“I love everything about you,” Bret told Rock of Love Bus first runner-up Mindy. “But the ring is not for you.” If that’s not enough to put someone in a funk, nothing is. However, in our chat with Mindy she was surprisingly upbeat, not just about Bret’s decision but her time on the show, in general. Below, Mindy talks about the torch she still carries for Bret, salsa in suitcases and whether she thinks Taya and Bret’s relationship will last.
How was your time on the show?
I’m really happy about everything that happened, good, bad and ugly.
That surprises me a bit. I thought you might have negative feelings considering all that you went through. People gave you such a hard time.
I have a lot to make fun of. I don’t blame them!
My voice, yeah, that’s funny. I get it. I know I exaggerate things. And the song challenge? Come on. Hilarious. I had a meltdown. To watch that on TV? You don’t know that you’re like that until you watch it. And then you’re like, “Yeah, next time, I’m probably going to chill out a little more.”
You were not afraid to push back when given a task you were uncomfortable with. The whole Carnival thing, for example.
Oh yeah, I did not want to do that. I felt like someone was trying to make me something I’m not. I don’t wear stupid costumes like that. I mean, yeah a sailor costume is stupid, but it’s my kind of stupid. I had sequined discs on my boobs and that costume had no butt. I don’t wear those types of things. And I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t look sexy in it, because it’s just not me at all. I felt ridiculous and everyone else is like, “We’re ready!” I didn’t understand what snapped where. I had big shoulder pads, too. It was like Star Trek.
That move fell in line with your character. You sort of had the normal-girl angle going for you, right?
I think I’m the person people can identify with the most because even though cameras were rolling, they did not stop my meltdowns and emotional moments. When I was upset about something, everybody knew it. I’m glad I didn’t go on there and pretend I was something that I’m not. In the real world, people have bad days. If you went on Rock of Love and you’d been there six weeks, do you think you’d be hunky dory every single moment? No! You’ve got days that aren’t great and then you’ve got people that you’re questioning every single minute.
Your disposition, and everything, really – even your brown hair – made you something of an odd choice for the show.
When the show first started airing, and I told people I was on Rock of Love, they were like, “No you’re not! They would never put a girl like you on that show!” And even more bizarrely: I made it to the end.
Were you surprised you made it that far?
Yeah. Before leaving, I told everyone I’d be home in two weeks, max. I figured maybe three, four eliminations. I never expected it.
Were you heartbroken to have not been Bret’s choice?
Of course. I had a complete breakdown in the bathroom of the resort we were in. It was the first time I had been really by myself. I was standing against the wall. I realized it was totally quiet and I was by myself and it just hit me. I slid down the wall and just sat there with my head between my knees and just cried and cried and cried. It was sad.
Did it take you a while to get over?
I got over the sadness part pretty quick. I came home and everybody was excited to see me, but the feeling part is still there. My heart still thinks about Bret everyday.
Did you go into the show with an active romantic interest in him?
No. Not at all!
What led you to the show, then?
Why not? I was open and available to anything that could happen, whether it be fun or romance or just meeting cool people. I couldn’t come up with a valid reason not to. Like, just go try. I never expected to like Bret the way I did, but after a few weeks, I was like, “Oh no. I’m falling for this guy. Are you kidding me?”
Your sister was on Survivor. Reality TV now runs in the family.
It’s an odd coincidence. I wasn’t seeking it out at all. Casting people came up to me in Cincinnati one night when I was out. My sister talked me into it. She told me to do the on-camera audition. Since they’re always casting for so much, this way they’d have me on camera. I thought she had a point there. I thought Rock of Love was something I could never do that because there’s two things you need to do on that show: kiss Bret Michaels and dance on a stripper pole, both of which I would never do. (Laughs)
Is it going to be hard to see Bret again at the reunion?
Hard, but I’m excited. I know I should be like, “You didn’t pick me! You don’t like me!” but no. Not me. You spend all that time developing feelings for someone and just because you’re no longer filming it, that goes away? If you felt it and it really was coming from the right place, it doesn’t go away. I still think about Bret. I have a very romantic idea about him. I miss him. I feel like he was one of those guys I could be pals with and have a crazy fire with. I felt physically, there was some major chemistry. When it was over, I realized I was never going to kiss him again. I was never going to see him. There was no more laughing about dumb stuff. It was just over. There was a ring and I was ready. Hook, line, sinker, I was there. You love someone enough that you could actually see yourself married to them? And then it goes away like that? Next! No, that’s not me.
So you love him?
I am…still…yeah. I did fall in love with him. I did. I know people are going to think that’s completely insane coming from a reality show, but I really did. Everybody who knows me knows that the only reason I did and said the stuff I did was because I love him.
Any regrets about falling out with Taya?
No. I was honest about my questions with her. I was just trying to level with her: “Here’s what others are seeing. I want you to understand.” I thought that because we were friends, maybe she’d under stand it coming from me. But she was not open to it, not willing to accept imperfections. “I don’t have insecurities.” Everyone has insecurities. That’s just unrealistic unless you’re a robot. How can you be in a committed, loving relationship and not admit your faults? It’s part of what makes a relationship great.
So you don’t look back on that friendship with any sense of regret?
I didn’t go there to make a friendship, I went there for the possibility of falling in love with someone. At some point, the friendship was going to get in the way. I could pick one or the other. You can’t be best buds with someone you’re competing with for love.
Was it mistake bonding as closely as you did?
I had questions about her much earlier than anyone knew, I just didn’t voice them until I had valid reasons to back them up. I didn’t want to start shooting off at the mouth all the time: I don’t like this person, I don’t like that person. It takes a lot for me to voice negative thoughts about someone and I knew at that point I had to say it or my behavior wasn’t going to make sense to anyone. But I did have questions and I still do. I felt like her tears came from a place of not necessarily losing Bret, but losing in general. “What am I gonna do if I can’t compete with this little Kentucky girl?” I never saw that smitten look in her eye. I never saw her heart breaking at the thought of not being with him. I just saw her hating the idea of losing the competition. And that’s when I spoke up.
Do you think it’s going to last with them?
No. Not unless she gets a different personality.
It was pretty brutal when your property was destroyed, or at least soiled by salsa…but you’re already laughing at the mention of it.
(Laughing) It was funny. You expect stuff like that on that show. It was horrible because it shows their lack of maturity, to get off on destroying someone’s property. Like, how old are you? But I’ve watched the show. I expected a lot worse a lot earlier. It was just salsa. They could have taken scissors and cut everything up. I was kind of laughing at how stupid they were to do something that ignorant.
Are you happy you did the show even considering your heartbreak?
Oh yeah. My heart isn’t broken to the point of devastation. It’s just I’m truly disappointed. I really cared for Bret.
Keep up with Mindy via her MySpace.