This Week in Bachelor Nation History: Emily Maynard Begins Her Journey as the Season 8 Bachelorette
This week marks nine years since Emily Maynard began her journey as the Season 8 Bachelorette.
At the time, Emily was 26 years old and ready to give love another shot on reality TV following her split from Brad Womack, whom she was briefly engaged to after winning his final rose on his second season of “The Bachelor” in 2011.
In her intro package, Emily explained that she was not only looking for The One but for a “father figure” for her young daughter, Ricki. Ricki’s dad, race car driver Ricky Hendrick, died in a plane crash in October 2004 — only weeks before Emily discovered she was pregnant.
“My name is Emily. I’m a single mom and I cannot believe I’m the Bachelorette. That’s wild,” Emily said. “I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I feel to be the Bachelorette. My ultimate goal in all of this is to meet somebody that I could marry and have children with and could be that father figure and could be in Ricki’s life, which I want for her more than anything.”
The stunning North Carolina native continued, “I can’t even begin to explain how much I love my daughter, Ricki. She’s the sweetest little thing ever. But I’m 26 years old and you have to have a balance. More than anything, I want a family and I want to be a wife and I want a husband. I just want that life. There’s nothing else missing from my life other than having a husband just to love me.”
Elsewhere in her premiere episode, Emily described the personal impact of her relationship — and subsequent breakup — with Brad.
“When I came on ‘The Bachelor,’ I was ready to move on and find love again. Brad showed me a lot of things that I didn’t even know existed in guys. I fell really hard for him and I was definitely in love. I had found my guy. Without a doubt, I thought Brad was going to be my husband,” she said. “The day that Brad proposed to me was one of the best days of my life. I felt like we were going to be together forever.”
Emily said that she was “obviously heartbroken” after things didn’t work out with Brad. Still, she was grateful for the time they shared. “Being with Brad really taught me that I have it in me to fall in love again,” she stated. “He reminded me of that, and he helped me do that.”
Emily ultimately accepted a proposal from Jef Holm on the “Bachelorette” Season 8 finale in 2012. However, the twosome ended their engagement months later. In June 2014, Emily married Tyler Johnson. The couple have since welcomed three sons: Jennings, Gibson, and Gatlin. Emily welcomed the pair’s first daughter and her fifth child, Magnolia, in October 2020.
Emily updated Bachelor Nation on her new life during an appearance on “The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever!” in the summer of 2020. “It’s crazy,” she joked of raising her brood. “I’m tired all the time.”
Take a trip down memory lane by revisiting Emily’s promo shots for “The Bachelorette” Season 8 below.