Emily Maynard knows it better than anyone: She’s not only a bachelorette, she’s a mom.
The Southern beauty who captured Brad Womack‘s heart last year in his second turn on “The Bachelor,” but ultimately split with him, now gets to do the choosing as “The Bachelorette” starts its eighth season Monday (May 14) on ABC. As she downsizes the field of 25 men pursuing her, she has someone else in mind … Ricki, her six-year-old daughter by her late NASCAR-driver fiance, Ricky Hendrick.
“She is loving it, just everything that’s going on,” Maynard tells Zap2it about Ricki’s reaction to Mom’s reality-show round this time. “She doesn’t really know about ‘The Bachelor’ or ‘The Bachelorette.’ I tell her, ‘I’m going to work,’ but she’s getting a lot of attention. Everywhere we go, I’ve tried to bring her back something from the dates or whatever.”
Charlotte, N.C., is very aware of what Maynard has been up to, though. Her home base has been hosting the production, and she notes, “It seems like with every date I’ve been on, there’s been an audience — which is good, because I’m so happy to have the support, but it’s also a lot of pressure.”
Now well into taping “The Bachelorette,” Maynard remains surprised she’s the new season’s star of the show. “I had always said, ‘Absolutely not, I will never do it,'” she recalls of her initial conversations with the producers. “I was just a girl coming off a breakup, and the last thing I wanted to think about was going through all of this again.
“Even going on a date in Charlotte seemed way too much for me at the time. We had talked about it, but it was never anything I thought I would be doing. They were so accommodating for Ricki, though; they moved the entire show to Charlotte, which had never been done before, and Ricki also will be traveling with us.”
Still, Maynard says her decision ultimately came down to her making “a list of pros and cons. I also prayed about it, and every reason I didn’t want to do it was from being afraid of what other people would say or think. I don’t ever want to live like that. I don’t want anybody to have to live their life like that … missing out on great opportunities just because they’re fearful of what might happen.”