'It stung and I was upset.'
Caelynn Miller-Keyes was disappointed when Hannah Brown was picked as the Bachelorette over her. On the latest episode of The Ben and Ashley I. Almost Famous podcast, the 24-year-old reality star recalled her feud with Brown prior to and during the taping of Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor.
The women met after Brown was crowned Miss Alabama in 2018 and joined Miller-Keyes, then Miss North Carolina, to compete at Miss USA.
"We met. We were hanging out. We got along great... We were great friends," Miller-Keyes said. "There was a rift in the friendship. It was just, like, small things... It was starting to feel competitive and I didn't want our friendship to be competitive."
"We go to Miss USA and I just got very quiet... I liked to be in my own bubble," she continued. "She likes to have family talking and hyping her up, but that gets in my head."
While Miller-Keyes was eventually crowned the runner-up, Brown didn't place in the pageant.
Following the competition, both women auditioned and were selected to appear on Underwood's season of the show. While neither woman won Underwood's heart -- that honor went to Cassie Randolph -- Miller-Keyes lasted one week longer than Brown, which would typically mean she had a better shot at becoming the Bachelorette. Things didn't play out that way, though.
"I remember getting the call that it wasn't me for Bachelorette and I was like, 'Dang, that kind of sucks!' And then I found out it was her at Women Tell All. We all kinda knew it was her at Women Tell All. It hurt. It definitely hurt," Miller-Keyes said of Brown. "It stung and I was upset. I was kind of led to believe that it was mine and then suddenly it wasn't and it was Hannah's."
"Looking back on previous seasons, it's always been in the top four and then to branch out and to pick Hannah, it hurt," she added.
Brown's season of The Bachelorette ended in heartbreak when her engagement to Jed Wyatt didn't work out. Meanwhile, Miller-Keyes went on to appear on Bachelor in Paradise, where she met and fell for Dean Unglert, whom she's currently dating.
When ET spoke with Miller-Keyes last year, she gushed about her relationship with Unglert.
"I've learned so much about myself and he challenges me and makes me a better person. In most relationships I've dealt with, [I've had] a sort of complacency…People are just complacent in their lives and they're happy where they're at, which is not an issue," she said. "But Dean is always searching for more and he's making me want to better myself and search for more as well. It's been great."
"He is the best boyfriend and I was just raving about him because he has the biggest heart out of everyone I've ever met," Miller-Keyes continued. "He loves everyone he meets and just makes everyone feel so special and so loved, and he makes me feel that way, and what more can you ask for?"
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