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It’s Andi’s turn on ‘The Bachelorette’

By Madeleine Marr
Miami Herald
135282_4029
Todd Wawrychuk - ABC
Andi treats Chris to a glamorous day of horse racing at Santa Anita Park, as the couple gets decked out in outfits reminiscent of the 1940’s. They settle into their VIP seats with mint juleps and binoculars ready to see if their bets pay off. That night, they enjoy a special evening, slow dancing to the songs of “This Wild Life” during a private concert. Does this mean their relationship is on a fast track? - on “The Bachelorette,”

OK, so things didn’t work out with Juan Pablo Galavis on “The Bachelor.” But Atlanta lawyer (actually assistant district attorney) Andi Dorfman hasn’t given up on love. She’s ABC’s next victim, whoops, star of “The Bachelorette,” which premiered last week (the show will be in its regular time slot, 8-10 p.m., on Monday). We talked to the 26-year-old brown-eyed, brainy beauty on a recent conference call:

Q. What kind of man were you looking for?

A. I was looking for a guy that was a family-oriented person. Also a guy that’s strong and confident but also able to be vulnerable and to share his emotions with me. I want that physical chemistry, that mental connection, that intellectual connection.

Q. The premiere is like going on 25 simultaneous blind dates. Do you think it’s better or worse that you know nothing about these guys before you meet them?

A. I didn’t want to know a single name stepping out of that limo because I want everyone to be on a clean slate. This is my one opportunity to really do this and do it right. My experience last season definitely taught me that this can be a quick process, but you can also use that time to our advantage and really get to know people by just talking to them, asking them questions. I said, from the very first night to the guys: “I don’t know how this is going to play out, but I promise you that you can ask me any question, nothing is off limits.” Just allowing everyone to feel like they had an open line of communication, I think that really helped us along the way.

Q. You became famous for your catchphrase with Juan Pablo – “It’s not OK.” Now that you’ve been through the process yourself, do you find him more relatable? Was he wrongly bashed?

A. It’s not easy to kind of play host and be responsible for a lot of people. I think America was probably left with the impression that I was a tough, no-nonsense girl, which is partially true, but you’re going to see a softer side of me. I don’t know if I feel like people gave him too hard of a time or not. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I saw him after the final rose and he did wish me luck, which was appreciated. It’s hard to forget Juan Pablo – that’s why I was on “The Bachelorette,” but I’m on my own journey now.

Q. How did the death of contestant Eric Hill (in a paragliding accident) affect filming?

A. It had a huge effect on all of us. It was just crushing. It’s devastating anytime you lose somebody that you know, and he became a part of our family. … I think we are holding on to the legacy of Eric. He really did live life to the fullest.

Q. How did you stay grounded throughout it all?

A. I worked out as much as I could. It’s go, go all the time. So sometimes I just needed that little workout session to clear my mind and just really not think of anything, put some music on. That was kind of like my moments of solitude.

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