A late arrival in the season, Kaitlyn Hoppe sent shockwaves through the Mansion as the first of two intruders. Making an iconic entrance in a glamorous wedding dress and quite literally being swept off her feet by Locky, it seemed like the competition had just met its newest contender.
But on Thursday night, just days before Locky and the remaining Bachelorettes would be taking the next step with hometown visits, Kaitlyn was sent home.
‘It has honestly been a life-changing experience for me,” Kaitlyn told 10 play, “It’s definitely been a roller coaster.”
Though her arrival caused a stir, receiving an automatic date extension with Locky, it would be a long time until she scored more one-on-one time with the Bachelor.
“I found it very, very hard watching other girls get single dates,” Kaitlyn said. When Bec Cvilikas became the second intruder during Love in Lockdown she received a single date via Zoom, and then another single date when the Bachelorettes returned to the Mansion.
“I was concerned why I wasn’t getting a single date… I was having real feelings,” Kaitlyn said having watched another intruder slide in on her time with Locky.
“It hurt because I never really felt like I got the chance to do an activity with him and really show him who I am.”
On Thursday Osher revealed that there was just one single date remaining before hometowns. Kaitlyn, the only Bachelorette yet to have a single date, watched on as it went to Bella Varelis.
“That day I was definitely devastated because I didn’t get the single date. I don’t know if he wasn’t interested in me or he needed to reconnect but I found it really difficult,” she said. “All these girls were getting the attention and the dates, they’d come back happy and excited. It was really, really tough for me to sit there and be happy for them.”
While she found it difficult to get the all-important face-to-face time with Locky, during lockdown Kaitlyn said that’s where their connection seemed to really flourish.
“We were talking every day so for me, it was hard to go back [to the Mansion] and I didn’t get a single date. It felt so natural in lockdown… he and I connected really well.
“These days everyone is online dating, you’re talking to people online all the time so for me it was a really natural environment and I felt like I could really be myself with him in lockdown,” Kaitlyn said. “He definitely got to see that side of me and I think he really enjoyed that and I wanted to explore that further when we got back into the Mansion.”
Though she felt like her and Locky’s connection was strengthening during the production halt, ahead of Love in Lockdown Kaitlyn was only chatting to Juliette Herrera, and was unaware of how often some of the other Bachelorettes were chatting to Locky.
“In my head I’m thinking, oh it’s just me! You feel like you’ve got a relationship already, so to then go back and see everyone, they’ve all got pretty much the same amount of time but different styles of relationships,” she said.
“Seeing him having these connections with girls that are completely different to each other and different to me, it was a roller coaster, but I always tried to trust our connection and trust the flow.”
Taking more of a casual approach, Kaitlyn says may have been her downfall.
“Maybe I held back when I should have really put my feelings on the line,” she admitted. “I really tried to, in the end. The main thing I learned from this experience was about valuing myself a lot more. I am worth it, and you have to take the time and put yourself out there to get a good connection with someone,” Kaitlyn said.
“I’m one of those girls who is like, why don’t I have a man? And I’m not putting myself out there,” she said, “at the end of the day you’ve just got to believe in yourself. I think I lost a lot of confidence in past relationships so this helped my confidence and I definitely had a change in the experience. I value myself a lot more.”