Courting in Cambridge
Ames Brown is not your typical nerd. One of the final four on this summer’s season of “The Bachelorette”, and a contestant on its spinoff, “Bachelor Pad”, he’s shown his fair share of both brains and brawn. With a B.A. from Yale, an M.B.A. and an M.S. from Columbia, and a D.B.A. from Harvard Business School, Brown credits his nerdiness as a major factor in helping him get so far in the reality dating show, chiseled six-pack aside.
Given his very public experience with dating, FM sat down with Brown to chat about what it’s like to kiss in front of the cameras, how he got involved in the reality show business, and what being sexy really entails these days.
Fifteen Minutes: What would you consider the perfect date in Harvard Square?
Ames Brown: In the two years I was on campus, I didn’t go on a date. It’s the only subject where I have no expertise. I was so romantically inept at Harvard. I thought I was screwed on the show; I didn’t even know why they took me. The one thing is that when you get out of Harvard, nerdy is pretty romantic, which was a total surprise to me ... not getting a date on campus was also not because I wasn’t trying, just want to say.
FM: Well, hypothetically, what would be an ideal date in the area?
AB: Hypothetically, an ideal date would probably be some walk along the river and walking by the Science Center so you can make fun of it together, that would be a unifying experience. Daedalus in the summer would have been really nice, and a picnic along the Charles would have been a dream.
FM: How did you get involved with “The Bachelorette?”
AB: They found me in the airport and said “Oh my god you’d be perfect for the show!” and I totally said yes because I was single. And I thought I was going to do horribly, but I did pretty well. The stuff that carried me through was all Harvard nerdy stuff. Apparently, nerdy can be sexy.
FM: You made it work in your favor.
AB: [Laughs] For once.
FM: Beyond having all the cameras around you, what’s the biggest difference between dating on the show and dating in real life?
AB: The biggest difference for me is going in for a kiss, because if you go in for a kiss in real life, your heart is beating, you don’t know if it’s going to work, if the kiss doesn’t go, you’re just going to be so embarrassed and it feels so high risk. But on the show if you go in for the kiss and the kiss doesn’t work, it feels like the world is going to end, and it makes it even more scary. Also, the pressure for good conversation is really high, I feel like in real life you can sneak by with okay conversation, but on the show ... that conversation better be interesting every minute.
FM: Since you did your undergrad at Yale, which place do you think is more romantic—New Haven or Cambridge?
AB: I would say Cambridge was a more romantic city, even though I never went on a date there. [Laughs] Anything with a river is pretty.