I Speed Dated 4 Bachelor Stars

Life & Love


It’s easy to find a dress you love at Lord & Taylor, but finding actual love? That’s a different level of retail therapy. Still, the shopping gods just tried to play cupid in Manhattan, coupling with relationship app The League—and various Bachelor/Bachelorette heartthrobs—for a night of take-your-chances speed dating. And somehow, ELLE.com got recruited for the crush-fest.

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Below, the true transcripts of four forthcoming reality stars. None seemed to be this reporter’s soul mate, but Lord & Taylor has some sole mates, too. Those seem like better matches, but alas, without any behind-the-scenes gossip…

Ashley Iaconetti

(The Bachelor, Season 19; The Bachelor in Paradise, Seasons 1 + 2; The Bachelor Winter Games)

Ashley Ianconetti

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Cool dress!

I love it because I love these shoulder pads. Little shoulder pads, not ‘80s shoulder pads—little ones are a power move. This is not a first date dress, though. This is a date-for-a-while, take-me-to-a-nice-place dress.

What’s a first date outfit?

I would normally just wear jeans, heels, and a cute top, right? You definitely want to show a little bit of skin, a little bit of cleavage—but wait, is this a date from an app? Or a date where you already know the person and you’re excited to go out? If it’s an app date, maybe try layers. Start covered up. Take things off if you like him.

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What’s the difference between a real first date and a Bachelor first date?

Oh my goodness gracious. A TV first date is so long…you have to put in at least three to four hours with this person. So you’re actually really getting to know them. The awkward part is if you realize you don’t like them, because then you’re stuck with them, on this TV set, in front of cameras and in front of at least 15 people who are watching your every move. You can’t ditch them. It’s awful.

We love the SNL skit where women pretend they’re on The Bachelor. All they do is ask, “Can I steal you for a sec?” Does that actually work in real life, or only on TV?

You know what’s so funny? Because I’ve had to use that line so often on the show, it’s the easiest thing for me to do now. If I’m watching a guy I like, and he’s already with a girl, and I’m like, What the heck is this guy doing with her? Then I will absolutely say, “Can I steal you for a sec?” And what you do is, you come up with a question—some fake concern you have. “So, I was just wondering…” Guys love giving advice, right? So if you steal them, then ask them a question—let them solve something for you, even something little like “What do you think I should order?” Do that and boom. It’s on.

Are you dating anyone right now?

Ugh, actually, I hate dating. I’m not even allowed to tell you if I’m dating anyone right now. I have to be like, watch the Bachelor Winter Games and you’ll see.

Eric Bigger

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(The Bachelorette, Season 13; The Bachelor Winter Games)

Eric Bigger

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Do you care how a girl dresses on dates?

Absolutely. If a girl shows up on a date, it’s a good sign if she’s smiling. Great energy is important. Then when it comes to the outfit, it’s all about quality and neatness. I look at her watch, her earrings, is the outfit thought out? Is it well made? Did she take care to dress for this date? Because that means she actually cares about this, and that’s so important.

Have you ever dumped a girl because of her outfit?

A long time ago, there was a girl. I thought, “Man, she’s really pretty!” I asked her out on a date, and she showed up dressed way down. Like, gym clothes, basically. We were going to a baseball game and she was dressed basically to play baseball. I was in business casual! I thought it was an event! My perception of her after that—and my idea of what she thought of me—it totally changed. I showed up for a date. She showed up to hang out.

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You could date anybody. Seriously. Why go on TV to find love?

Because to me, it’s not about TV. When I break it down, it’s about life. I’m always asking, “How did you get here?” to myself. When The Bachelorette came into my life, I thought, Why is this in my life? Because I didn’t chase it down—this opportunity came to me. And I decided it was time for love. Not just dating—love. And some self-discovery that I’m meant to go through in my life. It’s bigger than dating. It’s bigger than me, you know. It’s opened me up to receive love. I was neglected—I didn’t get it when I was a kid, so I didn’t understand love when it came to me. This became kind of like a healing. It was time for that in my life. And that’s why I did it.

Are you dating anyone right now?

I like to keep that off the record.

Dean Unglert

(The Bachelorette, Season 13; The Bachelor in Paradise, Season 2; The Bachelor Winter Games)

Dean unglert

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Are we both drinking whiskey?

It feels like it’s a whiskey night, you know?

Because it’s cold or because we’re speed dating?

Talking to strangers is part of it, for sure.

Your publicist thinks I’m asking you fashion questions. But really, I’m about to ask if you’re dating anyone.

Of course you’re asking that! And of course I can’t say! Contractually, I don’t want to get sued, so I’m not allowed to talk about my actual life. Which is weird. It’s not conducive to a serious, sane relationship, that’s for sure.

So you can’t tell anyone?

The producers tell you, “Don’t tell anyone anything.” I get home and I’m like, “I need to tell everyone everything!” My friends and family know my relationship status at all times. My friends know everything.

If you’re on the show and don’t get a rose, do they let you call home? Do they let you go home before the show stops taping?

When I got kicked off [The Bachelorette], I went home in four days. And they’re very sweet to you after you’re kicked off. They let you do whatever you want, and you’re usually still in a really beautiful place. I was grieving, and [the production staff] would come and say, “Let’s get you food!” like five times a day. “Let’s go to a movie! Let’s play golf!” They try to make you feel better, and they’ll take you to hang out. It’s actually kind of nice.

Do you still talk with the guys from your season?

The second I got my phone back, my friend Iggy [Rodriguez] signed me up for our group chat.

Your group chat?

Most seasons have them—there’s definitely a Bachelorette season 13 group text! And I’m definitely on it.

Do you know the royal family has their own group chat?

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Ooh, is the new girl in it? What’s her name, Meghan Markle?

You’re definitely dating someone. No dude would bust out with “Meghan Markle” so fast.

I can’t say. But I can confirm that Meghan Markle is not in our group chat!

Amanda Stanton

(The Bachelor, Season 20; The Bachelor in Paradise, Season 2)

Amanda Stanton

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What’s your first date look?

I like a cute first date dress. This one from Lord & Taylor is really good, because it’s cute but also super affordable. And it’s exclusive to them, so I don’t feel like I’ll show up to the restaurant and see some other girl wearing my dress. I put boots with it to dress it down a little bit, because you don’t want to look formal on a first date, but you can definitely look like you thought about your outfit, you know? Like you care.

Ashley said she dresses differently if it’s a blind date…

I feel like I dress the same, regardless if it’s an app date, a guy I already met, a setup…I just like to look my best, but not look like I’m trying really hard. You know? So a dress and boots is my go-to date outfit. Or you can do jeans and a heeled bootie.

What about makeup?

I always do my makeup the same! Maybe a little more if it’s a nighttime date, like a smoky eye. But never wear red lipstick on a first date. That’s my hard and fast rule.

Ines de la Fressange said the same thing. She said red lipstick makes guys afraid to kiss you.

It’s a good point.

Are you dating anyone right now? Everyone’s been pretty cagey about it.

I’m allowed to say, but it’s not exciting: I am not dating anyone right now. It’s not my priority, to be honest. I’m really focused on my career and my kids, but obviously I want a relationship. Hopefully, eventually it’ll happen.

What about dating apps?

I’ve been on apps like Bumble, but I haven’t had any luck, to be honest!

What about The League or Raya?

I’ve heard The League is really good. I have friends who have gone on it, and who’ve had some really great dates, and some real success from it. Raya, I don’t know—I got waitlisted on that one. Apps are tricky.



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