It’s been more than a decade since Brad Womack infamously dumped both of his finalists during the season 11 finale of The Bachelor, but co-runner-up DeAnna Pappas still can’t believe he sent her and Jenni Croft packing.
“I was the girl that everyone thought he was going to choose. And then at the last minute, he decided not to choose anyone and that really shifted the way the franchise works,” the 38-year-old reality TV personality told Us Weekly on the “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast, noting that she wouldn’t be surprised if ABC decides to re-air Womack’s 2007 season as part of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever!. “I don’t know that I want … or how I feel about reliving all of that because it was so long ago. And I remember saying when all of that stuff happened, like, I was so confused, I don’t know why he did all of this, but now it means so different to me, because had he not done that, it would have changed the really the path of life that brought me to where I am now.”
Pappas went on to become the season 4 Bachelorette in 2008. And while she didn’t end up with winner Jesse Csincsak, the franchise is still responsible for helping her find husband Stephen Stagliano, whose twin brother Michael competed for Jillian Harris’ heart on season 5 of The Bachelorette.
“I’m actually really thankful [Brad changed his mind], you know, I got to go on and be the Bachelorette after that,” Pappas explained while discussing her summer survival must-haves, including Aloisia Beauty for self-care and PRI Manuka Honey for immunity building. “All the friends, all the opportunities that I’ve had, and then ultimately meeting Stephen and my kids. It all clearly was in the plan for me, you know, so I don’t know that I’m stoked to relive that but I guess hindsight is 20/20.”
Pappas and Stagliano, who tied the knot in 2012, share daughter Addison, 6, and son Austin, 4. Womack, for his part, made history as the first Bachelor to get a second shot at love when ABC named him the lead again for season 15 in 2011.
“I remember being mind-blown because he had always said to me he would never do it again. He was like, ‘I am so glad to be done with this. I wouldn’t want to do this again. I wouldn’t put my family through this,’” Pappas told Us. “And then, sure enough, I found out he was doing it again because the producers called. In the first episode of his second season, they had Jenni and I come back because we were engaged, both of us, you know, oddly at the same time to be married to someone else. I guess in a way to bring it all full circle. … He went from being the most-hated Bachelor to the most-loved Bachelor.”
During season 15 of The Bachelor, Womack got engaged to Emily Maynard. Their relationship didn’t last, however. While Womack is seemingly single in 2020, Maynard married Tyler Johnson in 2014, three years after her own stint as the Bachelorette.
For more from Bachelor news — including updates on Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph post-split, Becca Kufrin and Garrett Yrigoyen’s future and Victoria Fuller and Chris Soules’ big milestone — listen to this week’s episode of Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.