Reality TV

Kat Explains How Brayden Defied Her Expectations On Bachelor In Paradise

She also reveals why next week’s dramatic promo “will all make sense.”

Kat on 'Bachelor in Paradise.' Photo via ABC
ABC/Craig Sjodin

For Kat Izzo and her fellow Bachelor alums, there was just one way to weather the chaos that is Bachelor in Paradise: “Delulu-girl energy.”

“We were only going to do this once together,” Izzo, who starred in Zach Shallcross’ season, tells Bustle. “I got to know Rachel [Recchia] really well, and Eliza [Isichei]. It was really fun to be silly and goofy with them.”

Compared to the franchise’s more engagement-focused series, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (and, now, The Golden Bachelor), the shores of Paradise seem like a great place to make friends. Still, lasting commitment is on the table, and Kat was very much “looking for love” when she traveled to Mexico.

At first, Kat seemed to have found something with Brayden Bowers, but as of Thursday’s episode, their romance looked shaky. Although she accepted Brayden’s rose, she also acknowledged there were other guys she expected to meet on the beach — namely, Tyler Norris and Tanner Courtad.

Promos for next week’s episode tease trouble ahead, but Kat promises “it will all make sense” in the long run. “This is the time in Paradise where things do start to get very intense,” she says. “Everybody is just doing what they feel is right.”

Below, Kat opens up about her connection with Brayden, and what she learned from former Bachelorette Charity Lawson about this season’s prospects.

ABC/Craig Sjodin

What made you decide to head to the beach this summer?

At first, I was a little hesitant. But I thought this was also going to be an experience with my girlfriends, and it might provide some hopeful relationships — either deepening [a relationship] with myself or with others. It would just be something I really couldn’t say no to.

Were there specific things you were worried about?

Just the vulnerability that comes with putting yourself back on television. [But] the good thing about Paradise is it represents the real world a lot more than the other shows do, so you can get comfortable a lot quicker. I was worried I would be in my shell, but that definitely was not the case. I was fully myself in every capacity.

You and Brayden seemed to click right away!

He really makes you feel comfortable. It’s more like a friendship that you’re building on top of a relationship.

You and Charity are good friends. Did you have any conversations about guys from her Bachelorette season?

She definitely gave me a lowdown of how her life went during her season. But overall, I wouldn’t say I took any of those opinions into Paradise. I wanted everybody to [have] a clean slate. I didn’t realize who [a lot of people] were; I’m happy that their season [hadn’t aired] yet because that would have affected how they acted on the beach. So, it was still their authentic selves. But I will say that Brayden is not who I thought he was.

Was there something specific about Brayden that surprised you?

He was very fun-loving and free-spirited [in person], and I was thinking he was going to be a bit more reserved. I’m like, Oh my gosh, you’re not that at all. You’re very unapologetic about who you are. So I thought that was different — but in a good way.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.