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Did The Bachelor Contestants Know Colton Underwood Was Gay During Filming? Hannah Brown Speaks Out

Colton Underwood talks on Coming Out Colton.
(Image credit: Nerflix)

Former Bachelor Colton Underwood has been back in the pop culture conversation lately, with his new docuseries Coming Out Colton having premiered on Netflix. Along with being called a liar by some fellow Bachelor Nation alumni, he and the women who dated him have also had to again face questions about whether they knew Underwood was gay when he was dating dozens of women simultaneously on The Bachelor. Hannah Brown, who competed on Underwood’s season before leading her own season of The Bachelorette, has shared her perspective on what went down.

Hannah Brown opened up on The Michelle Collins Show, revealing that the women on Colton Underwood’s season were perhaps more perceptive than Underwood realized, and she herself had to recalibrate her expectations the more she got to know him.

Yeah…I think a lot of the girls knew, I think. [We weren’t like], ‘No, surely he’s not gay. He’s the bachelor.’ You’re like, ‘OK, maybe he’s just not what we thought he was gonna be.’ You know? And that is the case a lot of times for reality TV. You don’t really know the full person. And so I was like, ‘Oh, well I just misjudged [who] I thought I was going to meet,’ … trying to drop down the expectations. But it all makes so much more sense with just who he was and the mirage.

Hannah Brown made a good point in saying any lack of spark between Colton Underwood and his contestants didn't automatically mean he was gay, just that he wasn't what they expected, nor a good romantic match. (For obvious reasons.) On The Bachelor, the contestants actually get very little time with the lead while they're dating, so it probably took time to get to know Underwood away from who they expected him to be.

Reception for Coming Out Colton has not been 100% positive from Bachelor Nation, either, with Colton Underwood’s fellow Bachelor leads Ben Higgins and Nick Viall accusing Underwood of lying about the lack of support he received from those in the franchise when Underwood came out this year. Tayshia Adams, current co-host of The Bachelorette and one of Underwood’s finalists on Season 23 of The Bachelor, was upset that he allegedly lied about their Fantasy Suite date, saying on his Netflix series that he slept in sweatpants to avoid sending the wrong message. 

But although Hannah Brown said she does have mixed feelings about the situation, as well as the docuseries itself, in the end she’s happy for Colton Underwood in that he’s able to live his truth.

I think it’s really cool that he’s finally being able to, for the first time, be himself, which is weird that I’m saying that because I dated him and he was gay the whole time. … I think I like him better as a gay man. He just seems more… even though it’s obvious that he’s still almost uncomfortable with this new life, because he’s never allowed himself to be who he is. It is cool to kind of just watch him try to be his most authentic self for the first time.

The mixed reactions are definitely understandable — for Hannah Brown and all of the women on Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor — since they all were presumably on the show in hopes of finding a husband. But it’s definitely kind of Brown to support Underwood in his journey of finding himself.

Coming Out Colton is streaming now on Netflix, and you can catch the latest hijinks of The Bachelor franchise Tuesday, December 21, on ABC, as Michelle Young concludes her journey to love on the three-hour Season 18 finale of The Bachelorette. Clayton Echard will then take the reins to lead Season 26 of The Bachelor, which premieres Monday, January 3. Check out our 2022 TV Schedule to see what other shows are coming in the new year.

Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.