The Bachelor, Season 17: Contestant Ashley Harper shares her thoughts after returning home to Denver

DENVER - Two Denver residents were among the cast of the seventeenth season of ABC's The Bachelor. One is still vying for Sean's love, while the other is back home sharing insight into her experience.

Ashley Harper spent just one night in the reality show's mansion, but said it was an experience to be thankful for.

Harper, who said she's watched the show since the first season, said she was excited and honored to be selected for the show.

Harper says she went to the open casting call on the 16th Street Mall last July on a whim.  After that, she got a series of phone calls from the show before officially being cast.

Once in Los Angeles, Harper says the girls go through a few days of non-stop media interviews and photo shoots before the first night of filming. The girls don’t even get to meet each other until they get into the limo. 

Once they do, Harper says it’s “go go go” from that point on.

"The things that start to go through your mind are 'oh my gosh I'm on the bachelor! Oh my gosh I'm about to see the bachelor! And then, oh my gosh I am talking to the bachelor!'"

Harper's conversation outside the mansion with Sean Lowe made the cut, but their seven minute chat inside was cut out of the show.

"I want to find love and I want you to know that because some people are not here for that reason," Harper said she told Sean.

Although she didn't take home one of the show's iconic roses, Harper said she did leave with something else.

"I did take home the award for the largest suitcase ever on the bachelor of all 17 seasons," she said. "You don't know where you're gonna go, or how long you're going to stay."


--Ashley Harper's Blog--

This blog was not edited by 7NEWS' producers.

Please Do Not Judge A Book By Its Cover!

First off let me start off by saying I give honor and praise to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the opportunity out of thousands of young women all over the nation to be considered and chosen as one of the most eligible Bachelorette's in America at this time on this extremely popular television show. I am so thankful and humbled to have had an opportunity so great and not a day goes by that I take my experience for granted. With that said, I must say that my experience on The Bachelor in its short-lived totality was absolutely amazing. Of course every emotional experience can be two-fold; with positive or negative outcomes, but for me, my entire experience was positive. 

When I got the phone call that I was officially a part of the cast of The Bachelor, I could not believe it. Prior to my season, I have always been a fan of the show. I can remember watching the premiere season back in 2002 at age 15 and being completely taken by the mood and elegance of its romance on national prime time television. I honestly did not believe the show could be real. It seemed too perfect and beautiful. All of the women were very attractive and successful, The Bachelor was perfect, and everybody loves that Mansion! But it was not until I officially entered the show's realm that I very quickly realized that there could nothing more real about the experience of opening yourself up to ALL of America for a shot in the dark at love with a someone you have never even met. 

As soon as I reached L.A., I could feel butterflies. I was very nervous and anxious to be able to finally meet Sean because the build up of media, interviews, and photo shoots surrounding the show, the contestants, and Sean only amplified the curiosity of who this young man really was and if I, Ashley Harper, would be able to gain a connection with him romantically. Although I did not know what to fully expect from Mr. Sean Lowe personally and not from what I have seen on television, I knew exactly who I was and where I stood in my life looking for the right somebody to share my life with. I am a nearly 26 year-old Denver Non-Profit Co-Founder and Vice President for L.O.C.A.L.; Local Organic Community Awareness Lounge, Professional Model and Beauty Queen, humanitarian and advocate for all things involving social and environmental justice, and a loving friend, daughter, sister, Aunt, etc. I knew what I was bringing to the table as far as half of a relationship piece, I was just unsure if Sean and I would make a perfect fit. Time would only tell that he believed nearly instantaneously that we were not going to fit together! The entire first rose ceremony Sean kept looking at me like he was torn on his decision and every time our eyes met I could just feel his confusion about me which saddened me for him because he did not give me as a person a chance!

The emotions from being on the show for me in just the short amount of time I stayed on the show were intense and much higher than I had anticipated because I went in confident not cocky, and cool not stirred. Emotions only grew greater after being axed on the first episode because I received so much love and positive vibes from crew members, producers, and other contestants instantly. To me, it almost seemed like I was read wrong by Sean and he did not get a chance to understand who I was completely beyond the glamour of television. It is easy to judge a book by its cover and proceed to move forward with your own formulated opinions, but I just wanted a chance to showcase my realness for who I really am. I am Ashley Harper; a hard working, honest, independent, country girl from North Carolina now living in Denver making my dreams come true by spreading awareness for the causes that I love. 

Ultimately, my experience on The Bachelor was beautifully imperfect, so completely positive, and only heightened my awareness for the right man to come into my life on God's time and until then I am patient. I have become more definite on who I am as a powerful independent woman and who is solid in what I will want from my potential mate at the right time. One thing for certain that my potential mate will do is get to know me for ME; and not just by what he SEES at first or knows based on previous accolades. Until then, at this time I continue to foray into the local, organic, and sustainable scene in the Denver metro area doing whatever volunteer work, lessons to inner city youth, and events as I can with my organization L.O.C.A.L. and loving every minute of it. At this time I am focused on positively "moving" the movement of social and environmental justice for ALL no matter the circumstances. Please visit my site's below for more information about L.O.C.A.L., myself-Ashley Harper, how you can join the movement, and also my AWESOME local Colorado sponsors that helped me look my best on the show! Thank you so much for watching the show and reading my blog and please remember to never judge a book by its cover. Because sometimes, you have to open the book and read it before you make your clear cut opinionated decision. God bless,

Ashley S. Harper

Ashley H. The Bachelor 2013 Season 17-Sean Lowe

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