Just as your local drugstore is filling its aisles with heart-shaped chocolate boxes and Valentine’s Day decorations (before we’ve even taken down our Christmas tree), television programming is also preparing for roses and romance because The Bachelor is back for its 23rd season, featuring former football player Colton Underwood. This season has its usual unique group of girls — from a Canadian dog rescuer to one woman who claims she’s never been kissed — but there are two ladies who have an advantage in this competition.
Hannah Brown and Caelynn Miller-Keyes, who are vying to win Underwood’s affection, were both contestants in the 2018 Miss USA pageant. Brown represented Alabama, while Miller-Keyes represented North Carolina (and actually placed as first runner-up in the competition).
We’re predicting that their shared pageant background will help them become frontrunners in this reality competition, because The Bachelor is basically the longest beauty pageant ever. Let us explain:
They’re used to bunking up with their competition.
These two girls know what it’s like to coexist with dozens of women — if not more — as they all compete for the “top spot.” And while the big prize includes a different type of jewelry in The Bachelor(an engagement ring instead of a crown), the competitive energy is the same. With experience in cutthroat rivalry, Brown and Miller-Keyes are more prepared than most for cattiness, drama, or whatever comes their way in the house.
They’re hair and makeup pros.
Last year, we learned that The Bachelor contestants are expected to do their own hair and makeup for filming. Likewise, pageant titleholders have to do their own hair and makeup during the competition. So, most women vying for titles like Miss USA get professional makeup and hair lessons.
With this training, Miller-Keyes and Brown will be able to create beauty looks that shine under the bright lights on set. Plus, they have a closet full of evening gowns (since it’s a major part of the pageant scorecard) to choose from. So, they have all the skills needed to create standout looks that will set them apart from the other women and catch Underwood’s attention.
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They’re trained to answer tough questions on camera.
As a part of training, pageant queens practice personality and news-related questions for off-stage interviews and on-stage questions. This puts Miller-Keyes and Brown at an advantage for The Bachelor, where they have to make a good first impression as well as shine in one-on-one dates and promo interviews.
The pageant queens will know how to make the most of their limited time with Underwood because they’ve had practice impressing judges in three minutes or less. But it’s a fine line — they could seem too schooled or come off as phony. We’ll let you be the judge…
And if it doesn’t work out, they know how to take rejection with grace.
Every week on The Bachelor, someone has to go home. Similarly at Miss USA, there are cuts throughout the competition. The only difference is that instead of one night, these girls are facing disqualifications over a span of weeks… if they even make it that far. Both Brown and Miller-Keyes will know how to smile and exit stage left if a rose isn’t in the cards.
While there’s more to winning the final rose than wearing a pretty dress and having all the right answers (you know, like chemistry), we’re setting our eyes on Brown and Miller-Keyes to see how they’ll use their pageant experience to charm Underwood and clench the final rose.
The Bachelor ‘s 23rd season begins tonight, January 7, at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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Read more: refinery29.com