PHOTO: Paul Archuleta/Getty
Corinne Olympios didn’t seem interested in talking to me until I formally asked her if we could grab five minutes on the record. We’d just come back from an afternoon of dune buggy-ing, horseback riding, and selfie-taking in Pismo Beach, California—a stop on a three-day “influencer” getaway organized by Diff Eyewear, the charitable sunglasses brand that strategically uses reality TV stars and other Instagram personalities to sell product.
The company had invited two members of the media to join Olympios (781,000 followers), fellow Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise blonde Amanda Stantonn (1.1 million followers), a trio from MTV’s Are You the One? (each between 100,000 and 200,000 followers) and a handful of other women who’ve made names for themselves either appearing on reality television or cultivating a loyal Instagram following on a midweek escape to California’s central coast.
Each seemed perfectly lovely, if not terribly media savvy—they were stuck at a hotel with journalists and the schmooze level was at a resounding zero—but Corinne, who was accompanied by her throaty mother, Peri, gladly agreed to chat when approached.
My interest in her should be obvious—the 25-year-old first competed for Nick Viall’s hand in marriage on season 21 of The Bachelor, where she worked overtime to simultaneously fit multiple spotlight-guaranteeing molds: that of a spoiled child (“She does everything for me,” an adult Olympios said of her nanny), that of a memorable villain (she constantly, campily informed the other women contestants how little they mattered to her), and that of a skilled seducer (she busted out a delightfully rehearsed, Housewives-ready tagline about her “platinum vagine.”)
All fun and games, until June of this year when her name was fairly inescapable online following allegations of sexual misconduct between she and fellow Bachelor in Paradise cast member DeMario Jackson, resulting in Warner Bros suspending production of the show, which was filming in Mexico.
The details were sticky—alcohol was reportedly involved, and consent was not—and the situation culminated with Warner Bros. giving the show the green light to resume after concluding there wasn’t any evidence of misconduct. This decision brought about a parade of think pieces on everything from the murky issue of of consent on reality TV to analyses of feminism and victimhood.
Because Corinne has said she will not return to “Bachelor in Paradise” next season, I used my time with her to ask what, I think, most people who watch the show are wondering: What’s next?
“I am going to remerge soon,” Olympios told me. “I was taking it easy for a while after everything that’s happened.”
As far as what the reemergence entails, it appears to be multifaceted, if fairly vague. “I’m relaunching my clothing line in September (she failed to plug its name—I Googled it.) She said her podcast is coming out in September (after asking, I learned it’s called What Would Corinne Do?) “Also, I’m still writing my book, it’s coming along really well and I’m really excited. And hopefully more TV stuff coming soon.” (It’s since been reported that her plans include both a reality show and a scripted series.)
When asked about her aptitude for navigating the intricacies on reality TV and giving viewers they want, she was quick to say she thinks fans are drawn to her ability to “organize her life,” which I deduced probably means, for lack of a better phrase, working her best angles.
“I honestly think I am not so smart in some sections and really smart in others and I feel like I really have a knack for organizing my life and people take to that, which is where my fame comes from. I’m really thankful for all my fans and supporters.”
I did manage to get a few hard details about the reality star during our brief chat: She just got a puppy (a Chow Chow named Mookie) and her favorite food is pickles. (“Every dressing room has, like, three different assortments.”) There was, oddly, no mention of Cheese Pasta.