The latest contestant to be eliminated from ABC's dating show "The Bachelorette" is a fan-favorite for next season's Bachelor.
Unless you’re a die-hard fan of “The Bachelorette,” you might not know that one of this season’s top contestants, Jason Tartick — the latest of a group of mostly eerily similar-looking men to be turned down in Becca Kufrin’s weekslong race for lifelong love — is a Seattleite.
Despite emphasizing his Buffalo, New York, origins throughout the season (even borrowing a family friend’s home so he could film the hometowns episode in Buffalo), he’s proud to live in the Emerald City.
Tartick moved to Seattle in October as vice president and senior relationship manager at KeyBank. So far, he loves the weather; at least, now that the summer’s here: “I remember saying in June, ‘when is the summer coming?’ ” (Sorry, Jason; it might have already left.)
He’s into distinct, unique neighborhoods (his favorite is Capitol Hill for the “food and the energy”). And he says he feels “integrated” into the “community and culture” — maybe a little reality-show charisma is all it takes to beat the Seattle Freeze?
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“It’s a great city,” Tartick said. “It’s only moving in one direction, and that’s an upward trajectory.”
At least, that’s the view from some of Tartick’s favorite rooftop bars, including The Nest and MBar, both of which received the tell-tale $$$ of luxury from Yelp. (Tartick is also a big fan of Canon, a less showy but arguably better choice — Canon won “World’s Best Spirits Selection” from the world’s largest booze fest last year.)
Rubbing elbows with one of TV’s most conventionally attractive eligible bachelors while you sip on a $25 glass of rosé and bask in midsummer views of Elliott Bay may sound enticing, but since being “blindsided” by his breakup with Kufrin, Tartick has yet to get back into the dating scene.
If “Bachelorette” fans have anything to do with it, he will soon — and we’ll be able to watch every moment of it.
Tartick is the clear favorite for next year’s Bachelor among fans of the dating show: He recently changed his signature slicked-back hair (it’s still slicked, don’t worry, there’s just… less of it?), which some fans see as a sure sign of pre-“Bachelor” improvements. (Tartick told Entertainment Tonight that his mom has been on him for years about his hair, and he changed it for her after being eliminated.)
Fans also speculated that his surprise visit to Kufrin’s hotel room to gift her a post-breakup scrapbook was a producer-hatched ploy to cement him as a heartbroken sweetheart. Tartick insisted that the return was his idea, and that producers only interfered to convince him that his initial plan — a digital picture frame — wasn’t as practical. (Anyway, contestants have plenty of downtime, Jason said. Might as well do a little crafting.)
“I wanted to keep my energy focused on her and what we had,” Tartick said. “That’s just a foolish conclusion. That was all my idea… I knew that we didn’t close the doors the way they should’ve been closed given the strength of our relationship.”
Aside from social-media rumors, there are some concrete reasons that Tartick would be in the running: the third-place guy on “The Bachelorette” is often a top contender for the main spot on “The Bachelor.” Fans love him: extremely scientific Twitter polls pitting Tartick against other potential Bachelors seem to always result in him winning by a landslide.
Plus, he has a lucrative career, which is more than some contestants can say. (One of the men on this season of “The Bachelorette” was introduced as a “Social Media Participant,” which is how I want people to introduce me from now on.)
And — while Tartick is adamant that no decisions have been made — he’s open to the idea.
“The whole experience completely exceeded my expectations,” Tartick said. “I found love in a place I didn’t know that I could find love… (Being the next Bachelor) would help me with my end goal, which is to find a partner.”
“The Bachelorette” season finale; 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6 (ABC)