The 23rd season of The Bachelor has already been crazy. Much attention (so much!) has been paid to Colton Underwood's virginity and how, you know, he's on a show with twenty love-hungry ladies. But we're most fascinated by one of the contestants in particular: Caelynn Miller-Keyes. She wowed the former football star right away—more on that later—and got the second rose of the night.
She's also got a fascinating history and the kind of interesting, fun personality that pretty much ensures she'll do well on the show. So who is Miller-Keyes, and why is she so buzzworthy?
She's from the South.
According to her Bachelor profile, Miller-Keyes grew up in Fredericksburg, Virginia, got her degree in broadcast journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a social media consultant.
She is close with her family, according to Hollywood Life, and actually overcame a childhood illness when she was very young. Apparently Miller-Keyes comes from a line of driven women, because her grandmother (who's also her mentor) was the first woman to be head of the FBI in Los Angeles, California.
She was first runner up in the Miss USA Pageant.
In May 2018, she competed in Miss USA and just lost out to Sarah Rose Summers, Miss Nebraska. Miller-Keyes was super gracious about the loss to Summers on social media, saying that the two were buddies in real life and telling Summers to "go kill it as Miss USA, and win Miss Universe so we can be roomies."
She's friends with her fellow Miss USA contestants.
Or at least, based on what we can see from Instagram, which never lies to us. In addition to being friends with Summers, she's also pals with Miss New Jersey, Alexa Noone, and Miss Nevada, Carolina Urrea. She didn't really get to know Miss Alabama Hannah Brown—who is now also another bachelorette vying for Underwood's heart, too. They recognized each other at the first night in the Bachelor house, and it was awwwwkward.
She loves to travel.
In her one-on-one with Underwood, Miller-Keyes said she loved to travel and feels like she's lived a lot of life for someone so young (she's 23). Per her intro video, as Miss North Carolina it's been her job to travel. According to her Bachelor profile, she's also traveled for love—all the way to Japan for a first date!
But, as she told Underwood, she got dumped in one of her favorite places, Thailand, so it holds some bad memories for her. A source told Life and Style that this unnamed ex broke things off with her a few months before Miss USA, and that she's looking for "a dedicated and loyal guy."
She nabbed the first kiss from Colton.
It was an intense premiere of The Bachelor. There was a sloth, a scary bachelorette with the same name as me (ugh) who kept stealing time away from the other ladies, and not one but three kisses. And Miller-Keyes was the first! She impressed Underwood right away, introducing herself with her Miss North Carolina sash that she turned around to read "Miss Underwood" (clever!). She was clearly smitten, saying he had a "calming energy." He also kisses really well for a virgin, apparently... In the official rose ceremony, she was the first to receive one, and only the second of the night after the first impression rose. A sign of things to come, perhaps?
She advocates for survivors.
According to the Miss Universe website, because of her personal history Miller-Keyes is "a dedicated advocate for sexual assault prevention by speaking to high school and college students about the importance of consent."
It's possible that this might relate to the deeply personal conversation that Chris Harrison told Entertainment Tonight will change the show forever. He said, "She brings out a story, a personal story, that is one of the most emotional, revealing conversations we have ever had on the show. We were all very much taken aback. So was Colton, and that kind of prompts things in Colton's life."
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