'The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart' star Julia Rae: "I never should have left Sheridan" for Brandon, it's a "deep, deep regret"
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/05/2020
The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart star Julia Rae admits she made a huge mistake in choosing Brandon Mills over Sheridan Reed, who was clearly falling for her during the show and left brokenhearted.
Although Julia and Sheridan, a seemingly sincere and sweet guy, hit it off immediately and performed together multiple times, Julia had lingering feelings for Brandon, who was painted as a player and had been dating Savannah McKinley on the show.
When Julia and Brandon were forced to go on a date in a surprising Bachelor twist, Julia decided Brandon was the guy she wanted to be with because their chemistry was too strong to ignore. Julia therefore dumped Sheridan, who cried about how the nice guy had once again finished last.
Looking back on her mistakes, Julia said on Us Weekly's "Here for the Right Reasons" podcast, "I would've done many things differently. I don't think I ever would have left Sheridan. I watch it back and I'm like, 'What were you thinking, girl?! Wake up!'"
"I never should have left Sheridan," Julia, a 27-year-old from Wayne, PA, reiterated. "You know, that is a deep, deep regret."
"I think honestly, we had this amazing connection both intimately in a relationship and also musically," the singer added, "and I think we could have gone all the way because of that, and unfortunately, my heart was so torn to not be able to see that clearly."
Julia said she lacked focus on The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart because she initially assumed the format was going to be similar to Bachelor in Paradise, when cast members typically date multiple people at once in order to determine their true feelings.
"That's why I was so open to exploring," Julia explained.
"Unfortunately for me, I wasn't swept off my feet right away. That wasn't necessarily my style anyway, so I was conflicted. I was totally shocked when Chris Harrison was like, 'Okay, you are coupled up and that's it.' I was like, 'Whoa, wait! We're only a short amount of time in this process.' And I wasn't ready for it."
Julia explained that she never lost interest in Sheridan but couldn't give their romance her all because she had never received closure from her spark with Brandon. (As fans probably recall, Julia and Brandon kissed on Night 1 but then Brandon and Savannah went on to exchange roses).
"My connection with Sheridan was actually very deep from the get-go. I shared things with him off the bat I don't typically share with people early on in dating, and it's because I felt so comfortable with him," Julia shared with Us, adding that music bonded them even more.
FOLLOW REALITY TV WORLD ON THE ALL-NEW GOOGLE NEWS!
Reality TV World is now available on the all-new Google News app and website. Click here to visit our Google News page, and then click FOLLOW to add us as a news source!
"It never really took a turn with Sheridan. I was never like, 'Oh I don't like him anymore.' I always liked him. It was like my heart was so conflicted because I had this spark with Brandon and I couldn't decide if it was legit or just a spark that fizzles really quickly."
Julia called herself "the queen of overthinking" during the podcast, which apparently really hurt her in the process.
"I knew I had something really strong and the foundation of what would be a beautiful relationship with Sheridan... So I had that, and then I needed to figure out if the Brandon thing was really just a wham-bam feeling with no substance there. That was my conflict and I totally spiraled," Julia admitted.
Once Sheridan and Savannah quit the show, Julia and Brandon coupled up and were given the song "We Belong" by Pat Benetar to perform in front of a live audience at The Novo in Los Angeles, CA.
But right before going onstage, cast member Natascha Bessez warned Julia that Brandon would have stayed with Savannah had Savannah opted to continue their relationship despite his confused heart.
Julia and Brandon therefore gave off a sense of tension between them when they performed, and the celebrity judges noticed their chemistry was off.
Julia ultimately felt like Brandon abandoned her onstage and had performed a solo, and the couple was eliminated at the end of Monday night's The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart broadcast.
"I don't think [Savannah] had malicious intent. I think she was sharing information with me but she could've shared it right when she learned it rather than waiting 40 minutes before I had to go onstage," Julia said.
"But it happened the way it happened, and I hope at the end of the day she was just trying to help me out."
Julia had some choice words for Savannah during recent episodes of the ABC spinoff, including calling Savannah "fake," but she apparently hates that viewers have labeled her "a mean girl."
"I understand why people feel the need to say their opinion to me because I too cringe watching much of the episodes," Julia admitted to Us.
"I am a sassy person in real life that says things like ding, ding, ding... and it didn't translate at all on television... I did not have malicious intent when I said those things. I certainly understand why it came across that way."
"I definitely misdirected my frustration to Savannah," Julia continued, "and I apologized to her immediately when we were done filming because I felt really bad for that... I think [Savannah's] feelings for Brandon were real."
Julia confessed to having received a lot of backlash, saying, "The haters have been real and honestly cyberbullying is not okay."
"I have received vicious messages, telling me to go jump off a bridge. And honestly, these have been really dark days for me to kind of bring myself out of that," Julia explained on the podcast.
Julia believes online bullying is even worse now that people are staying at home and quarantining themselves amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"I think we're all craving human connection. And I think that is a huge part of why cyberbullying might be more intense right now. But I'm certainly trying to keep perspective. I feel misunderstood. I certainly know where I did wrong, and I own up to that, but I also think there's so much that people don't see on these shows," Julia said.
Julia had a roller coaster of a ride on The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart, but she apparently harbors no ill will or resentment towards Brandon, whom she vented she was "done with" right after their elimination from the show.
"Brandon and I have been in touch... I've been in touch with Sheridan a lot, and I have so much respect for him. It's been hard watching the show back for both of us, and I hope in the future, we can connect again," Julia said.