Take it from Des! Former Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock gave sound advice to current lead JoJo Fletcher when they met to tape the Season 12 premiere of ABC’s beloved franchise. In an exclusive new interview with The Knot, Hartsock reveals what she advised Fletcher off-camera and which suitors have a shot at the final rose.
“I feel like each week, a new person stands out,” the My Fairytale Wedding author, 29, tells The Knot. “I think she has really great chemistry with Jordan, and I think that Grant was getting up there. And then Robbie’s up there with chemistry.”
However, she’s confident in her opinion of Chad. The Season 12 villain was booted this past Tuesday, June 7, after making violent threats against his fellow suitors. “The worst!” Hartsock exclaims of the latest reject. “It’s just Chad. He’s awful.”
During her season of The Bachelorette back in 2013, Hartsock’s heart was shattered before a national audience. The experience, however, has helped her to identify some of the suitors who aren’t on the show — as Bachelor Sean Lowe would say — for the right reasons. “I mean, we do have a different perspective when we watch,” she tells The Knot of her fellow Bachelorettes. “But it’s also just fun to watch it with a fresh eye because I feel like each season the guys are very different or the girls are very different and have different interests, so that it caters to the lead.”
The casting process is a different beast. “They really do a good job of matchmaking and finding good people,” Hartsock says. “But then you know the good-for-TV people too. Sometimes I can tell right away, or I think it’s [that] I know who’s going to go home — but maybe just not that week.”
Amid the sea of personalities and dynamics, Hartsock told Fletcher to follow her intuition. “We talked far more than what you see, but I think it was portrayed,” Hartsock tells us. (As seen on the Season 12 premiere, Hartsock, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Ali Fedotowsky all warned Fletcher to distinguish between concrete love and smoking-hot chemistry.)
“What I was kind of trying to get [across to JoJo was] deciding between love and lust — and what’s actually needed or what you’re trying to make yourself believe,” she tells The Knot. “[You might think] that it’s right, because it’s infatuation, but your logical mind will tell you exactly whether it will last in the future. It’s really having your mind and your heart come together.”
After all, she has her very own success story. “I had to learn my own lesson in that sense, because I would constantly be in relationships that would be [built] off infatuation. When Chris came along, I was almost in shock,” she says, “because I was like, ‘It’s not supposed to be that easy. It’s not supposed to feel like your best friend.’ I think a lot of girls need to go through it to realize the good guy that’s right in front of them. That’s actually what they need.”
Hartsock married her final suitor, Chris Siegfried, in January 2015. She also documented their wedding-planing process in her new book, My Fairytale Wedding: Planning Your Dream Wedding Without Breaking the Bank, which is now on shelves nationwide.