You’re in Chicago filming your show “1st Look” on NBC. Was staying in television always your plan?
When my ex-fiancé Roberto and I split I was ready to go back to Silicon Valley. I was planning on interviewing with Twitter, getting back into the startup-tech world and leaving all of this behind. I moved back to Silicon Valley in November with the plans of doing that then in January NBC called out of nowhere. A month later I was working on the show. That doesn’t happen in this world, normally you get the initial call and a year later you start filming.
When you first began “The Bachelor”, was it weird to let it all out on-camera?
The reason I wanted to work at Facebook prior to “The Bachelor” so badly — besides it being so up-and-coming — was because I really believed in their motto of making the world more open and connected. I’m a sharer, I share everything. You want to know my life story? Sit down, have a few drinks and I’ll tell you everything! My friends used to always joke that if they go out with me they’ll wake up to, “Ali Fedotowsky has tagged 439 pictures of you.” That’s how I’ve always been so for me, sharing my personal life on TV was kind of natural. When you’re filming you don’t realize that what you’re filming is about to be broadcast to millions of people around the world.
Did you ever find yourself having to watch what you say?
I never held back and that was probably my downfall. For instance, right now we have someone taking pictures of us. Do you feel weird? Yes, you kind of realize it’s a little weird. Now say this is happening 24 hours a day for 2.5 months, you forget and you don’t even care that they are there anymore. You’re actually not even allowed to talk to the people behind the camera, you only talk to the producers. Plus, you’re not allowed to have books, music or magazines.
Did that drive you nuts? What did you do to pass the time?
A lot of people drink. If you’re smart you don’t drink that much. I was in the middle. I remember there were times we’d start talking about something that wasn’t related to the bachelor, like where we worked, and the producer would come in and say, “Come on guys, wouldn’t you rather talk about how hot Jake is?” You’re always encouraged to talk about the bachelor. It almost felt like we were rewarded if we did. It’s a very strange situation.
It seems like it would be hard having to see or hear about your exes in the media after a breakup.
With Jake it wasn’t that way for me but with Roberto, yeah it’s tough. But think about it, now everyone goes through that on Facebook. It’s just a bigger scale when it’s on the cover of magazines. You can choose to avoid it, if you see a story you can tell your friends you don’t really want to hear that story. It’s harder for sure but I think in life in general if you split up with someone you know it’s for a reason so you just have to focus on you and know that it was for the best for both of you. There’s nothing you can really do about it so you can’t get that upset.
Are you enjoying being single or are you ready for a relationship again?
I’ve been single over a year now. A year and two months, but who’s counting? Exactly 14 months and three days… [Laughs] I’m ready at this point! I’ve found that out of all of the cities I’ve been to, I like the guys in Chicago the most. In L.A. they are all actors and pretty boys. In New York they’re a little more hardcore and rough around the edges, which is terrifying for me. Chicago is by far my favorite city. And I’m not just saying that because I’m talking to you guys! I lived in San Francisco for about five years before I went on “The Bachelor” and that was always my favorite city but now Chicago has bumped it down the list.
Do you still believe in finding love on a show like “The Bachelor”?
I don’t think it’s a probable way of meeting someone, no. The odds are against you. Nobody goes on the show — unless they are crazy — thinking they are going to find the love of their life. No woman or man thinks, “This will be my husband,” without even meeting them. Maybe you’re hopeful something will happen or hopeful for a great experience. My thing was that it was going to be a great story to tell when I’m old and have kids. So when you do actually have feelings you are surprised! Then you have to deal with all of these other women, it’s not easy.
Was it as hard as it seems seeing the bachelor with other girls?
You go in thinking you’re going to just have fun and then you have feelings for this guy and have to start dealing with all of these other girls and be okay with it. At the end of the day, it comes to confidence. The only thing I really cared about in my season was when Jake kept picking Vienna, a girl who I didn’t think was a high caliber woman and I didn’t think was someone I could relate to. I was like, if he’s picking her then if anything that makes me question him! So it wasn’t me doubting myself, it was me doubting him. If he is seeing something in her that he likes then there must be something in him I won’t like, do you see what I mean? Otherwise I had a lot of confidence in our relationship so I didn’t really let it get to me. At the end of the day you should be able to trust someone in any situation. If you meet the man you are going to spend the rest of your life with, what is a month of him kissing another girl? I know it sounds hard but what is that when you’re going to spend the rest of your life with him?
You were the one holding the reins on “The Bachelorette”. Were you ever tempted to just spill it to Roberto when the cameras were off that he was the one?
I didn’t. I’ve actually never told anyone this so this could be a juicy detail but Roberto was my first overnight date, then it was Chris and Frank was my last one. I knew it was down to Roberto or Frank. I was still torn a bit but I was pretty sure it was Roberto who was going to be the final one. I don’t know if you remember my season but Frank left me in Tahiti so I was pretty sure it was Roberto but there was still something inside of me that was thinking, “What if?” and I didn’t want to tell Roberto that. The funny thing is, I actually told Roberto on our first date back in L.A. that he was the one. I sent Chris home and didn’t let him propose to me because I didn’t want to put him through that and Frank left me to go back to a girlfriend he had in Chicago. If I had known Frank wasn’t going to be around I would have told Roberto in the suite that it was going to be him … I’ve never told anybody that! See give me a few drinks and I’ll tell you anything, you are smart ladies!
Speaking of that fantasy suite, Ed Swiderski from Season 5 told us a little about what goes down. Does it get as risqué as we’d like to imagine?
I will say this much, I only got physical with one person. I think it’s pretty obvious who that was! For me, it was a little bit different. I had one guy I was really into, one guy I knew was just a friend and then the third guy left me. So would I have gotten physical with more than one guy if he would have stuck around? Probably. Are you going to get engaged with someone not knowing what they are like in bed? No!
It seems like the bachelors, more so than the bachelorettes, are the ones who really try to take full advantage of those overnight dates.
Oh, there’s been some bachelors! Mike Fleiss, the creator of the show, said Bob Giuney had sex with like 16 girls or something on the show. I heard he went in the bathroom during dates to have sex with the girls!
Was there anyone from past seasons who you think didn’t come off as they are in real life?
Courtney Robertson. She was portrayed as a complete b-tch on camera but she’s very sweet. I really love Courtney. This is the thing I tell everyone; it’s such a whirlwind, you go crazy. You’re lacking sleep a lot of times, you’re drinking. You’re fighting over the same guy! You have no music, no TV, no [books or magazines] because if you’re reading, [in the producers' eyes] you’re not doing anything interesting. Ninety percent of women wouldn’t know how to control themselves in that situation. You go crazy!
What’s something you’ve found to be a final straw for you in a relationship?
It’s been different in every relationship but I think for me once a guy tells you, “You can’t hang out with him.” If you’re in a loving relationship you should be able to hang out with anyone at anytime and it should be okay because obviously if you’re in love you’re not going to be hanging out with someone that often and it’s going to be appropriate. I think that’s the biggest thing.
[Diner from across the room approaches table and whispers something to Ali before he leaves]
Did he just say, “You should have picked me”?
I can not even tell you how many times I’ve heard that line! This is the thing, I get that I went on a show that millions of people watched. I get that people feel that when they come up to me they are saying something to me for the first time. Yes, it does get a little annoying, I’m going to be completely honest but at the same time I try to show each person respect and smile and laugh. To them they don’t realize what they said has been said a thousand times.
Is it ever hard not to get caught up in all the hype that goes with being on a hit TV show?
The crazy thing about “The Bachelorette” is you’re on the cover of every magazine for weeks and weeks at a time. You go to the store and look at the shopping line and there is your face five times across the magazines. It all comes down to family and friends and your support system. If you don’t have a strong support system it can really affect you. I think what happens is some people see all of that and think they’re important but you’re important at that time because people can use you to make money. They’ll do whatever you want and give you whatever you want and you need to be okay with letting that go. I think what some people do is enjoy it while it lasts and then when it starts to go away they think they should still have the best table at the restaurant, like, “Didn’t you know I was on the cover of this magazine five months ago?” I think people aren’t okay with letting that go and looking at the experience as just an awesome experience. “The Bachelorette” is not what defines me and is not the rest of my life. It’s my family, friends, my partner. That’s what makes me.
If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?
My grandma, who I have my tattoo for, is the love of my life. I would give everything I have, every success I have, every relationship I have, everything in my life to be with her so 100 percent her.