that first night, tho.

A lot of people want to know about that first night, “What is it like to pull up to the mansion?”, “Were you scared”, “Did you try to come in a cupcake, too?” (kidding), and so I will tell you. I will recount that oh-so-life-changing evening as well as I can remember it. The good thing about being terrified is that it cements certain things into your mind forever, so if my nerves were any indication, I’m fairly confident I will remember most of the details, perhaps even with extreme precision. Here goes.

I had been sequestered in my hotel room for three days previous, meeting with producers and taking the famous rose-holding ‘senior-portrait’ promotional photos. I remember choosing to forgo any radio or television in my room, because I felt like I needed to really connect to God and center myself. I prayed and slept and ate, prayed and ate and slept. I journaled about my anxiety and excitement, asking God to fill me with whatever I would need for this unknown road ahead. I felt peace about the place I was at, and had no doubt in my mind that this was the beginning of something special. Of course, in my human mind, I undoubtedly thought that it was the beginning of a romantic love that may last forever. This was probably a good headspace for me, given the entire premise of the show. If you’ve seen the season, you will not be surprised to learn that this was not actually going to be the time for me to meet my husband, but I do believe that God sheltered me from that fact, so I could be open, vulnerable, and present as I searched earnestly for a connection with the Bachelor, Chris Soules.

Before I got to meet him, however, I had to meet the other women of my limo. After days of seclusion and silence, I was finally dressed and ready to meet the four other women I would be riding with. I remember facing the corner of the hotel lobby, my eyes shielded from seeing the other women until the right moment. My body was full of electricity and my mind was full of questions. When I was told, I slowly turned around and saw four beautiful women. Beautiful. Women.

The first was Ashley Iaconetti, who looked like Kim Kardashian with a beautiful dress, drop-dead gorgeous smile, and eyelashes for days. I remember a wave of insecurity and fear surging up inside of me as I thought to myself, “What am I doing?”. I felt less beautiful, less poised, less feminine, and less ready than I could have imagined feeling. In that one moment, all of my prayers and confidence seemed to fall flat in the face of comparison to her physical beauty. I may be in way over my head. We all lined up to get in the limo, which would take us to the mansion. I sat with Megan Bell (who is still one of my dearest friends to this day), Kelsey Poe, Ashley I, and Reagan (to refresh you, she is the girl who brought a cadaver heart along).

We were all nerves and excitement and insecurity that night. I remember trying to encourage the other women, saying that they shouldn’t be nervous and that we were all in this together, even though inside my heart was pounding so hard that I thought it very well might explode before we even made it to the driveway of the mansion. We stopped at the foot of the hill for a once-over by producers, and at this point I could see the lights and cameras and crew-members up the drive-way. My legs were shaking uncontrollably, and my voice was nowhere to be found. I prayed that Jesus would center me and give me at least some semblance of myself to thrust out of that limo, because there was no turning back at this point.

As the car rumbled forward, I could feel every ounce of air escaping my lungs, and I tried hard to catch my breath. I was actually rather surprised at my own nerves, unable to make sense of exactly why this was so incredibly overwhelming to me. I had been in front of a camera before, I had certainly met a man before, and I had definitely been in a car with other women before. Somehow the sum of these factors was creating more than any of the parts, and I couldn’t figure out exactly why. As I juggled these questions in my mind, I realized that I was next. It was my time to get out. My heart raced and my stomach did backflips and frontflips, jockeying around and quite possibly turning inside out. The door opened. I saw Chris. Chris Soules. The Bachelor.

I basically blacked out for my entire speech. Watching playback, I found out that I apparently have a breathing problem, and look as if im so nervous I’m about to cry. Did I cry? What the what? I don’t remember what I said or how hard I was shaking, but I do remember walking into the mansion as if I were on a cloud. I remember feeling a wave of warmth and release and a really special chemistry. There had been undeniable electricity between us, and even if I didn’t remember the words I said, I remember embracing him for a long time. A really long time. and I remember that I didn’t want it to end. Could I be wrong, or could he have felt the same way?

Entering the mansion, I was met with more women. My warm feelings were side-slammed with wave after wave of perfume, glitter, hairspray, and high-pitched voices. And they kept coming. Every ten minutes or so, another stunning, smiling, sparkling woman would glide in the door, apparently having felt the same high I had. Hmm. And each one was even more beautiful than the next. If there was ever a way to humble yourself, this was definitely it. I had never been in a room with so many magnificently dressed, gorgeous, sweet-smelling women in my lifetime. I felt like I did not belong at all. No one knew that my dress was less than 100 dollars, but I did. no one knew that all my makeup was from CVS, but I did. No one knew my shoe was broken and held together by a safety pin, but I did. No one knew that I felt less than and intimidated, but I certainly did.

I went into the bathroom and prayed again. “God, give me strength. Remind me that I am here for a reason. Remind me that I am not alone. Remind me that I am beautiful and of value to You, no matter what, and that everythings going to be ok”. Short and sweet. And just in time. As I came out of the impromptu prayer-room, I found out that there would be more women than ever before in Bachelor history. Perfect timing. Thanks to the perspective shift I just had, I felt just empowered enough to just let it be. I figured, if I was meant to marry him, a few more women wouldn’t make a difference after all. I decided to befriend them all and just enjoy the experience, letting God take me for the ride. I relinquished control at that moment, and I truly believe that’s what made all the difference.

That first night was very long, and very bizarre. With every new face that entered the room, I had to purposely step out of my comfort zone and greet them. I have a very shy side, that would have preferred to be invisible and observe the party, rather than jump in, but I knew that I was here for a reason and that putting a guard up certainly was not it. So, I made friends. rather easily, I might add. Despite the high-heels, make-up, and hairspray, all the women seemed to be in exactly the same headspace as I was: nervous, insecure, scared, and looking to make sense of just what exactly they had gotten themselves into. We mingled, and we laughed, and for a moment, even forgot that we were competing.

That blissful ignorance was cut short when Chris Harrison came into the room holding a rose. The dreaded, coveted, all-important first impression rose. He sat it on the table in the center of the room. All eyes focused with lazer-beam precision on that single flower. It may as well have been a winning lotto ticket in a room of debtors or a thanksgiving dinner in a room full of starving men. I thought we might light it on fire with our stares, they were so intense…

This was the first of many moments when I would ask myself “how did I get here?”. If you’ve seen the show, you know how that specific rose-moment ends up, but the larger question to address philosophically is how it all began. I had, through every up and down and twist and turn in my life, ended up in a mansion full of women, anticipating this potential validation by rose. I recieved it, and for a moment it was able to fill me with happiness and contentment, but that didn’t last. The important question, therefore, is why not? Why was I there? What did it all mean? How had my path taken such an odd turn, for better or for worse? Did God really want this for me? I thought so, but I couldn’t have known why. I do believe in destiny, but it doesn’t always make sense.

Thats all for now. My fingers are tired, and your eyes might be too! More later, Love you guys!!!!

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Showing 19 comments
  • Kaylee A
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing! You are an amazing women and so very encouraging!

    • Carlene
      Reply

      Thanks for the amazing story Britt. Keep doing you girl. Love you Brittany

  • Annabelle Trinidad
    Reply

    I love you so much Britt! You are such a beautiful human being. And despite all the bull you got and was misunderstood, you held your ground and you took it classy. I know that you are not alone! I hope one day to meet you :) & maybe you’ll feel a sense of everything. I have a three year old daughter that would be like “She so pretty mommy! I like her mommy” when I watched your season. “Before you can walk you have to fall.”

  • Diana
    Reply

    It’s like reading a novel. It’s like I was in your shoes. I love how you wrote everything! I’m ready for the rest, I’m so Excited!!

  • Liisa
    Reply

    Britt you are gorgeous and the blogpost was an interesting read!
    You write well and the experience you’ve had is sooo engaging, thank you for sharing!

    With love from Estonia,

    Liisa

  • Aubrey
    Reply

    Thank you for using the opportunities God has given you to promote his Kingdom. Such an encouragement! Can’t wait for the next post.

  • Sarah
    Reply

    Brit, this is amazing! Love reading what it’s like (every girl imagines it right?!) but love the real way you go between “God we got this” to “what the heck”!!!
    Thanks for sharing :) can’t wait to read more x

  • Katie Kerr
    Reply

    LOVED it!!!
    I remember watching you get out of the limo and thinking to myself: wow she is STUNNING! And you really shone xxx continue to let your light shine, Britt. With love from South Africa xxx

  • P I
    Reply

    I think you are so brave! God knows the plans He has for you and you are doing an amazing job of using your “fame” for good.

    Good for you!!

  • Cyndi Auman
    Reply

    There was something that could be seen between the two of you from the very first moment. I like many others predicted you were the one to watch. The light and beauty we see in you is the love of God.

  • Alexandria Simon
    Reply

    Britt , you are such an inspiration to me. You are so beautiful, smart and funny yet so centered and humble. I love you so much. I hope you find happiness. When you know you know.

  • Tricia
    Reply

    Britt! It’s so awesome to see your walk with God through all you’ve been through. I think TV (as usual) portrayed you in a bad way and it’s nice to see this side. Keep walking in His love! For His name and glory!

  • Michelle
    Reply

    As someone who watched you on the show, it’s so interesting to read this from your perspective! How wonderful that in the midst of all that was going on, you were able to keep your eyes on Jesus. Thank you for sharing, can’t wait to read more! God bless.

  • MQ
    Reply

    Hey Britt loved the post! A dress under a 100 dollars but a heart of gold. Love your spirit!

  • Jennifer
    Reply

    This was amazing to read. As a viewer of the show, I always wonder what the first night is like for any of the woman who are aired on the show. This was perfectly put together & Britt, you have a knack for writing. Keep it up! I’m a HUGE fan … We love you down in Staten Island NY.. Jenn :)

  • Elena
    Reply

    You are very brave, Britt!

  • Jordan
    Reply

    Your a modern day ester my dear. ❤ beautiful, God fearing, and in a world of competition… To show Gods glory. I’m inspired by you. Fight the good fight.

  • Mardee Ciresi
    Reply

    This was such a fun read. You need to write a book about the behind the scenes of the Bachelor because we would all LOVE to know. I bet it would be a #1 seller. Britt you really are an amazing person. I love and admire your Faith in God! Thanks for the inspiration you give us!

  • Rahel
    Reply

    Hey Britt,
    this is a sincere question cause it is something that I struggle with a lot… Have there ever been moments where you felt like you need to kind of “hide” the fact you’re a Christian, especially with all the other girls? The other day I watched an interview of you and Kaitlyn and the interviewer asked whether you ever had sex with someone on the first date. Did something like this or any hints during the show ever make you feel uncomfortable?
    Love your posts! Please never stop writing!
    Love, Rahel

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