'The Bachelorette' to star both Britt Nilsson and Kaitlyn Bristowe for Season 11, recycling old 'The Bachelor' twist
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/10/2015
ABC has confirmed who will star on The Bachelorette's upcoming eleventh season, and it's a shocker.
As revealed during Monday night's After the Final Rose special, both Britt Nilsson and Kaitlyn Bristowe will be the franchise's next Bachelorettes.
Host Chris Harrison explained that America was "so torn" between both girls, producers determined they shouldn't make the decision. Instead, the 25 guys who compete for their love will select which of the two ladies they'd like to date more -- and potentially marry.
Harrison explained, "The truth is, we had a really hard time deciding. Bachelor Nation was pretty much split right down the middle. Even our staff was completely divided. Passion runs very deep on both sides of this aisle."
The host then asked the audience to cheer for whether they wanted Bristowe or Nilsson to be the Bachelorette. Bristowe's applause was incredibly louder, but the host continued on with his original point.
"So we actually decided not to decide," Harrison noted. "For the first time in Bachelorette history, we're going to have two Bachelorettes!"
The audience clapped but then gasped. Everyone was clearly confused about how such a format would work.
"That's right, it is going to be Britt AND Kaitlyn," Harrison announced. "So the 25 men on Night 1 are going to have the ultimate say about who THEY think would make the best wife. I'm sure people at home are freaking out."
Harrison then asked Nilsson and Bristowe to join him on the stage during After the Final Rose. Both girls seemed somewhat displeased, but Bristowe actually appeared pissed off even though she maintained a smile.
"Everybody is floored about this and I'm sure you are among those that are just as surprised," Harrison told the two women.
"No, this is totally normal," Bristowe said sarcastically.
"Yeah, not weird at all," Nilsson chimed in with a laugh.
Harrison asked both girls how it felt and then congratulated them.
"I'd say we'd make a pretty good first impression with the tears and the laughs. I think we'll be okay," Bristowe laughed.
"I'm super grateful; I think it's an amazing opportunity. I mean, it's more than I can comprehend," Nilsson explained. "I'm still having a lot of trouble processing it. And I love Kaitlyn, so we'll just see how it goes!"
After pointing out again this is a first for The Bachelorette, Harrison said, "These guys are going to show up Night 1, double trouble. Is there a strategy? Have you guys talked about how this is going to go?"
"I think we discussed we'll end up in the same hot tub at one point," Bristowe said.
"Right, yeah!" Nilsson said.
"Some lucky damn guys, that's all I can say -- lucky men out there," Harrison sighed. "I can't imagine -- now that we've made this announcement -- what the reaction's going to be from men all across this great land clamoring to have a shot to get on this season. It's going to be interesting that night."
Both girls agreed.
"We have no idea what we're getting into right now," Nilsson said.
"What do you think the first night's going to be like?" Harrison questioned.
"Fun? I don't know," Nilsson guessed.
"A lot of things. Fun might be one of them, yeah," Bristowe noted, becoming less enthused as the conversation progressed.
Both girls said they were ready to dive in and find love because the process works. However, they acknowledged it was going to be hard. Harrison then asked what went through their minds the minute they found out they'd be starring on The Bachelorette together.
"I think what went through my mind was, 'Well, that's not ideal,'" Bristowe said, as Nilsson tried not to get offended.
"Nothing against you," Bristowe elaborated. "I mean, it's just not really what I pictured. But, I mean, if that's what it takes to find somebody!"
While this marks the first timeThe Bachelorette will introduce this new concept of having two female stars, The Bachelor franchise actually pulled this same stunt a decade ago.
Back in 2004, The Bachelor's sixth season featured Byron Velvick against Jay Overbye on Night 1.
The format featured the 25 bachelorettes handing a rose to either man, indicating whom they'd like to date and maybe potentially marry. The suitor who ended up with the most roses became the Season 6 star. In this case, Velvick won the opportunity to be the Bachelor and Overbye was sent home by the end of the first episode.