'Bachelor' stars Dean Unglert, Ashley Iaconetti, Amanda Stanton and Eric Bigger talk 'Winter Games,' dating apps and fame after the show
The stars of "The Bachelor" and its various spinoffs have made a living out of airing out the good, the bad and the ugly of their dating lives on camera for millions of fans around the world.
And, though they may still be figuring it out, Dean Unglert, Ashley Iaconetti, Amanda Stanton and Eric Bigger have certainly learned more than a few do's and don't's over the years. And, being reality stars, they naturally were willing to share those learnings with #NoFilter.
During a recent speed dating-style event with Lord & Taylor in New York City, the four Bachelor Nation mainstays opened up about some of their best dating advice and style tips with an exclusive selection of people from dating app The League.
AOL Entertainment sat down with Dean, Ashley, Amanda and Eric ahead of the event to talk about first dates, using dating apps, the upcoming "The Bachelor Winter Games" spinoff and how they've each been able to parlay their reality TV appearances into prolonged fame.
See photos from the event, including details on "The Bachelor" stars' Lord & Taylor ensembles:
Check out our conversation with Dean Uglert, Ashley Iaconetti, Amanda Stanton and Eric Bigger below:
You're all here to dole out dating tips and style advice to members of The League. What are some things that men or women can wear on first dates that will make a good impression without trying too hard?
Dean: White shoes for men!
Eric: I agree!
Dean: The more ankle you show the better.
Ashley: Dean has very attractive ankles. I don’t! I hide my ankles at all times.
Amanda: Wear a heeled bootie! If you wear heels, it’s like you’re trying too hard.
Dean: Can I say something that I dislike? Women wearing wedges. I don’t like wedges! I don’t know why, I just don’t like them.
Ashley: They’re comfy, but they’re not very aesthetically pleasing.
Amanda: I don’t even own wedges, if I'm being honest.
Okay, so what about dating apps? Have you guys ever used them?
Dean: I have! I’ve always had a good experiences on apps. I would say that out [of the] people I’ve talked to [on apps], though, I’ve only met up with a very, very small amount of people. I’ve never really had a bad experience.
Eric: I’ve never scored on a dating app.
Have you never been on a dating app date before?
Ashley: You’ve never been on a dating app date?!
Eric: I tried Bumble, didn’t work. I tried Hinge, didn’t work...
Ashley: I’ve been on dating app dates. However, I don’t think they’ve ever led to a second date. [Laughs]
Amanda: I’ve also been on a couple, and it’s always just a first date only.
Dean: I think I’ve only had, like, two second dates from dating apps.
So it's always, like, fine but never amazing but never really offensive.
Ashley: It’s never been offensive. Actually, I take that back. I would argue that my last dating app date was offensive. [Laughs]
Amanda: Was that the movie guy?
Ashley: The movie guy was a set-up, so that wasn’t a dating app date. But that was ultimately offensive. This was my last year’s Valentine’s Day date. It was our fourth date, so I was a little bit uncomfortable going on a Valentine’s Day date for our fourth date, especially when I knew it was already on the outs. The dude got a coupon -- you know when you rip your tickets and you get an offer? -- he got one for a free popcorn that was like, "You can save this for next time or you can go ask for a refund on your popcorn!" He went and he refunded the popcorn for $4 on his credit card on Valentine’s Day.
Breaking the bank with $4!
Ashley: And that was the last time I ever saw him.
Dean: Did you kiss him?
Ashley: I had kissed him on our third date, and on our fourth date, I did not kiss him.
Dean: What’s wrong with being frugal?
Ashley: …not on Valentine’s Day! And not for $4 popcorn.
Eric: He should’ve kept it for the next time.
Ashley: And he was drinking out of my soda the whole time! This year, Valentine’s Day will be much better.
Dean and Ashley, you both tried your hands at dating on "Winter Games" recently. Having both been on "Bachelor in Paradise," how did the two experiences differ?
Dean: It’s definitely closer quarters, as there’s no beach to roam around on freely. It’s a very small house, and it’s nice to have the competition-type stuff because it’s something to look forward to versus “Paradise,” where all you’re really looking forward to per se is someone arriving or a date.
Ashley: Or your chips and salsa! [Laughs]
Dean: And I think that with “Winter Games,” we had a pretty good core group of friends that were there, which was really nice to have around.
Ashley: It was definitely cool. I went in having met most of the American cast previously, so I knew that I would have people to lean on -- like, actual solid friends who I was just friends with. And then, I think that it was nice -- Dean’s been saying this all day -- that we were able to mix up the days, where some days we were going out for an adventure sport and some days were just for lounging at home.
Eric, you're also on "Winter Games," but you weren't on "Paradise." What was it like returning to TV for the first time since "The Bachelorette" last year?
Eric: You know what? It was different being in a setting with multiple options. I was used to a setting with just one option on “The Bachelorette.” It was a long year for me -- I traveled and filmed a lot -- so it was different emotionally. I also met Ben for the first time.
Ashley: You met Ben for the first time?!
Eric: Yeah, so it was cool to have him, Ashley and Dean there. The international cast also made it different.
Ashley: Dean allowed me to be able to not be so aggressive this time around. He was there to support and hold me back so that I played hard to get, and it worked out differently for me.
So, are you guys finding love at the "Winter Games"?
Ashley: "Love" is an intense word, but we definitely find people we like, and we’ll see how that ends.
Dean: It was definitely nice to have a friend of the opposite sex around. Normally when you go into those types of situations, you have friends that are all guys or all girls, but those can only help your case in so many ways. So, when you have someone of the opposite sex as a friend, you can get their opinion on the situation.
Ashley: That’s so true. During my experiences in "Paradise," I only had girl friends going into it, and it was nice to be able to be like, “What’s he saying about me back in the guys’ room?”
Amanda, what was it like not taking part this time around?
Amanda: I’m kind of glad just to sit back and watch this time. I’m excited to watch!
Taking a step back a bit, you guys are proof that when it comes to reality TV these days, it's possible to still launch a career without having "won" the show. What's it been like for you guys to build your brands and still be able to connect with "Bachelor" fans after initially appearing on one of the shows?
Amanda: It’s kind of weird going on the show having such a private life, but then overnight you have all of these followers and people who want to know what you’re wearing and what kind of makeup you use and everything about you. For me, most of my success comes from social media, so I just view that as a way of connecting with my followers.
Ashley: I had a broadcast background, so it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, which made it mostly about making great media connections and being able to do my own stuff. Whether that’s my Cosmopolitan recaps or my weekly appearance on “Access” or my podcasts, which come from me being the relatable, sympathetic character. I’m the girl who is never lucky in love and is always crying, and there are so many girls out there [like that] who aren’t always represented in the media. My friend is always like, “Don’t be a Ginnifer Goodwin character,” which I’ve always been! [I'm] that pathetic girl who’s always trying, but can’t succeed. So I’ve really made the most of trying to communicate to that group of girls out there.
Eric: It gives you the opportunity to do the things that you’ve always wanted to do in life, because you have more volume and more people watching and listening. It gives you more reach, and it’s definitely fulfilling.
Dean: The word “fan” is really funny to me, because we didn’t really do anything outside of what we normally do on a daily basis, and whenever you do anything in life you don’t really look back on that moment and think of it as a character-defining moment. You just keep on doing what you've always done. Now, these people who watch us on TV are finding ways to relate to us, which we didn’t even realize we were doing in the first place. These three have done a great job of building and maintaining a brand, and I’m still figuring all of that out. It’s so foreign to me to even think that people are interested, but I get it.
In some ways, though, it must be validating that fans of the show are continuing to follow you and interact with you simply because they like you as people.
Ashley: Thank you! The coolest thing is that unlike actors, actresses and musicians, where you like them for their talent, it’s cool that everybody actually likes us for our personalities.
Amanda: Yeah, I do think that’s interesting. When you run into people, it’s like they know you. There are people that come up to me all the time that are like, ‘Oh, it’s Kinsley’s birthday!” They know about everything I’m doing in my life! It’s not like you’re a character to them, and they really like you for you.
This conversation has been edited and condensed.
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