Campus Cutie: Irish Bachelor Edition - Lizzie Pagura '17

As stated elsewhere on this site, the Irish Bachelorette on NDtv rocked Notre Dame's campus in the Fall of 2013. Following the breakout show, several thoughts about how to recreate its success were brainstormed among the NDtv crew. Finally, the follow-up show, the Irish Bachelor, was settled on as the next step for Notre Dame's student television network this spring.

In this series of articles, I will be profiling the contestants as they exit the show after each "clover ceremony" as I did previously with the contestants of the Irish Bachelorette. For information on the Bachelor himself, Dawson Robinson, check out Alexandra Lowery's interview with him!  

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lizzie Pagura, a leading lady with a kind heart. 

The Basics

Year: 2017

Dorm: Ryan

Major: Anthro and Spanish

Hometown: Libertyville, IL

Campus Activities: FTT shows – Six Characters in Search of an Author. I actually spend most of my time off campus taking care of a little boy with special needs.

Relationship status: not married

Life at ND

What does it mean to be a Domer?

I feel like on the show I come off anti-Notre Dame, which is not true. I had a rough freshman year, like a lot of people do, with lots of changes, but I wouldn’t be anywhere else. I think it means to have a sense of commitment to family and to your peers. It’s a special kind of bond you don’t get anywhere else.

What is your best ND memory so far?

During Six Characters, there was this time when all the guys had a moment when they had to sing "Who Am I?" from Les Mis. And I just remember being down in the dressing room but hearing the guys belting it out and running upstairs to join them!

What is the #1 item on your ND bucket list?

I want to run through Stonehenge.

What are the best and worst things about ND?

The best is the connection you have to other people, and how close everyone is. Any student or alumni will do anything for you. We have so many opportunities – like undergraduate research – that other students aren't offered. We are pushed to succeed and try things that other undergrads at other places aren’t pushed to do.

The worst is that it is definitely a bubble. It's hard to find people who will admit that and share a more worldly perspective. It's hard not to listen to people telling you what you should be doing and to trust your own judgment rather than what others tell you to do based on their own experiences.

If you could change one thing about Notre Dame, what would it be?

That’s hard. It’s a pretty fantastic place even when you include its faults. I wish people would be less narrow minded; everyone is so type A and focused, which is awesome, but I wish people would open up a little more. I also wish we could move off campus sooner. I’m not happy with the dorm structur, it's very restrictive to women.

Best class you’ve taken at ND?

Freshman seminar Intro to Anthropology with Professor Nordstrom – it sealed the deal for becoming an anthro major and completely changed my academic route.

Favorite spot on campus

My grandma has a bench in her name right outside of the library on the Touchdown Jesus side. It looks over the reflecting pool. My whole family has their names on the bench.  It's a really sentimental place for me. 

Favorite Domer – dead, alive, or fictional?

Pandora Vanderpump – Lisa Vanderpump’s daughter. I don't know if she actually went to Notre Dame, but I think she went to grad school here. She has ND sweatpants and wears them on the Real Housewives... I think she just went to grad school here. 

If you could go back to freshman year and tell yourself one thing you know now, what would it be? 

It’s gonna be okay. You’re going to be okay. 

Fun Facts

Ideal academic and professional end goals?

Med school, which may change, but really I want to go do undergrad research and write and publish a senior thesis. I like the idea of doing a post-bac pre-med program. Maybe a graduate degree in anthropology. I think I'd really like to work in as a pediatric specialist – I have a passion for working with medically fragile kids. 

In 25 years you will be…

Hopefully not dead. I hope to live in a city, practicing medicine of some sort, doing research of some sort – following my academic pursuits. Having a whole bunch of kids and dogs and animals running around. That’s the dream. Working a lot.

Guilty pleasure television show?

Real Housewives Beverly Hills, Real Housewives New York City, and Vanderpump Rules

Notre Dating and Gender Relations

What do you wish ND guys knew? What do you wish you knew about ND guys?

I wish they could recognize that going to a single sex high school has put them at a serious disadvantage because the real world isn’t separated by gender or sex. I also wish they would open their minds to anything… to not being the way they were in high school, to allowing themselves to grow and think differently than their parents and their friends. This obviously doesn’t apply to all guys, but I think a lot of ND students understand what I mean. I’ve never had experience with people who don’t have experience with all genders and sexes – I wish I knew coming into Notre Dame that the guys here don’t know how to be friends with girls. Also when guys are offended by the "friend zone" it makes me so angry.

What are your feelings on "Notre Dating"?

It’s messed up. I do think there are people who have really great relationships but I don’t think that they’re in the majority. It's hard to find and the way [Notre Dating] is discussed is very one sided. I think it stems from people not having a lot of experience with the opposite gender or dating without the intention of marriage.

Have those feelings changed now that you've been on the Irish Bachelor?

No, they’ve almost become more reaffirmed. Especially in the way people talk about the show – it's all the girls’ fault. That is reflective of the general thought that the girls are the problem. We should focus on a solution instead of the problem.

What are your thoughts on Notre Dame's gender relations?

One of the biggest problems that I think people don’t talk about is how the different rules in males and females dorms put women in a different position where we don’t have power agency. Men are “allowed” to have parties and alcohol and because of that they have the location and girls have to go to them. Therefore if something does happen, they aren’t in a safe space. They are at a disadvantage because they are extremely discouraged [from hosting their own events]. Medical amnesty in that context would prevent the dangerous situations. This context puts women at risk in all sorts of situations. That’s one of the biggest problems people don’t really talk about. Not even touching on the LGBTQ community. We don’t talk about the way the rules are enforced and how it contributes a dangerous environment for women.

Congratulations on your IRISH BACHELOR appearance! 

Why did you initially audition for the Irish Bachelor? (The real reason…)

It was really because Six Characters's premise. It's a 1920s Italian playthat  we updated to be on the set of the Irish Bachelor so another actress and I promised each other that we would audition for NDtv's Irish Bachelor. That’s why I auditioned. 

What was your reaction to meeting Dawson for the first time?

He’s not my type. Meeting him for the first time it was hard to get a read on him because we didn’t have a lot of time to talk. He was quiet and reserved which isn’t really my type. We all had a similar reaction to meeting him. Dawson and I really connected walking back after our date – he’s really funny and snarky and we actually got a chance to talk without cameras which was better, but by that time I already knew it wasn't for me.

How did you feel about the time you spent together?

Because of the cameras, it was extremely awkward. We spent a long time together but the whole time we had cameras on us so it was hard. I’m used to be on stage, not on camera, I didn’t really know what to do or where to look. It was a lot of pressure to spend that time together with such high expectations. It was a good time and it was nice to get to know him better but really, it was intensely awkward.

Did you know any of the other suitors?

I knew Ariel, and Racine and I have a class together but I didn’t really know anyone else.

How did you feel about the dynamic of the group?

It was interesting, it was a limited time when we were all together – it was kind of painful. Once we got more time together, it got a lot better. All of the girls are really cool. I like them all a lot. They’re all well spoken and passionate about what they do. I immediately clicked with Meghan (Maraghy) and Denise (Dorotheo).

How did you feel about leaving the show? Did you know after your initial meeting with Dawson that it wouldn’t work out? What do you think led to it?

I knew when I met him that I wasn’t interested, but I was going to stick it out. I wasn’t taking it that seriously. The thing that freaked me out was that I was the first one chosen for an individual date. Just spending that much time with him and in front of the cameras was too much for me. It also just took up too much time – the scheduling was a lot – it was hard to justify spending that much time on the show. I’m glad I left when I did.

Who were you rooting for to win once you left the show?

It was pretty clear who would be a frontrunner – #TeamJeanette all the way. She’s the favorite. We all love her.

If given another shot, what would you do differently?

Nothing. I think I would try to get closer to all the girls initially.

What do you wish you knew going into the show?

I wish I knew how much time it was going to take up honestly, because I don’t think I would have done it. Also there wasn’t a clear defined schedule that they could adhere to.

Was it what you expected?

I don’t know what I expected – I guess I expected that people would take it less seriously than they did. I was shocked about how seriously people pretended to take it.

What do you anticipate for your love life going forward?

I have no idea. I think I’ll have a lot of animals in the future.

Was the experience worth it?

I think it was. I try not to have regrets in my life so I wouldn’t count these as one of them. It made me miss Six Characters and my cast. I hope people take the show less seriously and take it for what it is – a social semi-expereiment. 

Thanks, Lizzie! HCNDXO


For more interviews following the Irish Bachelor contestants, follow HCND on Twitter, like us on FacebookPin with us, and show our Instagram some love!

Images courtesy of interviewee