Let's face it: A reality show is only as good as its bad girl. Imagine the first Joe Millionaire sans acid-tongued linguist Heidi. Or Paradise Hotel without Hulk Hogan's evil twin Toni. Or American Idol minus judge dreadful Paula Abdul. (Well, two outta three ain't bad.) The latest inductee into reality television's Hall of Shame on You, Girlfriend: Leeann from ABC's The Bachelor. Of course, like all the Must-See meanies who have come before her, the 25-year-old Georgia school teacher who was rejected by Bob Guiney on last week's episode insists she's not really diabolical, she was just edited that way on the show. So, what were we at TV Guide Online to do but give the Southern hellraiser the opportunity to tell her side of the story. And just in case Jenny was wondering, we know she was talking to us because she said, "TV Guide Online!"
TV Guide Online: How are people responding to you on the street?
Leeann: Surprisingly, everyone has been wonderful. Everywhere I go people come up to me, and they are so nice to me. They always say, "You're my favorite. I love the fact that you're confident. I love the fact that you didn't cry."
TVGO: But you did cry. You broke down in front of the girls when no one would talk to you. Do you regret letting the whole thing get to you like that?
Leeann: I'm not going to lie, it's very hard to watch. When I see myself crying on television, I think, "Oh, Leeann, why did you do that?" But it was how I was feeling at the time.
TVGO: Can you understand why your housemates dubbed you Sybil? One second you were saying you didn't care if anyone was your friend, and the next you were crying because no one likes you.
Leeann: I guess I can see where in the beginning I was like, "I don't care what they think about me." And then as time went on I was so lonely in the house, and I did break down. But I don't think that has anything to do with split personalities. People all the time say stuff and then go back on it. It's human to have different emotions at different times. I'm not perfect. I definitely don't think I have multiple personalities. (Laughs.) Generally, I'm a very well-liked person.
TVGO: How did you feel when you watched last week's episode and saw Meredith mocking you behind your back?
Leeann: You would think that that would hurt my feelings, but... I was just so glad that finally, for once I wasn't being portrayed as the mean one. I was like, "Woo-hoo, they're on to someone else now!" I thought it made Meredith look bad.
TVGO: Have you spoken to her since the show wrapped?
Leeann: No. We're not allowed to talk to anyone until the reunion show. I don't dislike Meredith in any way. I don't really dislike any of the girls. I know the show portrayed it like we didn't get along, but... how do people get along in that situation? When you're all dating the same guy and you're trapped in a house together. Sometimes you say things that you regret.
TVGO: What did you think of ABC relentlessly teasing your "If I was talking to you I would have said 'Jenny'" tirade in their on-air promos?
Leeann: When they showed the previews at the end of the first episode, I was like, "Oooh, I'm going to be the bad girl this time." Drama sells.
TVGO: But clearly you and Jenny didn't get along.
Leeann: Actually, Jenny and I talked about [that incident afterwards] and they never showed that. She was so very apologetic to me because she had popped off to me first. [What you saw] was my response. They didn't show what Jenny said. And if you watch that episode it doesn't make sense, because they don't show the argument from the beginning. But I'm definitely the kind of person that speaks her mind. You never have to wonder where you stand with me.
TVGO: You held it together pretty well when Bob didn't give you a rose. You were one of the few girls who didn't look like she was about to jump off a cliff. Did you lose it when the cameras were shut off?
Leeann: No, I didn't. The reason I wasn't more emotional was because I was very ready to leave at that point. It was time for me to go. I wasn't happy. I actually considered leaving the show and talked to the producers twice because I knew I just wasn't fitting in with the girls.
TVGO: Do you feel Bob broke his promise by not giving you a rose? It seemed like you were under the impression that if he gave you a rose two weeks ago, it meant he was going to keep you until the end.
Leeann: That's definitely the way I took it... but it wasn't like a contract. His feelings could have changed. If he didn't see me as one of the final girls the following week then he should have let me go. This is his life. So, I'm not mad.
TVGO: Bob's coming off as a bit of a sleaze, don't you think? He's making out with everyone. Is this the same Bob you fell for watching The Bachelorette?
Leeann: Well, I see a different Bob on TV than when I was out there filming it. What you just said I've heard from so many girls. "I liked him on The Bachelorette, but I don't like him now. How could you ever like this guy? He's so sleazy!" But he's not. He's really not sleazy. And I have no reason in the world to defend him. There was a lot of kissing, but that's what we were there for. We were there to get to know this guy. I wasn't there to go to a tea party and relax.
TVGO: Still, this edition in particular isn't portraying single women in a very flattering light. There's more crying and desperation than ever. Why do you think that is?
Leeann: Well, in [our] defense, this was the first Bachelor where we knew who he was beforehand. They actually recast the show after Bob was announced as the Bachelor in order to find 25 girls who were already interested in him; so that accounts for some of it. And you really can't say what you would or wouldn't do until you're there. It's just a very hard situation to be in. But the whole concept of The Bachelor is very degrading toward women. We're supposed to be standing there quivering, waiting for a rose, like back in the days where there were dowries and my dad is giving some guy cattle to be with me.
TVGO: Who would you like to see Bob end up with?
Leeann: I would put my money on Kelly or Mary for the final two.
TVGO: If they approached you to be the next Bachelorette, what would you say?
Leeann: I would say no. No more reality TV for me. Plus, I actually have a boyfriend. He's a doctor and we've been together for three months. So, I'm no longer a Bachelorette.