After the whirlwind finale of Season 22, the question of whether or not any of the The Bachelor contestants are friends with Lauren Burnham post-show seems like a good one. Even with everything that went on, none of the eliminated women seem to hold any hard feelings against the Virginia native — but does that mean anyone would go as far as to call her their friend? That's a different story. It's impossible to know whom Lauren B. might have bonded with most closely during her time on the show, but, from her social media, the best guess for Lauren B's friend seems to be Jacqueline Trumbull. If their photos together are any indication, those two seem to have formed a lasting bond that's lasted beyond the show.
Most if not all of the Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants document their time on the show in their social media feeds. But while many have only a few photos with the lead to sprinkle in with shots with their fellow contestants, the ratio for Lauren B. is reversed. The majority of the 25-year-old's photos are of herself alone or with Arie, and the few exceptions don't provide much intel. She has a group shot from early on with all the other Laurens on set — four others in all, including a crew member — and several photos from group dates.
In one, on the hiking date where the women were formed into three groups, Lauren took a photo with hers, and even shouted out Marikh Mathias in the caption. But while there may be a connection there, the true friendship appears to be between Lauren and Jacqueline.
The PhD candidate voluntarily left the show in Week 7 due to concerns about finishing her education and how her schedule would fit with Arie's. But it looks like she did make a connection on set, just not a romantic one. On Feb. 19, while the show was still airing, Lauren posted an impromptu photoshoot of herself with the brunette. It appears to be taken during filming in Tahoe, if the muted colors and wools are any indication, and the two lean against each other happily.
"Just a couple of VA girls," Lauren writes in the caption, and the body language of the two women suggests a deep comfort with each other. Over on her own social media, Jacqueline posted photos from the same shoot, and captioned them with an anecdote from set that speaks to their closeness:
"Missed this one (and getting called “Jackalacky”) at Women Tell All, but I got to see her in Virginia anyway! This one time in Tahoe, @jennacooperfit and I hid in her bathroom with this creepy red light on and tried to scare her. We were in there for like thirty minutes before we started scratching the wall and throwing tampons at the door, trying to get her attention. Didn’t work. Love you @laureneburnham !!"
Jacqueline has photos with a few other contestants too, like Maquel Cooper, and a lot of snaps with Kendall Long. And in fact, most women leave the show with a great many friendships. But as the show's winner-turned-runner-up-turned-Bachelorette Becca Kufrin told the Luyendyks when she met them, Lauren is infamously guarded, so it takes a little more to form a friendship with her.
It's also something that Arie brought up pretty much nonstop all season, so it makes sense that Lauren might leave the season with just one or two close friends, instead of the whole pile that Becca racked up.
For one thing, that's how contestants like Krystal Nielson left the show. She says she talks to a few people now that the season has wrapped, but mostly just Bekah Martinez. And for another thing, the situation itself is clearly isolating. The women who appeared on After the Final Rose made a point of saying that they blamed Arie and not Lauren B. for the way the season ended, but it's certainly been a polarizing issue for fans.
One person who has clearly chosen a side, however, is Jacqueline, who posted a photo to Instagram with Lauren on Tuesday night, after ATFR aired. The two pose in matching dresses, and while Jacqueline gives her happiness and support to Becca, she also makes a point of giving it to Lauren, with a caption that says, in part:
"So happy for Lauren, who was self contained and elegant. We will never see the full extent of the beauty of every woman on this show, but I got a glimpse, and I hope that in this case, pain was balanced with promise. Becca will find her happy ending, and Lauren, my love, has found hers. Congratulations to both women. @laureneburnham, I’m looking out for you, and wish you every happiness."
It's a positive note to end such a tumultuous season on, and may it be just the first of many friendships for Lauren that come out of this show.