Fans saw contestant Jake Nilson kiss bachelorette Lauren Hunter on a new episode of “Provo’s Most Eligible” Season 2 last week.
What many don’t see is that the two had become “like literal best friends,” according to Hunter.
“These episodes are very condensed, so it seems out of nowhere I suppose,” Hunter said.
Bachelorette Elizabeth “Bee” Eide said she was amazed at what didn’t make the cut as she watched the first three episodes of Season 2 come out.
“Obviously, I understood that not everything was going to appear in the episodes,” Eide said. “But there were so many interviews, conversations and interactions that felt so important to me, and so crucial in the development of my relationships with the other girls and guys, that aren’t shown at all.”
In reality, being one of the stars of “Provo’s Most Eligible” was “one of the hardest experiences ever, but also one of the most amazing, ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences as well,” according to Hunter.
“It was a combination of excitement, exhaustion, being overwhelmed and overworked, feeling insecure, weary, infatuated, and having a lot of fun,” Eide said. “It was a whirlwind, honestly.”
Of the kisses between Hunter and Nilson, Eide and Walker Wright, and Ellie Richards and Scott Anderson on Episode 3, Hunter thought her and Nilson’s were the cutest.
“I was freaked out and say, ‘I’m scared,’ not because kissing is scary but because I was scared of finally moving on from a guy I dated last year and hadn’t found anyone worth kissing since,” Hunter said. “So I felt like I really liked him, but it scared me that it was so soon and I didn’t want it to feel forced, even though I knew it was coming at some point. So I thought, ‘Why not.’ “
Many of the men struggled with wondering, “Should I kiss her sooner rather than later to make an impression and show her I’m interested, or should I wait and let it be more natural?” according to Eide. She didn’t mind at all when Wright kissed her.
“I respond very well to men I date being proactive, taking initiative and being bold. I’m a ‘risk it for the biscuit’ kind of girl, myself,” Eide said. “If I had felt uncomfortable with the situation, I wouldn’t have let him kiss me, but we had already formed a good connection, so I didn’t feel weird about it.”
Eide said she tried to simulate as genuine of a dating situation as she could on the series “by being very transparent about who I am, and my feelings, and trying hard to get to know my team and spend quality time with them.”
“The whole dating process was pretty accelerated, but I felt like I was very true to who I am, and I opened up very quickly, so that we could form real connections and get to really know each other faster than it might’ve happened in real life, because time was not our luxury,” Eide said.
The show so far has included activities and dates including modeling costumes on a runway, painting, sumo wrestling, Twister, goat yoga, Crossfit, ice skating and a carnival.
“The dates and activities helped us get to know the guys and their personalities much more quickly than if we just sat around and talked all the time; a lot of the activities gave the guys the chance to push themselves and let their personality really shine,” Eide said. “They were always such a blast.”
When Hunter saw the men putting in more effort, she said “it was definitely more attractive.”
“I thought, ‘If they can’t fight for me on a show, why would they fight for me outside of it?’ “ Hunter said. “Turns out that wasn’t my most accurate judgment. A lot of people just wanted to look good for the show. I slowly started seeing that. Who was really there for me vs. the ‘clout.’ “
Hunter surprised the group by bringing contestant Caleb Wilcox back to the show after he was eliminated on the first episode.
“Caleb was the first who talks with me on the bench that day and I slowly started remembering that he was really fun to talk with,” Hunter said. “I felt a lot of regret and then as I was thinking that, out of nowhere Remi (host Remington Butler) texts me and says, ‘Are you sure you wanted to kick off Caleb?’ And so I ended up reaching out and the rest is history.”
Eide said she closed off a bit after she got “blindsided” during Episode 2’s elimination ceremony, when Nilson switched from Eide’s team to Hunter’s.
“From these first few episodes I learned a little more about what I’m all about, what I wanted and the type of people that I wanted to surround myself with,” Eide said. “Within the first three episodes, I found myself gravitating towards some people, and not wanting to spend as much time with others. I think we all went through this; we all found our people.”
Hunter said watching herself back on the first three episodes “wasn’t too painful.”
“I always made sure I was my 100 percent self, so when I see it I’m like, ‘Maybe that was awkward or embarrassing, but I wouldn’t change it because that was my genuine reaction,’ “ Hunter said. “It’s interesting hearing that some of the guys you thought were completely supporting you were kinda shooting for the other girls, and seeing some unexpected guys coming out of nowhere with a lot of support.”
Eide said the three bachelorettes were closer at the beginning of the show, but “there’s a bond between us that was and is always going to be there.”
“Nobody really understands what we went through except each other, which is nice,” Eide said.
“Provo’s Most Eligible” airs Thursday nights on YouTube.