Double trouble this season on ABC’s ‘The Bachelorette’

Britt Nilsson
Britt Nilsson ABC

There has to be a better way to find true love.

Britt Nilsson and Kaitlyn Bristowe had reason to hope for the best last season on The Bachelor until Chris Soules sent both of them home brokenhearted. Now the women are back on The Bachelorette, premiering at 8 p.m. Monday on ABC, but only one will get to stay.

For the first time in 11 seasons, the 25 eligible bachelors have a say in who they’re going to woo. They will take a vote and one woman will get bad news in the second episode, at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Will the survivor be Britt, the Michigan-born model-turned-waitress who captivated viewers last season with that memorable hug on the first night at the Bachelor mansion?

Or will it be Kaitlyn, the Canadian dance instructor who dropped her guard, only to be sent away from The Bachelor in tears?

We chatted with the women last week about the new twist.

When were you told there would be two Bachelorettes competing for one spot?

Britt: It was pretty close to when we started filming. It was kind of a good news/bad news thing. Good news: You’re going to be on The Bachelorette. Bad news: There’s going to be another girl as well. My emotions were all over the place.

Kaitlyn: It was definitely unexpected, and I was shocked. I was kind of beside myself, because I didn’t know what to think. I wasn’t excited about it. I just really had to step back and think of the light at the end of the tunnel.

Did you consider backing out? After all, this wasn’t the arrangement you had bargained for.

Britt: I never had a moment where I thought I wasn’t going to do it. I was like, “How is it going to work being in competition?” But I never had reservations about doing it.

Kaitlyn: I was all over the map. At one point, I was like, “No, I don’t need to put myself through that kind of stress.” It probably took me a solid five days of thinking about it. But where is the line, really, on The Bachelorette? You’re going on TV to find love. So who’s to say what’s strange and what’s not?

When looking for a love match, what are some qualities in men that you consider to be deal breakers?

Britt: I would say if somebody, No. 1, doesn’t have a compassionate heart to the people around them. I watch how people treat others. How do they act to the waiter? Are they kind? That’s huge. Another deal breaker is if they’ve never read a book.

Kaitlyn: The deal breaker for me is if somebody doesn’t want kids. I want kids very soon. Another pet peeve: I worked in the service industry for so long in restaurants and it really bugs me if guys don’t know how to tip. Also, manners go a long way with me.

Why haven’t you been able to find lasting romance the conventional way, without help from a TV reality show?

Britt: I don’t know the exact answer. It’s not for lack of wanting to be married. It’s just that so many things have to be exactly right on both ends. It’s the most important decision that you make in your life. I just haven’t yet found the guy who was exactly perfect and that I was perfect for.

Kaitlyn: I found that each year of my 20s, I was getting to know myself better. I finally feel like I’m at the point in my life where, if I love who I am and I’m comfortable with who I am, then I’m ready to allow somebody else to love me, too.

The Bachelorette

▪ 8-10 p.m. Monday and 7-8 p.m. Tuesday

▪ WFAA/Channel 8