Kendall Long, like any woman auditioning for a season of The Bachelor, didn’t know what to expect. The 26-year-old from the Los Angeles area is 10 years younger than race car driver turned real estate agent Arie Luydendyk Jr., and their opposite personalities definitely kept things interesting throughout season 22. They weren’t your typical match right off the bat, but Long’s personality shined bright all season long, carrying her to the Final Four before ultimately getting eliminated.
Quirky From The Beginning
In the beginning, viewers didn’t know what exactly to make of Kendall Long. She was billed as the quirky bachelorette, collecting taxidermy and showcasing her ukulele skills. After the first episode, viewers didn’t know which direction her personality was going to take her. Even though they were never perfect matches at any point, Arie kept Kendall as one of the top choices for most of the season. Viewers found her extremely intelligent, kind, and laid back, which also reflected well on her educational background and upbringing. Arie always seemed to be intrigued by her many interests instead of being scared off by any differences.
Every single week led to more air time for the Academy of Art University graduate on the show. While she had a few memorable moments and came across as someone who was genuine and nice, Week 6 really took her to another level. Not only did Arie come away impressed with the way she acted on the date in Paris, but viewers showered her with support on social media.
The Bachelor thrives as a reality show thanks to putting contestants in awkward situations. Producers knew exactly what they were doing when they paired Kendall Long with Krystal Neilson. Arie would be going out with the sweet, fun, and quirky Kendall while dealing with arguably the biggest villain still on the show, Krystal. True to form, Krystal wasted no time trying to dismiss Kendall when talking one-on-one with Arie. Krystal told Arie that she didn’t believe Kendall was ready for anything too serious since her longest relationship only lasted 10 months. Once Kendall found out, viewers weren’t sure what to expect. Would she finally crack and let Krystal have it?
Kendall Long wasn’t happy, but she never lost her cool during the whole ordeal. When talking about her lack of long term relationship experience, she showed maturity. When she had a chance to talk to Krystal, she took the high road. She never yelled at Krystal, but instead wanted to know why someone would act that way. Kendall took control of the situation, looking Krystal in her eyes and waiting to get a true response. Staying true to herself, she left Krystal with one piece of advice which was “just to be herself.” Even though Krystal was quickly eliminated after the incident, perhaps Kendall will rub off on her at least a little bit.
During the live broadcast, Kendall received some of the most positive feedback of any contest all season long. In fact, some parents used her reaction as a rare learning moment during reality television. Instead of going for the craziest reaction, she kept it real. For a reality show that sometimes gets a bad reputation for poor behavior, Kendall stood out as a good example. Those who prefer to tune into shows like The Bachelor simply for the drama had to wonder if it was a different show.
A Track Star at Academy of Art University Finds TV Acclaim
Arie didn’t end up choosing Kendall Long, but viewers saw her in a positive light all season long. She is well-accomplished for being just 26 years old, and she already has her eyes on her future as well. Even during her college years at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, she was active in clubs, internships, odd jobs here and there and even running track for the school. The 2014 Academy of Art University graduate moved back to the Los Angeles area shortly afterwards. That’s where she first got a taste of the reality television world, although in a more behind-the-scenes role on some well-known shows.
With a resume that already includes working on set for Keeping up with the Kardashians and Ridiculousness, this is likely only the beginning for Kendall Long. It remains to be seen if she is completely done with The Bachelor franchise, but she currently serves as the creative director at WhoHaha in Beverly Hills. The show allowed her to increase her following on social media, which will come in handy for future opportunities in her line of work. She still has a lot on her bucket list to accomplish, both professionally and individually. The saying goes that nice guys finish last. In the case of Kendall Long, nice girls apparently finish third.