The Bachelorette 2012 ousted contestant Tony Pieper said he could not connect with Emily Maynard because all he could think about during the show was his son. Pieper, 31, said he just could not handle being away from his 5-year-old son for so long.

In a press conference call, The Bachelorette 2012 contestant Tony Pieper said he decided to join the show because he was “looking for a family and love” and his son wants that too. “We’re happy but there’s one piece missing. It was worth going to find the missing piece to make our family whole.”

Once he was on The Bachlorette 2012, however, all he could think about was his son. “I’ve never been away more than four or five days. Days felt like weeks. I didn’t realize how much it would affect me not to see him.”

Pieper tried to struggle through, but it was obvious he was not totally in the game. Still, it was a surprise to him when The Bachelorette Emily Maynard eliminated him mid-date. “I broke down a little bit when we were talking one-on-one and she knew I was missing my son, but I didnt’ know right off the bat that she was going to eliminate me… it came as a surprise.”

If Emily Maynard had not sent him home, however, Tony Pieper said he might have decided to leave on his own anyway. “I definitely was at that point. I don’t know if I could have lasted another week.”

Although disappointed it did not work out on The Bachelorette 2012, Pieper was thrilled when he was reunited with his son. “One of the best days of my life,” Pieper said. “He came running and I hugged and kissed him… A piece of my heart was back.”

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