Before The Bachelor kicked off its new steamy season with Juan Pablo Galavis on Sunday night, the show paid tribute to Gia Allemand.
Nearly five months after the brunette beauty, who starred on season 14 of The Bachelor with Jake Pavelka and The Bachelor Pad in 2010, took her own life, the ABC reality series paid her a touching tribute.
“Gia was much loved by Bachelor fans,” host Chris Harrison said, adding that she kept in touch with much of the cast and crew. “We miss her. Please allow us to take a moment to remember our friend.”
Gia Allemand's Suicide Confirmed: Leaves Note for Her Mother
A video clip showed the late 29-year-old talking about life.
“I love everyone,” she said. “I would give someone the shirt off my back. I want the best for everyone.”
The Queens, N.Y., native added, “I just want people to remember me for my kind heart.”
From there, fellow contestants like Jaclyn Swartz, Ames Brown, Ashleigh Hunt, Jenna Burke, and Jackie Gordon shared their kind words about the fallen reality star in a series of videos.
They discussed the brunette beauty's big heart, unforgettable laugh and how much they loved her.
Her mother, Donna Micheletti, then appeared.
She heartbreakingly explained how much she missed her daughter and pleaded with those contemplating suicide to seek help before they take action.
Gia was found hanging by her boyfriend, 25-year-old NBA player Ryan Anderson, in her New Orleans home on Aug. 14 just hours after the pair got into an argument about his alleged infidelities.
She was laid to rest on Aug. 22.
“I am deeply grateful for all the love and support we have received from family, friends and fans,” the basketball star said in a statement at the time. “Gia was the most beautiful person I knew inside and out and she always smiled and made everyone else around her smile.”
Following the short special, Chris reappeared to introduce the upcoming season of The Bachelor.
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In typical Bachelor fashion, the preview showed women fighting, crying and vying for Juan’s heart.
It kicked off ABC’s “Juan-uary” (so clever!) edition, which will feature a special every Sunday during the month of — you guessed it — January.
The 32-year-old former professional soccer player from Venezuela was rejected on Desiree Hartsock’s season last year, and is now focused on finding love. He’s also father to 4-year-old daughter, Camila.
“She’s my valentine forever,” he said of his little lady, who was born on Valentine’s Day.
“I can’t wait to meet these 25 women,” he added. “Hopefully, at the end I have that person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with.”
The special showed the crazy audition process and how the final 25 women found out they were chosen – by Chris and producers paying each woman a surprise visit in their hometown with roses.
Watch Juan meet each lady tonight when The Bachelor airs at 8 p.m. on ABC.
What did you think of Gia’s tribute last night? Tell us in comments – and on Facebook and Twitter!
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