As a Bachelor Nation alum, Kaitlyn Bristowe is “so confused” about the backlash Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon have gotten for their brief appearance during Bachelor in Paradise season 8.

“I couldn’t believe it, to be honest with you,” the former Bachelorette star, 37, tells Life & Style exclusively while promoting her partnership with Mars Petcare’s Service Humans Needed Campaign. “Of course, there’s going to be backlash for a lot of things, but to go at them — a sweet, happy, beautiful success story that’s come out of Bachelor in Paradise. They’re complete legends in that world, in my opinion.”

As someone who was there since the beginning of their love story, Kaitlyn had no issue watching them on the beach. However, fans took to social media and expressed their disappointment with seeing a married couple on the show. Ashley and Jared, for their part, have addressed the backlash at length.

“Bachelor Nation wants more of us … not,” Ashley, 34, told listeners on the October 12 episode of the “The Ben & Ashley I Almost Famous” podcast. “We got a lot of backlash — or we didn’t really get a lot of backlash but a lot of you out there did not want to see a married couple on the beach.”

But despite what BiP viewers think, Kaitlyn has no issue watching her friends on TV.

“I just love seeing what their love story has turned into,” the Spade & Sparrows founder counters. “Jared was on my season of The Bachelorette, Ashley was on my season of The Bachelor, and I just know their story so well. To see them be so happy and comfortable with a beautiful little baby [boy, Dawson].”

Initially, she “didn’t know they were getting backlash,” but as she watched the show, decided to reach out to Ashley, 34.

“I’m like, ‘Wait, it’s not like they’re taking over and we’re not seeing these other relationships,’” Kaitlyn says. “They’re there for a hot minute and it’s supposed to encourage these couples, like, look what they can have. I don’t understand the backlash of it.”

Amid season 8, Kaitlyn has been recapping the show on her fan-favorite podcast “Off the Vine.” However, she also has another fun endeavor in the works that has nothing to do with Bachelor Nation and everything to do with her rescue pups, Ramen and Pinot, to which she’s a “very proud, loving dog mom.” 

Kaitlyn Bristowe Is 'So Confused' About the Ashley I and Jared Haibon 'BiP' Backlash: 'They're Legends'
Kaitlyn Bristowe/ Instagram

Kaitlyn tells Life & Style that it was an “honor” to team up with Mars Petcare for the launch of their Service Humans Needed Program because “it’s important to bring awareness to supporting adoptable dogs and cats across the U.S. and Canada,” which is exactly what the brand is doing. 

“There’s a really heartbreaking crisis happening in shelters,” Kaitlyn explains. “They’re on pace to have their worst rates of overpopulation. That breaks my heart. If I can do anything to help and use my platform, I was very happy to do so. There are hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats across U.S. and Canada that need our help. That is a lot of little sweet souls.”

Mars Petcare has “60,000 passionate associates” that “are caring for finding these dogs and cats a home.” From October 21 through the 23rd, the brand is hosting their Better Cities for Pets adoption event, which covers adoptions fees for dogs and cats in various cities. 

“There’s just so many ways to get involved and help if you’re thinking about getting a dog or a cat,” Kaitlyn shares.





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Tyler Cowan