It’s a cold day in late winter that clings to New York City as Kaitlyn Bristowe is being driven to a date in Manhattan — going on dates is her job these days.
Bristowe, 29, is one of the two women competing on The Bachelorette in the series’ first shot at pitting two women who had been on The Bachelor against each other. (The Bachelor tried a similar stunt years ago.)
The Vancouver, British Columbia, dance instructor returns to the contest determined to find a husband, saying she has “mixed emotions, a lot of fears and excitement at the same time.” Like her competitor, Britt Nilsson, Bristowe was aware that there would be two women picking among the men. Though the women are supposed to be in charge, the guys would eliminate them.
Is that fair? “Not really,” Bristowe says. Yet, she returned. She had time to review her appearances on The Bachelor. Even seasoned actors often have trouble watching themselves on camera, and Bristowe’s takeaway from watching herself was, “For the most part, I was quite comfortable and I was myself.” The one adjustment she’s aiming for this season is “more of showing my emotions.” After watching herself, knowing Nilsson and understanding the show from an insider’s perspective, Bristowe is not prompted to change her strategy. “I was just going to do the exact same thing,” she says.
Then the taciturn dancer considers it some more. “Showing more emotion is pretty much the only thing I changed from last time,” Bristowe says. “And letting my guard down more.”
Bristowe has a clear focus on why she is on The Bachelorette and why women put themselves in this situation to be judged by millions and possibly picked by one. She knows what she wants in a husband. “A lot! Somebody who can be my best friend and loyal and honest; somebody that basically challenges me, bringing out my serious side, and jokes with me, because I have a very big sense of humor,” she says.
After being on The Bachelor with Chris Soules, Bristowe slightly refined her wish list. “Chris is such a sincere guy and he brought out my softer side, and that works for me in a relationship,” she says. “I like if somebody can bring out my softer side.”
Not surprisingly, Bristowe is one of those women who fantasized about her walk down the aisle since she was a little girl. “I did all of my life,” she says. “And I went through a phase where I didn’t think I needed to in my late 20s. But it is all I think about and I cannot wait.”
She’s confident that at the season finale, she will have a ring on her finger. “Yes, 100 percent,” she says. “I feel spoiled with the group of guys I have. They are incredible!”
Before alighting from the car on her date, she answers our “5 Questions.”
1. What has been your strangest fan encounter?
There haven’t been too many strange ones, to be honest. A man who was probably in his 70s came up to me in a grocery store and he was like, “How was the show?” He watched The Bachelor. It was hilarious.
2. What star would you love to meet?
Anna Kendrick; I have always loved her.
3. You’re at a magazine rack and can only pick three titles. Which ones do you choose?
Women’s Health, People, Sports Illustrated.
4. What are three items always in your refrigerator or pantry?
Almond butter, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and cheese.
5. If you could only watch three shows, what would they be?
Family Guy, New Girl and House of Cards.
Kaitlyn Bristowe: ABC/Craig Sjodin