I heard in an interview that your parents wanted you to go on The Bachelor. That’s unusual! (laughs) Where and when was the casting call?
It was at a hotel on Michigan Ave. (in Chicago) in late June, I believe. My sister called me the day of and told me I should go to it.
What is it like going to a casting call?
I almost turned around and went the other way. There was probably 400 girls in there dressed to the nines. Everyone was in heels, and I was not ready for that. (laughs) I ended up staying and you wait in line and fill out paper work, then you wait in another line and get your picture taken, and you wait in another line and get interviewed. I got pulled aside and was asked to talk the head of casting. From there, I went to the L.A. round, which is more paperwork and interviews.
Did you have any idea it was going to be Juan Pablo?
Not while I was going to casting.
You’re from Chicago– so am I! What part of Chicago are you from?
What was your life like before going on the show?
I was working in freelance sports. That’s what I studied [in college]. I had been living in Australia and working for ESPN. And then I was doing random freelance events and working all over the place and traveling for a living. I was a nanny in between all of these freelance gigs, which is why they put nanny on the show. I had nothing holding me back when the opportunity came about to go on the show.
This season a lot has come out from contestants talking about what has happened behind the scenes. What do you think about that?
Producers might suggest certain options, but they would never force you [to do anything]. You can always say no! They encourage topics, of course, it’s reality TV, but there’s never a script. [Nothing is] forced on you.
Obviously there was a language barrier with Juan Pablo. Did you find it difficult to date him?
I had dated an Australian guy for 2 1/2 years! You get used to the accent! It didn’t cause any major issue.
The big story line this season is what happened with Clare in the ocean. Being there, what exactly happened?
We didn’t see any of that happen. We had no idea that was happening until the show aired. Honestly, who knows? They could’ve had sex, they could’ve not had sex. We literally had no idea that was happening. Clare was taking a lot of his time that night, but I had no idea it was to that extent.
I read that you tried to stay out of the drama on the show. You seem very down to Earth.
I went in really opened minded. I knew that The Bachelor was a reality TV show. I didn’t go into it thinking I was going to be a star and that I was going to win this thing. I went to have a good time, and I avoided drama at all costs. I wanted to keep my dignity and end on a high note. My parents trusted me because I’ve always been independent and I could hold my own.
What was the dynamic in the house with Nikki and Clare?
Of course, not all 27 girls are going to get along. Nikki wasn’t the nicest girl in the house. She said she never really had any girlfriends, she was friends with guys, and she had brothers. I kind of avoided her. Other than that, it drove the producers crazy how well we all got along! I was blown away by how many girls were so normal. I actually came out with some really good friends.
Do you read the spoilers?
I do know what happens, yes. (laughs)
Why do you think Juan Pablo wasn’t the one for you?
Our conversations were very friendly. In my mind, that’s great. In that setting, you don’t have time to start out as friends. If there’s not that instant chemistry, you’re going to be gone. It kind of never happened. You can’t force something that isn’t there. We got along great as friends, but I just never felt a real spark there.
What are your future plans?
I actually moved back to Chicago and I decided this is where I want to be. I started this new job at this awesome company called Trunk Club. I’m actually dating. I met a guy recently and it’s nothing serious, but things are going well. I’m happy in Chicago right now and I’m happy with my new job. When I came back things settled down, and I’ve settled down. I’m pretty happy with my job right now.
Alli’s Favorite Chicago Hot Spot: Kingston Mines, 2548 N. Halsted St., Chicago
Starbucks Order: Nonfat Chai Latte
Favorite TV Show: An Idiot Abroad