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“The Bachelor”'s Maria Admits She 'Would Do Things Differently' After Drama with Sydney Gordon: 'I'm Not Innocent'

She called episodes four and five of Joey Graziadei's season "hard to watch" for multiple reasons

<p>Richard Middlesworth/Disney (2)</p> Maria Georgas and Sydney Gordon;

Richard Middlesworth/Disney (2)

Maria Georgas and Sydney Gordon; 'The Bachelor' season 28

If there’s one thing Maria is going to do on The Bachelor, it’s stand her ground. But even the fan-favorite contestant wants to set the record straight.

The 29-year-old addressed the ongoing drama circulating from the past four episodes of Joey Graziadei’s season in a lengthy TikTok video posted on Monday, hours before episode six of the show aired. Maria has been caught up in a dispute with some of the other contestants for weeks now that started when Sydney took issue with her response to Madina’s confession about feeling insecure about her age. Sydney then raised some questions about her fellow housemate’s intentions and character to Joey in episode three, accusing Maria of “bullying,” which spiraled the dispute further and raised Joey’s alarms.

Maria and Sydney hashed things out on a two-on-one date with Joey in Malta that aired last week, but even after Sydney was sent home, things didn’t exactly ease up for Maria, who still faced questions in the house as First Impression Rose recipient Lea took up Sydney’s fight. Lea took issue with Madina acting civil towards Maria after Sydney’s exit, and relished in making her fellow contestant upset later on. “Maria storms off in tears and I’m honestly, I’m glad that that’s the case,” Lea said in an on-camera interview, calling Maria “a drama queen crybaby.”

Related: Who Went Home on The Bachelor Season 28? Joey Graziadei's Order of Elimination

In the video, Maria admitted that episodes 4 and 5 were “kind of a hard watch,” both due to the drama and also because she showed a more “sensitive” side of herself to Joey, which she said was “very hard.”

“I really do wanna give grace to all the women involved. Being in an environment like this, it heightens everything — your emotions — everything is just overwhelming. And so it does get the best of us at times,” she said before elaborating on how upset she was at the end of episode 5 — when she told a producer “I’m out. They win.”

That was her “breaking point,” Maria said in the video, as the drama got “the best of” her.

“I think that what people fail to realize is that we’re all watching it at the same time. So a lot of the things that I’m hearing or I’m seeing that people are saying and doing — I’m hearing it for the first time and I’m seeing it for the first time. So it is tricky. It was hard to navigate in the house and in that environment, let alone watching it back.”

Related: Joey Graziadei Confesses a 'Real Fear' His Bachelor Journey Won't 'End with My Forever Person' (Exclusive)

<p>Maria Georgas/TikTok</p>

Maria Georgas/TikTok

However, Maria made sure to note the role she’s played in how things have unfolded, though she made sure to clarify that she won’t apologize for standing her ground. “I’m not innocent in this. I like to say that I am a woman who speaks her mind and will defend herself at all costs, that’s just how I was raised. But if I could go back, I would do things differently – especially when whatever you’re gonna say or do is just not gonna make the other person happy. So next time I’m gonna just zip it.”

She added a note above the video, too, though, writing: “But when it comes to defending my character I will stand up for myself every damn time.”

Related: Bachelor Joey Graziadei Feels 'Crushed' by 1 Woman's Exit After They Disagree About Marriage, Kids Timeline

Maria shared that she entered the show wanting to “make friends, make memories [and] make a love connection,” before closing out her explanation of the episodes by encouraging viewers to “spread positivity.”

“Nobody’s perfect — including myself,” she continued.  “S--- happens sometimes and people deal with things differently. I can’t understand or explain or defend everyone’s actions and doings in the house, but I’m responsible for myself and I think that I could’ve done things better.”

<p>Jan Thijs/Disney</p> Joey Graziadei and Maria; 'The Bachelor' season 28

Jan Thijs/Disney

Joey Graziadei and Maria; 'The Bachelor' season 28

Aside from the seemingly unending drama Maria has faced during her time on the show, she and Joey have also made strides in their relationship — which she’s made clear is what she wants to focus on.

Toward the end of their two-on-one date with Sydney in Malta, Joey asked both contestants if they saw a future with him. While Sydney was quick to say yes — and Maria questioned that to the cameras as she said, “Sydney is weirdly confident” — Maria didn’t jump the gun.

She told Joey she felt “very hopeful” about him at the beginning, “but, obviously, with the craziness that’s been happening and a lot of me defending myself, I have a lot of unanswered questions.”

Joey ultimately chose to give the rose to Maria because, as he told cameras, “I wanted her to know how good I feel around her, how happy she makes me feel.”

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