It didn’t take long for Bachelor Nation to decide that sending Maurissa home on night one was a mistake. Here’s what she thinks about it.
If Bachelor Nation had to decide on a consensus pick for the contestant who should not have been sent home on night one, it would almost undoubtedly be Maurissa Gunn. She has an incredible story, seems like a genuinely great person, is drop-dead gorgeous and even came up with a secret handshake with Peter.
In terms of Bachelor opening night rose recipients, Maurissa checks every box. Still, she was one of the eight unfortunate guests to not receive a rose. Don’t be surprised if you see her going above and beyond Bachelor fame, though. Maurissa is only getting started.
FanSided had the chance to talk to Maurissa about her time on the show, her inspiring transformation and how she stays so positive through it all.
FanSided: How does it feel knowing that pretty much all of Bachelor Nation feels that you were robbed on night one?
Maurissa: (Laughs) I mean… I’m completely overwhelmed with all of the respect I’ve been getting, I guess I could say. It’s nice. I was feeling the same way I guess, when I was sent home, so it’s nice to see that I wasn’t the only one thinking that I shouldn’t have been sent home. So it’s a good feeling.
Out of everyone who was sent home on night one, you were the one whose name I kept seeing pop up — and I totally agree, it was kind of a shocking thing. Just like everyone else, I was shocked.
I know! I let a lot of people down!
No, no, no don’t look at it that way! It was Pete’s mistake, not yours, obviously. (Laughs) Speaking of Pete, what was it like meeting him and the rest of the women on opening night?
It was such an amazing experience. Peter was awesome. He was cool. We had a good connection — or so I thought (laughs). The girls — the girls were great too. I wish I would have been able to stay longer just to get to know them more. As far as what I got to see, I loved every one of them.
You have a pretty incredible backstory, and I’m glad that they showed it in the opening montage. From the pageant life early on, to the 80-pound weight loss, I think it was definitely one of the more inspiring stories to come out of this show in a while. What was that transition in your life like?
It was crazy. It was kind of like — I don’t know how to explain it — it was like a roller coaster. There were lots of ups and lots of downs. It was always just a mindset thing, I feel like. Just caring too much about what people think, you know?
I finally kind of turned that around within the last couple of years and now I’ve just more so want to focus on myself and caring about what I think, how I feel and my self-image.
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I think you answered my next question in that, but do you have any advice for anyone who may be going through something similar?
Yeah, absolutely — just be happy. It’s not about being a size 0 and it’s not about being a size 16. IT’s about whatever makes you happy in your own skin.
I love that, that’s perfect. So, diving back into Bachelor Nation — have any ex-contestants reached out to you since the show has aired?
Now a woman never kisses and tells… (Laughs) That’s all I can say!
Yeah, so I think you kind of know where I was going with that. Normally, I’ll ask that question when doing these interviews anyway but there is a certain picture that’s been circulating a little bit. But you don’t kiss and tell! I don’t have to ask about that if I’m not supposed to.
(Laughs) I mean, that is completely different. That was just a dinner to meet up with someone who’s gone through a similar experience.
If anyone doesn’t know, we’re talking about Mike… Right? (Laughs) I just want to be clear.
So your ABC bio says sometimes you like to break into song. What’s your go-to song that you like to sing when you’re on your own?
Well obviously Lizzo, because I took a DNA test, found out I’m 100 percent that… girl. (Laughs) So that one always makes me feel confident. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with Act Up by City Girls.
I like that — I like both those answers. I have a hard time not singing Lizzo when she comes on too. It probably sounds a little better coming from you though. So what’s next for you? Any big plans coming up?
Just to focus on my career. To continue to inspire and help other women overcome their issues. Sharing my story and letting women know that “you can do it.” No matter what you want to do or what it is, you can do it!
For all of your extended Bachelor coverage, and to listen to these interviews, be sure to check out FanSided’s Bachelor podcast, Can I Steal You For a Second? featuring Dustin Kendrick and Ashley Young. Available on Apple and Google podcasts.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.