Well, this is awkward. The season 18 premiere of ABC's The Bachelor on Monday, Jan. 6 -- featuring the self-proclaimed "el Bachelor Latino" Juan Pablo Galavis -- was ripe with zany antics and embarrassing interactions. But none was as embarrassing as the moment Kylie Lewis walked up to accept a rose...after Galavis called someone else's name.
Now, Lewis is speaking out to defend herself, telling TMZ that she believes producers set her up to be rejected and then took advantage of her humiliation. According to the site, they advised her to dye her hair (from strawberry blonde to red), wear a pink dress instead of purple, and tweet Juan Pablo after their meeting, which she says made her look desperate.
The 23-year-old interior designer also claimed to TMZ that producers went out of their way to air her mistake during the rose ceremony. (A rep for the show had no comment.)
Lewis further addressed her embarrassment during an interview with Chicago's B96 on Tuesday. "That rose ceremony probably took an hour to film," she said. "So you're standing there -- and it's 6 a.m. -- after filming for 10-plus hours with no sleep. That's the part no one really realizes. So you're already delirious."
"It was horrible. It was late and he has an accent and he whispers, so he whispers 'Kat' who is standing right behind Kylie and he looks right at Kylie, so she starts stepping forward and he's like, 'Kat,'" Bachelor host Chris Harrison told TV Guide. "She was mortified. The only thing that made it worse was the fact that she didn't get a rose. So not only did she step out and get embarrassed, but she was sent home."
Lewis also alleged in her interview with B96 that at least some of what viewers saw on the episode was set up by people who work on the show. "My limo entrance was suggested to me by producers," she revealed. "And I agreed to it -- it's not that they force you to do anything. It's just that they come up with the ideas, and then you go with it."
Watching it all edited together on Monday was difficult, she admitted. Shortly after the premiere aired, she tweeted, "FINALLY. The weight has been lifted. I received no rose, but the support I have felt along the way means more to me than I can ever explain."
Then, asked by a follower how she felt reliving the rose ceremony, she added: "I felt like I was going to throw up (again) and then I cried a little (again). Then I raised my glass to a new year!"