'Bachelorette' Kaitlyn Bristowe Has a Lot on Her Plate While in Quarantine
Even in quarantine, Kaitlyn Bristowe is staying extra busy. The Bachelorette alum is brightening viewers' days every Wednesday with her new YouTube series, 9 to Wine, de-stigmatizing mental illness, sharing lifestyle tips, and just generally continuing her brand of being honest and real.
The reality TV star opens up about what inspired her weekly series, how quarantine has affected her relationship with boyfriend Jason Tartick, and what audiences can expect from her next.
Congratulations on 9 to Wine! What originally inspired it, and how has self-shooting been during quarantine?
Kaitlyn Bristowe: Especially in this time, people are sensitive and anxiety is high. I wanted to create something to look forward to on the internet, something that would make people laugh and people could relate to and just feel like they have an online friend. That kind of inspired it.
We also wanted to do some behind-the-scenes of the businesses that I have going on, and the big part of it was I was about to go on tour for my Off the Vine podcast. We had a tour bus and we thought it would be so fun to capture some of the behind the scenes, the stuff that people don't see. Then quarantine happened and I'm starting to self-shoot, and let me tell you, I have become a professional audio, lights person, and camera crew. It was really tricky at first but I'm finally getting the hang of this!
Your first episode, "My Life Story," really dove into your personal mental health struggles and past relationships. What sort of fan reaction did you receive after opening up?
It's always weird to me to call people fans — I say they're more like friends and part of this community that I've built over the years. I feel like I'm at a place now where I've been doing this for five years coming off [The Bachelorette] and I even recognize some of the people that are fully into listening to the podcast or following along on social media who are my biggest supporters. It's been cool because people feel like they trust me and I trust them and then they open up. I've had some really touching stories of people reacting and saying that it helped them feel not so alone and that they're in their 20s going through the same kind of thing right now so it gives them a lot of hope.
I was nervous at first. Obviously having a platform you get some people who don't have the nicest things to say. I've seen some really nasty YouTube comments, so I was expecting a little bit of that but the positive response was so overwhelming in the best way possible. I feel so proud sharing everything now and knowing that people can find comfort in things that I've gone through. It's been really sweet.
What other topics can audiences expect to be covered by the show?
I'm kind of just going with the flow right now, given our situation ... [We talk about periods] and the things women go through with that. I struggle with depression during my time [of the month], and I want to open up about that kind of thing. I'm also going to be sharing music that I've written and am going to release. [Editor's Note: Bristowe has since released her first single, "If I'm Being Honest," which she talks about over here.]
Plus, I'm going to be introducing Jason and the dogs and a little behind the scenes of our life here. And then down the road, I know I'll be doing a lot of home projects. People really want a house tour and I've been working really hard on this house and redoing everything so I'm excited to give people the house tour. Then I'm going to listen to people's feedback and what they want to see and what they are enjoying so far and kind of take it week by week.
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Your Off the Vine podcast is a fan favorite, and you talk everything from food and wine to Bachelor franchise drama. How has your approach to the show changed during the current global health crisis?
It's actually been really interesting because I'm a big fan of doing in-person interviews and I never wanted to do them over the phone, just because I like being present with somebody and making eye contact and all that. So I was kind of dreading doing over the phone interviews and not having that intimate interaction, but I've ended up loving it because my guests are unlimited. I can call someone who's in Los Angeles or New York, no matter what they have going on, so it's opened up my podcast to have many more interesting conversations with different kinds of guests. I've actually really enjoyed doing it over the phone and just having those different conversations that I normally wouldn't have the opportunity to have because they're not in my city.
Quarantine has both helped and hurt relationships so far. How are you and Jason making it work? Has this pandemic sped up a potential proposal track at all?
First of all, we are so grateful. We have this unique career path that we kind of were already working from home and around each other 24/7. It hasn't really changed too much for us, just we're not on a plane every other week. It's actually brought us a lot closer together. We've been enjoying time with our two dogs. He wakes up in the morning — he's so sweet, he brings me a coffee every morning — and then he'll go upstairs and do his work, and I'll get up and do my work. Sometimes we'll meet up in the middle of the afternoon for lunch or we'll just meet up again at dinner and talk about our day, have a glass of wine, play cards or do a puzzle and then go to bed!
It feels like we have a pretty good routine going on and a good structure in both of our lives so we're grateful for that. I don't want to make it seem too perfect because I'm about being honest and real, so yeah there are times I would like to throat-chop him. We have our little arguments but I think that's just a normal, healthy relationship. I think Justin Timberlake said "nobody is meant to be around another human being 24/7" so it would be crazy if I said it was perfect, but it has brought us closer together.
9 to Wine, Wednesdays, YouTube