From being a contestant on “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor In Paradise” (“BIP”), Blake Horstmann has been involved in drama both on and off the screen. On Thursday, USF students will have the chance to get personal with the reality TV star and ask questions about all the chaos.
Horstmann will answer student questions about himself and his time on the ABC dating game shows over a virtual Q&A session on Thursday from 7-8 p.m. on Microsoft Teams. The Q&A will be hosted by the Campus Activities Board (CAB) on the Sarasota-Manatee campus, but the Zoom link will be open to students at the Tampa and St. Petersburg campuses as well. Students who RSVP will receive the Microsoft Teams invite link 30 minutes before the event starts, according to Christine Uphoff, CAB coordinator for the Sarasota-Manatee campus.
The two shows he has starred in are ABC Bachelor Franchise reality shows where contestants compete to find their true loves. On “The Bachelorette,” 30 men vie for the heart of one woman, and on “BIP” past contestants from “The Bachelorette” and “The Bachelor” go to Mexico and live together on a beach to find love among one another.
Horstmann competed as one of those 30 men vying for Becca Kufrin’s heart on Season 14 of “The Bachelorette” and was a favored contestant during its airing in 2018.
During the live airing of the finale, “Bachelorette” Host Chris Harrison commented on fans’ reactions after the clip was shown of Kufrin ending her and Horstmann’s relationship right before he was about to propose.
“The tears are flowing all across America,” Harrison said.
Prior to joining the show, Horstmann was a salesman and is still working in that field, according to a 2018 article by Romper, a magazine for young mothers. The now-31-year-old grew up in Bailey, Colorado, and lives in Denver.
More recently, Horstmann announced on Aug. 26 that his podcast, “Behind the Rose,” is now live.
While on “The Bachelorette,” he shared with the world that he was a survivor of a shooting in 2006 at his high school, Platte Canyon High.
When Horstmann took Kufrin to his hometown, as all of the final four contestants do, he brought her to his high school and told her about the day of the shooting.
He said that day changed him and his outlook on life.
“I wanted you to know why it is important to me to be positive and to see life as a gift,” he told Kufrin.
He mentioned to Kufrin how the love and support of the community impacted him and made him realize he could let the event ruin him or he could allow it to make him stronger, and chose the latter.
After being the runner-up on “The Bachelorette,” Horstmann took one year off from starring on any Bachelor Franchise show, but made a reappearance in 2019 on season six of “BIP” as a source of drama.
Horstmann found himself in hot water after he allegedly slept with a few contestants prior to the filming of “BIP” Season 6, as well as piqued the interest of multiple female contestants when he did join the show.
Horstmann was confronted early on by fellow contestants Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Khristina Schulman about the entanglement he got himself into with both women at the country music festival Stagecoach in 2019. He also found himself in multiple love triangles on the show and ultimately did not find love, which resulted in him leaving after week five of the season.
After the show aired in August 2019, Horstmann found himself receiving lots of hate online for how he handled a situation with Miller-Keyes and proceeded to release private messages between the two trying to show his perspective and side of the story. This only resulted in receiving more hate for his lack of privacy concerns for Miller-Keyes and her messages she sent with the intent that only he would see them.
Since “BIP,” Horstmann has not been on any other Bachelor Franchise show, and the once-beloved contestant is now a controversial figure in the eyes of Bachelor Nation.
After all the drama on screen, Horstmann has done many interviews with media outlets, but on Thursday, students will be able to ask him their own questions and get the answers they have been waiting for.