Things are heating up for Bachelor Nation this summer as Bachelor in Paradise is set to return for its sixth season on Aug. 5. In celebration of Monday's season premiere, former The Bachelor season 22 and Bachelor in Paradise season 5 star Chelsea Roy will be a special guest at Kings Dining & Entertainment in Back Bay for a premiere party with fans. Ahead of the event, we caught up with Roy to chat about the new season, her New England roots and more.
What are you most excited about going into this season of Bachelor in Paradise?
One of the things that excites me the most is being able to see my own personal friends, and some of them I consider best friends, get their second chance or third chance at love. I think it's going to be interesting because if you look back at the past two seasons of Bachelor and Bachelorette, we're dealing with a younger crowd. I don't want to say there's immaturity, but with that, I think there's certainly going to be a lot more drama where people are more apt to fight for what they want as opposed to just taking the higher road. I think that it's going to be a very entertaining season.
What surprised you the most about your Bachelor experiences?
I was villainized! Now, anyone that personally knows me will have never thought that. I think everyone was cheering me on, saying this is her chance, this is her opportunity to go after what she deserves. I'm from Arie [Luyendyk Jr.]'s season of The Bachelor. I was the girl that got the first impression rose, but with that comes all the other women in the house kind of looking at you. It's very easy to cast that person as the villain. For me, I was just a mom on a mission. I wasn't there to waste time. I was missing out on life back home with my son, so I was going after what I went there for, and it was love and to find out quickly, as opposed to wasting time because I didn't have that leisure on my side. I think what was shocking to me the most was seeing how editing can truly turn you into something that is for pure entertainment and works for the production team.
Looking back on your time with the franchise and Bachelor Nation fans, have you enjoyed being a part of this world?
It's truly a blessing. I came out of this experience with more confidence. I was able to stand up for myself. I was able to figure out who I was because it was forced upon me, putting myself in the spotlight. Also, to have that fan base that says, "I love your wit," or I love this about you, and you've never been told that before in your life, I found a huge support system. And it was a way for me to also give back to my community, to keep shining as a face of New England. Ultimately I'm not going anywhere. It's rare to see somebody from New England on the show in general, so it was so cool to represent Boston, to represent Maine.
Speaking of your New England roots, what are your go-to spots when visiting Boston?
The Seaport is up and coming. I love just walking down there because there's always something new. But my favorite spot is Back Bay. I can't get over the historical charm, walking up and down the streets. Newbury is such a great spot for shopping. As far as food scene goes, I actually like the South End. There's a lot of awesome spots over there. And for me, I've been digging into the hotel life and giving people and idea of where to stay depening on what they're looking for. Anywhere you turn, an corner there's always a hidden gem somewhere.
What are some of your Boston hotel recommendations?
My home away from home has always been Revere. I absolutely love its location. I also like, if somebody wants to do something more modern and hip, I would say the Revolution Hotel, which is new to the South End. I've had the pleasure of staying at the Ritz and the Four Seasons which, as we all know, that is kind of the life of the glam. So there are quite a few spots.
As a Maine native who loves to travel, what are your must-stop locations when visiting your home state?
Head straight up to Portland. You can not go wrong. We are such a foodie place and we're developing rapidly. You have a ton of hotels to stay. Hop on a ferry and go to one of our islands. You can't go wrong with Peaks Island, Shabig Island, Great Diamond Island. They all have restaurants and all have hotels as well for a stay. Honestly, it's like a 15 minute ferry ride from Portland, so if you need to get back to the hustle and bustle, that's easy to do. Then you have the surrounding towns like Kennebunkport, which is a little bit south, very charming as well. But I think your first stop should always be Portland.
Looking ahead, do you have any fun future plans, Bachelor or otherwise, that you're looking forward to?
The future is focusing on New England. I am diving more and more into the travel blog and helping out charities and also local businesses. I have this wonderful platform and I would much rather use it for experience than for selling products. So if people want to follow me along for that type of journey, so be it. My dream growing up was to always be Samantha Brown. I just want to inspire people to get out and explore.