Things didn't work out with Colton Underwood, but now the Alabama native will now look for love in her new group of suitors later this year
ABC wasted no time announcing who will take the reigns for its next season of The Bachelorette. While Caelynn, Tayisha and Hannah G. were all fan favorites for the gig, it was Hannah Brown who ended up being named season 15’s leading lady.
Brown, 24, competed for Colton Underwood’s heart on season 23 of The Bachelor but got eliminated during week 7, just before hometown dates. She had her heart broken (“I’m f—ing pissed,” she told the cameras after getting sent home), but ultimately realized she wanted more from a relationship.
“The desire of my heart is to be loved so fearlessly by somebody,” Brown continued on the Feb. 18 episode. “I will not allow myself not to feel chosen every single day. And I’ll wait ‘til whenever that is.”
Now, Brown will get her chance to look for that love as The Bachelorette. Here’s what to know about the Alabama native before she meets her suitors.
She’s a proud University of Alabama grad
Roll Tide! Brown graduated magna cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in Communication and Information Sciences and a minor in public relations in 2017. She became a sister of Alpha Chi Omega sorority during her time in college and served as a consultant to the university, helping clients with public speaking. Brown also worked as a freelance makeup artist and hairstylist, and interior decorator at Gracefully Done in her hometown of Northport, Alabama.
“I love making my customers’ dream homes a reality,” Brown told the Tuscaloosa News last year.
Brown is Miss Alabama 2018
Along with her other jobs, Brown currently serves as the reigning Miss Alabama. She started competing in pageants at 15 to pursue scholarship opportunities, and was named first runner-up in Miss Alabama Outstanding Teen, and then second runner-up in Miss Alabama Teen USA. When Brown went for Miss Alabama, though, she missed the top 15 four years in a row.
Brown struggled with depression and anxiety, and took some time off from pageants to focus on her mental health. Upon her return, she won the Miss Alabama title. “I was 100 percent Hannah and didn’t have a care in the world, and that’s why I think I won,” she told Alabama Newscenter in 2018.
Brown, nicknamed “Alabama Hannah,” competed in the national Miss USA pageant last year, but didn’t make the top 15. Still, her experience prepared her for life in the spotlight.
“It has given me a lot of confidence in times when there is both positive and negative light shed on me,” Brown continued to the Alabama outlet.
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Her pageant past caused drama on The Bachelor
From her time on the pageant circuit, Brown already knew fellow season 23 competitor Caelynn Miller-Keyes, the current Miss North Carolina and Miss USA first runner-up. They were roommates during the Miss USA competiion but fell out for still-mysterious reasons — and continued to butt heads on the ABC reality show.
“I was just in a high-stress situation with her and it was like the most hostile environment I’ve ever been in,” she 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.”
Brown feels “like Muhammed Ali” when she kickboxes
She deemed herself “Hannah Beast” during a group date on Underwood’s season, but it turns out Brown has had other experience kicking butt.
“I started boxing like three years ago, just as an exercise to get back in shape,” she told Miss USA in 2018. “But then I found out I was pretty good at it and I feel like Muhammad Ali.”
She prioritizes her mental health, too
Along with stepping away from pageants to treat her anxiety and depression, Brown continues to speak about the importance of focusing on oneself mentally.
“It took me a while to really figure out what my passion was and I think that was another reason why I struggled with anxiety and depression,” she told Miss USA. “Because if you don’t know what your purpose and your passion is sometimes you don’t know what life is for. Once I kind of got out of that rut, I realized that I’m so 100 percent okay with who Hannah is.”
This year, she even wished a “happy valentine’s day to myself,” adding on Instagram on Feb. 14, “I love you.”