Today we continue our trip down memory lane as we take a look back on all the men we’ve watched search for love…or something…on the past ten seasons of The Bachelor.
Today, it’s season 2’s Aaron Buerge.
Aaron fit well into the same mold cast by first Bachelor Alex Michel. Physically fit? Check. Tall? Check. Good teeth, full head of hair? Check and check.
Although Aaron was still fulfilling the basic set of requirements from a physical perspective, his background was a little different from Alex Michel, and could possibly appeal to a new demographic.
Alex Michel was an “East Coast Ivy Leaguer,” which, let’s face it, is a segment of the population that can be looked on with slight suspicion by some other demographics in our red and blue divided country.
Aaron, on the other hand, was solidly Midwestern. Born and raised in Missouri, he completed his undergraduate studies there. While he had a brief sojourn to Clemson University in South Carolina for his MBA, and spent a little time studying abroad in Italy, he then returned to Missouri to work in his family’s business, a bank in Springfield. He is, in fact, the third generation of bankers in his family, and this kind of down-home rootedness was sure to appeal to the hearts of many women.
And he, too, found something appealing in the women he dated on The Bachelor. After the usual series of Rose Ceremonies, it came down to Helene Eksterowicz, a school psychologist from New Jesey, and Brooke Smith, a busty blonde college student. After a family visit, Helene won over Aaron’s relatives while Brooke made the possibly fatal move of showing Aaron’s grandmother her tattoo. Aaron got down on one knee and proposed with a two-carat ring (purchased by Aaron himself) to Helene.
Wipe away the tear, because no, it didn’t last.
Aaron initially sang Helene’s praises, saying that “The qualities in her that I love are that she’s very headstrong, independent and intelligent.” And ABC apparently even tried to help the couple give it a go by arranging for chaperoned private time with the two during the usual black-out no-contact period. But alas, it was not meant to be.
Reports seem to indicate that while Helene was making a real effort to make the long-distance relationship work, Aaron was not so committed. And, a little over a month after the engagement was announced, he broke it off. In a Starbucks. Ouch.
While Helene initially had to deal with that rough piece of news, it wasn’t necessarily all a cakewalk for Aaron either. He took some heat for unauthorized use of The Bachelor title in some ads. When a date with Aaron was offered as an auction prize benefiting a local literacy organization, their message board lit up with outraged responses, many saying you couldn’t pay THEM to eat a meal with that cad.
Adding fuel to the fire, Helene and another woman who dated Aaron on The Bachelor put out a book called Nobody’s Perfect. The subtitle? “What to Do When You’ve Fallen for a Jerk, but You Want to Make It Work.” Ouch again. The two apparently wanted to write a tell-all about their experience with Aaron, but were prevented by their confidentiality agreement. No worries, ladies: that subtitle is kind of a tell-all of its own.
It would appear that Aaron has recovered from the harsh glare of the spotlight. After hosting a local HurryDate event that capitalized on his Bachelor status, and talk of appearing in an independent film, he seems to have settled back into focusing on his local career. He, like Alex Michel, is available as a professional speaker, but it appears his current business ventures focus on his bank, a local sports bar, and, most recently, renovation of an historic building in downtown Springfield.
The first section of the building to be renovated? The ballroom. It is, fittingly for this man who became famous looking for a bride, booked for wedding receptions through May 2008.
‘The Bachelor’ Rewind: Season 1
‘The Bachelor’ Rewind: Season 3
– Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Sources: All American Talent and Celebrity Network, Missouri Miner, PR Newswire, News-Leader, ZoomInfo, People Magazine, iVillage
(Image courtesy of TV.com)