By Kelly Corbett
Picture this: It’s almost Christmas Day in 2014. In between a round of drinks with your mom, a commercial interrupts the holiday festivities to invite all eligible bachelors to apply to a new season of romantic reality rivalry. You consider it because, after all, who wouldn’t want the opportunity to appear on TV and win over the girl of their dreams, while millions of other women watching from home fawn over you?
Will Haduch, a civil engineering alumnus (’12) and former football player for the College, didn’t think his drunken submission of “I build skyscrapers and I live on a boat,” accompanied by a photo of himself, would land him a spot on “The Bachelorette.” But fast forward 11 months and Haduch received a call from the network to let him know he was being considered as a contender for Season 12. Suddenly, the reality TV show was an actual reality.
The 26-year-old eligible bachelor from Somerville, N.J., had caught the eyes of ABC, and he found himself fighting for the heart of JoJo Fletcher against 25 other men.
Haduch landed the first kiss with Fletcher, despite having little screen time on “The Bachelorette,” and although he was sent home after the second week, the New Jersey-native made fast friends with the other contestants on the show. According to Haduch, the Bachelor mansion, where they all stayed, was pretty lush — definitely a step up from the freshmen Towers on campus.
In a phone interview with The Signal, Haduch spoke about his time on the popular reality series, “The Bachelorette.”
The Signal: Was it love at first sight when you met JoJo?
Will Haduch: Haha. No, I don’t think so.
TS: What was your favorite part of the show?
WH: Definitely getting that first rose and going to the hotel to pack up our bags and move into the bachelor mansion. We were half-drunk on the bus, and James Taylor started singing Justin Bieber and it turned into 20 drunk men singing along.
TS: What was your least favorite part of the show?
WH: I was constantly paranoid. There was really no privacy in the house, except (for) the bathroom. One day, I was eating a ham sandwich and I was wondering, “Is America actually watching me eat this ham sandwich?”
TS: Growing up, were you always one to be in relationships?
WH: No, I haven’t had too many long-term relationships.
TS: If you could say anything to JoJo right now, would you?
WH: No, definitely not.
TS: What was it like after you got that first call 11 months after you applied?
WH: I got the call during my lunch break at work around November or December of 2015. They were asking me about my boat life. It had become my storyline, my quirky thing. They then asked for 25 pictures of me and a 10-minute video. Overall, I went through five rounds (of screening). One was a (New York City) interview and eventually, they flew me out to (Los Angeles).
TS: How did you feel during the firefighting challenge? Were you nervous? Excited?
WH: It was honestly pretty hot out. I was lucky I didn’t drink beforehand. Wells’s was six or seven beers deep, which is why he looked like he was about to pass out.
TS: Did you make any friends on the show?
WH: Yes! We have a group message going and we still chat in it a couple times a week.
TS: Do people often recognize you from the show when you go out in public?
WH: Yeah, actually. I didn’t have much screen time, but it seems people study the contestants beforehand, and I would go out to bars in Hoboken (N.J.), and people would recognize me.
TS: If you had a chance to do anything over, would you?
WH: No do-over. I’m a pretty goofy dude and I think I stayed true to myself.
Maybe Fletcher wasn’t the one for Haduch. But no worries, as there are still plenty of fish in the sea. Now, Haduch is making music under the stage name Thrills Wilson. The biography on his Facebook page reads, “I live on a boat and make rock’n’roll music.” His lead single is aptly titled “Steal Your Girl.”