Caelynn Miller-Keyes Admits She Was 'Hurt' After Hannah Brown Got to Be the Bachelorette

"It stung and I was upset," Caelynn Miller-Keyes revealed

Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Hannah Brown
Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Hannah Brown. Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty, Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Caelynn Miller-Keyes is opening up about the pain she felt when she wasn't chosen as the lead for The Bachelorette.

In a candid interview on iHeartRadio's The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous podcast, the reality star, 24, recalled feeling "hurt" when she learned last March that Hannah Brown was chosen as the Bachelorette for ABC's dating competition series.

At the time, Miller-Keyes and Brown, 25, had both competed for Colton Underwood's heart on The Bachelor's 23rd season. Both made it far on the show, though Miller-Keyes made it father, sticking around to week 8 before Underwood unexpectedly sent her home after hometown dates.

After being blindsided by Underwood, Miller-Keyes became a front-runner for the coveted gig as the next Bachelorette. But at the live After the Final Rose episode, Brown was announced as the Bachelorette.

"I remember getting the call that it wasn't me for Bachelorette and I was like, 'Dang, that kind of sucks!' "Miller-Keyes recalled to co-hosts Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti Haibon on the podcast. "And then I found out it was [Hannah] at Women Tell All. It hurt. It definitely hurt."

"It stung and I was upset and I was kind of led to believe that it was mine and then suddenly it wasn't. It was Hannah's," she continued. "Looking back on previous seasons, it's always been in the top four and then to branch out and to pick Hannah, it just hurt."

RELATED: Pageant Rivals Caelynn and Hannah B. Turn on Each Other on The Bachelor

Miller-Keyes and Brown came into The Bachelor with their fair share of beef. Both beauty queens were roommates during the Miss USA pageant but fell out for still-mysterious reasons.

"I was just in a high-stress situation with her and it was like the most hostile environment I’ve ever been in," Brown told Underwood on The Bachelor. “It’s hard because it’s like, if that’s what you want, you don’t want me.”

By the time they taped Women Tell All, however, the beauty queens had agreed to disagree — and support each other’s journeys.

"I don’t want to get into our stuff. We’re like oil and water; we just don’t mix that well," Brown said. "Ultimately, I think we’re good. I said I’m sorry for the things I said."

Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Dean Unglert
Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Dean Unglert. Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Brown would go on to lead season 15 of The Bachelorette, which ended in heartbreak when she split from fiancé Jed Wyatt after learning he had been in a relationship with another woman prior to and during his stint on the show. She went on to starred in season 28 of Dancing With the Stars, where she and partner Alan Bersten won the dance ball trophy.

Meanwhile, Miller-Keyes found love with former Bachelorette star Dean Unglert, whom she met on Bachelor in Paradise last summer.

The couple were taking it slow at first but got incredibly close in the wake of Unglert’s skiing accident in December, with Miller-Keyes flying to Switzerland to nurse him back to health.

"This is the first relationship that he’s been in in a very long time that has made him reconsider his thoughts about getting married down the road," pal Ashley Iaconetti revealed of Unglert back in February. "Dean certainly probably still has that anti-commitment quality to him. But I think he’s really fighting it off because I think — well, not fighting it off, but I think he wants to be with Caelynn. At the end of the day, that’s what he wants. He wants to be with Caelynn more than anything."

Updated by
Dave Quinn
Dave Quinn

Dave Quinn is an Editor for PEOPLE, working across a number of verticals including the Entertainment, Lifestyle and News teams. He joined in 2006 as a Writer/Reporter where he became known for his Bravo and Broadway exclusives across print and digital. Dave is the author of the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book, Not All Diamonds and Rosé: The Inside Story of the Real Housewives from the People Who Lived It. He's appeared on many broadcasts including ABC's Good Morning America, Bravo's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, E!'s Daily Pop, NBC's New York Live and PEOPLE's own Reality Check, as well as a number of podcasts like Bitch Sesh, Everything Iconic, Watch What Crappens, Hot Off the Mess, Mention It All, and PEOPLE Every Day. Prior to working at PEOPLE, Dave was the chief Theater Reporter for NBC New York and co-host of Entertainment Weekly's acclaimed TV Recaps series.

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