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Catching up with ''The Bachelor'' couple

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Alex Michel, The Bachelor
The Bachelor: Ida Mae Astute

Gluttons for rejection, about 200 females auditioned for ”The Bachelor II” on May 17 in L.A. — the first of several nationwide casting calls. But before this harem signs on, they should talk to first-season winner Amanda Marsh, still ”very seriously dating” and planning an L.A. move with Bachelor No. 1, Alex Michel. ”It was so hard to keep it a secret,” she says. ”People are saying he’s gay [which Michel denies], people are dogging us, and I wanted to defend him.”

The frustration peaked on finale night. ”I’d like to have given him a black eye,” she says, recalling how he kissed and sweet-talked runner-up Trista Rehn. ”He was like, ‘Honey, honey, honey, I like you,’ and I’m just like, ‘Don’t talk to me for an hour!”’ But hopefuls like SEC employee Stacey, 24, aren’t daunted. ”Whatever we’re doing now isn’t working,” she says. ”We might as well try something new.”

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