‘The Bachelorette’: The Other Side of Emily Maynard

Emily and Arie go for a date at Dollywood (Photo: ABC)

Don’t be fooled by Emily Maynard‘s sweet southern charm. She may be one of America’s sweethearts, but she also means business. At least when it comes to finding a man (and potential step-daddy).

Also, this season’s “Bachelorette” is not boring, y’all.

xfinityTV recently talked with Emily Maynard about her batch of bachelors, the critics who say her season is a snoozefest and what it takes to win her heart (warning: must love kids, Miss Piggy and Dolly Parton).

Notoriously a steamy show, this season’s “Bachelorette” isn’t just looking for a summer fling. She’s effectively “cleaned-up” the franchise this round by keeping it hot-tub free and swearing off the usual shenanigans. That has some applauding, and some yawning.

“I get that … it’s not the typical ‘Bachelorette’ season with hot tubs and all of that,” Emily told us, “but give it a chance. I think that viewers are going to be pleasantly surprised with what’s to come — and there’s no lack of drama this season, for sure.”

“It’s crazy, I still don’t know how I ended up here,” Emily told us of her second foray into the reality TV dating world. “But I’m proud of the way I handled it,” says the 26-year-old single mom, particularly in regard to the delicate issue of mass dating while parenting (her daughter Ricki is six).

Now that the former “Bachelor” winner has viewed a couple episodes of her turn as “The Bachelorette” (the third episode aired Monday night), is she regretting her decision to give the reality show another go?

“I’m having fun watching it and seeing how the guys are away from me,” Emily said. “Because it’s my first time seeing that,” she says, especially all the ones crying.

Watch Monday Night’s Episode of “The Bachelorette” Now:

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The blonde beauty from Charlotte, N.C., who was a bit of a pushover during her “Bachelor” season, is the heartbreaker this time, but even when she’s dumping dudes, she’s sweet as honey and handles herself — and some of the silliness she’s forced to face — respectably.

“Being ‘The Bachelorette’ is way more fun,” Emily says. “But it’s not fun to look at a great guy and say, ‘you’re not the one for me.’ I hate hurting anybody’s feelings so that is definitely the worst part.”

Of sifting through the studs and the duds, Emily sums up, “I feel pretty confident I did a good job this season.”

But weeding out the whack jobs and the players with zero papa potential had to be done — and this week, Ems enlisted the help of her girlfriends to grill the guys, who sweated out questions about fidelity, parenthood and loving Emily for more than just her pretty face.

Proving that she isn’t messing around, Emily cut loose three of her suitors this week, and two of them got the boot even before the rose ceremony, with Alessandro’s self-destructive kids are a “compromise” declaration taking the cake (and sealing his fate). [Note to men, from the “duh” department: if you want to impress a sexy single mother, don’t tell her you think her kid is baggage.]

Also eliminated: the strangely emotional Tony (“I Miss My Kid”) and Stevie (the shortest one there, btw). She also tactfully handled Kalon’s rude remark about her interrupting: “I love it when you talk but I wish you’d let me finish.” Although after gamely noting that she likes “tall, skinny and funny” over “tall, skinny and condescending,” Emily still gave him a rose.

Emily Answers a Few Other “Bachelorette” Burning Questions:

She Remains Coy About Whether or Not There’s a Happy Ending This Time:

“I’ve said it before: I was happy coming into this, and going through it, I learned so much about myself, things I like, things don’t like,” she says. “And I got to see some cool things I never would have had the opportunity to see and do, and that to me means it was a great experience in itself.”

When Does It Get Juicy?

“This week, we really start to see actual relationships start to form and love stories actually start, but also seeds are being planted for well, NOT love stories, and just some tension brewing between me and some of the guys. For sure.”

Yes, She Was Embarrassed by Some of Those Strange Bachelor Introductions:

“I know what it’s like to be so nervous – I have never been so nervous as I was when I got out of the limo to meet Brad [Womack] – so I appreciate the guys taking a chance to try and stand out. Some of them crossed the line a little bit and I can promise you, whatever everybody at home was thinking, I was thinking the same thing — I just didn’t have enough guts to say it out loud!”

Deleted Scene: The “Egg” Man Puts His Lil’ Chick to Bed:

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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