In the day since Emily Maynard and Jef Holm revealed their engagement to the world, the happy couple have been busy doing the media rounds to spread the news of their romantic bliss.
On Tuesday morning, the pair jumped on a conference call with a handful of media outlets to talk about wedding plans and how in love they were. But I would not be part of this lobbing of softballs. When it came time for me to ask my first question, I asked about something that has been perplexing a number of us in "Bachelorette" Nation for months: Why wasn't the show forthright about Jef's Mormon background?
If you recall, when I saw Emily at the "Men Tell All" taping a few weeks ago, she told me that the topic simply didn't make it to air because there was so much material for the producers to choose from. But on Tuesday, Jef had a different explanation as to why his religious upbringing wasn't a part of the season's story line: He purposefully didn't talk about his faith on-camera.
"My family is very private, and what my parents are doing right now is private to the family," he said, referring to his parents' Mormon mission in South Carolina. "I didn't want to create any media attention to what they were doing, so Emily and I discussed things off-camera."
Emily then chimed in with another version of the story:
"We never worried about if the cameras were there. I've never seen people on the show discuss religion or anything. ... This is 'The Bachelorette.' It's supposed to be about light stuff."
My question may have been up, but another member of the media corps, from the Salt Lake Tribune, wouldn't let the issue slide. Many fans this season have noticed that when Jef told Emily why he wouldn't meet her parents on the hometown date, his explanation of "Mormon mission" was dubbed over with the words "charity work." So what was up with that, the reporter from the Trib inquired.
"I have no idea," Jef responded.
"So, you never said that?" the journalist followed.
"I never said I was doing charity work."
Cue the awkward silence -- until an
Moving on to other important queries, such as: Is Emily really a gold digger? Let's not lie, when Emily saw during Jef's hometown date that his family owns a massive ranch in Utah, she seemed -- to put it mildly -- pleasantly surprised. So did his financial background play a part in her final decision?
"I thought Jef lived at home for the better part of our relationship, and I still kept him around, so I don't know what that says," Emily said. "I certainly do not care about anyone's money. I don't need it. My father has worked really hard his entire life so that his children will never have to want for anything, and I'm really grateful for that."
Other hard-hitting questions from the call:
--Have Jef and Emily been able to spend any "intimate" time together, because they didn't take up the fantasy suite offer? "We had weekends where we got to spend the night together," Emily said, seeming annoyed. "Yeah, we're engaged."
--What does little Ricki-Tick think about all of this? Well, she still doesn't know that Mommy and that nice man who bought her a puppet are engaged. But Jef is planning to move to North Carolina in August, and he'll "be there to support" Ricki when she starts school that month. So she will probably get the drift real soon.
--What about the rumors that Emily is eager to have a spinoff show? Not true, the Bach insisted. "I don't want a broadcasting career or anything in TV," she said. "Being the Bachelorette was a good enough experience for me. I'll leave on a good note."