The winner of the 17th season of the American reality show The Bachelorette is Blake Moynes, a wildlife manager from Hamilton, the first Canadian to get the show’s final rose.
In the finale that aired on Monday night, Moynes went up against Justin Glaze of Ellicott City, Md., and won the affection of bachelorette Katie Thurston.
Moynes, 30, proposed to Thurston — a bank marketing manager from Lynnwood, Wash. who’s also 30 — in the ABC finale.
The Bachelorette, which first aired in 2003, features one woman looking for love, choosing from 25 men. It’s a spinoff of the original show The Bachelor, which launched a year earlier, with the gender roles reversed.
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette contestants often go on to enjoy minor celebrity status with large social media followings. Moynes, for his part, already has 278,000 Instagram followers.
What’s next for Moynes?
Kyle Andrew Skinner, who goes by the name Kyle Andrew, is a former Bachelorette Canada contestant from Hamilton. He said Moynes can expect an onslaught of attention, much of it negative, but he’ll also be able to use his fame and new platform to pursue whatever path he wants.
“He now has to decide whether or not this is the apex of his journey in popular culture and media. Is he a Bachelorette franchise guy for life, or does he want to do other things with this?
“If he wants to be a famous wildlife guy, it’s right there for him.”
The former Bachelorette Canada contestant is now a male model. He says he loved his time on the show, and in his experience, it was not scripted, although the contestants were guided along.
“I was never told what to say or do. It’s like herding kittens — let’s keep the kittens in a room and see how they scratch each other.”
Moynes is a ‘goofy’ Hamiltonian
Moynes was an unsuccessful contestant in a previous season of The Bachelorette, but managed to return halfway through this most recent season.
Jenna Anderson, a fan of the show who lives in Dundas, Ont., said Moynes was somewhat of a “goofy” character who appeared in previous seasons, but was never a serious contender.
“I didn’t think that he was going to get selected and that it would work out the way it did,” Anderson said.
This time, Thurston had more of a “quirky” sense of humour and he and Thurston seemed to connect “right off the bat,” she said.
Moynes has advertised his Canadian-ness openly, including in an Instagram account that features plenty of plaid shirts, cottage docks, Tim Hortons, hockey practices and fishing trips.
“He is a classic Hamiltonian,” Anderson said. “He’s kind of a goofy, athletic Canadian boy.”
The show has had Canadian contestants and bachelorettes before, such as Jillian Harris, the star of the fifth season of The Bachelorette, and this season’s contestant Brendan Scanzano, who is from Toronto.
But Moynes is the first to end up with the final rose.
“There have been very few Canadians who have made it very far in the show,” she said. “It’s pretty significant.”
Although Moynes and Thurston became engaged at the end of the finale, Anderson is skeptical they’ll stay together — especially given that Moynes lives in Canada and Thurston is in the U.S., and many The Bachelorette couples break up later, although there have been some success stories.
“Many times, I’d say more often than not, the relationship does not end successfully,” Anderson said. “But hopefully, I’m wrong, and hopefully they are very happy.”