updated 01/20/2012 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 01/20/2012 AT 5:45 PM ET
Funeral director Shawntel Newton doesn’t believe she was dead on arrival when she walked into the third rose ceremony trying to rekindle a Twitter fling she’d had pre-season with The Bachelor’s Ben Flajnik.
The Chico, Calif., veteran of Brad Womack’s second season blamed the other ladies for putting the nail in her coffin.
You alluded to a previous connection with Ben. Explain.
I made it very clear on Twitter I had a crush on him and wanted to get to know him [during] Ashley’s season. He sent me a private message and we exchanged numbers. We [said] we should meet in person but he couldn’t be seen in public. It never happened.
Why put yourself through this?
I didn’t want to go back on national television, but I wanted to at least meet Ben in person. This was the only chance I had. [He could] be engaged in a couple of months. It was worth trying.
We had really good conversations, a lot in common. He’s attractive, confident, laidback. It wasn’t like I was in love with this guy, but I thought there could be something … I didn’t think anyone was in love yet so I didn’t think I was stepping on too many toes.
Boy, were you wrong.
I knew I was walking into a lion’s den. I expected going in to have the girls a little confused and upset with me. … Insecurities came out and nothing could have prepared me [for] the reaction [I got].
It was uncomfortable to watch, so what was it like being the target?
Hearing girls saying I’m uglier in person and have big thighs and calling me dumpster trash and a b—- – was intense. I was hurt.
Was there any humor in the situation?
A couple of girls said, “When you walked in, we were like, ‘Please don’t tell me that’s Jennifer Love Hewitt.’ ”
Who were the worst offenders?
Jaclyn told me she wanted to punch [me] in the face. Courtney was the most harsh. When I got sent home, she laughed and said, “Sayonara.” Defending myself for two hours was exhausting. A girl can only take so much. I snuck off to the bathroom and I cried.
Did you think you’d get a rose?
I was very confident walking in, because I knew he felt something for me, too. I really thought he would keep me and at least take me on a date to see if there was something. I would have liked that a whole lot better than talking to him for two minutes, getting picked on and then being sent home.
What went wrong?
I think the biggest influence [on his decision] was Courtney. She basically gave him an ultimatum – “If you keep Shawntel, I’m out” – and he’s making it clear he’s head over heels for her. I think he ends up choosing her.
He was afraid of the other girls leaving and didn’t want to hurt their feelings. He had connections already and didn’t want to ruin that.
Everyone kept saying that it wasn’t fair to let you crash.
The whole situation is unfair. You’re competing for a guy. What’s one more girl? This is someone you are potentially going to marry. Fair doesn’t come into play.