Still reeling from Monday night’s much-anticipated “Bachelor” fence jump? You’re not alone! It’s difficult to stop watching one of the greatest GIFs a reality show has ever produced:
If you missed it, Colton took off for the fence after being brutally rejected by Cassie, the contestant he decided was “the one.” The episode ended on a “TO BE CONTINUED” screen, so the big question going into next week’s finale (besides, um, if Colton is okay after running away alone in the dark) is: What will a heartbroken Colton do now?
The secondary question, now that the clock is ticking on Colton’s time in the spotlight: Who will be the next star of “The Bachelorette”?!
As one of the most coveted gigs on reality TV (you get a nearly guaranteed gig as an Instagram influencer and a chance at love), the competition is fierce. Tuesday night’s “Women Tell All” special — in which the rejected contestants gathered to fight, spill gossip and confront Colton — played out like a “Bachelorette” audition. Various cast members took turns in the hot seat to answer questions but essentially try out for the gig. In the end, even though producers won’t confirm casting until the season is over, it was clear that one woman might have the spot locked up.
We speak, of course, of Hannah B., the 24-year-old Miss Alabama 2018. Although Hannah didn’t have the easiest time this season, thanks to an awkward first date with Colton and an ongoing feud with fellow beauty pageant competitor Caelynn, she seems to have gathered a lot of support since she was eliminated from the show.
Hannah made it pretty far into the season, and even met Colton’s family during a trip to his hometown of Denver with the final seven contestants. Sadly, when she confessed she was falling in love with him, Colton responded, “I appreciate hearing that more than ever.” Yikes!
Colton gently told her his feelings weren’t “there” yet, and escorted her out. During her exit interview, Hannah was in tears as she told the camera, “The desire of my heart is to be loved so fiercely by somebody. I will not allow myself to not feel chosen every single day.”
That killer line earned her much applause on social media and immediately sparked rumblings about the possibility of her being the next Bachelorette. This seemed extremely likely Tuesday, because there’s nothing “Bachelor” producers love more than someone going through a big transformational “journey.” During her sit-down with host Chris Harrison, Hannah gushed about how much she evolved during the season.
“I thought my life was going to be this certain way. I grew up in Alabama. I was gonna marry the guy who I dated for so long right out of college, start spitting out babies,” Hannah said, earning laughs from the crowd. “Ultimately, I just thought that was gonna be okay for me. But it is not okay for me. I want so much more, and I deserve so much more . . . and this experience and the relationship that I have with Colton just allowed me to see myself in a different way; and be vulnerable with who I am and who I want to be and what type of love I want to have and receive.”
“This has profoundly changed you,” Harrison broke in to confirm.
“Oh, I’m a so much different person and better person,” Hannah agreed.
The audience seemed to love her, as did her fellow castmates rooting her on from the sidelines. The same could not be said for others who got center stage time, such as Demi, a comically cruel villain who was clearly born for “Bachelor in Paradise,” and Caelynn, whom the women regarded as someone who was just there for fame and Instagram followers.
Plus, Hannah showed signs of having a personality, which isn’t always guaranteed in a “Bachelor” or “Bachelorette” star. “Jane, why are you in this?” she asked a contestant who tried to start trouble between her and Caelynn at one point in the show (Jane being a contestant who, frankly, we can’t even remember appearing this season). And she proved she had a sense of humor when Harrison mocked the excruciatingly uncomfortable toast that she made on her and Colton’s first date. Harrison gave her a champagne glass and allowed a do-over.
“Cheers to this beautiful day together, new experiences and continuing to be honest, real, every moment we have together. And Roll Tide!” Hannah said. (It was a huge improvement over her first toast, which ended the same way but started with “I’ll put a bunch of words that sound good, that are real, that are real, real words.”)
“Here’s to you finding fierce love,” Harrison said, raising his glass. Again, producers can always go with a wild card and choose someone unexpected, but if that’s not a “Bachelorette” endorsement, we don’t know what is.