Ashley Hebert was seen on national TV Monday night saying she was ready for her romantic do-over.

Hebert, a 27-year-old Madawaska native, began her starring turn on the ABC reality romance “The Bachelorette” by admitting past mistakes. She told the camera that when she was a contestant on ABC’s “The Bachelor” earlier this year, she fell in love with that show’s star, Brad Womack, but didn’t “let myself believe it.”

That show ended in March with Womack choosing another woman. Hebert came in third of 30 contestants, but ended up being offered the starring role on “The Bachelorette.”

She said she was excited that the show was giving her a second chance to find love.

“To be able to date 25 men and hopefully come away with a husband, I feel like I’m the luckiest girl in the world,” said Hebert, a recent dental school graduate. “I’m ready to move forward and do right this time.”

“The Bachelorette” will air Mondays into August, and was filmed over the past two months in locales around the world, including Hong Kong and Thailand.

During the first half of Monday’s two-hour show, viewers got to see Hebert meet the 25 men, one by one, as they got out of a limousine at a Los Angeles mansion. One kissed her, one picked her up on his shoulders and began to carry her away, one recited a poem and one was completely speechless. One gave her ballet tickets (she was captain of her dance team at the University of Maine) and one spoke French.

Hebert is from Maine’s Acadian area, near the Canadian border. In an even stranger twist of reality television reality, Hebert told host Chris Harrison that a woman she met on “The Bachelor” knew a man named Bentley who was coming on “The Bachelorette” with “the wrong intentions” because he only wanted to promote his business.

Harrison asked Hebert what would happen if she fell in love with Bentley and got hurt. “So be it,” Hebert said. After meeting Bentley, she told Harrison he was “really good looking.”

While mingling with the men at a cocktail party in the mansion, Hebert was seen talking with them. Matt, an office supply salesman from Massachusetts, called his mother on his cellphone, and the mom, Gail, ended up talking to both of them on speaker about the importance of using “protection” during romantic encounters.

“Gail, I love you already,” Hebert told the mother, laughing.

None of the bachelors’ last names were used on the show, but a liquor salesman named Tim received some attention when he got so drunk he couldn’t talk to Hebert, and later fell asleep.

Hebert found out Bentley is a father and said she was “pleasantly surprised” by how nice he seemed to be. Hebert also seemed to hit it off with J.P., who told Hebert how his co-workers called him “cupcake.” Hebert laughed and said she always hoped the man she married would call her “cupcake.”

Though she didn’t have much time on camera with any one man, by the end of the two-hour show Hebert had to pick some she liked better than others. So she ended up giving roses to a total of 18 — including the mysterious Bentley — and sending the other seven home.

Those included Tim, who drank too much. The others weren’t surprises either — none of them had been seen on camera having more than a passing word with Hebert.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

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