The Bachelor

Kailynne, 24, Digital Marketing

Eye Color: Brown

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

A dolphin, because I believe they represent sensuality.

If you could have dinner with anyone from history, alive or dead, who would it be?

My dad! Hes not dead, but I just have so much respect for him and we both like all the same kinds of food, which is crazy!

Lauren, 25, Student

Height: 56

Favorite food: Chocolate anything!

What’s your biggest fear?

Shag carpet. (Lauren has a nightmare that comes to her often. She is in her grandmothers home, standing in the living room in her bare feet. The tendrils of the tan rug begin to grow, twisting themselves around her toes and gradually up her ankles, rendering her immobile. So perhaps the fear isnt the rug at all, but her own inability to move forward in a meaningful way. When Laurens aunt went behind her back and applied for her to be on reality television, Lauren thought to herself, its not real. But what could feel less real than today, she thought, or the day before, when at the grocery store the same woman asked her if shed like a sample of natural apple-smoked smoked sausage three times, one for each time she walked by, having forgotten something in an earlier aisle. Each time she passed the sample woman forgot she had seen her before at all, and gestured at her with a toothpick and brand new politeness each time.)

Tara, 30, Public Relations Consultant

Favorite color: Definitely red!

What are you looking for in a relationship?

Commitment. Im looking for marriage material! (Tara repeats this to herself as she walks to the restroom on the opposite end of her office, marriage material. A material, but what is the material? Is it something appealing like lace, or fly paper, or is it some undiscovered element that is heavier than any metal, enough to weigh a person next to her for life. Even if that weight yields to discomfort, all the better, because she seeks to make herself a comfort for that one person: soft hair, soft legs, soft smile, everything like a pillow.)

What’s your guilty pleasure?

I LOVE kidscereal. Bring on the fruity pebbles!

Mackenzie, 28, Small Business Owner

Favorite Movie: Something’s Gotta Give

Whats the worst first date youve ever been on?

I went on a date with this guy who owned horses and so we went horseback riding and while I was up on his favorite brown and white horse I felt a little lump between her shoulder blades. It turned out she had terminal cancer. We dated for 4 and a half years and Im not allowed to go to his church anymore!

Katie F, 22, Kindergarten Teacher

Favorite Book: The Bible

Most embarrassing moment: When I was 17 I was reported missing from a Disney Cruise for almost 24 hours!

Lexi, 29, Jewelry Designer

Height: 5’8

Whats your greatest fear?

Spiders, ew!

If you were a fruit or a vegetable, what would you be and why?

A banana, because its a long fruit and I was the longest baby ever recorded to be born in a Virginia hospital!

(Poor Lexi knew in her heart, and we all knew, that she wouldnt make it past the first episode. When the bachelor introduced himself to her with a little hammy smile and a hand quickly extended, his eyeballs already wobbling towards the limousine from which the next woman would emerge, the desperation kicked in. Once in the mansion, Lexi began to take advantage of the free champagne and attempted to mold a friendship with the contestant who seemed the most likely to succeed, but as they spoke in the hot tub, the beautiful woman was cold to her. As a last resort, in the confession booth, Lexi tearfully and falsely admitted that she had a boyfriend back home, although it will be several months before she sees that that footage didnt make it in either.)

Madison, 28, Bartender

Whats your secret talent?

Im really good at pretending Im sick!

Do you have any tattoos?

A butterfly on my left calf.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself married with my first kid, and shes a girl, and she looks just like me, and she likes all the same things as me, and we read each other’s thoughts like that, because were so much the same. And Im also a professional singer-songwriter and I have a big house with one of those very deep bathtubs.

Katie B, 25, Nurse

Favorite Color: Pink, or orange.

What do you bring to the table in a relationship?

Im not a boring person, but a history of relationships within which I have been made to feel embarrassed have led me to withhold most of my less mainstream interests, my political beliefs, and the small day-to-day compulsions that make me most human: needing to use the same stall in the bathroom at work, taking the longer route home from work in order not to pass any graveyards, not going to sleep without rubbing my feet with lotion and pulling on a pair of plush socks.

In this way, I am vague enough for our bachelor to project the woman that he wants upon and hollow enough for the viewers to see themselves within me.

Year after year, you will see some version of myself go far, and although the writers and editors will pull all the stops to make me the archetypal perfect-future-wife, an indissoluble layer of sheen will defy this. My confessions of love sound like I am leading into a joke, but not finishing it. I force my eyes to widen into big plastic plates when they display for the final contestants potential engagement rings tucked into a velvet-lined box.  By the end of the season, I am ridiculed, even detested.

Despite this, the viewer applauds when the man kisses me in the helicopter. The camera pans away from my face, out the thick window and to a green island below that I lack both the time and enthusiasm to discover.

Text by Laura Payne

Photography Clare Gatto

Styling Mitch McGuire

Hair Brett Casey Jones