Maria Georgas is finally giving some insight into why she’s not the lead for season 21 of The Bachelorette. During the Wednesday, May 1, episode of Alex Cooper’s “Call Her Daddy” podcast, Maria said that she initially accepted ABC’s offer to become the Bachelorette but eventually backed out because the situation became “overwhelming.”

“It was set in stone. I was it,” Maria, 29, shared, after revealing that had begun the process of doing fittings for the show. “When everyone around me was so supportive of me being in this position and everyone wanted this for me, I took a second. I’m like, ‘Why am I not happy? Why am I not excited about this?’ It took me realizing that it’s just not my time [and] I was like, ‘Respectfully, I need to decline. I need to take a step back.’”

After Maria turned down the offer, her fellow season 28 Bachelor contestant Jenn Tran was named the lead. Maria said that she didn’t speak publicly about her decision until now because she wanted to support her friend.

Who Do You Want to See as the Next Golden Bachelor?

“I also wanted Jenn to have her moment,” Maria revealed. “She is the most perfect Bachelorette in my eyes. I couldn’t think of anyone better to do this. She was so ready for it, and that was enough for me to say, ‘Yeah, it’s not my time.’”

The Canada native admitted that she wasn’t “in the right headspace” to star on The Bachelorette after watching her season of The Bachelor air. She was a fan-favorite contestant on Joey Graziadei’s season, but was often at the center of drama with other castmates on the show. “It was hard for me to kind of jump right back into it, honestly,” Maria explained.

maria georgas accepted bachelorette role and backed out

“What people saw on their screens was only the half of what I went through in the house,” she continued. “Did I have time off before it aired? Yes. But again, everything was so … I was so anxious throughout the whole thing. I get it. It would have been my own show, it would have been me having more control over things. But again, it’s so isolating being in there.” She also confirmed that those who work on the show supported her decision.

Maria was eliminated by Joey, 28, after hometown dates. His runner-up, Daisy Kent, was also offered the Bachelorette role, but she turned it down too. In addition to worrying about how her health would be affected by the demanding gig – Daisy is deaf and uses a cochlear implant to hear – the account executive also said she realized she wasn’t ready for a fast-tracked engagement.

“I think coming off the show and doing the show, I didn’t realize how much of a big thing [that] is,” she said on “The Viall Files” podcast. “I think right now I just want to live and be happy. I’m always gonna jump for opportunities, but I just think this specific opportunity wasn’t right for me.”