Get ready, all you romantics! The latest installment of ABC's "The Bachelorette" is set to premiere in just a few weeks, so that means it's time for a heaping helping of wine, roses, and ridiculously romantic dates. But if you think you know what to expect from this long-running reality romance series, think again. Single mom Emily Maynard is set to change things up.
When we last saw the pretty Southern belle, she was fresh on the heels of her engagement to Brad Womack, but a lot has happened since then. Check out what happens when a lady calls the shots!
1. Emily's season is being filmed in her hometown of Charlotte, NC. This is a first for the series, which normally films in California.
2. This season's bachelorette pad gives the usual California digs a run for its money. According to Zillow, the Charlotte mansion where filming took place is on the market for $3.9 million and boats a billiard room, gym, a ballroom, and an outdoor kitchen and pool. Check out these pics of the plush pad.
3. According to an ABC press release, Emily's pool of possible soulmates include a biology teacher, a mushroom farmer, a marine biologist, a skateboarding entrepreneur, and a former pro football player.
4. Emily's daughter, Ricki, won't be meeting all of Mommy's men. Emily told People, "She's not going to be involved in a lot of filming and certainly not meeting the guys. But she's really excited to go on vacation with Mommy."
5. But she will be meeting at least one. According to Hollywood Life, Emily's very first one-on-one date includes a pit stop at little Ricki's soccer game, where Emily and her date watch from the sidelines.
6. Emily and her dates will travel to exotic locations like Bermuda, London, Dubrovnik, and Prague. In England, a group date turns into a real-life scene from "Romeo and Juliet." Check out a picture from the date here.
7. The series is known for surprise serenades by big name stars, and this season is no exception. Expect to see concerts by country band Gloriana and country music star Luke Bryan. And a trip to Dollywood turns up the Queen of Country, Dolly Parton.
8. The Season 8 promo shows Emily kissing a frog -- literally. A Muppet-themed date will have The Bachelorette hanging out with Kermit. But won't Miss Piggy get jealous?
9. The identities of many of Emily's suitors have been leaked, but one guy stands out in the crowd. Arie Luyendyk Jr. is a professional race car driver, which is the same profession that Emily's late fiancé, Ricky Hendricks, had.
10. "Bachelorette" producer Mike Fleiss tweeted an appeal to fans to help choose the theme song for Emily's season: "We are closing in on a song for Emily's season. How does #Bachelornation feel about 'Believe' by Cher." The producer then added: "Cher is a good friend and neighbor here in Malibu. Maybe she could sing at After the Final Rose... Fingers crossed."
Hey, it beats "On the Wings of Love."
"The Bachelorette" Season 8 will premiere on May 14 on ABC.
More From This Contributor: