Pierce: Will Utah 'bad boy' wed 'The Bachelorette'?
Jef Holm is one of two remaining contenders on "The Bachelorette," but he's also the guy with the most distinctive hair of any of the 25 men on the show this season.
If you're fast-forwarding through an episode you've recorded, it's simple to find the Utahn. His almost Elvis-like head of hair poofed up well above the top of his head is quickly identifiable. Actually, it looks more like the 'do Justin Bieber is sporting these days than Elvis.
And it's a style Holm affected just for the show. "No, I haven't always had this hairdo," Holm said in a conference call with TV critics. "Actually, when I was approached to come on the show, I had really long hair."
That's right. He had a ponytail that was "really long, down to my shoulders."
He said the producers of "The Bachelorette" actually wanted him to keep the ponytail "to keep that, like, bad-boy image because I am, like, misunderstood in that way."
Bad-boy image? Really?
On the show, Holm comes across as quiet and sweet. If there's any lurking danger, it's well hidden. Well, maybe he's a bad boy in a Utah kind of way. Sort of.
"Like, I own my own business," he said. "And I come from a really conservative family, and yet I have tattoos and long hair."
Rather modest tattoos, by most standards.
In most parts of the country, not going to the same church as your parents wouldn't make you a bad boy. But in Utah, it's something different if your father is a mission president for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Heck, as we say in these parts, even a ponytail can make you appear to be a bad boy here in Utah.
Holm admits he cut off his ponytail about three weeks before production began on the current season of "The Bachelorette" specifically to impress the bachelorette herself.
"To be honest with you, I kind of cut it because of Emily [Maynard]," he said, adding that he didn't watch her when she was on "The Bachelor" and he "didn't know hardly anything about her except what my sisters told me."
It was just a feeling he had. "She seems like a Southern belle who is really conservative," Holm said. "I didn't want to go home the first night just because of the way I looked. And I wanted her to really get to know me. And so I felt like my personality would come out the best if I cut my hair a little bit shorter."
Given that Maynard never saw him with the ponytail, we'll never know. And the pompadour clearly doesn't seem to bother her.
We'll find out whether she picks Holm or Arie Luyendyk Jr. in Sunday's season finale (7 p.m., ABC/Channel 4), which will be followed by a "live" reunion at 9 p.m. (tape-delayed in this Mountain Time Zone).
And we'll see how bad this local boy really is.
Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.
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