Season 23 of “The Bachelor” is underway and, if you’re paying close attention, you may have noticed a Charlotte connection. One of the ladies competing for bachelor Colton Underwood’s affection is 23-year-old Caelynn, who was named Miss North Carolina in 2018 and calls the Queen City home.
In her "Bachelor" bio, Caelynn said her biggest mentor and role model is her grandmother, who was the first woman to be head of the FBI in Los Angeles. The broadcast journalism graduate also loves to travel and once flew to Japan for a first date.
For her introduction to Colton, Caelynn, who was also first runner-up in the Miss USA pageant, makes a special sash for her “Bachelor” debut. When they meet, she tells Colton that she’s there to win an even more important title and switches her sash to read “Miss Underwood.”
She gets the bachelor's attention, too. As she walked away, Colton said, “She’s gorgeous.”
Later in the show, Colton complimented Caelynn on her "beautiful eyes" and they kissed! For a full recap of episode one, click here.
Caelynn misses out on the first group date, so we don’t get to see her perform the story of her “first” in front of an audience, as the others had to do. Instead, she gets invited on the second group date to “summer camp,” where the girls are split into two teams and engage in camp-related competitions to see which team will score a campout with Colton.
Caelynn’s team wins, so she gets to spend a little extra time with the bachelor. She tells him about surviving a serious childhood illness -- encephalitis -- and they share another smooch!
This week, we get a hint of a little pageant rivalry between our girl and Hannah B., Miss Alabama and Caelynn’s roommate during the Miss USA competition. According to Caelynn, Hannah has a “persona” and people will see a “switch flipped.”
Caelynn doesn’t spill the beans to Colton but Hannah Alabama tells Hannah G. that Caelynn is fake and she’s worried that she’ll trash-talk her to Colton.
At the end of the night, both women get a rose, so we can look forward to at least one more week of the battling beauty queens. For a full recap of episode two, click here.
This week, we see the simmering rivalry between Caelynn and Hannah B. boil over! Both beauty queens are picked for the first group date: a swashbuckling adventure at a pirate-themed dinner show where the women go through some quick training and a little friendly competition to see who will be chosen to do a sketch with Colton. Much to Hannah’s dismay, Caelynn gets to share the spotlight with the bachelor – and more cuddling and kissing time, too.
This proves to be too much for Hannah Alabama to handle, so she decides to tell Colton about her pageant history with Caelynn and that Miss North Carolina is not who he thinks she is. A confused and frustrated Colton tells Caelynn all of this before he gives HER the group date rose.
Before the rose ceremony, Caelynn gets more one-on-one time with Colton and tells him that Hannah B. is manipulative, toxic and deceitful – accusations Miss Alabama firmly denies to him. Clearly, Colton doesn’t know whom to believe.
In the end, Hannah B. gets the final rose of the night, ensuring that our favorite battling beauties will be back next week. For a full recap of episode three, click here.
The fourth week proved to be a big one for both the show and our girl Caelynn. For the first time in the history of the show, “The Bachelor” traveled to Singapore, where lucky Caelynn would share an unforgettable one-on-one date with Colton.
After a one-on-one date with Tayshia and a group date, Colton sweeps Caelynn off her feet for a day of pampering. The pair hit a few high-end boutiques, where Colton lavishes our favorite beauty queen with lots of designer dresses and outfits.
Things turn serious when the two sit down for an intimate dinner, however. Caelynn tells Colton that when she was in college, she and some of her friends were sexually assaulted, and the perpetrators largely escaped punishment. She explains how difficult it's been for every person in her life but also recognizes that it’s made her strong. Clearly moved and upset by her story, Colton tells Caelynn, “With me, you’re safe” and gives her the date rose.
Before the rose ceremony, Caelynn takes Hannah B. aside and asks if they can put the past behind them. Surprisingly, Miss Alabama agrees and later earns her own rose, so it looks as if we may have seen the end of the beauty queen drama. For a full recap of episode four, click here.
For a fiery fifth week of filming, “The Bachelor” traveled to Thailand, where we see lots of drama unfold. Fortunately, none of it involved Caelynn.
“Never Been Kissed” Heather gets the first one-on-one date with Colton and gets her first kiss. The other one-on-one date went to Cassie.
Caelynn goes on the wild group date that takes place in a jungle. After learning a few survival skills from a guide, the women are divided into three teams and given an hour to find food and water. Caelynn’s group claims victory after finding banana plants and water.
As for the drama, first Elyse decides she doesn’t like sharing Colton with the others, so she packs her bags and heads home.
Later, Nicole and Onyeka start questioning each other’s motives and begin arguing so loudly that Colton overhears them. He tries to calm both women down but eventually walks when he can barely get a word in.
Instead of ending with a rose ceremony, the show ends with a “To be continued” message.
For a full recap of episode five, click here.
What. A. Week. Since we didn’t get to see a rose ceremony last week, episode six kicks off with one and Nicole and Onyeka are sent packing.
Fast forward to the next day and we find Colton and the remaining women in Vietnam. Hannah G. and Kirpa score one-on-one dates while Caelynn has to settle for another group date.
As it turns out, patience pays off on this show and we’re glad our girl Caelynn keeps playing it cool. Sydney, on the other hand, tells Colton she’s done waiting around and she leaves the show.
In another surprising move, Demi tries to make a bold play for the bachelor by telling him she’s falling in love with him. Unfortunately, Colton doesn’t think they can “get there,” so she packs her bags.
The usual weekly cocktail party is canceled and we get a second rose ceremony where Caelynn scores a flower -- whew! -- and Katie gets eliminated, but not before dropping a bomb. On her way out, she warns Colton that some of the remaining women aren’t ready to get married – something he’s heard from every woman leaving!
A frustrated Colton tells the women what he keeps being told and that he's going to start searching for answers. For a full recap of episode six, click here.
Hoping to find some clarity before he has to select his final four, Colton heads home to Denver with the seven remaining ladies, where he gets advice from his father and from former “Bachelor” Ben Higgins.
Tayshia scores the first one-on-one date and gets a taste of what life could be like with Colton. During their date, Colton asks her what she’s seen and heard in the house and Tayshia tells him she thinks the other women were trying to warn him about -- gasp! -- Cassie and Caelynn?!? She tells Colton she thinks neither Cassie nor Caelynn is ready to get engaged and that they talk about being the next “Bachelorette.”
The pair also talk about what it would be like for Colton to meet her family and the date ends with Colton offering Tayshia a rose.
Despite the warning, Colton picks Caelynn for the next one-on-one date. Whew!
After a day of snowboarding, the pair go to dinner, where Colton tells Caelynn what Tayshia said. Caelynn is shocked and disappointed but reassures Colton that she is there for the right reasons.
She tells him she’s falling in love with him and, thankfully, he believes her and tells her he’s falling for her, too! Caelynn gets a rose, guaranteeing a hometown visit for our girl, and they end the evening with a private concert from musician Brett Young at Red Rocks.
Hannah B. is excited to get the final one-on-one date of the week, but the excitement turns to disappointment after Colton tells her that she’s not the one for him.
The group date is set with Hannah G., Heather, Cassie and Kirpa. There are four women, but only two roses are left. Heather steals Colton away first and admits that she’s not ready for marriage, so she leaves.
Kirpa, who also tells Colton that Cassie and Caelynn are the ones everyone has tried to warn him about, ends up being the odd woman out and the final two roses go to Hannah G. and Cassie. For a full recap of episode seven, click here.
With only four women left -- Tayshia, Hannah G., Cassie and Caelynn -- Colton visits each of their hometowns to meet with their families this week.
Caelynn gets the first hometown date to her parents’ home in Fredericksburg, Va. The pair enjoy a fun day taking a carriage ride around town, touring a few historical sites and stopping for a sweet treat at Caelynn’s favorite ice cream shop. They talk about what their lives could be like if they were together --traveling, kids and getting a dog.
After a backyard cookout with the family, Caelynn’s stepfather John gets a chance to talk one-on-one with Colton while Caelynn talks to her mom and sister. John tells Colton the whole situation kinda blows him away and makes him promise that if he asks Caelynn to get married that it will be a lifelong commitment.
After all the serious talks are over, Caelynn and Colton watch some of her home movies and she tells Colton she loves him.
Things seems to go pretty smoothly for the bachelor on the hometown dates with Tayshia and Hannah, too.
Things don’t seem to go so well in California with Cassie, however. Cassie’s dad said he was concerned that Colton is still seeing other women so he did not sign off on a potential proposal. Ouch.
Cassie also never used the L-word with Colton but said she’s excited to see where their relationship may go instead. Ouch again!
Although Cassie seemed like the obvious choice to send home, unfortunately that was not how it went down at the rose ceremony. Colton gave his final three roses to Hannah, Tayshia and Cassie.
Understandably, we were crushed and so was Caelynn! Colton walked her out and comforted her as she broke down but never explained why he was sending her packing. It was a heartbreaking ending for our Queen City pageant gal.
Thankfully, it may not be the last we see of Caelynn. Next week we get to see a bonus episode on Tuesday when all of the contestants return to "tell all."
For a full recap of episode eight, click here.
To watch “The Bachelor,” tune in to Channel 9 every Monday at 8 p.m.
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