Shawntel Newton is one of 30 single women aspiring to win the heart and hand of Brad Womack on Season 15 of The Bachelor. On the outside this lovely 24-year-old brunette from Chico, California is exactly what you would expect from a Bachelor contestant, but Shawntel’s resume packs a bit of a surprise!
Instead of spending her days pursuing a modeling career, waiting tables or being a marketing executive, Shawntel is busy learning the family business of dealing with people’s grief and pumping formaldehyde! That’s right, Shawntel is a funeral director and on her way to becoming a licensed embalmer!
Let’s crack open the Bachelor File on Shawntel Newton and find out more…
Shawntel is the daughter of Ric and Colene Newton of Chico, California, a town about 80 miles north of Sacramento in Northern California. She has two sisters, the older of which is named Destiny Newton, who was featured in a Pacific San Diego article just after accepting the job as bartender for The FleetWoods’s beachside sequel, The BeachWood, in Pacific Beach, California. (I recommend you check her out! I wonder why she didn’t toss her boots in the Brad Womack ring!)
Shawntel’s dad Ric Newton and his friend Bob Bracewell founded Newton-Bracewell Chico Funeral Home over 18 years ago and have a combined 70+ years of funeral service experience. Bob Bracewell’s son Dane took to the family business but Ric assumed that his family’s involvement would end with him.
“The whole time he said that he never thought that his side of the business would go on, Shawtel explains in the video, “because there were no sons.”
But that was before his daughter surprised him by showing interest in helping grieving people through their difficult times.
“I didn’t think that I wanted to be a funeral director,” Shawntel reveals. “I started working here because I kind of got tired working for retail and stuff and I decided to meet with families and see how it is and it just came natural.”
Her dad Ric talks at length about Shawntel and the fact that she has chosen to follow in footsteps:
“She kind of liked the idea of meeting bereaved people and wanting to console them. It’s amazing how in a short period of time she started meeting with families how families would give feedback that she was one of the most caring people that they had ever met.
“She’s just really blossomed in this position, and what makes her a little unique is that to go on and actually get her license so that she can clinically do embalmings – a lot of women will go into funeral service but they only want to be a funeral director or an arranger. She’s going to be licensed to do both.
“I see Shawntel carrying on the foundation we’ve created, and for me it’s been my life’s work for almost 40 years. At age 58 now, ready for me to hand the torch over to my daughter and to Bob’s [Bracewell] son Dane.”
Shawntel knows that her career choice is a difficult one, but she feels it is something she can excel at and the fact that she will be able to carry the torch of the family business only makes her more confident in her decision.
“It is a sad business, and it’s a hard business,” Shawntel admits. “Average funeral directors, they burn out within ten years.
“I’m a lot like my dad, and he’s so good at what he does, and I’m now seeing myself being a lot like my dad.”
So is she ready to take the reigns, or at least half the reigns, of Newton-Bracewell? Ric thinks so, but Shawntel is still a bit hesitant. “My dad is ready to hand it over to me. I’m not ready yet – I’m still kinda like, ‘Daddy you’ve got to hold on a second.’ I’m only 23 so I still feel kinda like it’s surreal, but he’s so excited for me to take it over. I’m too young to be doing something like this, but I’m really excited.”
Here is the video in which Shawntel and her dad Ric talk about the funeral business and her choice to pursue it as a career. The video also focuses on Bob Bracewell’s son Dane and even intimates that the two mind end up together in more than just a business sense!
And here are a few brief commercials for Newton-Bracewell Chico Funeral Home that seem to put a whole lot of emphasis on Shawntel Newton and Dane Bracewell:
I’m really looking forward to the moment in which Shawntel reveals to Brad that she is a mortician! That is bound to be priceless! And I hope she makes it far enough to maybe score a hometown date on Halloween!
Actually, we can tell from the preview trailer released by ABC that Shawntel lasts at least a little while because she can clearly be seen sitting down for a one-on-one rooftop date with Brad in one scene and in another she is being carried by Brad as something explodes in the background! Here’s the damsel in distress and her hero from the commercial:
The Bachelor wasn’t the first time Shawntel tried to highlight her uncommon choice of careers (given her age, gender and physical appearance). In January of 2009 she made a pitch to be on The Ellen DeGeneres Show after Ellen issued an open invitation to potential guests on her web site:
Hey there Ellen. My name is Shawntel Newton. I wrote a lengthy email about a week ago on your “suggestion box”, on how I would love to be meet you sometime and talk with you. I live in Chico, California and I work at my dad’s funeral home. I am going to mortuary school in sacramento so I can become a licensed embalmer and funeral director. I think it would be such an amazing topic to go over. I know it sounds sad and depressing. But I am a very lively girl and I think people get the wrong idea when they think of “funeral people.” Your show is so awesome, I love you and this its awesome that you not only just bring celebrities on your show, but also kids, inventors and maybe one day a mortuary woman. You are great!
Posted by J. Shawntel Newton | January 22, 2009 3:42 PM
Check out our other Bachelor File posts on Emily Maynard, Chantal O’Brien and Ashley Hebert as well as a revealing post on The Bachelor vampire Madison Garton, who has a rather extensive acting resume under the name Madison McKinley! For photos as well as very brief bios and Q&As with the other contestants be sure to check out our “Brad Bunch” post HERE!
Oh, and don’t get confused thinking that Shawntel is the beautiful brunette who slaps Brad in The Bachelor trailer – That is actually Chantal O’Brien from Mercer Island, Washington. I know, right? Shawntel and Chantal?!? Both brunettes? ABC sure likes the confusing name game!
And as always, a special thanks to Reality Steve for giving us the lowdown every year of who all the contestants are well before the season starts! (SPOILER ALERT – Ol’ Reality Steve doesn’t play when it comes to spoilers so if you don’t want to know every detail of the season before it happens I suggest you avoid heading over there.)