Last week, Bachelorette alum, proud Canadian and Snapchat filter aficionado Kaitlyn Bristowe added podcast host to her list of post-reality TV pursuits. Off the Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe debuted at number one on iTunes. The format is simple: Kaitlyn does her chatty/edgy/goofy Kaitlyn thing with a series of special guests… and drinks A LOT of wine while she’s at it. Here, she explains why podcasting is her ideal medium, how she turns down big money to stay true to her brand and what she thinks of reality TV’s latest hot topic—WABOOM!!
You got famous on TV, but you say you feel like podcasting is a more natural medium for you. How come?
I don’t know what it is, but ever since I was little I wanted to be on the radio. I guess I really love to talk, and then when podcasting became a thing, I knew I wanted to have one. When I went on TV I was always thinking, oh I wish I could just do this in my sweatpants with my hair in a bun because that’s me, and now I can.
Plus nobody can see how much wine you’re drinking.
There you go! Nobody can judge me.
For episode one, your special guest was your hunky fiancé Shawn B. How would you rate him as a guest?
He did a lot better than I thought he would. Usually in interviews I do all the talking, but this time he was my guest, so he had to talk. He’s got a great voice.
What other guests do you have lined up?
This week, it’s one of my best friends who was the reason that I went on The Bachelor, so we just chatted about the show and other things. I just want it to be people who I can have good banter with. Girls and guys who are empowering and funny. And some celebrities. I’m going to have Spencer and Heidi on.
Wow, they’re like the OGs of reality romance.
Exactly. They’ re hilarious and he’s a big Snapchatter and we kind of just became friends through the reality world. I think they’ll be great guests.
And who would you want to have on if you could wave a wand?
Either Ellen DeGeneres or Amy Schumer. I feel like Amy could happen because she was on my season of The Bachelorette and we have each other’s phone numbers.
And haven’t you been on Ellen?
I haven’t. She’s always had the Bachelors on her show, but she’s on her summer break when The Bachelorette is airing. She did have Rachel on and I was so jealous. Tomorrow Shawn and I are actually flying to L.A. to do Bachelorette recaps on EllenTube. We don’t get to meet Ellen though.
But you’re getting closer.
Right—I’m putting my foot in the door.
You’ve become a huge social media star since The Bachelorette. Has that been tricky to navigate?
Well, before I went on the show I was working at a restaurant, I was teaching spin classes, so I had no experience in the celebrity world. And then I come off and you get all of these opportunities, which was very overwhelming. Seeing that if you post about this tummy tea or this waist trainer, you get this much money and to me it was like, Are you kidding? I can just post about these things and get money? That’s wild. Of course I’m going to do that. But then I saw the response and people didn’t like it. I realized that I wanted to think about my social media career in terms of longevity. I still do sponsored posts, but only for brands that I would use and that feel natural. I have turned down a lot of money to stay true to who I am.
What’s the biggest offer you’ve said no to?
Probably to do teeth whitening posts. I don’t even want to say how much it was, but I don’t use that product, so I didn’t do it.
After the show you were also offered a role on Dancing with the Stars, but your contract with The Bachelor barred you from saying yes. You say there were gender issues at play?
I think the proof is in the pudding. Bachelorettes don’t tend to be on DWTS and a lot of the Bachelors do get the opportunity. People say, Well Trista did. Yes, but she was the very first Bachelorette and no one has since then. Also she was out of her contract when she went on DWTS. Chris Soules, who was on the season before me, was allowed to do it. But then when I was given the opportunity, I was told that they didn’t want people to continue to seek fame after the show, and that I should focus on my relationship. I told them that dancing is a passion of mine, something I had done when I was little, and I was told that Shawn should be my passion. And then of course Ben Higgins came after me and got his own reality show and Nick was on DWTS.
So it’s just the women who should focus on their relationships, but the men can pursue career opportunities?
Exactly. That doesn’t sit well with me.
Switching gears, you recently joined the #realstagram movement by posting a no-makeup, no-filter selfie and encouraging others to do the same. How come?
Before I even went on the show I was working with my girlfriend on a company that helps women with body issues and shows them that what you see in the media is not reality. Now I have this platform, and I realized that I was one of those people posting all of these pretty, filtered photos all the time. I love makeup and dressing up, but I think it’s important to mix in the odd real, raw photo to show that we’re not perfect, these images are not reality.
How real is too real? Like, what are we never going to see on your Insta?
People are always saying, Oh you and Shawn are so perfect, and I’m like, Well, we’re not and we have rough times and arguments like all people. I’m not going to post that though. I don’t think people want to see that.
A few months ago you announced that you have frozen your eggs, which is an important decision and also a personal one. Why did you decide to share it?
Freezing your eggs is empowering because it becomes your decision when you’re ready to have kids. I think women today are doing more travelling and focusing on career and they’re not going to pop out kids just because that’s the “right time” to do it. I want people to know that this is an option and obviously my girlfriend Whitney [Chris Soules’s former fiancée] works for Ova Egg Freezing.
You’re not the only Bach alum posting about Ova.
Yes, Andi has and also Carley. It’s not something we get paid for, we just want to help.
Speaking of timelines—you and Shawn recently celebrated a two-year engagement. Is it annoying how people constantly want to know when you’re going to tie the knot?
It’s funny because I know that once we do get married it will be, When are you having babies? I get it. We met on a show where you find the love of your life and get engaged, so it’s a natural question for people to ask. For us it’s like, well we met two years ago and we basically started dating after the show. We bought a house [last year]. We’re obviously not very traditional people, the way we met isn’t traditional. We might even have a baby before we get married or maybe we’ll just go to the courthouse.
So we’re not going to see a “Kaitlyn & Shawn: Happily Ever After” Bachelor wedding extravaganza?
We weren’t against that, but it’s never been talked about. I don’t even know if that’s an option. Nobody’s asked us.
Okay let’s talk about the new season a bit. One word: Waboom!
I think he’s a genius from a branding standpoint. He went on wanting everyone to talk about him and he’s getting that and I would guess he’s pretty happy.
I was surprised that Rachel gave a rose—two weeks in a row—to someone who is either a complete lunatic or there for “all the wrong reasons,” as they say.
It’s funny—every season there is somebody who gets a rose and people think, How is she keeping this person? Tony the healer was my Waboom. When you’re the Bachelorette, you don’t see all of that craziness that happens in the house when and I did actually have a couple of nice conversations with Tony. It was kind of a mutual thing between me and the producers to give him a chance. That’s how it works. It’s all in the name of good TV.