Is Chicago Big Enough For Two Bachelorettes?

Chicago's Jen Schefft offers advice to newest Bachelorette

We know you can hardly contain your excitement now that we know the latest "Bachelorette" -- Jillian Harris -- will be moving to Chicago to be with our local boy, Ed Swiderski, whom she chose on the show's finale this week.

Brace yourself for the Zwecker mentions about the couple eating appetizers on Hugo's patio and other breathless updates about their impending wedding plans.

Sound kind of familiar? Perhaps, because it's happened before. Chicago is also home to perhaps the most famous Bachelorette of them all, Jen Schefft.

If you recall, Schefft was the chosen one in Season 3 of "The Bachelor." She got engaged to Andrew Firestone and even moved to San Francisco before the relationship went down in flames -- with the pages of the National Enquirer, US Weekly, In Touch and many other fine publications serving as kindling. She later resurfaced as the main character on "The Bachelorette," only to choose a fella and reject his offer of marriage.

We thought she'd be the perfect person to give these latest Bachelorette developments some context, but as it turns out -- she doesn't even watch the show!

"I know what's going on, my friends watch it and my mom keeps me informed, but I can't watch it. I can't even watch the commercials, it just freaks me out a little bit," Schefft says. "It just hits so close to home. It brings back good and bad and crazy memories."

Schefft says she was naive when she first went on the show because it was the early days of reality TV, and she wasn't prepared for the microscope she would soon be under. Especially when things started going badly in her relationship with Firestone, and the vultures started circling.

"I had never experienced anything like that in my life, so it was definitely overwhelming. I know we were engaged but it was still a new relationship and we weren't planning a wedding, so immediately it was, 'When are you getting married, what's going on, what are you doing, when are you going to have babies?'" Schefft says. "It was very intimidating and yes, I signed up for it all so I can't complain, but it was definitely more overwhelming than I thought."

Audio: Podcast interview with Jen Schefft

So what advice does Schefft have for the latest Bachelorette? She says living in Chicago will be a good thing for the couple, as opposed to L.A. or New York where the paparazzi would be relentless.

"It's a new relationship for her and I'm sure they're very happy. But there's gonna be rumors and people are going to say things all the time. They just have to remember that they have to be true to themselves and do what's right for them and not worry about all the noise that they're hearing around them. If they can get through that, then they'll be fine," Schefft said.

Schefft was recently married -- to a guy she met the traditional way -- and works as a PR rep for Henson Consulting, based in Wheaton. She doesn't regret being involved with the show and says she'd do it all over again.

"You just have to remember that your friends are your friends and your family are your family, so they know the truth, and the person you're in a relationship with knows what's going on, so you can't pay too much attention to everything else around you."

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