It's been weeks since Taylor Nolan was eliminated by Nick Viall on "The Bachelor," but the Johns Hopkins University graduate says she's still dealing with the aftermath of the dating competition show.
The mental health counselor, who is also a Stevenson University alum, was eliminated during a two-on-one date with Viall and fellow contestant Corinne, who has been pegged as this season's "villain." Reaction to Nolan's memorable altercation with Corinne has been polarizing — and Nolan said that online backlash has led her to put her private practice, which she launched in 2015 in Seattle, on pause.
"There's been so many unexpected changes to my life," the 23-year-old told The Baltimore Sun last week.
She first applied to be a love interest on "The Bachelor" last summer, just weeks after graduating from Hopkins. She and her family had always watched the show together, she said, but it wasn't until her stepfather jokingly urged her to apply that she considered it. "It snowballed from there," Nolan said, and she was chosen to start filming later that year.
"I went into it very open-minded. It'd be great if [Viall] and I had a connection," she said. But was she thinking it'd be love at first sight? "Absolutely not."
The connections she made with Viall, the other women competing for him, and the show's producers were all intriguing, Nolan said, but "it was very chaotic."
"With 30 girls, there's a lot of different personalities. Some click, some don't," said Nolan, who attended high school in Anne Arundel County.
Nolan said she made fast friends with fellow contestant Vanessa while on the show and has fostered new relationships with some of the other girls since filming ended. But there is one person she hasn't spoken to since her elimination — Corinne.
The 24-year-old from Miami clashed with Nolan during the show, most notably after Nolan commented on her lack of "emotional intelligence." Corinne called Nolan a bully and told Viall about their argument. Nolan was later eliminated.
Since then, Nolan said it's been difficult to completely move past the televised altercation.
"I assumed there were not-so-positive comments said, but I was kind of taken aback by the labeling and name calling that was aired, and I didn't feel like that was an accurate depiction of me," Nolan said, adding that many people interpreted what she deems "objective, constructive feedback," as bullying.
Nolan said she felt like she was held to a tougher standard because she works in the mental health field.
"That has definitely been a challenging area that I've had to reflect on," she said.
In recent months, deciphering who is reaching out to her for legitimate professional help and who's reaching out about "The Bachelor" has been difficult, Nolan said. She's received many emails from viewers — some who are fans who want to meet her, and others who criticize her for comments she made on the show, she said.
"It doesn't fully feel safe [to continue my practice] at the moment," Nolan said. But she's looking forward to moving out of the spotlight in the coming months and taking time to regroup as a counselor.
As for her elimination, Nolan said there was little closure with Viall.
"I definitely did have a connection with him," she said. "I felt very confused. I felt surprised; I felt kind of dropped. I felt like there wasn't a really great explanation."
But she's hoping to learn more about Viall's decision at "The Bachelor: The Women Tell All," the show's reunion special that will bring all 30 girls and Viall back into one room to rehash the season. (The reunion will air later in the season.)
Until then, "I'm just kind of waiting to see how things play out with the rest of the show," Nolan said.
When it comes to dating someone new, Nolan said she's in a more selfish stage. Her goal is to write more for her personal blog, where she recapped some episodes and dished about mental health, and let her experience with the show fully sink in.
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But, she adds, "I like a nice beard and a good brain. … I'm totally down for a date."