I’m hoping to have apologies to be honest from some of them because I even stated to the girls I put myself in their shoes. I said I understand I’m not going to make best friends, I understand that. But don’t be rude.
I honestly will probably walk out [of the Women Tell All] if I sit there and I just get picked on again because I’m not going to deal with that. A girl can only take so much, and I sat there for two-and-a-half hours defending myself and getting picked on. That’s not going to happen again.
Based on your off-camera convos, was there anything Ben had said that led you to believe you’d probably get a rose? There was a connection there, and I know that he felt the same way. Unfortunately with me going in on the third cocktail party he kind of played by the rules and he felt that it was just very unfair for the other girls, which to defend him, yes, it is unfair, but I’m sorry, this whole situation is unfair. What’s one more girl?
I said in my closing interview on the show you need to set that aside…being fair and everything. This is someone that you potentially are going to marry, and I don’t really think fair comes into play.
And I went in there thinking I’m going to get a rose because I knew that he felt something for me, too. When he said goodbye to me, he said “It’s not fair.” I thought, well, you know what, OK, you’re doing me a favor now.
Do you think the fairness issue was the real reason he didn’t give you the rose? At that moment when I was standing up in the rose ceremony and there was one rose left, I was like, “I’m going home.” I could just see it in his face. I could tell that he was uncomfortable. When Courtney, I think that’s her name, went up to him, she was up there for a while, and I knew she basically gave him an ultimatum saying…“If you keep Shawntel, like I’m out.” And I think a lot of those girls felt that way and so standing up there I was like, “You know what, I’m going home,” and when he escorted me out, that was all he really had to say aside from “I hope there’s no hard feelings, but it’s just not fair.”
And I think that was the biggest influence that Ben had was from Courtney, and a huge reason why I went home was because of her. I think he’s been falling in love with her. I think he is choosing her in the end as well, is how I feel, which is very surprising because the way she acted with me wasn’t the classiest.
Have you jumped back into the dating scene now? You know, I’m dating. Chico’s a small town, but this was a couple months ago and so I didn’t go on the show being like, oh my gosh, I’m in love with Ben or anything, so it wasn’t so hard to get over—the hardest part for me was with the girls.
So that took some time to just kind of get over, but I’m actually going back to school this coming semester to get into the Master’s program, and I’m at the funeral home and I love it there, and I love my little Chico community.
Things are really good, and it just was another risk that I was willing to take and I don’t regret doing it at all. Hopefully, it showed people to take risks even with love. I tried and unfortunately, it didn’t work out, and I got picked on in the middle of it.
Emily Maynard is said to be the next Bachelorette, and there are even rumors that Bentley might come back to pursue her. What’s your take on all this? I think if Bentley came back for Emily that would be even more drama than me coming back for Ben.
Emily’s a great person. She’d be great because now a lot of viewers want to see her fall in love and really like her. But…if Bentley came back, her handling certain situations I think would be very hard for her just because she’s so sweet.
But I definitely would watch. I think if she decides to do it, then good luck for her.
Catch an all new “Bachelor” Monday on ABC at 8/7c.