Fans of "The Bachelor" know that Minnesotan Daisy Kent grew up on a Christmas tree farm. (She arrived on the reality TV show with a tree in tow.) But here's a lesser-known fact: She also grew up atop a water skiing pyramid.

Kent's mom, Julie, was once a professional water skier, and the Kent kids performed with the Little Crow Ski Team. "It was always like a family thing that we did together, which made it really special," Kent said in an interview last week.

The 25-year-old was proud to take "The Bachelor" home to Becker, Minn., she said, "to just kind of bring some more small-town feels to this show."

And in exchange, her small town had her back, hosting watch parties, naming a coffee drink after her and selling her children's book.

Kent left the show in second place but on her own terms. She then declined to become "The Bachelorette," instead prioritizing her health. (She's been open about healing from Lyme disease, losing her hearing and getting a cochlear implant, which allows her to hear by stimulating her auditory nerve.) In a video interview from Los Angeles, where she now lives, Kent talked about the difficult decision to go on the show, her family's support for her afterward and Joey Graziadei's inability to pronounce Minneapolis.

"Dude," she said, laughing, "get it right."

The conversation has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Q: You watched "The Bachelor" with your mom growing up, right?

A: Yeah, we watched it all the time. So it was really funny when I was asked to come on.

Q: Tell me about that — a producer reached out?

A: So I was making TikToks a little over a year ago about the process of getting a cochlear implant. And I had a couple of videos that went pretty viral — my activation video and then one just explaining how it was attached to my head. One of the producers saw that and reached out to me. I was like, "Mom, look at this!"

Q: This wasn't that many months after you got your cochlear implant. Did that give you pause?

A: That was the big thing. I honestly think if it had been even a month earlier, I don't know if I would have done it. I was still at the point where I was adjusting. So speech was difficult for me. Also, I knew I was going to be in a scenario where I didn't know anyone. I had relied on my friends and my family in the past couple of years to really help me, especially communicating in big groups. So it was a big decision for me.

Before going on, I did have those conversations with my parents and my siblings. I remember when I told my little sister, she said, "You have to make sure you're in such a good headspace." I just had to make sure that first, I was going to be OK. And then I decided to do it. And I'm so happy I did.

Q: Was it difficult, though, especially at first?

A: The first night, I walked in and I couldn't really hear anything. That night is overwhelming for a lot of reasons. There are a lot of girls in there, people you've never met. Everyone's wanting to talk to this one guy. And then I had the aspect where I couldn't hear or understand very well.

My implant actually died at like, 3 or 4 a.m. My producer brought me my extra battery, and I was sitting by one of my very good friends, Chrissa. And she was like, "Oh, my gosh, like, is everything OK?" And I was explaining to her everything. She was like, "Well, why don't me and you just like hang out outside?" because I could hear better out there. And she was so supportive. So she was the first person I like talked to about it.

Q: One cool thing about how early on it was in the process was that we got to witness a bit of it. I was thinking about the moment your brother sounded like himself. ... What was that like for you?

A:It was really special that they kept in a lot of those moments. That time with my brother — my whole family was emotional, tearing up. And to have that documented, most people don't get to have that. That's part of the reason my story was so beautiful on the show is because they did capture those moments.

Q: Tell me about your nonprofit, Hear Your Heart. What was its goal when you founded it? And has that shifted?

A: Originally it was for kids with hearing loss and autoimmune disorders. Now it's evolved to helping kids embrace what makes them different, raising money for cochlear implants and spreading the knowledge behind how they work. "The Bachelor" showed me how important representation is, how many kids related to me. Even people my age and older, too, have reached out who might not have a cochlear implant or might not have hearing aids but have something else.

Q: In an interview, you said that there was always something missing with Joey. Can you pinpoint what it was?

A: I just remember one time looking at him and thinking, "We would be really, really good friends."

I do think people come into your life for a reason. And I think he came into mine for a reason ... to help, like, build my confidence back up and see my worth. Also, it's helped so many other younger people, and especially younger girls, watching me on the show. And so I can take all of that with me. And I always will.

Q. Besides building up what you believe you deserve in a partner, what did you learn about yourself doing the show?

A. I learned that it's very important to talk about how you're feeling when you're feeling it. A lot of times before the show, I would suppress my feelings — not only in relationships but in friendships, too. So that really changed. And also just being confident in who you are. Because if you go into a show or an experience like this, and you don't know who you are, and you don't stand up for like what you believe in, and if you aren't true to yourself, you will get lost in the process. So I think it was really validating just for me to see like how strong I am.

Q. The finale, in particular, seems like a moment for that.

A. It definitely was. It was something that I'm always gonna look back on and be proud of myself for because I was really strong in who I was. And I was also really supportive to people who I did really care about.

Q: How did your family support you after the filming was done?

A: I flew back to Minnesota right away. My family, they are the most supportive people ever, and they always have been. We talked about everything. It was very overwhelming at first — and not just because I was hurting at the time. You also go from being in this bubble ... without any outside communication with anyone. Then you get back and you get your phone back. And you see all this stuff online about you. So it did take a little bit of time just like processing and adjusting.

It was a really special time, too, though. I got to spend time with a lot of my friends from my hometown, who are all so uplifting and supportive. So everyone in my life really rallied behind me to lift me up.