Why I’m leaving ‘The Bachelor’ after 12 seasons

What’s a reality show without the Bachelor/Bachelorette alumnae? Not necessarily a bad thing, but after 12 seasons, I’m exiting the franchise with a whimper, not a bang. My next reality-drama adventure will be a completely different reality-drama, but still worth watching, I promise.

I came into Bachelor Nation with high hopes, with a belief that the producers were doing their best to expose the most deserving contestants and give viewers real background. I’m proud of how I was able to achieve that — to be vulnerable, honest, funny, and ultimately be able to help guide someone through a difficult season on the show. It was an experience that I cherish.

After participating in the Bachelorette season 4 and finding the love of my life, I began to be open about my mental health struggles — with eating disorders, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. It led to more focus on finding love, and being in a happy place. One year and four months later, I found my own happiness, marriage, and a beautiful new son with my husband.

But even with my own success, I still knew there were times when I would “just get hit over the head with a brick”. During the Bachelorette season 5 finale, I was shattered when it was revealed that Ben Higgins’s fiancee, Lauren Bushnell, was leaving him to return to the franchise and try to find love again. I just kept believing that Ben would find his wife on the show, and it took an extra layer of pain for me to be devastated by the news.

That cast a shadow on the entire season, and Ben’s departure loomed larger than all of the seasons. Both of us on the show were devastated — of course we were, because we were actually dating. Ben and I had even planned to visit the same city for a romantic weekend after the season finale — a cancellation that robbed me of a once-in-a-lifetime “the Bachelor/Bachelorette” moment.

Ben was a role model to me. Every step of the way, he was optimistic, hopeful, and optimistic. There is a positive light that came from his experience — and from my experiences — and I hope that people can learn from them.

Well, let’s just say I’m going in a completely different direction from the past 12 seasons.

As an executive at A+E Networks, I am responsible for storytelling across all genres, including reality shows and scripted series. You can expect to see me take an increased role in the storytelling, and as a part of that, I am launching a new show.

While I’ve spent much of my career in the media industry, I’m also excited to serve as an advocate for people living with mental health challenges. I’ve been determined to raise awareness and find additional resources for those in need.

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