Caila Quinn Recalls Nearly Being ‘The Bachelorette’ Over JoJo Fletcher

A sliding doors moment in Bachelor Nation. As she prepares to walk down the aisle, Caila Quinn reflected on nearly being the season 12 Bachelorette during an appearance on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.

“It was so long ago. And it did happen for a moment. And it was fleeting, but at the end of the day, it worked out. And you know what, I was so young at the time,” the 30-year-old reality TV personality exclusively told Us. “But yes, I was temporarily in the running for the Bachelorette, and they filmed in my hometown. And it was kind of crazy because for six months, they would fly me to L.A. to do fittings and for meetings and stuff like that. So I tried on a couple of dresses and gowns that JoJo [Fletcher] wore on her season. I was like, ‘That blue dress looks good on you girl!’ I tried that same sparkly gown.”

Caila Quinn Recalls Dress Fittings Filming Before JoJo Bachelorette Swap
Caila Quinn and JoJo Fletcher. Scott Roth/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; Frederick Breedon/PictureGroup/Shutterstock

Caila and JoJo, 30, finished as Ben Higgins‘ second and first runner-up, respectively, during season 20 of The Bachelor, which aired in 2016.

“It [was] a little bizarre,” she said of seeing JoJo’s promos start to air during the summer of 2016. “And it’s, like, you kind of look and watch somebody else and you’re like, ‘That’s the life I could have lived.’ It’s kind of like when your ex moves on and gets married. You have this moment where you pause and you’re like, ‘Whoa, I mean, I know I’ve moved on, but that could have been my life.’ So it’s kind of crazy.”

Caila confirmed she filmed scenes in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

“I wish they would share the footage because we had, like, 100 of my Filipino family together for the first episode that we recorded. And we had this giant Filipino barbecue where there was, like, a pig on a spit. And it felt like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but my big fat Filipino wedding,” she told Us. “My mom has five brothers and they’re all, like, telling these funny stories. And that was just a lot of culture there that I think hasn’t been represented. And I’ll be honest, a lot of America doesn’t even know where the Philippines is or what Filipino culture is. I think Asian is grouped together as one ethnicity and there’s really just so much more to it out there than just like, you know, Chinese and Japanese.”

She continued: “They normally don’t film, like, a first few episodes with somebody and then take it back. But I understand why. I think what they do is they usually have two people that they’re choosing between, just in case one of the girls meets someone because, like, what if JoJo had met and fallen in love with somebody in her neighborhood? They could never have helped that and [it’s a] TV show, they need someone as a backup, so I get it.”

While JoJo met fiancé Jordan Rodgers during season 12 of The Bachelorette, Caila is marrying fiancé Nick Burrello later this month.

“I’m super happy. I’m getting married in four weeks,” Caila added. “I really believe in fate. And if you watch [JoJo and Jordan] together, I watch their home renovation show and they’re hosting these things, and their chemistry is, like, you can’t match it and they were meant to meet that way. And I love that. I hope that for everyone.”

Ben, for his part, proposed to Lauren Bushnell during the season 20 finale, but they called it quits in May 2017. While she is currently expecting her first child with husband Chris Lane, the Alone in Plain Sight author is engaged to Jess Clarke.

“I had no idea [he was going to pick Lauren]. I was 23. I was like, ‘Oh, definitely me!’” Caila told Us about Ben’s season. “Meanwhile, he’s taking her on secret, like, long walks that are, like, two hours long during a group date. And I was like, ‘Don’t worry, he can come back to you.’ No idea.”

For more from Caila, including why she hated filming Bachelor in Paradise, listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.

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