OK, I’ll go ahead and say it.” And while she calls that period “probably the worst week of my life,” Duke has another important personal reason for being open about what happened.

“Parents started writing to me and saying, ‘Thank you for sharing your story, I shared this with my daughter,’ or girls would say, ‘Thank you, I almost did something like this and because of your story, I’m not going to do it.’ So that just helped me get through it,” she says.

By the end, both seemed quite comfortable with talk of engagement rings.

sweet home alabama dating show-5

Obviously, when I fall, I fall pretty hard and the guy in the past that put the pictures out there, he had so much control over me and I thought I was in love and I wasn’t.

But, I just didn’t want to give someone that power to hurt me again, so I’ve been content.

“I just told the producers I wanted to find someone who made me feel again,” she says.

“I haven’t had a relationship in probably three years and felt like I was stronger on my own.

Maybe it wasn't the biggest surprise, considering that from the beginning of the season, Smith had generally been much more comfortable with her fellow Southerners than with the show's "city boy" faction – the eleven beaux drawn from California, New York and other relatively cosmopolitan areas.

She herself expressed surprise that any of the city guys had made it to the final round.Right But instead of acting as if it never happened on the reality dating show, the 25-year-old addressed it on the season premiere last week.“I just wanted to get it out there right away,” Duke tells ."Although my fairy tale doesn't have the happiest ending, I'll never regret a single step I took with you," he told Smith.On Location: Varallo and Smith spent some time at Mr.[10/09/13 - AM]CMT's "Sweet Home Alabama" Returns with an All-New Season Beginning Friday, November 15 at 9 P.