Omi

How did you get cast on “The Bachelorette”?

I was just walking down the street in the Loop one day and this guy with a notepad walked up to me and said he was recruiting for a TV show on ABC. I told him I wasn’t interested and didn’t want any part of the show. Well, first they had asked me a couple questions like, “Are you married? Do you have any kids?”

Randomly on the street?

Yeah. It was five questions, a 30-second interview. After that they called and asked me to send in an application. I was like, “Well, no. I said I wasn’t interested,” but they emailed me a month later and eventually flew me out to Los Angeles.

Did any of your friends give you a hard time about being on the show?

They did at first but they definitely liked the aftermath, ‘the trail of goodness’.

Do you still keep in touch with your ex-fiancé Jillian Harris?

I do. We just talked two days ago.

What’s the key to being able to remain friends with an ex?

I guess it depends on the kind of person they are. She definitely doesn’t want to talk to me as much as I’d like to talk to her, she’s still hurt by the whole thing. If you’re a genuine person and can’t be together, I think you should at least be friends. I respect her, she’s an amazing person but we were not perfect together. We are finally coming to this agreement where we can talk on a regular basis and she’s fine with it. I don’t think she is happy with me being so okay with it all, I think it hurt her initially but she is okay now.

Can you tell us what really goes down in the fantasy suites on the show? Is it as raunchy as we’d like to imagine?

I think so. I don’t know, I think so.

It’s kind of an awkward concept.

Well, it’s not like it’s a one-night stand. You kind of know the person. I can’t say from experience! I’m just saying it may happen.

Are you dating anyone now?

No.

Describe your ideal first date.

I would say going to Sunda, Hubbard Inn, Hub 51 or anything on Hubbard Street. Maybe sushi and drinks then to Blue Frog for karaoke.

What would you consider the biggest turn off — a bad spray tan, too much makeup or unkempt fingernails?

It’s a tie between too much makeup and a bad spray tan. Actually, it’s too much makeup. Makeup scares me more than anything. When I write a book about my dating life, chapter one will be called ‘Makeup is the Devil’. There has to be a point in a girl’s mind where they say, “This is too much.” I respect it, just don’t abuse it!

How does the average Chicago girl rank in your book?

A seven.

A seven!?

Is that bad or good? I think that’s pretty good!

You’re a proud Michigan State Spartan. Are you loyal to all of your hometown state’s teams?

No, I actually adopted all of the Chicago teams as soon as I moved here. It was easy, seven years ago Detroit teams were terrible! The Bears were good, everyone was good, so I jumped.

Can you see yourself ever moving back to where you grew up?

I want to return to Michigan and raise a family in Grand Rapids. I love that town.

Where is your favorite place to watch a game?

Definitely the Boundary over on Division.

Since “The Bachelorette”, what have you been up to?

I am a partner in small software company. We build business applications and do consulting for businesses in the city. We’re all over the place but most of our customers are here in Chicago.

What is You’re Ed To Me all about?

It started with one of my buddies. One night we were out and he said, “You’re Ed to me,” and I loved it so I immediately bought the domain. At the time, we were still being talked about in the media so it was fun to get a reaction. I was getting 10,000 people a day hitting my site and I was just writing garbage. I could have written, “Today I brushed my teeth with my sunglasses on,” and people would be like, “Alright!”

Do you have any standout Chicago moments?

Oh, I have a great story. I was flying back from Dallas a couple of years ago and Mike Ditka walked by me in the airport. I walked up to him and shook his hand and said, “Hi coach, how’s it going?” He explained to me how he was trying to get on my flight and once I got on the plane — as I was sitting back in coach — I looked up and he was walking down the aisle. So he sits down next to me and we talked the entire flight home. When we were 15 minutes from O’Hare he asked what part of town I lived in and I said River North. He said he did too and was like, “You don’t want a ride, do you?”

Are you sure this wasn’t a dream?

No! So we stepped off of the plane and a limo picks us up and he drops me off at my front door. I got pictures of it! I was just shocked. He was such a nice guy.

Now that’s a great Chicago story.

Seriously! I don’t think you can top that.

If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?

Adam Sandler.

Photography by Natalie Probst

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Omi