Bach fans were not excited when Hannah Brown was announced to be The Bachelorette. When Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor ended there were a few women rumored to be interviewing for the role.
Fan favorite and runner-up Hannah Godwin came up quite a bit, though she’s been pretty tight-lipped about the details of her Bachelorette talks. Fellow runner-up and fan favorite Tayshia Adams was also thought to be a good choice. Caelynn Miller-Keyes, best buddy to the season winner, Cassie Randolph, was also rumored to be considered for the gig. And Bachelor Nation seemed to be very much behind all of these women.
Then there was Hannah B., the awkward southern former pageant winner who couldn’t give a toast to save her life. She placed seventh in Colton’s season, which is typically unheard of for future Bachelorettes.
Our first glance at Hannah B. as The Bachelorette was during Colton’s finale. She came out to meet a few of her suitors and boy was it a mess. It seemed as if someone had told her to play into her awkwardness–that it was quirky or charming. It was a hard segment to watch.
After the finale, Bachelorette fans took to social media to let their disappointment be known. Many fans said, out of protest for the decision, that they would not be tuning in this season because they couldn’t stand to watch Hannah B. fumble her way through her journey to love.
As the season grew closer, the naysayers did not let up.
ABC even made a few statements about why they chose Hannah B. amidst all the criticism.
“I think some people thought, ‘Oh my gosh, how is this person going to be The Bachelorette when they seem to really not know what to say or where to stand or what to do?’ And then there are people who said, ‘We’ve never seen this before and it seems endearing and charming.’ And I was in that camp. I think it’s very easy to teach somebody how to pick up a rose or say a name, but you can’t fake the natural sort of charm and nervousness and everything that she had, and I thought that was really, really great,” ABC executive Rob Mills told The Hollywood Reporter.
And then the official Bachelorette promotional trailer came out, set to the tune of You Don’t Own Me by Lesley Gore. It was a very clear message to the haters. It showed Hannah B. walking through a fairytale-like forest, stripping away her poofy dress, sash, and crown, a trail of roses appearing as she walked. It asked us: “Think you know her?” and shot us down: “Think again.”
Every Bach fan in America gave a collective haha yeah we’ll see.
Hannah Brown is a great Bachelorette
But here we are, almost halfway through Hannah B.’s season, and she’s kind of killing it. The first episode was a little rocky. It included some shots of her awkwardly walking through a field where she “didn’t know what to do with [her] hands,” but it only went up from there.
Hannah B. has been charmingly quirky (not contrived and awkward), she’s been genuine (and real genuine, not the typical Bachelorette version of genuine), and she’s been strong. Hannah B. has been standing up for herself and speaking her truth all season long and if the season previews are any indication, she does the same throughout the entirety of her time as The Bachelorette. And as an added bonus, she’s turning into one of the few Bachelorettes who advocate for female sexuality (see: “I have had sex and Jesus still loves me!”).
We were wrong about Hannah Brown. Not only is she brave enough to stand up for herself like she’s teaching a masterclass in self-worth, she’s brave enough to grow into herself on national television.