Olivia Goethals went looking for love ... on national TV. Goethals, a Geneseo native, was a contestant on the most recent season of the ABC reality show “The Bachelor.”

Olivia Goethals went looking for love ... on national TV. Goethals, a Geneseo native, was a contestant on the most recent season of the ABC reality show “The Bachelor.”

The season premiere aired on New Year’s Day, and even though Goethals was eliminated during the first episode, she still enjoyed her time on the show.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even being there just one night made me learn so much about me. It made me want to take more risks in my life and be more spontaneous,” said Goethals.

While friends encouraged Goethals to have a viewing party to watch the first episode, she resisted.

“I watched with my aunt (Kathleen). We had a very mini, intimate viewing party. You don’t know how you’re going to be edited on the show, so I wanted to be mostly by myself to watch,” she said.

“You’re trying so hard to remember exactly what you said and all of the conversations you had during filming, because they can make you look like an evil villain or an angel. You go through all your memories and think, ‘OK, I hope they don’t portray me like that,’” she said.

Waiting for the show to air “was almost as nerve wracking as stepping out of the limo (to meet the bachelor),” explained Goethals.

In the end, Goethals said she was happy with the way she came across on TV. “I did cry at the end of the night, but, fortunately, they didn’t show that.

“I think a lot of people get caught up in the TV aspect of the show, but I really wanted to stay true to my values. I tried to make sure I didn’t talk about other people in a bad way when I was interviewed one-on-one. That’s not who I am and not how I wanted to be portrayed,” she said.

“Some people have asked if that’s why I think I was cut — because I didn’t fall into the drama. It very well could be a reason, but I didn’t want to be someone I wasn’t,” she said.

A long-time fan of the reality series, Goethals said she “nonchalantly” applied a year ago on the show’s website.

“I really didn’t think much about it, but then in April I got a call saying they wanted me to go through with the rest of the casting process,” said Goethals, a 2012 Geneseo graduate.

While the initial application only needed “basic information and a few photos” the next step was submitting a seven-to-eight minute video of her self.

“They wanted to see how I talked on camera and how I acted in general,” explained Goethals.

In August, she was flown to Los Angeles for a final casting session. “I met all the producers and did on-camera interviews and a photo shoot for the season,” said Goethals, who was officially cast in the show in August.

Though she knew she was going to appear on Season 22 of “The Bachelor,” Goethals had no idea who the bachelor was going to be.

“We didn’t find out until it was officially announced on ‘Good Morning America,’” she said.

Race car driver Arie Luyendyk Jr., who had been a contestant on “The Bachelorette” in 2012, was named as the title gentleman.

“I’d watched his season (of ‘The Bachelorette’) and found him to be very genuine. When I found out he was going to be ‘The Bachelor,’ I wasn’t extravagantly excited, but I wasn’t disappointed, either,” said Goethals.

Though she had to keep her casting a secret, Goethals was able to tell a handful of close friends and family she was heading to LA for filming.

“They also let me tell my work, just in case I’d be gone for a long period of time,” said Goethals, who works as a marketing associate in Chicago.

Goethals said her mother, Mary, also was supportive. “We’d watched the show together for so many years, and she was happy I had the opportunity to be on it.”

Filming for the show started in September. Goethals had to be in California in advance for additional interviews and photos, but didn’t meet any of the other 28 contestants until she stepped into the limo to take her to “The Bachelor” mansion.

“It feels so surreal as you’re driving up to the beautiful ‘Bachelor’ mansion you’ve seen on TV ... and Arie is standing right in front of it,” said Goethals.

“My nerves were going absolutely crazy, but once I stepped out of that limo, I took a deep breath and told myself everyone else was going through the same experience. Arie was nervous, too,” she said.

Each woman was given a few minutes to chat with Arie before entering the mansion.

“To be honest, I have no idea what I said. I hope I said my name, but you just kind of black out in the moment,” said Goethals. “Even when I sat down (later in the evening) for my one-on-one chat with Arie, my nerves were still there. You have cameras all around, and the situation feels different from anything else.”

For the initial meeting with ‘The Bachelor’ each contestant dressed in a formal gown. Goethals opted for a beaded mint dress.

“We had to bring our own clothes. They wanted to see a picture of our dress before hand, but they didn’t give us any boundaries,” she explained.

“Packing for the show was so terribly hard. Honestly, that may have been the hardest part of the whole process. I didn’t know I was going to be eliminated the first night, so you have to pack as if you’re going to be there a couple of days or for months,” she said.

During her evening at “The Bachelor” mansion, Goethals and her specific limo arrived around 9:30 p.m. “We were one of the last to get there. Others had been there since 7 p.m.”

Shooting lasted until nearly 9 a.m. “It was a 12-plus hour night,” said Goethals. “A lot of people later asked why it was dark when I got there, but light outside when they were doing exit interviews. That’s why.”

During the initial rose ceremony, Arie selected 22 women he wanted to continue on the show.

“Your heart is racing as you’re waiting to see if your name will be called. You’re sweating and freaking out. I felt like I was screaming on the inside, but couldn’t let it out,” said Goethals.

“He got down to the last rose and then my name wasn’t called. In that moment, my heart said, ‘OK, what do I do now?’ It is disappointing,” she said.

Goethals was one of seven women not selected that first evening.

The septet all left the mansion together and “bonded instantly” on their ride away from the house.

“We were wiping each others tears and telling one another ‘You’re good enough.’ We built such a friendship because we’d been through something other people hadn’t gone through,” said Goethals. “There’s so much disappointment and almost embarrassment. You didn’t want to be the girl that doesn’t get to know him.”

“Even though I was only on the show for one night, the journey started in April. I was giving my life background and everything needed to find a potential partner. My journey started five months before filming started, so it was emotional when it ended,” said Goethals.

The seven eliminated first decided to channel their disappointment into something positive and formed The Rosé Girls.

“When we were on the bus, we worked to uplift each other. Even the woman taking us back said she’d never seen anything like it. She said usually it was dead silence. We were taking the opportunity to get to know one another,” said Goethals.

The Rosé Girls started their own You Tube channel (The Rosé Girls), Instagram account (the_rosegirls) and website (www.therosegirls.net) to “empower women to be resilient” said Goethals. “We give tips and tricks on how to overcome obstacles thrown at you and how to overcome rejection in the dating world, work world or with anything. Not everybody gets rejected on national TV, but everybody deals with rejection. The seven of us come from so many different backgrounds, we wanted to take our experiences and work together.”

Though she exited “The Bachelor” mansion in September, the rest of the world didn’t even know Goethals was a contestant until the news was officially announced in December.

“It was crazy when it was announced. I heard from so many friends and family members and people coming out of the woodwork. It was nice to know they’d be rooting for me. I just received so much love and support,” said Goethals.

After her experience, Goethals remains a fan of the show and said she’ll continue to watch “especially this season because I know the women.

“I got to meet a really awesome guy, I met amazing friends, and I got to know the producers. It was a good experience,” she said.