More to Love bachelor Luke: “I’m an athlete,” weight is “an issue for the ladies to get over”

Fox’s More to Love ends tonight, ironically airing at the exact same time that The Biggest Loser returns on NBC. The overweight dating show and Bachelor knock-off ended up being less sensational than its premise suggested.

Last month, I talked to Luke, the bachelor. I asked if he’d actually found someone, and he said only, “that’s the goal, to meet one special lady” and “that was the premise of the show.” Nice non-answer. But he said the experience was “amazing” and he “couldn’t be happier with the show, the outcome. I put myself out there and I found someone special and now it’s just a matter of if she feels the same way.”

Luke, who was cast after responding to a web ad and quoting both Mark Twain and Sir Mix-a-Lot, said that he didn’t think going on a reality show was any less artificial than the way other people meet. “I know that it’s difficult to think that you’re going to meet someone special. The way I thought about it was, my uncle, he met his wife on a cruise for three days. You never know where or how you can meet someone. My heart was open to that, but along with the hopes of meeting someone special, I just thought it’d be a really cool experience. I get to travel, I get to do some extravagant dates; I thought I’d be a fool not to do it,” he said.

As to the show’s premise, he said it was about issues women have with weight. “It tends to be more difficult for women to deal with hang-ups about their body than for me or for men, so it was noticeable on the show … a lot of them were very self-conscious. My goal was to make them feel as sexy and comfortable as I could to try and build their confidence. I don’t mind making myself the butt of the joke to make the girls feel better and loosen things up,” he said.

Some have criticized the show for essentially celebrating obesity by emphasizing how much Luke likes to eat, for example. Washington City Paper’s Mike Riggs argued that it “it glorifies what the show’s contestants don’t like about themselves; in particular, the rationalized over-eating and sedentary lifestyles that got these gals and guy into a situation where they feel they can’t find love without going on a reality TV show.”

When I asked him about that, Luke told me, “I wasn’t going to allow my concerns about that to keep me from doing it. What I was told all along was the weight’s not going to be about—the weight’s not going to be an issue. Its not the typical bachelor and bachelorette sizes; you’re not size 2, the bachelor’s not washboard abs. It’s supposed to be a little more of a normal look at American culture dating scene. When the topic becomes a lot about weight and stuff, I think it’s more because it’s an issue for the ladies to get over, to open up, and not so much about celebrating being unhealthy. I’m an athlete; I played college football so despite being 300 pounds, I jog three miles a day.”

He said that producers “omit those parts to develop the storyline, I’m sure. But I’m not concerned about that. I know who I am, and hopefully I’ll be perceived that way. I’m not normally mingling with the stars like this, but I enjoy it when I can.” He said he’s interested in possibly writing a book, “just dealing with the ladies on the show and help them develop confidence and overcome their hangups, some techniques I developed in my life in order to do that, maybe I could help some people out there.”

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