Welcome to Bachelorette Boot Camp! On a recent afternoon in Los Angeles, newly minted professional dater Emily Maynard — the previous recipient of Brad Womack's final rose will return as the star of the matchmaking show this spring — got a crash course from show alums Ali Fedotowsky (Season 6) and Ashley Hebert (Season 7) on what's ahead. TV Guide Magazine sat in on the single mom's tutorial.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best advice you've picked up from the vets, Emily?
Emily: To be open to all types of guys.
Ashley: Yes, don't make judgments on the first night. Dig deeper.
Ali: Keep a journal so when you finish the show you can let your guy know what you were really thinking all along. And I told you how to look more awake by putting a shimmer of white on the inside of your eyes.
Emily: I have a six year old [Ricki], so I'm used to going to bed right after I put her to bed.
Ali: No more of that.
TV Guide Magazine: How much will your daughter factor into the show?
Emily: Obviously, I don't want her to be a main character, but I think it's important for people to see that my whole world revolves around her. [Ricki's father, Ricky Hendrick, was killed in a 2004 plane crash.]
TV Guide Magazine: What do you gals think will be Emily's biggest advantage going into Season 8?
Ashley: The guys will know going into it that she has a daughter and has been through a lot.
Ali: And this is the first season that they're allowing men to actually apply knowing who the Bachelorette is.
TV Guide Magazine: And Emily's biggest challenge?
Ali: Emily is a little bit shy, which can be difficult with 25 guys staring at you wanting you to say something interesting.
Ashley: Saying goodbye to the guys is going to be really hard for her. The best way is just to be honest to the men you're sending home and provide closure.
Ali: Also today, we walked out of a salon and there were like forty paparazzi toppling us over. I know that's hard for Emily, especially trying to protect her family.
TV Guide Magazine: How do you stop yourself from falling for the guys who are lookers?
Ali: You very quickly realize that a pretty face is not going to get you through this experience. When you're shooting every day for three months straight, you need someone who keeps your attention.
TV Guide Magazine: How do you peg the loonies?
Ashley: Every season there's somebody who stands out — whether it's that they're wearing fangs or they get really drunk...
Emily: ...They're wearing a mask.
Ali: ...Or they get a tattoo.
Ashley: You have to ask, "Are you taking this seriously?" Yeah, you want to have a lot of fun, but are they there for the right reasons?
TV Guide Magazine: What insider trick should Emily know?
Ali: The roses are attached with magnets instead of pins, so we don't stab the guys.
TV Guide Magazine: Emily, have you remained friends with your Bachelor ex Brad Womack?
Emily: Oh yeah. He's really supportive and excited for me.
TV Guide Magazine: Ashley, can we get an update on your relationship with J.P.?
Ashley: We live together in New York City. He hasn't skipped a beat with work and I'm starting my [dental] residency soon. We're living the dream and have slowly started to think about wedding plans. We're hoping in the next year.
TV Guide Magazine: And Ali, anyone special in your life after your recent split with Roberto?
Ali: Not at the moment. I'm in a pivotal transition period. One thing I really learned from my experience is that you can't trick yourself into thinking you don't need certain things out of a relationship. But I wouldn't have changed a thing — including picking Roberto. I am friends with every person I've ever dated, so I hope it won't be any different with him.
TV Guide Magazine: So how are you going to spend your final days before meeting your suitors, Emily?
Emily: Being as lazy as possible. Sleeping a lot.
TV Guide Magazine: You're going to break from tradition and shoot at home instead of L.A.?
Emily: I just know when it first begins we're going to do it in Charlotte. We could be there the whole time or just one night. I honestly have no idea. But Ricki is going to travel with me.
TV Guide Magazine: Though she's only six, has Ricki taken any interest in boys yet?
Emily: Oh no.
Ashley: (Laughs) She's the next Bachelorette!