Kayla Peterson has had it with dating in South Mississippi.
The 29-year-old optometry tech from Waveland said she’s ready to settle down with “the one,” but the right man has not yet come along. She’s been in love and has been in serious relationships, and she’s been burned by former suitors. Peterson said she’s decided to look beyond South Mississippi to find a husband.
Peterson will head to New Orleans on July 16 to try out to be a contestant on the next season of ABC’s “The Bachelor.”
She is surely not the only South Mississippian headed to New Orleans for a chance to find love. The casting call will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Masquerade Nightclub in Harrah’s New Orleans. Participants are encouraged to submit their application and a bio video beforehand.
“After several disappointments and a heartbreak from hell, I realized I’m over chasing the once-upon-a-times in my life, and I am more than ready to have my happily ever after,” she said.
She said she’s a catch, and producers will love her boldness and outgoing personality, but she thinks she is still single because she’s “been biting the wrong hook.”
“I’m not a one-in-a-million kind of girl, I’m a once-in-a-lifetime kind of woman,” she said. “I know what my heart and soul has to offer, and I truly believe God has wrecked the plans I had for my future before those plans wrecked me.”
If she’s chosen as a contestant, Peterson said she hopes the Bachelor is someone who is not shy or afraid to try new things.
“I want a man who is living life to its fullest as if it was his last day of living — someone who can can live a little on the edge but knows when he’s reached his pesk,” she said.
Peterson said if she makes it to the end, she’ll show the newest Bachelor her city when he comes to meet her friends and family. She’ll also show him one of her favorite spots — downtown Bay St. Louis.
“I would not allow him to leave here until he had a bushwhacker from The Blind Tiger and a view from the top floor of Tripletails,” she said. “I would show him what Southern hospitality looks like.”
If she is chosen as a contestant, she won’t be the first Hancock County native looking for a final rose.
On the current season of “The Bachelorette,” Bay St. Louis native Nick Benvenutti showed up to the mansion wearing a Santa Claus suit to impress JoJo Fletcher. Benvenuti, an engineer who is living in Florida, has since been eliminated.
Hancock County Chamber of Commerce Director Tish Williams said Trapani’s Eatery served as “Bachelorette Headquarters” while Benvenutti was a contestant.
“He comes from such a nice family,” Williams said. “They’re just good people. The Benvenuttis have been here for generations.”
If Peterson can impress producers and make it onto the show, she hopes to find the man who will make her want to say, “I do.”
She said she “wants someone who for once can show me there are still worthy, good men in this world.”