The filming begins. As of Saturday, March 16, the Bachelorette has officially kicked off its 15th season. Former Miss Alabama USA Hannah Brown was named the new lead just one week ago during the After the Final Rose special that aired in conjunction with Colton Underwood’s Bachelor season finale.
In the interim, Brown has been rather busy between meeting a few of her suitors to answering interview questions surrounding her surprising selection as the new Bachelorette. ABC Senior Vice President Robert Mills revealed some new insight about why Brown was selected for the role while chatting with E! News on Monday.
The ABC exec told the outlet that producers had already selected Brown “weeks before” the After the Final Rose taping. Mills had previously expressed that the other contenders included Tayshia Adams, Hannah Godwin, Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Demi Burnett.
“We had an embarrassment of riches in terms of potential leads,” Mills added to E! “We met all these girls over a one-week span maybe three or four weeks ago. We sort of knew immediately. It was like, wow, OK, it’s Hannah B.”
“There was just something about Hannah B. She felt very different,” he continued. “I think she almost came in thinking that she was a bit of an after-thought, you know, they’re taking this meeting, but [was] sure we were going to go with someone who finished farther in the show.”
It worked in her favor. “I think that she was really herself. She was much more at ease,” he said. “She was refreshing and we felt like this is going to be a different kind of season with her because she’s someone who is going to certainly speak her mind, own that, as she says, she’s kind of a mess.”
Compared to previous Bachelorettes, Brown, Mills explained, is different. “Let’s see something that’s weird, that we don’t know what it’s going to be,” he said of Brown. (Her predecessors included Becca Kufrin, Rachel Lindsay and JoJo Fletcher.) “It’s definitely going to lead to stuff that’s crazy, She also is somebody who’s very take charge and if things are going either great or not great, she lets everybody know. She’s not going to sit back and be passive, she’s really going to get in there and get her hands dirty.”
The one consistency in the upcoming season of the show will be the return of the Bachelor Mansion. “She’s never looked so gorgeous,” Harrison wrote on Instagram Sunday night. “After what our community has been through this year I’m more grateful than ever to be back home #TheBachelorette #BachelorMansion.”
While the mansion remained unharmed by the Woolsey Fire, the production crew’s outpost burned down during the devastating wildfire. “We do a lot of good in the community. We shop here, eat here and stay here at the hotels. And dump a lot of money into the community when we shoot here,” Harrison previously told The Hollywood Reporter. “So my goal is to make sure we get back into the house and use it, especially this season, to show that we’re back and that the city is good. And hopefully, bring the money and the jobs back here.”
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