On May 18, a record 30 eligible bachelors set out to win the heart of The Bachelorette, Jillian Harris, a viewers’ favorite after she was let go by The Bachelor’s Jason Mesnick not long ago. At the end of the first episode, 20 men remained, including hometown hunks Julien Hug and Kip Locke. Here, we introduce you to these two contenders to shed some light on why each is such a great catch. Whether Harris ultimately agrees is another matter — but they definitely get the hometown vote.
With his movie star handsome looks, it is little wonder that local hunk Julien Hug would wind up in primetime. But then, the 34-year-old Torrey Pines grad has a good pedigree. His mother, Denise, a former model, is still a showstopper. And father, Bertrand, is the ebullient French owner of the acclaimed Mille Fleurs, the Rancho Santa Fe restaurant that helped put San Diego on the culinary map. Julien has managed Mille Fleurs since Papa Hug opened Bertrand at Mister A’s a few years back. The younger Hug is no stranger to the business — he started out working in his dad’s restaurant when he was just 15.
Called “Jules” by his friends, the six-foot-two Hug likes to sky dive — with more than 500 jumps to his credit. “The sense of freedom that comes from skydiving is a big thrill,” he said on the season opener of The Bachelorette, which prominently featured him jumping out of a plane and driving a very racy red sports car. As for Harris, Hug likes what he sees. “Jillian and Julien together forever,” he said. “That sounds great.” ANDREANAVERSEN
Called “Kiptyn” on the show, Kip Locke, 31, is an avid surfer, event planner, and business developer at the helm of two San Diego-based corporations. As a longtime friend (we graduated from San Dieguito High School and now currently direct the annual Switchfoot Bro-Am fundraiser together), I know Locke quite well and can say that it’s no surprise that he was selected to be a suitor vying for Harris’ affections. He gives 100 percent of himself to any endeavor he takes on, is incredibly intelligent and driven, and has a tremendous passion for giving back — perhaps a trait instilled by his mother, who is the founder of Cancer Angels of San Diego.
First out of the limo on the premiere episode, Locke unquestionably caught Harris’ attention with his sincere nature and charm. And of what aired that night, Locke was the only bachelor she had approached for some one-on-one conversation. Will sparks fly? It’s not certain, but those who saw the first episode, and know the San Diego coastline, have been buzzing about whether or not that’s the Del Mar cliffs Locke and Harris are sipping red wine upon. A hometown visit perhaps? We will have to wait and see. MIA STEFANKO