‘Bachelor Pad’ Alum Holly Durst Julian Defends Sarah Hamrick After Clayton Echard Questions Her Intentions

Justice for Sarah? Bachelor alum Holly Durst Julian joined Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast to recap the Monday, February 21, episode of the ABC series — and revealed she is the one who helped Sarah Hamrick land a spot on Clayton Echard’s season.

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“She is a very confident girl. And I thought [she was] gonna walk in and be like, ‘I got this.’ And I think she’s absolutely beautiful,” the Bachelor Pad season 2 winner told Us of Sarah, who Holly met when she judged the Miss Teen South Carolina pageant in 2015. “I was like, ‘Alright, she’s making it to the end.’”

Bachelor Nation met Holly on Matt Grant’s season 12 of The Bachelor in 2008. She went on to marry Blake Julian after they fell in love on the 2011 season of Bachelor Pad.

Bachelor Pad's Holly Defends Sarah After Clayton Questions Her Intentions
Holly Durst Julian, Sarah Hamrick, and Clayton Echard. Instagram; ABC(2)

Sarah, meanwhile, became a hot topic on Clayton’s season 26 after she landed a second one-on-one date during the February 14 episode — something that put a target on her back with the other contestants. Mara Agrait was the first one to tell Clayton that she felt Sarah wasn’t ready for marriage as the youngest girl in the house.

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“Mara was the oldest, Sarah’s the youngest. Of course, Mara is gonna be like, ‘She’s not ready,’” Holly told Us, noting that the youngest girl on season 12 was less than two years younger than her and she felt the same way. “[But] she was very immature. I didn’t see Sarah acting like that. … Sarah is 23. I’m almost 40. We get along and we have so much fun together and it doesn’t matter our age. Them saying, ‘She’s too young!’ I was like, ‘That’s ridiculous.’ I think she acts older than she is.”

During Monday’s episode, Mara confronted Sarah, accusing her of being cocky — not confident — and of trying to manipulate the other girls into feeling insecure about their own relationships with Clayton.

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“I think all the girls got mad at Sarah because Sarah [came] back from the date [and] she’s pissed — all her ITMs, all her little interviews, she’s pissed. And she comes back and you can tell,” Holly told Us. “And she’s saying all these things to Mara, but all the other girls are hearing it. … She was directing all of that anger toward Mara, but all the girls are feeling all that anger from Sarah. So then everything starts to spin out of control.”

After Mara didn’t get a rose, the narrative continued into the group date with Rachel Recchia telling the Missouri native that Sarah bragged to her and Teddi Wright about her initial one-on-one.

“I don’t think that she did that on purpose. Everybody talks about their date, like, you go back and you talk about it,” Holly told Us. “And when Sarah left, she said, ‘All of this happened within the last week. They were my best friends until the last week.’ So you know that it was the whole Mara thing that switched everybody’s opinion and the second one-on-one date. … Just knowing her, I think she got screwed.”

The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET. For Holly’s complete recap of Monday’s episode, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.

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