Annaliese Puccini calls herself “a jack of all trades,” but clearly that doesn’t apply to demolition derbies, bumper cars, or racing. Still, even though tonight’s Bachelor episode poked fun at the 32-year-old’s childhood bumper car trauma, who could blame her? Whiplash is no joke. Seriously, what were the producers thinking when they decided to plan a date that was the equivalent of like 100 car accidents at a time? And what was going through Arie’s mind when he clearly saw tears running down Annaliese’s face, but asked, “Everyone doing good, having a good time?” When Annaliese said she was having a tough time, Arie looked at her and actually said, “You are?” Um, what?!
But back to Annaliese. Although demolishing cars isn’t her thing, she’s definitely well versed in other areas. On the day before filming The Bachelor began, she told us she’s an event planner, a painter, and has done acting and modeling since she was three years old. “I like to keep busy and be different and creative,” she says. Of course, that’s not news to anyone who watched her come out of the limo on night one wearing a mask and holding a bag of chocolate kisses. (What you didn’t see? She also made a painting for Arie, with a note on the back.)
In next week’s episode, it appears that bumper cars aren’t the only thing that get the tears flowing for Annaliese. Upon seeing Arie kiss other girls (just a regular day on this show you signed up for), a distraught Annaliese says she just “can’t get a break right now.” Perhaps she should commiserate with Bibiana?
Until then, we caught up with the San Francisco resident to learn more about her life outside the Bachelor mansion walls and her unusual goal for going on the show. Read on.
When it comes to love, what are you looking for in a relationship with Arie?
Annaliese Puccini: I like somebody that has a creative flair and is appreciative of my creative self. Someone who is not rolling his eyes when I’m making a mask to go with my dress. I definitely want somebody who appreciates it, but balances me out.
You clearly knew Arie is known as the kissing bandit. Had you watched him on Emily’s season?
Annaliese: I watched parts of his season. My mom and my grandma are big fans of the show. I do remember liking him and thinking he’s cute and having positive vibes towards him. I didn’t know a lot about him, but I did some research. I was shocked when he was announced as the Bachelor, which I’m sure most people were, but then I was pleasantly surprised. I thought, you know, he is husband material. I am a think-into-the-future kind of person, so I like to see how my life might play out with different people.
Since your mom and your grandma watch the show, did they give you any advice going into this?
Annaliese: My grandma doesn’t know! She’ll be shocked when she sees me. She’ll be so excited!
Wow. So how are you going to explain not being in contact with her for a bit?
Annaliese: Well, I made a little care package for her. There’s a woman at a farmer’s market near me that sells these forever roses. They are real roses that are fresh and you can touch them, but they somehow are freeze-dried, so they stay forever looking like fresh roses. I got her a little pot of that, and I wrote her a letter that says I’m off on an adventure to find love. I said to my mom, “As soon as questions start to arise…send her the care package.” So it’s going to be a shock. She’ll be totally surprised.
Given that your grandma doesn’t know, what did your mom tell you before you went on the show?
Annaliese: She was just like, “You deserve this, and you’re ready. I’m so proud that you’re taking this step to find love.” I think she was just happy for me.
What are your non-negotiables in your next relationship, ideally with Arie?
Annaliese: That is not a question I have thought about! [Laughs] But as I get older, there are certain things that I can compromise on. I definitely want kids, so if somebody didn’t want kids, I think that would be a hard thing for me to stay in a relationship. And my last serious relationship was lacking the physical connection, so I feel like that is really important.
You painted a picture to give to Arie. [Ed note: You can see it in the video below.] Why?
Annaliese: I just wanted it to be something that he could always remember this journey. This is just something special that he can keep forever.
And aside from finding love, what are you looking forward to as part of your journey on the show?
Annaliese: I’m really excited to make friends, which I realize is probably not what the other girls might say. I just feel like it’s so hard to make friends as you get older. I’ve seen some of the friendships that have formed from past seasons, so I just am excited to meet the girls. I feel like they are probably amazing. Obviously there’s going to be competition, but I’m going to make some new friends too, which is awesome.