A new season of “The Bachelorette” kicked off Monday night as Emily Maynard met the 25 men contending for her heart on the hit ABC show. But there’s a slightly different spin on the reality TV franchise that’s coming your way online.
Meet the “Mormon Bachelor.” Kent Tuttle, a 26-year-old Mormon and dental student at Midwestern University in Arizona, is looking a Mormon soul mate and will open up his love life as part of an online reality show on TheMormonBachelor.com this summer.
“I’m looking for someone that I can enjoy life with,” he said. “Life is hard enough…I want somebody who I can come home to and we can laugh together. Someone who is fun and lighthearted.”
She must also be Mormon.
“There are so many great people out there. At first, I thought why limit myself?” he said. But “it makes things easier when I think about future kids, what we’re going to teach them and how we’re going to raise them.
“My aim, my goal is to get married in the temple. We believe the pastor has power from God and he marries you for time and all eternity. … I wouldn’t settle for anything besides getting married in the Temple because I want to get married forever, not just in this life.”
Tuttle, a Sacramento native, was chosen from a pool of applicants from all across the country to be the second “Mormon Bachelor.”
“It was a really difficult decision,” said Erin Elton, the digital show’s creator and executive producer. “He really was the one that was the most intent on having this work for him. He was more genuine about really wanting to find a wife in the process.”
Plus, he’s attractive.
“That helps,” Elton admitted.
The show riffs off the template of “The Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” franchises, but there is no house where all the contestants live, and no hot tubs or fantasy suites in the Mormon version.
“That’s one thing that we miss out on,” Tuttle joked, adding that there will be an “appropriate level of intimacy.”
Tuttle will go on 13 first-round dates in Los Angeles, where the show starts filming this summer. From there, he’ll narrow the pool down to six, then three women, who will take him back to visit each of their hometowns.
The last two women will get to meet his family, and in the show’s finale, it ultimately comes down to the “Mormon Bachelor,” one lucky lady, and possibly a proposal.
“I think anything could happen. I’m at a time in my life where I feel like I could settle down. I really am serious about dating and looking for a wife,” he said.
Hundreds of women have applied to date Tuttle online and many of their video auditions have been posted on The Mormon Bachelor’s website and YouTube channel. There’s been so much interest that the producers have decided to add a 13th contestant to the show and extended the deadline for the application through May 21.
Producers, along with Tuttle’s best friend, interview the women and make the final selections.
This will be the fourth season of the online show, which Elton, 32, who is also Mormon and works in PR in Los Angeles, started back in 2010 to cater to Mormons who felt like they had tapped out on the Mormon dating scene.
“As you get older in the Mormon faith, it’s harder to find someone because people marry earlier,” said Elton. “At Brigham Young University, three quarters of my friends were married or engaged … at 19 or 20. There’s a big joke, ‘Did you receive your Mrs. Degree?”
Her roommate Aubrey Messick was cast as the season 1 “Mormon Bachelorette” and she found love on the show. Messick tied the knot with Matt Laidlaw, who was one of the 22 Bachelors whom she dated on the show, in March 2011. They now have a baby and will serve as an advisory couple for Tuttle on the current season of the show.
Season 2 “Mormon Bachelor” Rick Buck moved to Utah with the woman he picked, but later split up and season 3 “Mormon Bachelorette” Ashley Chapman did not choose anyone at the end of the series.
Elton is hopeful this season will end with a proposal or at least a match. “I’m hoping we can get back to that first one again,” she said on her track record.
Tuttle is equally optimistic and seems eager to find love.
“My heart is open. Before I protected my heart on purpose, but I feel like I have this big capacity for love,” he said. “I might cry during this thing.”