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Scott D. Pierce: Utahn fights for heart of 'The Bachelorette'

Published May 14, 2012 9:59 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utahn Jef Holm introduces himself on "The Bachelorette" by saying, "Very rarely do people take me seriously."

That's not just because he's looking for love on a TV show.

Holm is one of the 25 men vying for the heart of bachelorette Emily Maynard, whose real-life soap opera continues on the new season that begins Monday at 8:30 p.m. on ABC/Channel 4. Maynard is a single mom who learned she was pregnant after her fiancé died in a plane crash. Brad Womack proposed to her in Season 15 of "The Bachelor," but that relationship fell part.

That kept that show's record perfect — 16 seasons, no marriages. "The Bachelorette" has done slightly better — seven seasons, one wedding.

But Maynard is back.

"All these people do come back because they know it works and it has worked," said host Chris Harrison, who measures success in his own special way.

"It did work for [Emily] in finding Brad," he said. "Obviously, it didn't work out. But she knows that the concept works."

Sure, 4 percent of the time.

Holm, 27, grew up in St. George and lives in Pleasant Grove. He is the co-founder of the bottled water company People Water and, like Maynard, he professes faith in the process.

"I'm young and I want to enjoy life, he says. "And I just want to find that special person to share the rest of my life with. I believe in the fairy-tale ending."

But Holm is competing to be both a husband and a father. The fact that Maynard has a young daughter "changed the tone from Day 1," Harrison said. "The guys all came in knowing it was Emily, wanting it to be Emily. But at the same time, she's looking at this from the perspective of being a parent."

Holm expresses his youth by pulling up to meet Emily on a skateboard. (He hangs on to the back of the moving limo — a horrible example for the youth of America, by the way.)

But compared to some of the other goofball bachelors, Holm doesn't embarrass himself. Compared to the Utahns who have made an impression on past seasons of "Bachelor/Bachelorette," he looks pretty good.

That bar was set low, however, by vixens Desiree Valentin and Michelle Money; oddball Monica Spannbauer; and Bentley Williams, the most despicable reality show contestant ever.

Holm comes across as a nice guy, even if people don't take him seriously "just because of the way I dress, the way I act. I like being underestimated because people, if they really care enough to get to know me, they're pleasantly surprised."

ABC, of course, isn't giving away any clues about how this is going to go. If you believe the online spoiler sites, however, Holm is going to be on the show for quite some time.

Hey, there's a 4 percent chance he'll end up happily married.

Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at spierce@sltrib.com; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.