By Mandi Bierly
Updated August 16, 2011 at 08:12 PM EDT
Credit: ABC
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The happy ending for Bachelor Pad contestants Jackie Gordon and Ames Brown was short-lived. In separate phone interviews with EW today, they confirmed their relationship has already ended. On the episode that aired last night, Ames romantically chased after Jackie’s limo after she was evicted, taking himself out of the competition, worth $250,000, to be with her.

Following the show, the two spent a week in Napa together for a “remedial wine country tour,” Ames says, and Jackie, who’d watched him on The Bachelorette and frequently posted her appreciation for him on Twitter and Facebook, says she fell for him even more. “I woke up every day happy,” she says.

They returned to New York City, where they dated for a week or two more in secret because he was still on The Bachelorette and they couldn’t be seen together. “As for what happened later, it ended a little suddenly,” she says. “I was pretty taken aback, kinda knocked down a little bit. I thought that he was the one. I certainly fell in love with him. I feel like the rug was kinda pulled out from underneath me. I feel like we went from perfection and the potential to be the perfect couple to kind of having my heart broken.”

So what went wrong? “She is a really, really great girl, beautiful and charming, and we just weren’t the perfect match in the end,” is all Ames will say about his change of heart. He says he was instantly drawn to Jackie at the Bachelor Pad opening party. “Almost the instant I met her,” he says, “I knew what my goal on Bachelor Pad was, which was to spend time with her … Especially in the context of The Bachelor Pad, I think we had a lot in common. Bachelor Pad is a pretty crazy place … She made Bachelor Pad a pretty wonderful experience, whereas it would otherwise be pretty harrowing for me… I didn’t even notice I was on Bachelor Pad. Every waking moment, Jackie and I spent together, and then I would go to bed at about 9:30 p.m. while everybody else stayed up till whenever because I decided right away there’s nothing more valuable that I could do than spend time with Jackie, and I had no desire to go sacrificing my integrity and strategizing endlessly. It’s much more fun to get to know a beautiful, smart woman and think about having a future together.”

He always assumed he’d leave with her no matter what. “We hit it off, and seldom are you so explicitly faced with a choice between the possibility of love and the possibility of money,” he says of watching her limo drive away. “There was no doubt in my mind that I had to choose the former.”

Jackie, who still considers that gesture “one of the best surprises of my life,” says she asks herself every day what changed. “Perhaps coming back to your real life and being apart from cameras and the extreme romance, maybe something on the outside changed his mind. Or maybe he just realized ‘Whoa, I need to put the brakes on this,’ or maybe he just didn’t feel like he was ready for a relationship,” she guesses. “He had been away [from New York] for so long and maybe just wanted to take a step back. He’s been traveling a lot, and things have been very busy on his side, so I’d also probably attribute it to that. To me, it was like walking away from something that had very beautiful potential.”

Rumors have begun that Ames, who’s back working in finance, could be named the next Bachelor. “I can honestly say nobody has even mentioned the possibility of becoming the Bachelor to me. I imagine by now, somebody would have mentioned something. So I think for better or for worse, that’s something I don’t have to think about,” he laughs.

Seeing him on The Bachelor‘s less dignified spinoff Bachelor Pad was surprising, we tell him. “I’m at the point in life where I totally do want to get married. And I’m one of those people who says you can’t really go and say ‘no’ to anything if that’s what you want. Somebody said, ‘Come on Bachelor Pad,’ and I just said ‘yes’ because I think you just have to say ‘yes.'” So if producers said, “Come on The Bachelor?” “Then I would probably say, ‘Yes.'”

Would Jackie endorse Ames as the next Bachelor? “That would be a hard thing to watch from afar,” she admits. “I think he would make a fine Bachelor. I think he has a lot of qualities that women are looking for, but at the same time, I would question if he’s ready for that at this time. He fell in love with Ashley. He fell in love with me. If I were in that situation, I would maybe want some time.”

While we wait to see if ABC pops that question to Ames, we had one more for him. What’s up with those red pants? “I just have bad fashion taste,” he laughs, adding that they’re Tom Ford. “Clearly I’m not looking for a future in entertainment if I’m wearing those pants.”

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