It's official: Ashley S. is my favorite Bachelor contestant, maybe ever. Not only did she keep us guessing all season long, but she stumped Chris "Seen It All" Harrison, delivered the best Women Tell All interview I can remember, and then Ashley S. got herself invited to Bachelor in Paradise as spontaneously as ABC would ever allow. But did this shining ball of onion-pomegranate sunshine take the bait? Will Ashley S. go to Paradise?
I'm kind of leaning towards "no," even though it breaks my heart. I really love this girl. During her interview with Chris Harrison, he went through all of her hits (Mesa Verde, chopping wood as dramatically as possible, the Bachelor betting club, talking to cats, and of course, picking that pomegranate). And dear God did this woman deliver. She walked right into the interview carrying the only and best present Harrison has ever received during a Bachelor special: And bright and shining onion. It's immediately apparent that this woman knows what's up.
And even though I would bet all of Mesa Verde that Ashley S. is done with this reality mess, here are the six reasons that I'm praying she pulls a total 180 and comes back:
About Mesa Verde...
Look, Ashley has been there. She went with her family. Give her a break. "It looked like Mesa Verde, it really did," she said. And you know what? I googled it. Homegirl's not wrong.
About That Betting Ring & The Limo Night...
"I was so bored, honestly," she said. And can you blame her? These women were waiting until daybreak, with alcohol in hand and the manion we've all seen on TV a million times as their only venue. Of course she was bored.
So she explored. "I was just like, I'm gonna go explore. This place is cool — like Mesa Verde ... Ever since then, I just felt like it was a bet," she said. So what if she thought a bunch of dudes crunching numbers in a tent and telling her to get the hell out could have been a betting ring? There are Bachelor brackets, who's to say the people who work there don't have their own?
About The Cat Conversation...
So Ashley spoke to a cat. If you snuck up on me in my apartment, I'd be talking to my dog like he is a toddler — and sometimes even like he's a full fledged adult, watching The Bachelor with me. This is not crazy behavior, people.
Then there was Ashley's response to all this: "There was one cat and it didn't reply." Slam. Dunk.
About Being Totally Normal...
Chris wanted to know what was up with her. Was she faking it? Is she an actress? Ashley's response was not unlike something I would have said (maybe that makes me crazy, but I'm going to go with "np."
"Yeah ... I like to ride bikes and I mean this is me. I think with the cameras around, I think it's really hard for me to not be silly. So while all of them were getting upset and crying, I was out picking pomegranates," she says. As a ridiculously goofy human, I totally get this.
About How Weird This All Is...
This exchange was the most endearing thing ever:
"It's so weird." -Ashley
"What?" -Chris Harrison
"Just that we're on TV." -Ashley
You know what, Ashley (and everyone who can't believe they're reading this), The Bachelor and this Women Tell All thing are both weird. And it's weird that they're on. But they're weird and wonderful, so please come back for Bachelor in Paradise and talk to the racoons and the sea turtles. I'm pretty sure Clare would appreciate the company.
Image: David Moir/ABC