Kaitlyn sounds off on a boxing date that "terrified" her and the guy who "stole my heart" by getting serious after a comedy date
Credit: Matt Petit/ABC

Kaitlyn Bristowe is the Bachelorette! She charmed her way into the hearts of the Bachelor Nation – and nearly the Bachelor himself, Chris Soules, on season 19 of The Bachelor. Now Kaitlyn has begun her own journey to love.

Waking up that next morning as the Bachelorette was a surreal feeling. There was so much happening that first night, I think it was still taking its time to sink in. I mean, it’s not every day you wake up in a beautiful house with Chris Harrison knocking at your door. But I will admit, I was so relieved to see him. There was a lot to process, and having him there to help talk me through it was much needed.

I couldn’t believe that in just one night connections had already begun to develop. And there I sat, lucky enough to be the Bachelorette and eagerly awaiting my first week of dates. In the back of my mind, I had to wonder, Which of these guys voted for Britt and who voted for me? And how was Britt doing? But I couldn’t allow those thoughts to take over. I had a great group of guys ready to kick these dates off with, and that’s where my focus needed to be.

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I knew starting it off with a boxing group date would be a hit … literally. See what I did there?! I couldn’t wait for my first date as the Bachelorette, and what better way than to see these guys hot, sweating and shirtless? Truthfully, what girl doesn’t want a guy who can fight for her and protect her? And training with undefeated world champion boxer Laila Ali was an experience I will never forget! I could probably take her, but I decided to let the guys do the fighting (haha … JK, Laila, don’t hurt me!).

Training with the guys was the best way to find out who had the skills. And who knew Corey and I had such good jump-rope game? I had a blast getting to spend some one-on-one time with some of the guys while we trained. Jared thought he was sooo funny with his little sparring trick, which I have to admit was pretty cute. It was great to have some of the guys make time to come over and talk with me while training. Except Kupah, who I guess was just really into his training .

I was excited for Laila to announce that the guys would be boxing each other! The looks on their faces were priceless. Let the adrenaline and testosterone commence! I have to admit, they all looked really good in their fighting gear. Having a live crowd only made it more exciting. But, to be honest, I was a little concerned the guys might let their competitiveness outweigh their concern for safety. My stomach dropped once Ben Z. and Daniel began to fight. Ben Z. ain’t tiny y’all. And it only seemed to get worse as each match started. As the guys fought harder and harder, I started to think maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.

When Ben Z. and Jared stepped into the ring for that final match, I was terrified. I think you could actually see my heart beating out of my chest! At least it felt like it. The hit Jared took was my worst nightmare. Although I was excited for Ben Z. to win the belt, I couldn’t stop thinking of Jared. Knowing he’d been hurt and couldn’t join the afterparty made me so sad. But I had to put my focus on the guys who were there.

At the afterparty, I felt so touched that Ben Z. shared the story of his mom with me and that Justin opened up about his son. To know these guys felt confident enough to share these personal stories with me really touched my heart. To top that off, receiving the note from Jared was really special. The fact that he felt that terrible after the match and thought to stop by and see me meant a lot to me. But above it all, I couldn’t help the connection I felt with Ben Z.; I had to give him the rose.

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Picking up Clint the next day for my first one-on-one date was exciting. He seemed really intelligent and genuine, and I was looking forward to spending some time with him. An underwater photo shoot was a great ice breaker for a first date right?! I didn’t know what to think, but I knew it would be a test of our connection. Listen, I love being in the water, but being photographed submerged in water, that is not easy. (You can tell from my face, right?! It’s okay, I can admit it.) But, as the date continued, it got easier and easier. And, hey, who doesn’t want a first kiss underwater?! What can I say? The connection was there between us! Even with water up my nose.

I was excited to dry off and spend some more time talking with Clint. We vibed so well, and he said all the right things. That Clint, what a charmer. The more time I spent with him, the more I liked him. After such a great date with him, I knew I had to give him the rose. It was one of the best first dates I’d ever had.

Going into my second group date with the guys, I felt like I was in a really good place. I was developing some connections and I still had a whole other date to go. If there’s one thing people know about me, it’s that I love jokes. So of course I love a guy who can make me laugh. Who better to help me decide the funny ones of the group than one of my all-time favorite comedians, Amy Schumer! To have a girlfriend to help with this date and have another woman’s perspective was amazing. That’s right, I said it, AMAZING! But, after hearing their best jokes, I was a bit concerned. I was relieved Amy brought Nikki, Rachel and Bridgette to help coach these guys. They needed the help! #ROOKIES

As these guys took the stage to start their stand-up, I couldn’t wait. Having Amy open the show was great. She is hilarious! And when Ian took the stage, I was impressed. He actually had some good one-liners. But when Cupcake Chris grabbed the mic, I found his nerves to be the cutest thing! He might not have been the funniest, but I think he did great. Tony, on the other hand well he pretty much bombed. I think you could hear a pin drop in that room! I think even Tony would admit that comedy’s not his thing. He’s a lover, not a comedian! But let me tell you, I was blown away by Joe. I wish you guys could have seen some more of his stand-up, but this is a PG show and Joe was heading into NC-17 territory. All in all, I knew I picked the perfect group of guys for this date.

Heading into the afterparty, I was really looking forward to learning more about these guys. Joshua had me cracking up in our time together, while JJ on the other hand stole my heart getting so emotional when he spoke about his daughter. I want nothing more than to start a family, so hearing him speak so adoringly about family meant a lot. It felt right to give him the rose, but I will tell you it was not an easy decision!

Starting off my first cocktail party as the Bachelorette was a little overwhelming. But I hung on to the fact that I was really connecting with these guys and it seemed to make the night a bit easier. Walking in to see all their faces brought a sense of calm, as weird as that sounds. I did feel bad that there were some guys I didn’t have a chance to take on a date that week, so I was really looking forward to those conversations.

I had no idea there was so much conflict happening amongst the guys that night. I didn’t feel any sense of tension until I spoke with Kupah. I can always appreciate when someone is forward and honest, but I can’t appreciate aggression. And that’s how Kupah’s approach felt. Having to defend my initial connection was a weird position to be in. I felt like I had been knocked off my game and it put me in a very confusing headspace. By the way, Kupah, you voted for Britt; of course the connection isn’t AS strong – you didn’t feel it either! Then hearing him turn around and share our conversation with other people wasn’t a good feeling. Sending him home was the only thing that made sense at that moment. Hearing him yelling at production in the driveway only confirmed I made the correct choice because I wasn’t going to allow other people to be disrespected.

I like to think I’ve been pretty vocal about following my heart and not sticking to the rules as the Bachelorette. I knew going out to confront Kupah and his behavior was the right thing to do. I’ve always been one to stand up for what’s right, and I’d like to think next week, you’ll see what I mean. This will be the first of many times I’ll ask you to trust me and my heart, so you stay tuned and hang in there. ‘Til next week!


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The Bachelorette airs Mondays (9 p.m. ET) on ABC.