Virgin Beauty Stands Strong
Angela Zatopek — the most recent addition to Houston's ever-growing pool of reality TV stars — has been a force to be reckoned with on NBC's Ready for Love. The hometown girl has managed to survive eight straight weeks of cut-throat televised dating to make it to the show's final round, which airs Tuesday night.
"This has been a great chance to put my heart out there," the Bayou City native told CultureMap in a phone interview. "I'd be lying though if I said it wasn't awkward and stressful."
Unlike another wildly popular dating competition on ABC, Ready for Love features not one but three eligible bachelors: Dallas entrepreneur Ben Patton, Miami businessman Ernesto Argüello and musician Tim Lopez from the Plain White T's. Each gentleman gets his own set of 12 suitors, all of whom are mentored by a dating advisor.
Zatopek was paired with writer-turned-matchmaker Tracy McMillan to pursue the 31-year-old Patton.
"In real life, you just don't have someone watching all your dates," she said. "And then on top of that, they give their opinion of what you did right and wrong."
Zatopek, 25, noted that she felt the need to maintain who she was, not just as a competitor, but as a devout Christian who practices abstinence and plans committed to "save herself" for marriage.
"I'm very open about it being a priority in my life. I just did an interview with the 700 Club to help break that stereotype about faith being about perfection or living by this strict code," she said. "Obviously, waiting until I'm married has become a hot topic when people interview me for the show. It's a choice I've made, but it doesn't totally define who I am."
"I'd be lying though if I said it wasn't awkward and stressful."
A University of Texas grad with degrees in journalism and corporate communications and experience competing in the Miss Texas beauty pageant last year, Zatopek said she is preparing to enter the fashion market with her own line of faith-based jewelry called One Love.
While she remained tight-lipped about her final Ready for Love fate, Zatopek did answer one of my most pressing questions . . . Do Houston reality TV stars all hang out together?
"Funny you should ask, I actually cross paths with a lot of reality people in town," she laughed.
"I was just at the Dogwood grand opening with Brad Womack and AshLee Frazier. I know Kalon McMahon too. The other day, he tweeted that he was going to cheat on TheBachelor to watch me on Ready for Love."
The finale will be released on Hulu, NBC.com and On-Demand at 8 p.m. Tuesday.