She was axed from The Bachelor by Jordan Mauger after awkwardly admitting she'd written a university thesis on romance and reality TV.
But Rebecca Trelease says her studies had nothing to do with her reason for being on the show - and she hopes Mauger didn't eliminate her because of it.
"It's unfortunate if he focused on that, but it had no connection as to why I was going on the show," Trelease told NZ Herald.
"I was on the show for love. I hope he saw (that)."
Trelease's past as an actress and her studies were revealed by the Herald in March when TV3's reality romance show debuted.
As part of her Masters of Philosophy at Auckland University of Technology, Trelease wrote a paper called The Evolution of Romance in Reality Television with the aim of "understanding the evolution of romance in reality television in the 50 years since The Dating Game (1965-1986) first aired."
A Facebook photo shows her presenting the thesis in August.
When Trelease owned up to the 10,000-word paper in last night's episode, Mauger appeared wary and said the comment "made my ears prick up".
"Are you studying me? Are you studying the other girls?" he said. Trelease denied it, replying: "I watch movies and see romantic moments and want to experience that for myself."
The 33-year-old resthome worker told the Herald the news shouldn't have been a surprise to Mauger.
"I'd had that conversation with Jordan a couple of times, all the way back in Auckland," she said.
"He works in the film industry, he's quite passionate about film and television, so to think that there might be someone else quite passionate about it and would like to read about it and watch it a lot, I don't think that would be new information for someone."
She also played down the paper's focus on romance and reality TV.
"It was a genre analysis and it talked about live broadcasts and the idea of reality was just one small aspect of many things, like sport broadcasts, or a morning newscast," she said.
Trelease denied accusations that writing the paper had given her any kind of advantage over the show's other contestants.
"In many cases those girls knew so much more about the show than I did. They could tell you all the dates the girls went on last year, who went on them and who got the rose on the dates and who didn't. It was quite impressive," she said.
"The idea that I knew something was quite ridiculous. These girls are smart and we've all seen the TV show before."
Her elimination was the first time Trelease had found herself in the bottom two, up against the show's 'villain' Naz.
She said she had a "gut feeling" she'd be going home.
"I did have a feeling, I did know it was my time, and you can see I'm quite supportive of Naz, I knew she would get the rose," Trelease said.
"It was lovely to meet Jordan ... I really enjoyed my time with the girls. They made the experience for me. I'm really glad that I have them in my life now."
Seven contestants are left in the competition.