We’ve met plenty of Bachelorettes (15 of them, to be exact) throughout The Bachelorette’s history and while they’ve all been great in their own ways, it’s a universally acknowledged Bachelor nation truth that Kaitlyn Bristowe is undoubtedly *the best* Bachelorette we’ve had thus far. Not only is the season 11 lead funny, kind and not afraid to speak up for herself, but she also chose the guy that so many of us were rooting for her to choose—even though it eventually didn’t work out. And now, with the June 15 announcement that Kaitlyn is going to be starring in the next season of Dancing with the Stars (five years after her season aired), it’s official: Kaitlyn has 100% had the best glow-up of all the Bach leads. Here’s why.
Kaitlyn has always remained true to herself
Kaitlyn Bristowe first burst onto our screens as a contestant on Chris Soules’ season 19 of The Bachelor as the quirky, outspoken Canadian. And while that particular trope has since been filled again and again in the series (most recently by season 24 Bachelor contestant Mykenna), Kaitlyn has remained the one true Canadian gal after our own hearts—aside from fan fave and FLARE columnist, Sharleen Joynt, of course! Part of the reason that Kaitlyn has remained a fan favourite has a lot to do with her no-holds-barred, tell-it-like-it-is personality. From the moment she first came onto our screens (when she told the then Bachelor Chris, “You can plow the fuck out of my field any day”), we knew Kaitlyn was someone we wanted to be our BFF. And as the Bachelorette, she continued to do what she wanted and felt was best for her. From sleeping with contestant Nick Viall *outside* of the fantasy suites (later telling ET, “I’m a 30-year-old woman, and I make my own decisions, and intimacy to me is a part of every relationship, and I don’t know why everyone is so shocked by it. It’s 2015”) to telling off dud contestant Ian after he called her shallow, Kaitlyn opened up some important convos in Bach nation and broader society.
And since the show, Kaitlyn has continued to speak her mind, whether that means talking openly about how she was treated unfairly post-show by creator Mike Fleiss (who told the former Bachelorette she couldn’t be on DWTS because she needed to focus on her fiancée), to talking openly about her split with her ex Shawn Booth, to baring her soul via music with the May 2020 release of her song, “If I’m Being Honest,” Kaitlyn has built a brand off being vulnerable, open and authentic—and everyone loves her for it.
Not to mention, Kaitlyn has a thriving career
And it’s probably because of this authenticity that Kaitlyn has done über well for herself since hanging up her sparkly gowns as the Bachelorette in 2015. Since her season premiered, Kaitlyn has gone on to have a quite a lucrative career and interesting career—and no, we’re not just talking about hawking eyewear or Revolve clothing. Since her time on The Bachelorette, she’s built a mini empire, launching her super popular Off the Vine podcast in 2017, a scrunchie line in June 2018 (Dew Edit) and her own line of wine, Spade & Sparrows in June 2019 (very on-brand for the wine enthusiast). Kaitlyn has built a personal brand as your stylish BFF who tells it like it is, and now she’s doing that for her fans—and making money off of it.
As mentioned above, the former Bachelorette recently made her country music debut, a life-long dream of hers (and TBH, something that many in Bach nation dream about). And, surprise surprise! She actually has a great voice? It honestly seems like there’s nothing Kaitlyn can’t “dew.”
Kaitlyn has managed to remain friends with her infamous ex
Alongside her professional success, it’s also a testament to the Canadian TV personality that she’s managed to cultivate and maintain some *great* relationships, and that includes one very notorious ex. ICYMI, Kaitlyn and runner-up Nick *didn’t* end their season together on the best of terms. After being painted as the season’s villain during the initial airing of the show, Nick was pretty much ostracized from Bach nation after his appearance. The winner of Kaitlyn’s season—and her fiancée until 2018—Shawn Booth *hated* Nick. Like really despised him:
View this post on Instagram
had a different caption for this but then last night @kaitlynbristowe was finally asked to be on dancing with the stars. five years in the making. this is such a big deal if you’re OG bachelor nation because mike fleiss originally banned her from doing it which caused a huge falling out between her and the brand chris harrison fixed it all of course. we will get into it on the pod but omg im so happy for her! #thebachelorgoat #dwts #thebachelorgoat
Read this next: Hannah Brown, Please Just Take Your Mirror Ball and Run
In hindsight, it seems that Nick maybe wasn’t as bad of a guy as viewers thought (and with the June 15 recap of Kaitlyn’s season’s highlights on The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons—Ever!, some fans are admitting that maybe Shawn was actually the low-key villain all along), but Nick and Kaitlyn didn’t really talk until November 2019—unless they were throwing jabs at each other in public—in large part because of Shawn’s insecurities.
In November 2019, the former couple appeared on each other’s podcasts to chat about their relationship. While appearing on an episode of Nick’s The Viall Files, Kaitlyn said that former fiancée Shawn always made her feel shame about hooking up with Nick during their season. “At the end of the day, you have a choice and I chose [Shawn] and he chose me and then he chose to focus on you. It really was hard for him. It was really, really a lingering thing in the relationship,” she said on the podcast. “I think I was made to feel shame, but deep down I wasn’t ashamed. But that’s why I acted the way I did or that’s why we didn’t talk or that’s why I made little jabs here and there because I knew he had been so hurt by it and I hated that … I truly, deeply loved him and I wanted to protect him, so it was so hard for me.”
Since then, the pair are back to being friends, supporting each other online and IRL. And we love to see a healthy, supportive relationship! (Plus, Nick is reportedly a fan of Kaitlyn’s new BF, Bach alum Jason Tartick.)
Read this next: The Bachelor Should 100% Cast a Black Lead—but That’s Not All
And now, Kaitlyn’s finally going to live out her DWTS dream
As if patching things up with your ex isn’t enough growth for the Canadian, now Kaitlyn *finally* gets to live out another one of her dreams, appearing on the 29th season of Dancing with the Stars. FWIW, Kaitlyn trained in dance, and after being royally shut down by Bach creator Fleiss, this is the *ultimate* eff you to the franchise (facilitated by everyone’s Bach dad, Chris Harrison).
The announcement, which came from Chris on the June 15 episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons—Ever!, was clearly a surprise for the franchise fave.
— The Bachelorette (@BacheloretteABC) June 16, 2020
And we couldn’t be more thrilled to see her take after former Bachelorette Hannah Brown and snag the coveted mirror ball trophy!
FYI, this was pretty much our reaction to the news, too:
So congrats, Kaitlyn! We can’t wait to see you—in the words of Becca Kufrin—”dew” the damn thing!