updated 05/21/2014 AT 7:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/22/2014 AT 10:30 AM ET
Leah Thom is not like most girls – and she is okay with that.
As one of the 12 American girls selected to compete for the heart of a man they were led to believe was Prince Harry on FOX’s I Wanna Marry ‘Harry’, Thom, 24, did not share the same enthusiasm for fawning over a stranger she just met and was the first sent home by the faux prince.
Now back in the United States, the cocktail waitress from Fort Worth, Texas, talks to PEOPLE about being duped into believing the bachelor Matt Hicks was actually the royal redhead and why she went looking for love on national television.
What did you think of the premiere episode? Were you surprised about the other girls criticizing your fashion and makeup?
I watched it yesterday with everybody else. I quite liked it. It was pretty funny. And I’m not really like the other girls. I don’t spend a lot of time doing my hair and makeup. All the girls were pretty upfront about how they felt about me and there was nothing surprising there.
What made you want to go on a reality dating show?
It is not something that I thought I ever would do. I just got a text message one day asking if I wanted to audition and one of my best guy friends said I was really awesome and I had to do it. I almost chickened out on the day of the audition but he made me go and it just kind of worked out that they liked me.