Alright folks – It’s only been a couple of weeks, and I’m already going through Bachelor withdrawal. This Dancing with the Stars bullshit is for the birds. Lucky for y’all (let’s be honest – lucky for me), we have a final dose of Bachelor goodness from Ben’s season this week.
Two days later, sitting in a residency interview, I nearly shat myself when this notification from my @CrickWatsonMD
popped up on my phone:
After a few tweets back and forth during the season, I slid into her DMs and she graciously agreed to an interview via Skype for PGP. To be totally honest, I was more excited about this than I was about knowing I have a job for next year. Let’s break it down:
Crick Watson MD: My first question, obviously, is how the hell did you even find the column?
Lauren H: I’m actually a huge fan of PostGradProblems, I’ve read it before this! It’s so weird, I used to date this guy in college who was a huge fan and I would see it because he would retweet it all the time. So I followed you guys a while ago!
Crick Watson MD: A lot of times I get weird looks when I tell people that I watch The Bachelor – what was the reaction when your friends and family found out you’d been cast?
Lauren H: My friends and my family all nominated me for the show, so it wasn’t fully my doing. Once I found out that I was on, everybody freaked out. They were so excited! Of course, my parents were a little bit more reserved about me going on the show – because you see people be crazy on the show and they didn’t want me to be portrayed in a negative way. So they were a little bit more hesitant about me going but eventually they warmed up to it. They knew it was something that I wanted to do, so they supported me.
Crick Watson MD: So when you first found out you’d been nominated, were you just thinking, “This will never happen”?
Lauren H: Completely. When they first nominated me, I thought “There’s no way that I’m going make it on the show!” There are tens of thousands of people who apply for this, I thought there’s no way I’m actually going to make it on the show – I’m so boring and normal, they’re not going to pick me. But then I got a call right before a casting call asking me to go out, so I was like “Okay, I’ll go!” When I was there, I kind of hit it off with a producer that helped me out and I think it was because of that I had a better shot. Before you knew it, I got a phone call asking me to be on the show! I was like “Wait…what? Did you pick the right girl? There’s no way.” I had no idea I’d make it.
Crick Watson MD: So you went from not thinking you’d even be cast to advancing pretty far in the season – what was it like watching yourself on the show?
Lauren H: Well thank you! Watching it back, I felt like nothing I ever really did was aired. There were so many other things that I was a part of that were never shown. So watching it back, I felt like such a nobody! I was like “What the heck? I wasn’t a nobody in real life!” I’m not a nobody! But I guess it’s better to be a nobody than to be portrayed as a crazy person.
Crick Watson MD: Along those lines, were people as crazy as they appeared on the show? Or is it the case that you can’t get an unflattering edit without giving the producers unflattering material to work with?
Lauren H: The thing is that everybody has said everything that was aired. They never tell you to say anything. Everything is very authentic to what happened; however, if you think about it – those interviews, where it’s us in a room with the candles behind us – I’d say we’d interview for at least an hour every day. And every episode they air maybe a minute of each girl. If you think about how many hours, maybe 6 hours a week, and then out of that they only air one minute of those six hours. You could have just said “Oh, that girl’s such a bitch, but in real life I’m sure she’s not that bad” but the they just air “That girl’s such a bitch” like it’s all you said. That’s the tricky part. But for the most part, the way they portrayed everyone was pretty consistent with who they were. Mostly you got to know the real girls.
There’s a lot that goes on that they never air. I wish that they did air everything, but there’s just no way – there isn’t enough time in an episode. Unfortunately it is the drama that sells and gets people interested. They don’t show us hanging out and having fun and playing silly games and stuff because who wants to see girls getting along? People want to see girls hating each other and fighting over a guy.
Crick Watson MD: What’s the funniest thing that happened to you during filming that didn’t make it on the air?
Lauren H: There was one night – we were in the Mansion. It was one of our last nights there before we started traveling. We were all so hammered. We carved an eggplant, you know kind of like Castaway with the volleyball? We carved the eggplant and we pretended she was this new bitch in the house. We were like “Who the hell are you coming up in here?” We named her Hairy Nae Nae, because we were trying to learn the Nae Nae. We all interviewed with her and all this stuff – it was so funny. But they never aired it! It wasn’t even in the bloopers and it was the funniest thing of the entire season. We were dying laughing the whole time.
Crick Watson MD: I’ve been to my fair share of open bars, and it usually doesn’t end well for me. On an average day, just how hammered is everyone in the mansion?
Lauren H: We were drunk almost the entire season. We had mimosas every morning. We woke up and went to bed with alcohol in our system, because what else are you going to do all day?
Crick Watson MD: Let’s talk about the pigs. Were they as terrifying as they looked on TV? I was honestly concerned that Jojo got mauled and died on that beach.
Lauren H: Well, they were probably looking out for me by not airing the full interview that I had with the pig because I lost my shit that day. I was holding the pig (I named him Wilbur) and I was sobbing in the rain. Like “Ben doesn’t even talk to me! Why am I even here? I’m taking the boat back to Michigan and getting the hell out of here here. This is bullshit!” – all of this while holding the pig and rocking him to sleep – like he was actually asleep in my arms. It’s probably for the best that they didn’t air it because my parents would have been so embarrassed.
It was so funny – it was a fun date but at the same time it was also a very emotional week for everyone. That was kind of the moment where all of us thought we knew who Ben was going to pick, and for the girls he wasn’t going to pick – we all were very aware of that. We all just had a huge meltdown on that island. All of us were crying. All of us were chasing pigs around. The producers were probably like “What the hell is happening to our cast because they all just lost their shit.” Literally, he didn’t even speak to any of us besides Lauren B. and Jojo on that date. I was so pissed. Seriously, I wanted to go home. I didn’t want to go to the second half of the date.
Crick Watson MD: How early did it become obvious to y’all that Lauren B. was getting the final rose?
Lauren H: I think I pretty much knew in Vegas that he was going to pick Lauren B.
Crick Watson MD: Once you get to that point, what do you do?
Lauren H: For me, it was in the back of my mind – like I know he’s probably going to pick her, but sometimes it ends up being the person that you don’t expect. I always thought about Sean and Catherine, because he really liked other girls, and then she kind of came out of nowhere. I was like, “You never know, that could happen again!” So I was kind of hanging onto that – he’s really into her, but once he gets to know me, he could be really into me, and it could be in a different way or in a better way! That’s what kind of kept me going, but it turns out my gut was right the whole time.
Even though I didn’t end up with him, it was the best thing I’ve ever done. It prompted a very big career change for me and it’s something I was really nervous about and never would have done had it not been for the show. It also introduced me to all my best friends – all of us girls are really great friends still. It showed me that guys exist that have a lot of the qualities that I’m looking for, which is great. And – I got to go and travel the world and do things I will never do again in my life. For me, even though I didn’t end up with him, it was completely worth it. Even worth all the stress.
Crick Watson MD: Career change? Are you not a kindergarten teacher anymore?
Lauren H: So I was teaching – and I made more babysitting than I did teaching. I was like, ‘That’s f’d up.” There’s no way I could continue on making less and less each year. I knew that I wanted to do something different, even though I loved being in the classroom. I loved the day in and day out with the kids – I love kids! But it didn’t make any sense for me in my early twenties to be doing something that I was complaining about all the time. If you’re complaining about it, you should fix it. So now I’m in real estate. I’ve got my work cut out for me; I’m hustling, I’m trying my best – it’s been really fun.
Crick Watson MD: We didn’t get to see much of you during Women Tell All (I was very disappointed.) Is there anything that you want people to know that didn’t get aired?
Lauren H: So, I spoke that entire time! That was hard for me because I just don’t like confrontation – I get really nervous. It’s not that I think everything is happy all the time, it’s that I don’t like arguing with my friends, and those girls are my friends! It was really tough but I was really proud of myself for actually being able to talk during Women Tell All and to confront people about the issues that I was having – and then they didn’t even air it!
I talked to Ben, he and I had a little conversation. It was really basic but good; he’s just a great person. I confronted Olivia a little bit because I always had her back in the house; I thought the things people said about her and her appearance were so below-the-belt and mean, and just kindergarten-ish, if I’m being completely honest. I always defended her but then I was offended by what she said in her interviews, especially because I put myself on the line to defend her. I talked to her about that and we worked it out.
But the main thing that I spoke about was the social media problem that everyone has been having since the show. I just have never been more disgusted in my entire life than when I’ve seen some of the things people say about the girls on the show. Not really myself – I haven’t really gotten much negativity, but there are women on the show that are told to go kill themselves while their parents watch and all these other horrific things. There are two women now in the Bachelor franchise that have killed themselves and for me, I just could not believe that I was seeing that, and during Women Tell All, I did address it. I said, “Look, people are programmed when they watch movies, dramas, or other stuff on TV to feel emotional about the characters they’re seeing because they’re part of the show. People forget that when they watch reality TV that we are human beings just like them. So, they think that we are just these characters that they’re seeing – so they feel emotional and get angry with us, and while it makes good TV, they forget that we have a mom and a dad and families and friends that are rooting for us and care about us. They just forget that we’re people, and it’s just wrong. And something needs to be done about it.”
It’s weird to me that it hasn’t been addressed in a really big way, because it’s actually really horrible. People do campaigns for different things – I think the show should do some kind of campaign. I don’t want to call it online bullying, I think that’s an extreme. What’s going on isn’t bullying, it’s kind of a different beast in itself. It’s people just going online and saying mean, horrible things about people they don’t even know. People need to shed light on it, and people need to be aware. It’s kind of like Mean Tweets with Jimmy Kimmel – something should be done like that, and it needs to happen now, because people do take this stuff to heart. I can’t tell you how many of the girls I’ve been on the phone with that sit there and just cry their eyes out about mean things people say about them. It’s so mean. So long story short, that’s the main thing I said at Women Tell All, and I wish they would have shown it.
Crick Watson MD: Tell me about the experience of getting sent home and then going back to your normal life. Is there a “calm before the storm” effect once you’re done filming and before the show starts airing?
Lauren H: When I went home, I was like “I’m falling in love with him!” and then the second I walked off the plane I was like “Who? What the fuck happened? Where was I?” It doesn’t even seem like real life. It feels like another planet while you’re there.
Once you get home, you can’t say anything about the show obviously, so you come back and honestly – you’re just in this fog. You’re like “Is that real? Did this really happen?” You go back to your same exact life and nothing has changed if you didn’t end up with him. Once it starts airing, then it hits you that this is real, all this did happen. I remember the first weekend after I came home I flew to Denver to go see Leah, because it was really hard. You’re used to being surrounded by people all the time, used to talking about your feelings and emotions all day and you go back to your life and realize “People don’t give a shit how I’m feeling!” It was a really hard transition, but not in a bad way. It wasn’t mentally or emotionally hard, it was just very different, just a really strange, surreal feeling. All us girls had to really lean on each other at that point.
Crick Watson MD: So you’re still in touch with the other girls from the show?
Lauren H: Oh yeah. We all talk. We have a group chat called the “Ex Sister Wives” and we chat on there all the time.
Crick Watson MD: I saw that you got to keep your Little Ben puppet from the Terry Fator show in Las Vegas – do you still have him?
Lauren H: Oh yeah? Want me to go get him? (I, of course, wanted to see the puppet, so she went to get him.)
He’s the best souvenir! Honestly, I stuffed him in my bag and put him in my carry-on – like through the security scanner and everything. They were probably like “This chick has a freaking puppet in her bag!” They probably thought I was such a weirdo. I should have been like “This is my boyfriend Little Ben.” See, I did find love on the show.
Crick Watson MD: How do you think Jojo is going to do as the Bachelorette?
Lauren H: She’s going to kill it. What guy wouldn’t love her? She’s perfect. I think it’s going to cause some drama between the guys because they’re going to be really interested in her and really want to win. Also Jojo has a good way of being real and expressing herself well, so I think it will be good because you’ll know how she’s really feeling. She’s really articulate and it’s easy to get to know her, so I think it will be a really good season.
Crick Watson MD: So here’s a Chris Harrison question for you: “Are you open to finding love in Paradise?” Any chance we may be seeing you again in the near future?
Lauren H: Well you know, if I was given the opportunity – depending on if I liked a guy from Jojo’s season, maybe I would go. I’m already in this far, why not? The whole point of going on the Bachelor for me was to fall in love, so if there’s a guy that I liked, I’d try to go and see if it could work out in an awesome place. Why not? I also like that it’s not as much drama between the women, it’s more about the drama between relationships, and that’s more interesting to me. Plus I get to go hang out with my friends! Also I’m only going if they bring Jorge the bartender back. I’d go there to meet him. Maybe I’ll fall in love with him. Chris Harrison can marry us.
Crick Watson MD: If you’re not in Paradise this summer, I have seven weddings coming up, and you’re invited as my plus one to any and all of them.
While she did tell me she’d be my date, I’m not sure if she was quite as serious about the offer as I was. Lauren H. – if you’re serious and you have June 4th, June 11th, or September 24th free, you know how to get in touch with me..
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