Fans of trashy reality television already know that a new season of 'The Bachelor' began this week on ABC. Most of the 'The Bachelor' buzz of late has been about ABC's decision to bring back failed bachelor Brad Womack, but local folks may be more intrigued by the fact that three of the women competing for Mr. Womack's hand in marriage are Carolina girls.
At least two of the three local girls could be real contenders. One of them, the 24-year-old Emily Maynard, currently lives in Charlotte and became an instant fan favorite due to her tragic backstory. Emily was engaged to NASCAR driver and partial owner of Hendrick Motorsports Ricky Hendrick when he died in a plane crash in October of 2004, along with several other members of the Hendrick family.
Emily said on 'The Bachelor' that she and Hendrick had known each other since they were 15 and were engaged to be married at the time of his death. She said she found out one week after Hendrick's death that she was pregnant with his child. Their daughter was born in 2005.
Emily, who is originally from West Virginia, works as an event planner at The Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte. The Ricky Hendrick Centers for Intensive Care at the hospital is supported by a donation from Ricky's parents, Rick and Linda Hendrick.
So far on the show, Brad hasn't learned about Emily's past.
The other major contender on the show is Ashley Spivey from Ellerbe. Ashley S. (there are two Ashleys this season) currently works as a nanny in New York. She received the coveted First Impression Rose from Brad on Monday night. She says in her ABC bio that her favorite book is "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand and that her ideal mate would be someone like Lloyd Dobler from "Say Anything." I like her already.
The third North Carolina woman didn't get much air time Monday night, but she did make the cut to continue competing for Brad. She's a 27-year-old marketing coordinator named Kimberly Coon. She also lives in Charlotte