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EXCLUSIVE: ‘Bachelor’ Fan Favorite Bekah Martinez Finally Reveals If She’s Heading to ‘Paradise’

In a franchise built on the drama that organically transpires when dozens of women date the same dude, Bekah Martinez stood out from the madding crowd on Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s season of The Bachelor.

It wasn’t just her pixie cut in the sea of blonde extensions or her age (she was 23 at the time) that set her apart from the other women vying for Arie’s heart. As we spoke with Bekah, who recently teamed up with influences.com, it was easy to discern why she’s so refreshing—she blazes her own trail, roses be damned. Here, the realest chick in Bachelor Nation reveals once and for all whether she’s doing Bachelor in Paradise, muses on whether anyone is there “for the right reasons” and drops a bombshell deserving of its very own rose ceremony.

Read on for our Q&A with Bekah:

Every Bachelor fan is dying to know…Are you doing Bachelor in Paradise?
I am not doing Bachelor in Paradise. 

Any particular reason why?
So, I just want to make clear with everybody that yes, I was asked to go on the show and, initially, I was planning on it. But, I met somebody in February. 

Jordan Zobrist @jzobphoto

Who is this somebody?
His name is Grayston and at first we decided to take our relationship slow because I didn’t know if I was going to go on Paradise or not and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to miss out on that opportunity. I was kind of like, “I don’t want to be dating this guy for two months and then decide not to go on Paradise and have total FOMO and wish that I had done it.” But as it got closer to [filming] I just started realizing that it wasn’t worth it for me to put myself in that environment where I could possibly jeopardize what I had with Grayston. I just decided that the guy that I was with back home was the person that I wanted to be with right now, and I didn’t want to risk leaving that by keeping my options open and going on Paradise to see if there were any guys there for me. It was kinda this realization that if I have something right in front of me that’s good, why am I going to go out of my way to look for something else? 

Did you consider going on the show while in a relationship?
Well, I definitely thought about it, but, for one, that’s really kind of shady. 

Jordan Zobrist @jzobphoto

Well, we all know you dodged a major bullet with Arie, and Grayston sounds like a winner. How did you meet?
Actually, it’s funny. He works at the rock-climbing gym that I climb at, and he sets the routes, so for people who don’t climb—he’s the one that arranges all the little rocks on the wall and the different patterns. He’s opening his own climbing gym in Long Beach, California, at the end of this year. At first, it was really casual and we were just doing a lot of fun stuff together, and then it just progressed into something deeper. We do a lot together; we climb, we went to Utah together on a climbing trip a couple months ago. We both met each other’s parents, so it’s definitely getting really serious now. I’ve chosen to keep that hidden from the world right now, because, with so much of my life being aired publicly and so much of me being shown to the world, it feels good to be able to have something just quiet and personal. I also didn’t want to go through the whole thing when we started dating. For one, I was not sure if I was going on Paradise or not, but also, I didn’t want to put something on the internet and have to address it if we possibly broke up. Now that we’re at a serious point, I feel comfortable sharing this with the world.

Is he anything like Arie?
No, Grayston is in a league of his own, I think from most men. He is just so unique and so special and so cool and not anything like Arie. For one, he may be older than me—not by much, he’s just 29—but you can keep your youthfulness as long as you want to. Grayston has a curiosity about the world and zest for life. And that’s what’s really important to me. He’s just totally himself and doesn’t give a sh*t about what anybody else thinks, and I really like that about him.

Do you watch The Bachelor together?
I’ve been watching it by myself and it’s kinda depressing, but I still haven’t gotten Grayston on board with it. He’s actually never watched the show, ever. He didn’t actually know I had been on the show when we met, which I like. I’m totally gonna rope him in. I’ve done it with ex-boyfriends, too, where I’ll be watching and they’ll come take a seat for a second and next thing you know we’re four episodes later and they know everyone’s name and have an opinion about everyone.

Jordan Zobrist @jzobphoto

Can we be tacky for a moment and ask if he’s going to get your final rose?
I don’t know if he’s going to get THE final rose. I’m still trying to figure that out. He definitely has my rose for now!

Ultimately, are you happy you didn’t do Bachelor in Paradise?
Even when I decided I wasn’t going to do the show, I was still kind of thinking, “Man, I feel like I’m really going to be missing out.” Some of my best friends are going to be there. It’s going to be such a good time. At the point that I’m at in my life right now, I can say with a lot of certainty that I don’t regret not being a part of it. It was a really good decision for me and it’s time for me to branch off in my life past The Bachelor. I don’t plan on doing any future shows with the franchise as of right now, but I’m kind of happy about it. I’m so grateful for all of the experiences I’ve had from the show, but now it’s time for me to step aside and create a life of my own that’s not centered around The Bachelor world. 

After everything you’ve been through, would you still recommend doing the show to others?
I would recommend it to other people. It can be a really stressful experience but there’s a lot of potential for growth and there’s also a lot of potential for friendship, too. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and I don’t really regret any moment of it. 

Does anyone really do the show for the “right” reasons?
I don’t know if there’s wrong reasons ever. At the end of the day, anyone who agrees to go on the show, some part of them wants to be on television or is OK with being on television. That’s just the fact of the matter. The wrong way to go about the show is to not let go of your expectations, to not be willing to learn something and to not be willing to be pliable and take something away from every experience. There are people who go into it with a really rigid idea of what kind of person they are, how they’re gonna act and what the show’s going to do for them. And it’s those people that end up coming off really badly on the show because they’ll end up snapping. I just think that the best way, and the right way, to go into the show is just truly—it’s a cliche—but with an open mind and an open heart and just allow themselves to kind of go with what happens.

Looks like it’s time for Bekah and Grayston to head over to a paradise of their own. Sorry, Chris Harrison, you’re not invited.

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