Bachelor contestant from Toronto opens up about the show's racism controversy
Toronto-based Bachelor contestant Serena Pitt quickly became a fan favourite on the current season of the reality show thanks to her down-to-earth demeanor and refusal to engage in petty drama, and the Ontarian was equally praised for her decision to leave the show on her own terms during a recent episode.
Pitt, a 22-year-old recent graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University who currently works at MacIntyre Communications, sent herself home during the hometowns episode of the series after realizing bachelor Matt James just wasn't the one.
She told blogTO that while the decision wasn't easy, it was nice to feel like she was in control of her fate for a change.
"In a way it felt empowering," Pitt told blogTO, adding that while it was difficult to hurt Matt, she had to be true to how she was feeling.
"In a situation where Matt typically holds your fate, I think it's easy to forget that you have a say too and you're able to say yes or no as well. The minute I knew he wasn't my forever person and this wasn't the time for this relationship, I felt like it was the most respectful thing to do."
But before her time on the show came to an end, Pitt had a number of memorable experiences with James, including a date in which they tried different iconic Canadian dishes.
Photos of the dishes later circulated online and it's safe to say Canadian residents were less than impressed with how the delicacies were depicted, but Pitt said the food actually wasn't half bad — other than the poutine.
"The poutine, Canadians are rightfully upset about this poutine. I lifted the lid and was shocked by what was underneath," she said. "I definitely said to Matt, 'If you come to Canada, the quality of poutine you're gonna get is significantly higher than what we're eating today.'"
As one of just two Canadian contestants on the show and the only one to make it past week two, Pitt said there were some differences between her and the other American woman — most of which had to do with pronunciation.
"I don't think I have an accent," Pitt said, but the other contestants would apparently disagree. She said they often made fun of how she pronounces the letter "A," and they were also confused every time she used the word "washroom."
"Obviously there were things that the American girls had to educate me on," she added. "Even just snacks we had in the house that I never tried before."
Overall, Pitt said her experience on The Bachelor had a bigger impact on her life than she ever expected, especially since COVID-19 prevented the cast from travelling or connecting with the outside world in any way.
"It was really bizarre going from this state of isolation and being completely cut off," she said, "and then coming back and having so many people know who I am."
But Pitt said she's grateful to have been a part of this season specifically, particularly because of all the discourse about racism in the franchise that has been ongoing throughout.
While Season 25 was initially meant to represent progress for the series — with James being the first ever Black bachelor — photos of frontrunner Rachael Kirkconnell at an old south antebellum party once again landed the franchise in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
And host Chris Harrison's choice to defend Kirkconnell to Rachel Lindsay, the franchise's only Black bachelorette, certainly didn't help.
The women from this season recently put out a statement in support of Lindsay, and Pitt said she hopes the fact that one of the most diverse Bachelor casts in history is speaking out on the issue will help bring about much-needed change.
"All that we can really hope for is that our season is able to use our voices and our platform to educate others," she said. "At this point I'm really just hopeful that moving forward we shine a big light on a lot of the issues that exist."
Asked whether she'll consider going on the new Bachelor in Paradise Canada series as a contestant in the future, Pitt said she's not sure she's eligible as a former contestant on the American show, but she certainly hasn't ruled it out.
"I would be open to considering it if they ask me," she said. "In regards to that show coming to air, as a proud Canadian, I'm super excited about it."
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