BY: HILARY SHEINBAUM
America (and Shawn Booth) fell in love with Canadian sweetheart Kaitlyn Bristowe on the season 11 of ABC’s The Bachelorette — but now, the reality TV star is in a different spotlight… on Broadway. Bristowe, 32, is currently living in New York City to host Home for the Holidays, which stars Candice Glover from American Idol, Bianca Ryan from America’s Got Talent and Josh Kaufman from The Voice.
Broadway Spin caught up with Bristowe while she was in a yellow cab. As we were interviewing her, she spotted her own billboard in the city. How New York of her! Read on to hear all about her Broadway adventure, holiday and wedding plans, and dealing with the haters.
Broadway Spin: So how did this happen — you on Broadway?
Katilyn Bristowe: When I look at the cast and who the singers are, I think they were going with reality television winners, or people who have been on reality TV. I’ve done a few things hosting, whether it be my podcast or a red carpet or certain things. I think it felt like a natural fit for them to contact me about hosting. It felt like a natural fit for me, because I’ve been doing musical theater, singing and dancing my whole life.
BS: Did Shawn think you were insane when you agreed to do Broadway?
KB: No. It didn’t even phase him. I feel like he didn’t even flinch. A part of me was kind of like, “Can you be a little bit more excited? This is a big deal!” He’s like, “Oh, of course you are. This doesn’t surprise me at all!”
BS: What’s been the most surprising thing about being on Broadway?
KB: I think, honestly, it was the reviews. Obviously I’ve been on national television, and I’ve experienced some negative feedback or people not having the nicest things to say, but our show is not your typical Broadway theater show. It’s more of like a family-fun hour and 20 minutes. It’s Christmas music trying to take you back to your childhood. I can’t understand people leaving with a negative feeling, just because it’s supposed to be a feel-good show. So I think that surprised me.
BS: What’s your favorite act in the show?
KB: Easily when Candice sings “Where Are You Christmas?” I’ve never heard anything like it. She just hits these notes. She’s incredible.
BS: Have you found any go-to or favorite restaurants or bars in the city?
KB: I have found so many that nothing has become a go-to. That’s one of my favorite things about living in the city. I love to find new restaurants and speakeasies and holes in the walls. I just keep finding new ones — though I went to JAMS in 1 Hotel recently and it was amazing food. (She should try some of these!)
BS: Are there activities in the city that you can’t wait to try?
KB: I really want to go ice skating and see the big Christmas tree. I haven’t done that yet. That’s definitely on my list of things to do. I definitely want to find a cute Christmas market and have the mulled wine. (Looks like they found one!)
BS: How’s wedding planning? Did you set a date?
KB: No. It’s so funny. It’s a typical question to be asked, but every time it’s disappointing to everybody because I really don’t know. We have been engaged forever, but we’ve gotten to know each other over those two and a half years, so I feel like we’re doing everything that we would do in a normal life setting. We’ve been in such an abnormal situation for the last two and a half years. That’s kind of keeping us normal and grounded – taking our relationship as it comes, but I’ll look at wedding dresses. One of my girlfriends is Hayley Paige, who designs wedding dresses, so I look at that and it really gets me excited to get married. At the same time, I’ve never been the girl to plan a wedding and have my dream wedding and do all that stuff.
BS: Are you going to sing at your own wedding?
KB: No, absolutely, not! I guess I shouldn’t say absolutely not, but I feel like that day already is so full of pressure, and I get so nervous to sing solo that I wouldn’t want to add that pressure to myself.
BS: Why do you think your relationship has lasted when so many other Bachelor and Bachelorette alums haven’t?
KB: Honestly, I think it’s just the same as: you take 10 relationships off the street and maybe one will last and have that meant to be feeling, because on the show everything happens so quickly; dating on steroids, and then you’re engaged, and after the show is when you get to know each other. I think Shawn and myself were meant to be but there’s luck in that situation where it did work out for us. I can totally see how it couldn’t for some people, but we’re willing to kind of get through anything together and really feel like we want the same things in life. It kind of worked out for us.