I'm curious why y'all think that Emily turned down the 'ette a while ago. To me, the edit of this season has been done promoting her. If they knew it was going to be Ashley, it seems they would've given her a more prominant edit.
And I'm surprised that Shawntel turned it down, if indeed she was offered it. She is on record saying that she would consider doing it.
And one more thing, it seems as though the series has gone so much into retreads. For all the disaster that was PLo's season, it was kind of nice having totally fresh faces. And I can't seem to remember one 'ette who wasn't first a reject (or retread in Jen's case.) Why not have someone totally new?