March 01, 2012 3:45pm PT by Rebecca Ford
'The Bachelor': Nicki Talks About Her Tearful Exit and Return to Real Life (Video)
Nicki, the bubbly 26-year-old dental hygienist from Hurst, TX, tearfully left the show on Monday after being one of the three remaining women vying for Ben Flajnik’s heart.
In the limo ride away from Ben, Nicki, who has already been divorced once, said she worried that she would put her guard up again.
Nicki told The Hollywood Reporter that she hadn’t even had the opportunity to figure out if she’s become more guarded.
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“When I got home, I focused on me, and doing what I needed to do to keep busy and preoccupied and back to that happy state that I was before I left for the show,” she said.
Nicki also added that meeting Ben and embarking on this whirlwind romance with him has been a double-edged sword.
“I’ve met somebody like Ben to where my standards have completely gone up. He’s amazing,” she told THR. “But on the other hand, I’ve also been heartbroken by somebody like Ben so I’m probably gonna be a little more cautious.”
Nicki and the other two remaining women, model Courtney and horse-rider Lindzi, went to Switzerland on Monday’s episode. The week before, Nicki had taken Ben to her hometown for a date. While her father was at first protective, he seemed to warm up to Ben eventually. Nice girl Kacie B. was sent home that week.
Kacie B. and Nicki seem similar in personality, and are perhaps two of the nicest women on the show. THR asked Nicki if nice girls are finishing last this season, while women with more game and who seem to be using their sexuality, such as controversial contestant Courtney are winning Ben’s heart.
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“It irritates me when people look at it as a game,” Nicki said of ABC's The Bachelor. “You’re yourself. You’re either nice or your not. And you get as far as you should based on a connection with him.” Nicki added that she feels that Lindzi is a nice girl.
“When Kacie went home I had a feeling that I might not be what Ben is looking for just because her and I are so similar and the other two are so opposite of both of us,” added Nicki.
Next week, Nicki will appear with the other women who have been sent home for the “Women Tell All Special.” Even though she didn’t get the guy and left with a broken heart, Nicki says she had no regrets.
“I don’t regret doing the show, I don’t regret falling in love with him. I don’t regret pouring my heart out,” Nicki said. “I would do it again without changes in a heartbeat.”