Former star of “The Bachelorette” helps Broncs find romance

By Bridget Gum

Despite the odd, unprecedented times, Rider has made an effort to provide multiple events for its students in order to make sure everyone stays involved and active in Rider’s social community.

One brand new event called Rider Romance happened on Sept. 14.

Rider Romance began with Blake Horstmann, a previous contestant for the hit shows The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, in a simple Q&A.

Students who attended had the option of submitting a question for Horstmann on their registration form.

Since this event took place on Zoom, participants were muted so as not to interrupt the conversation.

Horstmann answered a wide variety of questions for about 45 minutes, including subjects about his personal life, dating life and life on the show.

“I really enjoyed the Rider Romance event especially because I’m a fan of all the Bachelor shows,” said junior film, TV and radio major Kelly Phillips. “It was a really unique event and a great way to bring the Rider community together virtually.”

During the event, it was revealed by Horstmann that the process of getting on the show is an intense one, consisting of multiple questionnaires, a psychological evaluation, personality tests and bizarre interviews with the producers and staff members.

He shared that in order to get on the show, a person not only has to be nominated and go through the lengthy six-month process, but also has to be open about pretty much everything while being witty and quick on their feet with answers.

“I was actually nominated by my mom and little sister,” said Horstmann. “But after the initial interview, it’s a very intense screening process.”

While filming the show, Horstmann says that contestants are, in fact, allowed to eat.

This is apparently a question he gets a lot, as they aren’t shown eating on many of their dates. Instead of eating during the dates, as it is annoying to the people on set, he said, when off set and at the hotel, they can order pretty much anything from room service.

“I actually gained a lot of weight during the show,” joked Horstmann.

Horstmann also mentioned a strange requirement for the show, which is that all of the contestants aren’t allowed to have TV or their phones and the TVs are actually removed from their hotel rooms, but they can be notified if there is a major world event going on.

Horstmann also spoke about the other side of being on the show. While he was extremely grateful for being on the show, since there is a chance of finding love and creating friendships, it has also since negatively affected his life.

Horstmann explained that because everyone can be accessed through social media, he has received many women trying to contact him, but on the other hand he has also received some death threats and hate speech.

He understands this is unfortunately a part of being in the spotlight, he still finds it an extremely difficult part of being famous.

The second part of this event was a different type of Q&A. While registering for this event, some students selected to be a contestant for the game show. These students then turned their cameras and mics on to reveal themselves.

The Rider contestants were then asked two rounds of questions. The first round of questions were “this or that” questions, like if they prefer dogs or cats, or pizza or sushi. After about ten of those questions, the second round began with deeper questions, like what the contestants’ hopes and dreams for the future were.

For the finale, the students on Zoom were able to vote through a Google form for which of the eight contestants they thought was the “best” or “most dateable.” Junior health science major Lauren Farley was voted as the winner while sophomore public relations major Elise Spedding was the runner up.

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