No rose for Miami alumna
Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 01:02
Miami University alumna Alli Restko said she had the experience of a lifetime as a contestant on ABC’s reality TV show, “The Bachelor.”
Near where she works, Restko entered Chicago’s open auditions in hopes of falling in love with Venezuelan bachelor, Juan Pablo.
When she went to the audition, Restko said she was discouraged by the long line. But, before giving up, a Bachelor employee pulled her aside and took her into a private room.
“[The employee] shut the door and she was like, ‘We like you. We want you,’” Restko said.
After the Chicago interview, she was sent to California for additional interviews and drug testing. She was notified three weeks later she had been chosen to be on the show.
According to Restko, the possibility came as a surprise to her.
“I actually never really watched the show,” Restko said. “It’s kind of funny, I would just chime in on random episodes with my sister. She’s a huge fan, and so are my parents.”
It was Restko’s family and friends who helped her decide to accept the invitation.
“I decided ‘Hey, why not?” Restko said. “40,000 girls auditioned for the show and I was the one picked, and I obviously was single.”
Deciding to go on the show meant agreeing to be accompanied by a camera every waking moment of the day Restko Said, as the contestants are filmed around the clock. But the constant camera coverage does not always translate into actual airtime when the massive amounts of footage are edited into a two-hour show.
Restko said she was taken aback by the process.
“I expected to be shown a lot more,” Restko said. “For instance, there was this soccer date … he called me MVP and did a whole trophy ceremony thing and they didn’t show any of that. It’s funny what they pick and choose.”
Restko said she often left the room when drama occurred between the other girls, which she believes kept her from being featured much on air.
“I never got a one-on-one date and I was kind of upset about that because I am not very pushy, and in these group-date settings, I just kind of fell to the back,” Restko said.
Restko did not end up with a rose, and was kicked off yesterday’s show, Feb. 3. Restko said her connection with Pablo was friendly rather than romantic, and there were no hard feelings over their goodbye.
“We talked about his daughter, we talked about our families. I have a big crazy family and so does he, there was always a great connection, just never a spark,” Resko said. “He was very fair. If he didn’t feel it, he wasn’t going to waste your time.”
Restko said she had the experience of a lifetime. She said she had no regrets and became really close with the other girls on the show.
“My experience in general was incredible,” Restko said. “I got to travel, we went overseas, I honestly think I met life-long friends.”
Restko majored in journalism and mass communication at Miami, participated in club soccer and was a sister of the Alpha Phi sorority. Restko said Miami definitely played a role in her Bachelor experience.
“Going to Miami was a risk for me because I only knew one other person going there,” Restko said. “I guess it kind of opened me up for adventure.”
Miami junior and Alpha Phi member Katie Vanover said she loved that one of her former sisters participated in the show.
“When I found out she was an Alpha Phi from Miami, I had someone to root for right off the bat because I had a connection to her,” Vanover said. “I feel like she represented Alpha Phi and Miami well and my friends and I here at school all got together to watch it to see her.”
After college, Restko moved to Australia and worked in television as a freelancer for the Australian Open.
A few years later, she moved back to Chicago to continue working for as a freelancer for ESPN and The Tennis Channel, while doing childcare on the side.
Restko currently works as a designer at the Trunk Club, a men’s clothing service in Chicago.
Restko said she didn’t need The Bachelor to find love. She found it after the show on Tinder, which is an app where one can scroll through pictures of potential love matches based on location and interests.
“Its funny now watching [The Bachelor] with my boyfriend,” Restko said. “I’m always like, ‘I didn’t kiss him or anything!’”