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Desiree Hartsock is 'The Bachelorette'

Desiree Hartsock from the series

Desiree Hartsock from the series "The Bachelorette." (May 20, 2013) Credit: AP

Always a bridal stylist, never a bride. Such has been the fate of former "Bachelor" contestant Desiree Hartsock, the new star of ABC's "The Bachelorette." The ninth edition of the dating competition premieres Monday night at 8.

Actually, Hartsock, 27 at the time of the show's taping, according to ABC, now isn't even a bridal stylist. "I haven't gone back to work as a bridal stylist," she told Newsday during a May 15 conference call. So what is she doing for a living? "Well, I just got back recently," she said, "so I'm just getting back to my life and then I do want to work on [fashion] design."

To that end, she said, "I was able to design a dress, one of the Rose Ceremony dresses," which she'll wear on this season's third episode. Otherwise, said Hartsock, "There is a stylist" for the show, who dressed her in a "mixture of those and my own clothes. It's still very much my own personal style." Hartsock -- whose family lived several places, mostly in Florida, before settling in 2001 in Northglenn, Colo., where she graduated high school -- attended the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles.

She was eliminated in the eighth episode of the most recent edition of "The Bachelor," on Feb. 18, after her and star Sean Lowe's dinner date with her parents, Tony and Roxanne, and her protective brother, Nate, whom Hartsock said will also appear on "The Bachelorette."

Described as a devout Christian, Hartsock disavowed an ABC news release that said, "Three lucky men travel with Desiree to an exotic destination for some of the most intimate and sensual overnight dates ever."

"I have no idea why those are the words used," she said, "because I actually just went on the dates and [found] time to talk away from the cameras, since that's such a vital time to really see how someone's going to be in their day-to-day life. So I'm not sure exactly why" the network went this route.

In fact, having learned from her "Bachelor" experience, "I was able to put myself in the guys' shoes to really understand what they were feeling," she said. "I think I did that pretty well."

Among those guys this season is Michael Garofola, 33, originally from Lindenhurst and now an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Will he be a great match for Hartsock? We don't know yet, but, as Hartsock said, "The feelings that do develop are very real . . . and you really can fall for someone."

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