Yesterday was an unofficial media day for the recently dumped Houston-area ladies of The Bachelor: Rome. Our favorite tiara-wearing socialite, Erica Rose, called in from L.A. while apartment hunting. Jami Matzke, our favorite nice-girl event planner from Galveston, phoned in from G-town, where's she back at work at big-time resort that she won't name.
Erica's planning to parlay her Bachelor experience (and her experience as an correspondent for Channel 55 — who knew?) into a gig as an entertainment reporter. (Here's guessing she's probably sending these folks her tape.) Jami's happy at her job, though she's thinking of moving closer in — to Clear Lake, that is — to meet guys.
Erica's on the hunt for a man, too, but she knows that being a princess is gonna make it tough.
"All my ex-boyfriends have been from different backgrounds than me," she says, "and they've all expected my family and me to support them and take them on vacations and pay for everything and buy them expensive presents, and I'm tired of that. I'm hoping to find someone like me, and that narrows down a lot of the population, for sure. But a lot of the guys that I grew up with -- and Lorenzo alike -- want to be a Prince Charming. I don't understand why they're like that — it's weird."
Got it. Erica: picky. And Jami? Not so much. "What am I looking for in a guy?" Jami asks. "I was thinking about that, and I actually had to call and ask my sister, 'What's my type?'" So?
"I guess a good, dry sense of humor. Being gainfully employed doesn't hurt. Oh, and just like, the little things: open the door for me, tell me I look pretty a couple of times a week."
Dang, that's it? Now see, that's why she was our favorite.
Even though she was unceremoniously dismissed by handsome Prince Lorenzo, Erica thought it could work out, as she and the prince "had a lot in common" — despite the fact that the chemistry wasn't exactly jumping off the screen.
"We had good conversations," says Erica. "We both were English majors in college, and that was cool to me." Yeah? Go on.
"He owns a line of pet cosmetics, and I, um, I have a dog."
Up next, will Erica and Jami make up, or throw down?
How did this not work? Anything else? "Other than that, I felt a physical attraction too — he's a very handsome man. Now watching it, it doesn't seem like we had that much of an attraction, but at the time, it felt like we did."
Meanwhile, Jami, despite a Pretty Woman-styled hot date at the opera, wasn't surprised when Lorenzo said he felt like he was "dancing with my best friend."
"I did feel the same way," she says. "There was no physical attraction, no chemistry, on my end whatsoever — not saying he's not a good looking guy, but I felt nothing but friendship."
Seriously? Even with all the onscreen rapport and similar interests, like music?
"No, honestly, I didn't," she says. "We were in the Maserati, driving to the date. And we were talking about music and he mentioned one particular band, and I just kinda looked out my window and went, 'Oh bleah!' He was a nice guy and fun to talk to and everything, but never did I think, 'Oh wow, this could work.'"
Jami was the "small town Texas girl," who thought Erica was a "spoiled brat," and Erica was the non-judgmental judging girl who didn't think Jami was fit for 'Zo, what with all the tattoos and all.
"People also can be close-minded and judgmental in general. When I was out at The Roof, and these people came up and were like 'You're Erica from The Bachelor,' and I was like, 'Yeah,' and they were like, 'That's all I have to say,' and walked away."
Well, that doesn't seem so bad...
"And then I was hanging out with some friends, and I'd just met this guy. A bunch of girls walked up to him and were like, 'How can you be friends with that girl? She's so rude!' I don't remember being rude to any of the girls, but they were just going on and on. And he was like 'Um, if you have something to say, why don't you just say it to her? It's very amusing, how can these random people who I don't even know have these strong opinions of me, like a hatred. Those people are very weird, in my mind, and they must not have a lot going on."
Erica learned her PR savvy from her dad, plastic surgeon Dr. Franklin Rose. "Being a plastic surgeon, he once told me that all publicity is good publicity," she says. "Why do I care what some random housewife thinks of me? I've had so many mothers come up to me and say 'Thank you for saying little girls shouldn't get tattoos and should go to college.' I think people who come from an affluent or nice upper-class background would be happy with me. If you have the opportunity to college, in this day and age, you should go to college. My housekeeper's kids are going to college."
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So, stay in school, kids. And stay tuned, as Monday, Erica comes back for one more appearance, and then again on November 20, when she and Jami show up for a reunion episode. Jami's not expecting any cattiness, though she's a little confused as to why this rivalry started.
"It's like she turned it into a competition between she and I from the beginning, and I don't really get that," says Jami. "She knows she's a spoiled brat — she's admitted it. She has a college degree and I have tattoos. A lot of people fall under that category, and I personally think it's very shallow to judge people on things of that nature." But she's not hating on Erica, who's clearly stolen most of The Bachelor spotlight and could get a TV gig from it.
"There's no jealously," says Jami, "I'm a little envious, actually. It kinda' makes me think 'good for her, because she played it up just enough for people to pay attention to her. So if that's what happens, I say 'good luck.'"
Yeah, whatever, Tattoo Girl. -- Steven Devadanam