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Former 'Bachelorette' Jillian Harris on Finding New Love and Why She Won't Watch 'Bachelor Pad'
Former Bachelorette Jillian Harris didn't find her happy ending with ex-fiance Ed Swiderski after the season 5 finale of the reality dating series, but the 32-year-old Canadian native has moved on — in more ways than one.
In addition to finding love with the new man in her life, Harris has parlayed her newfound fame into a successful career. She put her interior design skills to good use for three seasons of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and she's just been named the newest host of Live It or List It Vancouver.
Most recently, Harris teamed up with Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese to give one of their contest winners a full kitchen makeover on RealWomenofPhiladelphia.com.
"I'm a self-proclaimed foodie, and I love being in the kitchen, so this project was a no-brainer!" she says.
Harris talked to Parade.com about getting back in front of the camera, watching her ex-fiance on this season of Bachelor Pad, and more.
On hosting Love It or List It Vancouver.
"A lot of people don't know that Love It or List It on HGTV is a Canadian show. It's filmed in Toronto and this is going to be the Vancouver version. I'm hoping that it will be syndicated in the States down the road. I'm very quirky, goofy, and sometimes a little scatterbrained, so this show is going to have a different vibe. It's been a lot of fun."
On her small screen hesitations.
"Prior to The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, I never dreamed of being on TV. I don't even know how it happened. And after it was done, I swore I would never go in front of the camera again. I just wanted to go back to my old life, get married, have kids, and have a regular job. But that didn't work out for me, and it sounds cheesy, but you thank God for unanswered prayers because I've met somebody new who is just the most remarkable person in the world. I've just never met anybody like him. And now my career has totally taken off. I feel really blessed."
On enjoying her new love.
"I think dating someone new has been good for me. We're always out doing something together, whether we’re on the boat or renting a scooter and scootering around town."
On the newer seasons of The Bachelor, Bachelorette, and Bachelor Pad.
"I'm a huge fan of the show mostly because it's changed my life so much. I will always support the franchise. I don't love Bachelor Pad just because I don't get it. I'd watch the show and it would make me feel icky. And my ex is on it, and it's just not my style. But I understand the concept of the show, and the people that are on the show are my friends and I love them and I'm so excited for them. I just am not interested. And then The Bachelorette — I'm still interested in the show. I'm just so busy all the time and I'm always on the go. I have a hard time sitting in front of the TV. But I'm always really into The Bachelor because I like all the girls' outfits and I like the drama between the girls.
On watching ex-fiance Ed Swiderski on Bachelor Pad.
"I haven't always had fond feelings for Ed after our breakup. I was really, really hurt, and there were many times when I wish I hadn't met him or I wish I could just change him, and I would question why he did the things he did. I have never been so hurt in my entire life. But I think the great thing about past relationships, the only way to truly get over it, is to understand that people don't really want to hurt you. People try their best not to hurt you, but sometimes you can't help the way people feel. There are a lot of things that happened from The Bachelorette. Ed has never had a lot of attention from girls, and now he's getting it. It was really bad timing for us. I couldn't control that he wasn't ready, and it's really helped me be friends with him. And when you can do that, you can find peace in yourself and you become a better human being and you attract better people. So I truly believe that the situation that happened between Ed and I allowed me to be a more positive and open-minded person, and that led me to the person I'm dating now. Ed didn't make any money from being on The Bachelorette and in fact, a big reason why he quit his job or lost his job, was because of that show. So he went through a lot of hard times after the show. Even though he was the main reason why we broke up, I think that was hard on him, too. He was really confused. I don't want to worry about him for the rest of my life. I want him to be successful. I want him to be happy. I want to move on and know that he's okay."
On the support of her fans over the years.
"You really have to work for that support and acceptance. When I first came off of The Bachelorette, I had heaps and heaps of fans who were awesome and loved me for me. I also had a lot of people who didn't like me. I had people who called me ugly, and judged me for being in the hot tub. You get online bullied. No matter how smart you are, that's really hard on somebody. It's taken me two years of really trying to be as genuine as I can to build that trust in the fans. They have been so great and a big part of a confidence boost after Ed and I broke up, and even with my career."
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