In the past, Night One at Bachelor Mansion has brought us unicorn heads, cupcake cars, and dolphins disguised as sharks. Season 23 of The Bachelor was no different, introducing a contestant dressed as a sloth and reminding Colton Underwood that she understands he likes to take things slooowly. She may have inspired countless tweets on premiere night, but Alex D.'s sloth costume on The Bachelor actually had a well-meaning intention.
The 23-year-old account manager from Massachusetts caused a stir on social media when promos featuring her limo exit as a slow-moving sloth began running ahead of the Bachelor premiere. During the season's first episode, Alex Dillon, a franchise fan before becoming a contestant, embraced her commitment to the costume, dragging out her voice when meeting Colton and swinging from trees later in the evening. After other women's costume-less introductions and seemingly endless live footage of strangers' marriage proposals, she eventually removed the costume for her first one-on-one conversation with Colton. However, the pressure to make the most of their limited time together definitely affected Alex, who speedily presented the basics of her life to Colton while barely taking a breath.
"Obviously I love a good pun, I thought it was very funny," Alex says of her sloth costume in a conversation with Elite Daily. "I was having so much fun, I lost control, and by the end of it, I’m like, 'Oh, I’ve been a sloth for 99 percent of this evening, maybe I should actually be a bit of Alex for a second.'"
Alex's rushed delivery of fun facts about herself fell short for Colton, who ultimately didn't give her a rose. A more cynical Bachelor fan may write off her elimination as a costume choice gone wrong, but in addition to playing to Colton's interests, Alex had the other women in mind when selecting her wardrobe. "I love the ability to make people feel comfortable," she says. "When [the girls are] sitting there and just kind of over-analyzing every move they’re making, what they’re wearing, if they look OK, if they said everything correctly... they’ll look over at me and [when] I’m in a tree, it’s like, 'Well, at least I’m not that weirdo over there.'"
Choosing to tell Colton as much as possible so she wouldn't worry about speaking to him again, Alex now admits that her strategy wasn't the best. "I wish Colton was able to respond a little bit more," she says. "I don’t think I really gave him much of an opportunity, so if I could do it again, I think I would’ve taken a few deep breaths, calmed down, and just had more of an in-depth conversation with him instead of me just getting so excited."
When it comes to the possibility of a slot on Bachelor in Paradise, Alex is "always open for anything," but for now, she's focusing on her picks of which women will reach the end of Colton's season. "I thought the Hannahs were absolutely great, especially Hannah G. ... She got the first rose and I’m like, 'Yeah, you should have, you’re absolutely precious.'"
She also applauds Colton for his honesty about being the first virgin Bachelor. "The first night, everyone was just poking fun at [his virginity] and he handled it with such charm, which I absolutely appreciated," she says. "I think that the ultimate goal was just to get that conversation out of the way so the entire season’s not monopolized with that one aspect of Colton, because that’s not fun for anyone, including him. He’s been handling it like such an absolute champ."
Alex has accepted her early elimination with grace, and even though playing dress-up wasn't beneficial for her, you can still count her as a supporter of fellow costumed contestants on the series. "Don’t be afraid to take off the costume too and show your cool self," she says, also recommending costumes with lighter material. "But definitely go for it. Go big or go home."
Season 23 of The Bachelor continues on Monday, Jan. 21, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.