Andi Dorfman doesn't consider herself an idealistic pie-in-the-sky romantic.
In fact, the 27-year-old Buckhead resident is a gang prosecutor and assistant district attorney in Fulton County, not a job for a wallflower.
But Dorfman has fully embraced the concept of falling in love on reality TV, starring in the ABC show "The Bachelorette," which returns for its 10th season Monday, May 19 at 9:30 p.m.
"I am excited to see the journey I lived play out on camera," Dorfman said in a recent interview soon after she finished taping. She wouldn't say whether she picked a man to marry or not, but the 25 men she picks from are almost universally physically attractive and brave (or foolhardy) enough to seek love in front of the cameras.
She said she was only an intermittent "Bachelor" watcher over the first 17 seasons ("The girlie part of me loved the rose, the getaways, the romance, even if it was a little cheesy," she said.) Her girlfriends last year cajoled her into showing up for a casting call in Atlanta.
Much to her surprise, ABC liked her and placed her into the pool of 25 women seeking Juan Pablo Galavis' heart in the season that aired earlier this year. Ultimately, she and Galavis connected enough for her to make it to the final four. He even met her family in Atlanta.
Despite his charming demeanor, Dorfman found Galavis' communication skills lacking. She dumped him before he had a chance to drop her, which endeared her to many of the viewers. ABC producers typically pick the next "Bachelorette" from the pool of contestants on "The Bachelor" who didn't get a proposal. They asked Dorfman.
"I was only expecting to stay a couple of weeks," she said. "It was very flattering. At first I said, 'I don't know if you want me. I'm kind of boring!' "
The Fulton County District Attorney's office granted her the time off to tape both shows but didn't force her to leave her job.
"I'm glad I wasn't given an ultimatum" of the job or the show, she said. "I couldn't be more appreciative."
She said she's had long-term relationships in the past but none of them clicked when it came to marriage. She is ready to find the right man. She wants a guy who is cool with her career aspirations, communicates well and wants a family. Otherwise, she said she didn't want to create an exacting list of requirements.
One of the 25 bachelors is former University of Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray's older brother Josh.
Dorfman, who grew up in the Alpharetta/Johns Creek area, wouldn't convey her feelings about any particular bachelors, but 29-year-old Murray has a couple of factors going for him.
Murray, who played a couple of college football games for the Bulldogs, also lives in Atlanta. Plus, Dorfman's parents and older sister Rachel attended UGA . Dorfman graduated Louisiana State University in 2009 and received her law degree from Wake Forest in 2012.
He is the 25th and final man who arrives out of the limos in the first episode (which I screened). Looking tan and dapper, Murray immediately mentions the Atlanta connection to her and says, "We're neighbors already!" He later tells the cameras, "Andi is ridiculously beautiful. I just can't wait to talk to her and get to know her more."
She was equally effusive: "Josh M is my type. Nailed it. Pegged it. Damn!"
Another candidate Eric Hill died in a paragliding accident after he left the show but before taping was over. Clearly, he was not in the final round. But Dorfman, in an earlier press conference, said "it was crushing, devastating whenever you lose somebody you know. He became part of the family."
Chris Harrison, the host of the show, offers a dedication to Hill in the opening moments of Monday's episode.
On the show, she said, "I love my job. I love the challenge every day. I love fighting crime... It's fun. It's empowering. Leaving is very difficult for me."
But then she offers up that romantic side of her, while images of her at Piedmont Park are shown: "I get a second chance at this insanely amazing opportunity. This is my shot at love and enjoying my life with somebody."
"The Bachelorette," 9:30 p.m.. Mondays, starting May 19, ABC (normal air time will be 8 p.m. starting May 26).