Hannah Brown will be looking for love as The Bachelorette after being dumped by Bachelor Colton Underwood earlier this year.
Tuesday, the ABC dating show announced Brown, 24, would be their Season 15 Bachelorette after Colton and girlfriend Cassie Randolph revealed they were dating, but not engaged during part two of The Bachelor's two-night season finale.
"I feel all the emotions, but honestly I'm just really grateful for this opportunity," she told host Chris Harrison. "It didn’t happen for me with my first time around, but I do believe that it can happen."
"I'm just really so grateful and honored that people saw my heart, and that I continue to get to show them that," she continued. "And someone will hopefully share their heart with me.”
She even got to meet five of the men vying for her heart in the upcoming season early, including one who gave her a heartfelt rap and another who let her redo her uncomfortable toast from the first one-on-one date with Colton.
"That was awesome," she told Harrison. "They were studs! I'd hand out a rose right now."
And hand out a rose she did, giving her first "first impression" rose to a guy named Cam.
Brown may not have been right for Underwood, being sent home Week 7 after meeting the former NFL player's family, but Miss Alabama 2018 emerged as a frontrunner for Bachelorette in fans' minds after Harrison appeared to be giving her the nod of approval during the Women Tell All special last week.
“Here’s to you finding fierce love,” Harrison said, toasting Brown in a second go at the awkward cheers she and Underwood had during a one-on-one date this season. The pageant queen responded: “Cheers to this beautiful day together, new experiences, and continuing to be honest, real, every moment we have together. And … Roll Tide!”
Following the special, she opened up about her experience on Underwood's season of The Bachelor to Us Weekly in a way that furthered fans' suspicions.
“I loved this experience so much, even though it was so hard at times and I didn’t always have the easiest time,” she told the publication. “I wouldn’t trade any of it, because I grew so much as a person and learned more about myself. I was able to not give a freak about what people thought about me or what expectations I put on myself to be whatever type of perfection I thought I needed to be for somebody.”
“So yeah, I would love to have that opportunity to meet somebody. That’s the desire of my heart – to be married and to have a family. I think that can happen on a television show or at a coffee shop and it’s going to happen for me someday,” she added when asked how she would feel about becoming the Bachelorette. “I’m not going to keep putting a timeline on it, but it’s gonna be somebody who chooses me and I’m gonna choose them back too.”
“I would love the opportunity, but that might not be what’s for me and that doesn’t mean that I’m not gonna find love,” she added. “It might not be on a TV show, but if it is this experience, I’m open for it.”
The Bachelorette premieres in 2019 on ABC.
Photo credit: ABC/Eric McCandless