Steamboat Springs When ABC’s “The Bachelorette” premiered Monday night, some Steamboat Springs locals might have noticed a shy-looking young man from Greenville, S.C., with sandy brown hair and a perfectly white smile.
That would be dentist Blake Julian, 27, who grew up here in the Yampa Valley. Once a ski racer and a star on the Steamboat Springs High School football team, Julian is now one of 25 men vying for the heart of Ashley Hebert, a former contestant on “The Bachelor,” and — luckily for Julian — a dentistry student.
Julian didn’t see much airtime during the two-hour season premiere, but he did end the night with a single red rose, meaning he makes it onto the next show along with 17 other bachelors.
The show airs at 7 p.m. Mondays.
Julian isn’t the first local to make it to the small screen via the reality show format.
Six years ago, Steamboat resident Andy LeRoy competed on the same show. In the premiere of that season, LeRoy didn’t even have a chance to sit down with the bachelorette, Jen Schefft, and was kicked off the show on the first night.
“I would say if he’s already made it through the first night, he made it farther than I have,” joked LeRoy when reached Tuesday in Denver. “It’s a little bit choreographed in how much time you get to spend with her.”
Julian also didn’t get the chance to have a moment alone with Hebert aside from the initial introduction. At the beginning of the show, Julian got out of the limo and hugged a gown-clad and giggling Hebert, saying, “Talk about the best blind date ever.”
He then told Hebert he was excited to get to know her, before heading inside the show’s mansion for a cocktail party.
“I’m sure he was nervous,” LeRoy said. “Aside from the apprehension to meet her, you’re also there with 24 other guys hoping to make an impression. It’s a whirlwind.”
Like LeRoy, whose mother entered him on the show, Julian didn’t come up with the idea to be a contestant.
According to www.journal
watchdog.com, a Greenville, S.C.-based news website, Julian’s sister Bailey Klemz submitted an application for him.
“I wasn’t sure if he’d do it or not,” Klemz told the Journal Watchdog. “He’s kind of shy but then he’s got this amazing personality, and he’s fun to be around. I’m really happy he decided to do it.”
Julian attended college at the University of Kansas and dentistry school at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. His Facebook profile lists his interests as outdoors-related activities. He told ABC that his dream date is at Strawberry Park Hot Springs.
Because of confidentiality agreements, Julian was not allowed to talk to with the Steamboat Pilot & Today. The show already has been filmed, and until he leaves the show or makes it to the season finale, the outcome is a heavily guarded secret.
But several weeks ago he told the Journal Watchdog that he was keeping an open mind about appearing on the show.
“I never planned on going on the show,” Julian said in the article. “I decided to participate because I thought it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I figured if I were lucky, I’d get to travel, and if I were really lucky, I’d meet the woman of my dreams.”
— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com