"I think it's kind of silly if you don't see that there's a blond beefcake that is nice and foxy and wholesome," she told ET over the phone on Tuesday, while promoting her new partnership with FedEx. "I think it's a great parallel, and Sean has found his future, and so we really hope the same thing for Colton."
The men also have another thing in common, being labeled as a "virgin Bachelor," though in Sean's case, it wasn't exactly true. He decided at age 24 to stop having sex until marriage due to his faith. He met Catherine on the show four years later, in 2012, and they tied the knot in 2014.
Sean's celibacy made headlines around the time of his marriage to Catherine, when he revealed that they were waiting for their wedding to have sex -- but his abstinence was far from the spectacle it is for Colton's season. In fact, it wasn't mentioned to viewers at all when Sean was the Bachelor.
"I mean, I knew that his values were really important to him the whole season. It just didn't come up because it wasn't important to me," Catherine told ET of when she found out Sean was abstaining from sex. "So I'm surprised as to why it's such a huge point for Colton, and I really hope they start to focus on his other good qualities."
Colton -- who previously told ET that he wasn't a virgin for religious reasons, but rather because he just hadn't found the right person yet -- has had his sexuality put front and center in promotional materials for the show. The first poster for his season asked "What does he have to lose?" while another posed him like Steve Carrell's 40-Year-Old Virgin.
"I think they think it's in jest and it's silly and it's fun, and I hope that Colton sees it that way too, because it really doesn't matter to anybody but how Colton and his family, how they're showing it off. I can't really speak to that, but I do know that they're pushing it pretty hard," Catherine said of the virginity angle. "I really do hope that [on the show], they focus on his charitable aspect, and that he is an athlete and he is family-centered, because those are just as important, if not more."
Catherine, who now shares two kids with Sean, also hopes that Colton was given a good batch of contestants. She's less concerned with the lowering age of contestants (and the question of whether they're there to find love or Instagram followers) and more hoping that the show found a good group of women that mesh with his values.
"The factors in The Bachelor are really, really challenging, and it's really up to the individuals themselves to figure out if they want to make it work in the long run, or how they want to be perceived on camera. And I think the gist [of the show] is the same [as it was when I was on it]," she shared. "Colton's so wholesome that I'm hoping the girls don't go off the deep end and get all drunk and do the crazy stuff from Bachelor seasons before, because what The Bachelor is so great at is casting. If they're casting for a nice guy, they want to cast some good girls, so I'm really hoping to see some really nice girls."
"Sean and I didn't expect too much besides a really fun experience, but at the end of the day, we knew that we wanted to commit to each other," she offered. "So really, it's up to them."
As for what's kept her and Sean together -- and made him the only Bachelor so far to marry his final pick -- Catherine said it's all about "commitment."
"I think that anyone has it in them. As long as you know that you're going to go through some hard times together, and you're going to stick with it, and you're going to hold each other's hands throughout everything, I think that's really [the key]," she insisted. "There's going to be some difficulties beyond that, that you might not be able to get past. But as long as you have a good foundation and you are respectful of each other, I think you can get through a lot of stuff. Obviously, we've seen that with us."
The mother of two, therefore, advises Colton, whose season just finished filming, to "keep a good head on his shoulders." "He obviously has good family support and friends. I think he'll do great," Catherine said. "I don't really advise for him beyond, do what you know is right. I don't know the guy, but he seems like he'll hopefully get out of this unscathed."
The Bachelor returns Monday, Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC -- join ET's Bachelor Nation Facebook group here.