You usually wouldn’t associate ABC’s “The Bachelor” with embalming fluid, but Shawntel Newton brought it to the forefront, being the first licensed embalmer and funeral director ever to walk through the hallowed halls of the reality dating show. (Who knew a funeral director could be cute…and so full of life?)
Despite Shawntel’s willingness to pack up her surgical tools and move for the sake of love, it looked like Brad couldn’t quite handle her cadaver-filled lifestyle in the end and thus, sent her packing.
The 25-year-old Chico, California, native took time out with reporters to share her thoughts on whether she regrets laying the Texan on her morgue table and whom she thinks he’s already in love with.
Was showing Brad the morgue your idea or the producers?
You know, it was a little of both. I kind of thought I just might as well lay all my cards out on the table with Brad. And him coming to Chico, I mean this is my job. This is what I grew up with, and I thought if he wants to get down on his knee and propose to me, he might as well come into the funeral home and see what I grew up around and what I do. So I kind of just thought well let’s just do this.
Any regrets on taking him down there?
No, I don’t regret it at all because…I was falling in love with Brad. I mean, usually I don’t take a guy on a first date to a funeral home. And I thought well this is going to be it, and it’s kind of like I said on TV—it’s the final test to see if he could handle this. So I don’t regret it.
After you demonstrated your skills to Brad on the embalming table, did it make you think, Wow, this guys gets easily freaked out?
Oh my gosh, yes. I was really hesitant to ask Brad to sit on my table, but he was so infatuated with the embalming process when we were in Vegas. So I thought, well, you’re intrigued by my science part of my job, so why don’t you lay on my prep table, and I’ll really kind of give you an idea of what I do.And I think it creeped him out a little bit; it would creep anyone out who’s not in the business. But I thought, you know what? I’m going to lay all my cards out for you, Brad, and if you are comfortable with this, keep me, if not, I guess you’re going to send me home. Being a funeral director has completely challenged my dating life, I will tell you that.
Do you think the shock your parents expressed about you possibly moving down to Austin affected Brad’s decision on letting you go?
That’s a good question. And because the question never has really come up with my family with me leaving Chico, I kind of always thought that I would be staying in Chico, probably taking over this business. I think they were a little surprised when I went on the show, I had no idea who the Bachelor was. I think on Brad’s part it had a big role. I think he really saw that my dad was having a hard time allowing this. He did give his blessing. But I think Brad felt uncomfortable, and I think he was like, Wow, Shawntel’s family is not really in support of this. For me, I was up front with my dad, and I said things are going to work out. I’m in love with this man.
Speaking of you being in love with Brad, are you still or are you over him?
You know, since it’s been a little while, I’m OK. I kind of compare this a lot to someone who has had a death and has lost a loved one because we go through the same stages as you do with a death. So, with me losing Brad I allowed myself to get angry, to start bargaining and wonder, Gosh, could I have done something different —almost in denial, maybe? I allowed myself to go through these different stages of grief in a healthy way. And I am not in love with him anymore. Like I said in the limo, I wish Brad happiness. I thought he was just an amazing person, and all I want for him is to be happy. I think he got really lucky with the girls he had to choose from.
Do you think it’s hard to find guys in your hometown, or do you think it’s your profession that keeps you from finding someone?
I think it’s a little of both to be honest. Being a funeral director has challenged my love life a lot. You know, when I go on a date with a guy, once we start talking about ‘OK, so what do you do?’ and I start talking about the funeral industry, it’s like a step back. It’s like, Wow, that’s different. And then growing up in Chico, I know a lot of the guys my age because we all went to school together. We played sports together, went to church together. So I probably wouldn’t date them because I grew up with them.
Which girl do you think has the potential to walk down the aisle with Brad?
My personal opinion is [Brad] is in love with Emily, and I think he has been for a while. I think Emily’s everything he wants. She has a child, and I think he wants to be the father to her child. And she’s wanting to get married and have more kids, and he loves that and wants that.
If you were asked, would you be interested in doing the “Bachelorette” or the “Bachelor Pad”?
As far as the “Bachelorette” goes, I think I would. I think to be the “Bachelor” or the “Bachelorette,” you really have to be a strong emotional person, and as we can see, Brad was. You’re doing a lot of interviews. You’re up late and you need to be able to handle that, and I think I am one that could do that. As far as “Bachelor Pad” goes, I probably wouldn’t do that— actually, I know I wouldn’t. But the “Bachelorette,” yes, I would probably do that.
“The Bachelor” airs Mondays on ABC at 8/7c.