'Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart': Julia on Hateful Backlash and Trying to Get Back With Sheridan (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
On Monday night's episode of The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart, Marine-turned-singer Brandon called his unraveling love triangle with Julia and Savannah "the most emotionally traumatic 72 hours since combat" -- and yes, that's the kind of drama we're dealing with.
Fans have seen love blossom and fall apart over the last few weeks on Listen to Your Heart, but no relationship had more ups and downs than Brandon and Julia's. The pair connected on night one, but then focused on romances with other contestants -- him with Savannah and her with Sheridan, when Brandon gave Savannah his first rose. This week, our tricky host with the most, Chris Harrison, forced couples to switch things up, and sent Brandon and Julia on a date together. That's where the drama got real.
Julia -- who was open about having feelings for Brandon -- assured Sheridan ahead of her date that he had nothing to worry about. Then, her feelings for Brandon strengthened and she decided she needed to call it quits with Sheridan. Brandon (now called a "player" by his castmates, including Julia), broke things off with Savannah in a wishy-washy way. It was she who told him she didn't want to be his "second choice."
With that, Brandon and Julia got together to sing their next duet. However, their performance was riddled with problems and they lacked convincing chemistry onstage. To be fair, Julia was thrown off by Natascha telling her less than an hour before she hit the stage that Brandon confessed he still wanted to make things work with Savannah. But ultimately Brandon and Julia's lackluster performance was symbolic of their relationship. They were eliminated, with Julia expressing regret over choosing him instead of Sheridan.
In an interview with ET's Lauren Zima, Julia opened up about where things stand between her and Sheridan now. (They were talking, but he's since stopped responding after seeing recent episodes of the show). She also discussed her "painful" portrayal on Listen to Your Heart -- which has led to death threats and her "crying every hour" over mistakes she's made.
"This has been the first day that I have not cried every hour," Julia confesses. "It is hard for me enough to watch it back and then to get the amount of hate I am getting."
"I can understand people laughing and questioning my decisions, but what I don't understand are people telling me to jump off a bridge or I deserve sh*t on me," she says. "No one deserves that, especially people who made mistakes on a reality show when they were under a high pressure, stressful situation."
A tearful Julia said she has been getting support from some castmates, as well as Bachelor alums like Kaitlyn Bristowe and Kelley Flanagan.
"I'm trying to put it in perspective. It was a reality show, I made mistakes, I'm learning from them... I don't deserve to die because of them," she shares. "I don't really want to watch [Monday's episode]. ... It's hard, because I'm also dealing with the fact that I'm not in touch with Sheridan and that is really painful."
Sheridan and Julia were in "constant contact" after filming ended and she was hopeful about reigniting their romance, but things took a turn after he watched episode two of the series (during which Julia gushes over her feelings for Brandon).
"I think he's understandably hurt. We lived this experience. I think it's one thing to live it and then watch it over again for all of us. And I think he's rightfully hurt," Julia says.
"I apologized to him and I said, 'I understand why you would like some space right now.' And I owned up to the fact that I made some major mistakes in the way that I handled these situations," she adds.
"He had the one quality that I've looked for in a man, which is someone who knows who they are. I find that so attractive," Julia expresses. "I've always said I want someone who reminds me of my father as far as the kind of heart they have, and Sheridan definitely does."
Julia thinks she could have handled her breakup with Sheridan better, but still doesn't believe she "used" him, or treated him as poorly as Brandon treated her.
"Brandon was demeaning, condescending," Julia says.
The singer was "hurt" by how Brandon treated her on the show, but feels bad about taking it out on Savannah.
"I totally misdirected my anger at Brandon towards Savannah. I totally regret that and I called her right after filming was done and I apologized, because I knew even then that it was wrong," she tells ET. "I think I also fell into the trap that many women are familiar with... when you have a guy in front of you that is playing you ... I was trying to chase something to fulfill something in me and that went awry."
"I am cringing with America," Julia says. "I lead with my emotions and that doesn't always serve you well. I am an open book and I just blurt it out when I'm thinking it. I totally misdirected my anger... at Savannah and the sassiness is not translating well on national programming. So yeah, I'm cringing."
The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.