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MAY
16
3 YEARS

'Bachelorette' Emily Maynard Sounds Off on 'Helicopter Guy,' Bad Boy Bentley Williams

The single mom from Charlotte, N.C. weighs in on her 25 suitors and whether or not she's found love.

Bachlorette Emily Maynard First Rose Ceremony - H 2012
ABC

The Bachelorette's new season is now (dramatically) underway, with Emily Maynard handing out roses to prospective husbands.

The Emily edition premiered Monday on ABC, and as usual, there were some bad eggs interspersed among the higher-quality candidates who caught Maynard's eye. The single mom, 26, gave her first impression rose to 33-year-old charity director -- and single dad -- Doug Clerget, who has a Mark Wahlberg, salt-of-the-earth vibe.

But is she in love?

"You know, I don't know. I don't know," the Charlotte, N.C., resident said Tuesday during a press call. "You'll have to watch. I'll get in trouble."

Despite her past experience as the winner of Brad Womack's heart on The Bachelor -- they broke up last year -- Maynard was nervous to meet her 25 suitors, one of whom made a grand entrance via a helicopter. Kalon McMahon, a 27-year-old luxury brand consultant from Houston, invoked the ire of his rivals when his chopper arrived, James Bond-style, while the other guys rode in on a limo.

PHOTOS: THR's 2012 Reality Power List

McMahon's gesture was also a turn-off for Maynard.

"Anyone that knows me knows I would take a classic pickup truck over a brand new Ferrari any day, so if he was trying to impress me, he probably took the wrong approach," she said. "But he's very unique, and he is who is he."

She said she initially feared two other men might step out of the 'copter: either Womack, or Bentley Williams, the villain from the previous Bachelorette installment starring Ashley Hebert. On camera, he sniped that he wished Maynard was in Hebert's spot and would "rather be swimming in pee than plan a wedding with Ashley."

"I definitely thought it was going to be Brad or Bentley coming out of the helicopter," recalled Maynard, saying she was "stressing out."

She called Hebert, who gave her final rose to New Yorker J.P. Rosenbaum (they're still together, for real), one of the "sweetest" people and a friend.

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That said, "I want to give Bentley the benefit of the doubt and just hope that he was able to watch [the show] and ... fix a couple things," she said.

As for her 6-year-old daughter, Ricki, Maynard -- who entered the show on a quest for a marriage-minded man/good father -- said the little girl bonded with the show's crew and was told "it was for a very elaborate family home video."

Known for her reserved, shy demeanor, Maynard displays a bolder side in season promos, where she is shown telling someone, "Well, then get the f--k out!"

"I am feisty," she said. "I am sassy. ... I've never been called 'boring' in my everyday life."