Brad Womack's Runner-Up Was Set to Be 'Bachelorette' Instead of Ashley Hebert: Here's What Happened
By Jennifer Drysdale
Fate stepped in after Brad Womack's (second) season of The Bachelor. Monday night's episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons -- Ever! relived Womack's two times on the reality dating show. Among one of the reveals? The runner-up on his 2011 season, Chantal O'Brien, was supposed to be the next Bachelorette; the role ended up going to his second runner-up, Ashley Hebert.
As O'Brien explained to host Chris Harrison, the weeks after filming were especially hard on her.
"I came home. It was right before Thanksgiving. All of the sudden, there was a spoiler out at the time that I was engaged to Brad, and it put a level of scrutiny on me that I just really wasn't prepared for, and people speculating and saying all these things," she remembered. "I was getting texts saying, 'Congratulations on your engagement.' I think it was just more of a shell shock."
Then, she started dating again. "I said yes [to being the Bachelorette]," O'Brien revealed. "What happened was, I ended up going on a blind date, and after our first date, I called my best friend and I said, 'I just met my future husband.'"
"So, it was that clear to me," she continued. "I felt really bad, because I had committed to you guys to do that, but I also had to be really honest and you guys wouldn't want somebody whose heart was somewhere else. And it worked out! Ashley found her husband, right? So, it was good!"
O'Brien ended up marrying that guy, and she's still with him today. "We've been married now over eight years, and we have two awesome children, and he's just my best friend," she gushed. "It worked out the way it was supposed to. I feel very lucky."
Hebert and her husband, J.P. Rosenbaum, also connected with Harrison during Monday's episode. Harrison actually officiated their 2012 wedding, and the couple now live in Miami, Florida, with their two kids: Ford, 5, and Essie, 3.
"I look back at it, and it doesn't even feel like I'm the same person. It feels like somebody else," Hebert said of watching herself back on The Bachelor. She recognizes herself more as the Bachelorette.
"That was not a tough call at all. I had a great experience on The Bachelor... it was the easiest decision I ever made in my life," she raved.
Hebert and Rosenbaum's first one-on-one date on the show was a low-key night in at her place. "It was a typical date we would have at home any Saturday night in our pajamas. I think that night... I knew there was something," Rosenbaum shared.
The couple hasn't looked back since -- so much so, they adorably had trouble figuring out how long they've been married.
"Almost nine years!" Hebert proudly shouted out. "Eight years..."