Who Is The Bachelor's Illeana Pennetto?

Matt James might have the biggest and most diverse range of women to choose from on his season of The BachelorThere are 32 total, with a wide variety of ages and ethnicities emphasizing ABC's push for greater diversity — the biggest example of which is, naturally, James's casting in the first place as the first Black Bachelor ever. Several of the women are already courting controversy, from "Queen" Victoria to Kit Keenan, whose mother is legendary fashion designer Cynthia Rowley. 

We'll have to wait and see who the buff New Yorker picks, but suffice to say, he's got plenty of great ladies to choose from. Illeana Pennetto made an impression right off the bat and, given her career connection to James, she might just go all the way. It's difficult to shine amongst a gaggle of gals like The Bachelor has gathered this season, but Pennetto is an obvious standout.  

Illeana Pennetto is the definition of brains and beauty

Pennetto's official Bachelor bio states the obvious by noting she's the "perfect mix of beauty and brains." The reality star is a self-made businesswoman, with a lifelong passion for health and wellness, who "recently co-developed her own nutritional snack called 'Funky Munky Energy' and has big dreams of making a name for herself in the health food world." Pennetto's most recent serious relationship lasted nearly five years, and although she's enjoying living her single, Sex and the City-style life in New York City, the reality star is "ready to settle down and find her missing puzzle piece."

Pennetto knows what she wants from a prospective romantic partner. Above all else "she needs someone whose values align with hers." Although Pennetto currently resides in the city that never sleeps, she is more comfortable chilling out at home with that special someone "pondering life's unsolvable mysteries" than partying the night away. Just like every other picky Bachelor contestant before her, Pennetto isn't looking for much, just "her best friend" with whom she can "create the kind of love that makes you glow from the inside out" and "feel invincible to the world." 

Illeana Pennetto is an incredibly busy lady

Although Pennetto is passionate about her business, her Instagram page notes she has a couple of side hustles too. First and foremost, Pennetto is a real estate agent with Triplemint Real Estate, giving her a major connection to James. Her bio on their site advises the reality star always wanted to work in the fast-paced real estate world. "She values transparent real estate transactions centered on her clients' goals and needs" and "wants to personalize each real estate experience so her clients have an easy time buying, selling, or renting." Pennetto studied at Baruch College, graduating with a degree in digital communications. 

Pennetto is used to excelling at everything she does, previously ranking as a competitive figure skater before turning her attention to modeling, predominantly for fitness brands like Nike and Reebok. She's signed to Wilhemina and her Instagram is filled with stunning shots of the Bachelor star posing up a storm. In September 2020, she excitedly shared a shot of a beauty campaign for Ulta Beauty, admitting, it was "sent by my mama this morning from her local @ultabeauty. Go find me in all US stores now!" 

How far does Illeana Pennetto get on The Bachelor?

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT: Intrepid blogger Reality Steve reckons that, in spite of her brains-and-beauty combo and the real estate connection, James actually sends Pennetto home early in the process. Although she got a rose on the first night, Steve guesses, "Next week, I'm pretty sure Illeana and Sydney are two that are eliminated if my math is correct." That means the January 11 episode might be the accomplished New Yorker's last appearance. If she does go home early, it'll be a real shame, as Pennetto had a great intro to the show, memorably asking James "Can I put my balls in your mouth?" before whipping a huge meatball out of her purse (via EW). 

Considering another contestant pulled out a sparkly vibrator, it's impressive Pennetto managed to get over as much as she did during the Bachelor season premiere. A line of merchandise may be on the horizon, as the model and entrepreneur referenced the moment on Instagram. Sharing a screenshot, she deadpanned, "As if 2020 hadn't been crazy enough I decided to do a thing." Something tells us this won't be the last we see of her on our screens.