According to Jef Holm — now engaged to “Bachelorette” Emily Maynard — he didn’t try to hide his Mormon background while he was on the show.
He also has no idea how his on-air statement that his parents are on “a mission” was somehow removed and replaced on air by “charity work,” adding that he didn’t know who decided to dub that in.
Various websites that cover reality cite the incident as evidence that the show deliberately obscured Holm’s religious upbringing. And the show’s publicists clearly do not want Holm to talk about that.
“I don’t think this really, honestly pertains to the happy couple and what’s going on now, so let’s try to focus the questions on this,” said a publicist, cutting off the question during a conference call with reporters.
Holm has already made it clear in interviews that, although he was raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he isn’t an active member. His parents are currently away from the family’s St. George home as his father serves as an LDS mission president in South Carolina.
“There was no intention of hiding any part of my background or any part of the way I was raised,” Holm said.
Holm and Maynard said they talked about religion without regard to whether cameras were there. Maynard added she had similar discussions with other men “and those weren’t aired either.”
None of this reflects on Holm or Maynard. The producers made the decision — despite the fact that Mormons have been front-and-center on many other reality shows.
To dub out a phrase that would have made it clear that Holm’s parents, at least, are Mormon is just, well, weird. And it drew attention to how the show manipulates reality.
Have we seen the last of the happy couple on TV? They haven’t commit to a televised wedding.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to never say never, but I also think a wedding is a private thing. It’s one of those things that we just have to talk about when the time comes,” Maynard said.
“I feel the exact same way,” Holm agreed, adding that he feels “privileged” to have everything from their first meeting to his proposal televised. “I think it would be a really sweet thing to let people see it on TV, but at the same time it is a personal and private matter.”
Here’s betting that, assuming the wedding actually happens, ABC will make an offer too good to refuse.
Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.