Dating For Eternity
12:30 pm, January 7th | by Sarah Devlin
He was never supposed to be on the show.
The original lead for season four of The Mormon Bachelor, a web series modeled after the ABC reality TV franchise, was Kent Tuttle, a tall, square-jawed practicing Mormon who had enlisted the help of The Mormon Bachelor‘s producers to find his dream girl. After he was nominated and the show vetted its pool of applicants, twelve finalists were chosen. Then Kent dropped out.
He explained on his blog, “Perspectives On Life According To Kent,” that he had met someone else.
While he was out with a friend in California, he met a girl who was filming a web series of her own with her family. He wrote about meeting her on his blog, too. “You may have heard of them: they are called The Shaytards.”
I was announced as the Mormon Bachelor on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2012. In order to make my decision I spent time in fasting and prayer and pondering. I had made personal changes leading up to that point in my life where I felt like my desires were in the right place once again to desire a serious relationship for eternal marriage potential.
The Shaytard who caught his eye was named Carlie Butler. Initially Kent thought he might go through with The Mormon Bachelor anyway, but he couldn’t stop thinking about her. He pondered it, prayed on it, and decided to bow out.
In the meantime, the show’s production team didn’t have to look far for a substitute. They chose Kent’s best friend Chris Barbour to replace him, convenient since Chris had been part of the interview and vetting process for the girls Kent was supposed to date. Chris, a tall, blonde and somewhat doughy and permanently flushed 26-year-old, was a BYU student (and virgin) who hoped to become a dentist. The producers gave the contestants the chance to withdraw, or to date Chris instead. Some left, but several decided to stay.
One of the girls who stuck around was Courtney Childress. She had originally signed up to date Kent after spotting him in a friend’s vacation photo album on Facebook.
“I wasn’t dating anyone,” she said in a phone interview in early October, “So I was kind of like ‘I’m not being too successful in my dating world.’” She tried to keep her expectations low — she was told over 400 women had applied hoping to find love with Kent.
“I was going to have a fun time, get to know people that I wouldn’t normally get to be in contact with,” she said. “Of course, you’re hoping for that connection. Who doesn’t want to love someone or be loved?”