Unexpected, shocked, intimidated. These were all words used by Kaitlyn Bristowe and Britt Nilsson to describe ABC's double Bachelorette twist while speaking to Us Weekly during a conference call on Thursday, May 14.
"It was definitely unexpected, and I was shocked," Bristowe, 29, told Us of the plot twist for season 11. "Yes — I was kind of just beside myself, because I didn’t know what to think. I wasn’t excited about it."
Bristowe was the clear front-runner for the Bachelorette slot after season 19 Bachelor Chris Soules ultimately chose Whitney Bischoff as his fiancée. Producers announced the double Bachelorette shake-up during the After the Final Rose special on Mar. 9, and immediately incited backlash from the Internet — including commentary from Bachelor alums, celebrities, and fans.
"I just really had to take a step back," Bristowe told Us of the uncomfortable situation. "And think of the light at the end of the tunnel."
This included seeing the scenario from a different perspective. "To be honest, it felt like it took the pressure off a little bit, which is a weird thing to say," Bristowe said of appearing on the show with Nilsson. "I think there’s more pressure on the guys — like, who do they go to first? And they don’t even know us. So, I feel like it’s just the pressure off us and more pressure on the guys."
Her opponent Nilsson, meanwhile, told Us Weekly that she initially contemplated whether returning to the franchise was the right choice. "It's a huge decision," she said. "But overwhelmingly, I just felt like it was the right decision. I felt like it was, you know, [it was] the next step."
Nilsson's main motivator was the spark she shared with Soules. "I kind of saw love happening on the first season," she told Us. "And I felt like it was an amazing opportunity. So, I wanted to weigh it out because it is such a big deal but I felt like it was good, yes, from the beginning."
Unlike Bristowe, Nilsson was totally anxious while meeting their suitors. "I mean, the situation is nerve-racking," she told Us. "You’re going to meet 25 people, and they’re there for you. And yes, Kaitlyn is awesome. She’s also a little bit intimidating, of course. But, I mean, honestly, I just felt like this is such a big deal when looking for like a life partner. It’s — I can’t do it wrong. All I can do is be myself. So, honestly, I wasn’t as nervous as I was expecting to be when it came down to it."
Bristowe and Nilsson didn't exactly bond, either, she told reporters on the call. "We just had a brief moment before we went in to see all the guys after the limo entrances," she noted. "But, you know, we didn’t really talk too much about anything. We were just kind of standing there being like, this is crazy." (Bristowe shared an Instagram photo on Thursday of herself and Nilsson with their arms crossed with host Chris Harrison wedged in between them.)
Nilsson, 27, added from her end: "It was all a surprise. We basically just knew there were going to be two of us, and that's it. We didn’t know much more than that. So, it was actually kind of nice being in the dark because then those fears didn’t really have a chance to like creep up. We were just kind of flying by the seat of our pants and all we knew that we were both going to be there."
Harrison presented the twist out of nowhere. "We didn’t even know there was going to be voting," Nilsson continued. "So, none of those fears even came up. We just were totally in, you know? Chris Harrison always likes to tell you it kind of at the last minute how it’s going to go down. So, we didn’t really have a lot of time to be afraid of anything. We were just — you know, all right, here we go and the guys started getting out of the limo. We didn’t have time to process any of that."
Tune in to see who the men pick for season 11 of The Bachelorette on Monday, May 18.
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