The Bachelor Winter Games has followed its franchise's spinoff protocol by bringing together recent contestants and people from seasons so long ago that it requires a Google search to remember who they are. The latter scenario probably fits your reaction to the surprise casting of Bachelor Season 17 contestant Lesley Murphy. We still have a few more weeks until the premiere of the Winter Games, but the Arkansas native has already received attention for reportedly dating fellow competitor Dean Unglert, who we're all a little sick of after his consecutive Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise appearances last year. Someone has taken the phrase "reaping in the benefits" to a new extreme. With this promise of legit Winter Games romance already in the air, newer fans of Bachelor Nation have to ask: who is Lesley Murphy on Bachelor Winter Games?
1. She Came In Fifth Place On Sean Lowe's 'Bachelor' Season
Lesley was an early front-runner in Sean's group of women, going on her first one-on-one date with him in Week 3. While out together, the two broke a Guinness World Record for longest onscreen kiss, clocking in at three minutes and 15 seconds. Lesley stayed in the competition until Week 7, when she went on another one-on-one date with Sean and came across as reacting to their relationship too slowly. Although she admitted after being eliminated that she was falling in love with Sean, it wasn't until the season's Women Tell All special that Sean revealed Lesley would have received a rose if she shared her feelings with him. Ooh, harsh. Since then, Lesley hasn't appeared on any spinoff shows until now, and Sean is happily married to his Final Rose pick Catherine Giudici.
2. She Was A Bridesmaid In Sean And Catherine's Wedding
They say that you shouldn't invite exes to your wedding, but if your fiancée and one of your ex-girlfriends became close after living together in a giant mansion (as we all do at some point, right?), that's probably a worthy exception to the rule. Lesley was one of Catherine's bridesmaids in the couple's January 2014 wedding, and the two continue to support each other over social media. In a 2016 Washington Post article about female friendships on The Bachelor, Lesley recalled Catherine's tearful reaction to Lesley leaving the show:
When Lesley Murphy was kicked off Sean Lowe’s season, his now-wife Catherine Giudici cried. 'That was one of the first times they’d really shown friendship on a show,' said Murphy. 'I see The Bachelor portraying more friendship on the men’s side and more camaraderie than on the women’s side.'
Sometimes the best part of The Bachelor is seeing the friendships that result from it, and while it's not too documented online, Lesley and Catherine's bond is a literal goal for Bachelor Nation friendships.
3. She Has A Travel Blog
Lesley's blog, The Road Les Traveled, began after she had spent a year living in Argentina post-Bachelor. Now having documented almost four years' worth of constant travel, there doesn't seem to be an end for her adventures any time soon. On her blog's About Me page, she makes it clear that this project is a diehard passion of hers:
I'm Lesley Murphy, a travel journalist and TV personality currently based out of an overweight suitcase who travels the world for a living. I write, I photograph, I live on airplanes (and for better or for worse, live on airplane food), and I love discovering what makes a destination tick. I know, I know…how does a girl from Arkansas get around so much, right? It’s not about where you’re from. It’s about where you’re going and what you do when you get there.
Lesley has already hit up destinations such as Finland, Cambodia, Bolivia, and more.
4. She Had A Preventive Double Mastectomy When She Discovered She Had The BRCA 2 Gene Mutation
After testing positive for the BRCA 2 gene mutation, which increases chances of having breast cancer, Lesley chose to get a double mastectomy in 2017 in attempts to lower her risk of disease. Since her surgery, she has been extremely open about the procedures, her decision to receive breast implants 12 weeks later, and her mother being in remission from her own breast cancer. Lesley has become an advocate for spreading the word about having cancer in your 20s, telling PEOPLE:
But after reading all of these girls’ stories on my Instagram or emails or direct messages, it is insane how many people get cancer at 20-something. Even the young aren’t safe. I feel like now I was being ignorant for thinking I was 26 at the time that my mom got breast cancer and that that just wouldn’t happen to me. It’s fair game for anybody to be diagnosed with cancer these days. I don’t know if more people are getting cancer or if more people are just openly talking about it. But it seems like it’s fair game for anybody.
5. It Looks Like She Was Dating Someone Else Recently
Lesley shared at least two photos of herself with Puerto Rican model Julian Rivers last summer, posting the most recent photo with him in August 2017. I wouldn't think that brief flings appear in such intimate Instagram photos, but Julian seems to have disappeared from her page pretty soon after first popping up on it. Bachelor Winter Games filmed at the end of the year, and given those rumors about Dean and Lesley, things with Julian must have ended quickly.
Although I may judge her a little for falling for the man-child Dean, Lesley will definitely be someone worth watching on Winter Games!
The Bachelor Winter Games premiere on Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.