Portland sends two lovestruck contestants to 'The Bachelor'
Pieper James, a 2015 graduate of Clackamas High School, has quickly proven herself as a popular contestant on this season's nationally syndicated reality TV series "The Bachelor."
The other local contestant is Beaverton resident Abigail Heringer.
Now working on getting her master's degree in marketing from DePaul University, James immediately used the fact that she shares the same last name with this season's "bachelor" to her advantage, saying, "My dad always wanted my sisters and I to keep our last name, which is James … so, I'm very happy to be meeting you."
James' witty remark was rewarded with the show's coveted red rose, ensuring her spot on the show for additional episodes.
James served from 2011-15 on the Happy Valley Youth Council, which she led as chair to organize events to combat teen drug use. In 2019, she earned her bachelor's degree in political science and sociology from the University of Oregon.
James filmed the episodes last fall at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania where all of the contestants and production crews had to follow a strict quarantine after testing negative for COVID-19.
This 25th season of "The Bachelor" also was noted for having its first lead character of color; both Jameses on the show are African American.
James survived the show's latest dramatic moment when five new women arrived at the resort just before the episode's rose ceremony. "The Bachelor" traditionally has whittled down the number of contestants from the beginning of the season, but the show's producers decided there were a record number of qualified applicants and also wanted to "shake things up" for fans and contestants.
"There is a 100% chance there will be hostility," the bachelor told the audience. "There is a 100% chance there's going to be drama, and I'm in trouble."
Following the cocktail party for all 23 women, during which the bachelor got to know more about his new contestants, he handed out roses to everyone except three.
James is no stranger to TV, having experience with the medium in Happy Valley to promote safe habits among teens.
As a Youth Council volunteer, James worked on a project that hosted safe driving events. In 2014, she operated a driving simulator at the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office training center to show what happens while texting and driving.
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