Q&A with former Bachelorette candidate Hunter Jones


Former Bachelorette candidate Hunter Jones sat down with The Union at Alondra Park and shared about his time on the show. Jones took us behind the scenes on Thursday, May 23. Photo credit: Melanie Chacon

Melanie Chacon: Tell us a little about yourself?

Hunter Jones: My name is Hunter Jones. I’m 24, from Westchester, CA. I grew up skateboarding and loving action sports and videography and editing. And then, my love for skateboarding kind of, I think, led me to surfing, which is now like my full blown passion. I loved the beach growing up, so it was kind of a really easy transition. Surfing is kind of my main focus and my passion.

MC: Can you tell us about your time at El Camino?

HJ: I started going to El Camino when I was 17 or 18. My major was film… So I did EC for two-and-a-half years. I got my associates degree [at EC] and then I was going to go and transfer to Cal State Dominguez to finish film and video, but I was given an opportunity at the World Surf League to do an internship [The World Surf League is basically the whole world tour of surfing. It’s like the NBA but for surfing]. I got an internship with them for the summer prior to transferring. I was supposed to transfer to Cal State Dominguez and then they offered me a full-time job, and it was the job I always dreamed of so I took it. Then I quit that job after two years to pursue my own stuff but that’s kind of my path from school to work.

OK, now we want to know the details of your time on ABC’s The Bachelorette.

MC: Take us through the process from the beginning. How did you become a candidate and what was the vetting process like?

HJ: It’s pretty crazy, but I was actually contacted by The Bachelorette. They said, ‘we have this opportunity, would you be interested?” And I was like, “yeah, I guess so. This could probably work,”. I’m kind of in the right season in my life and it was all kind of at the perfect timing. I never thought it was going to turn in to me being on the show really… they reached out to me on social media and I took the opportunity. A phone call led to one thing and then the other, and then I was on the show.

MC: Walk us through the moment you received the call letting you know that you were going to be on the show, and who was the first person you told?

HJ: I was expecting a phone call from ABC… When they called me, I was at home and I walked outside because I wanted to take the call to myself… They told me, ‘alright, you made it. Go pack your bags and we’ll be there in a week,’. It was so surreal. I was like, ‘OK, I’m on The Bachelorette, this is crazy’.

The first person I told was my mom. I told my mom because she was involved in the whole process with me, just like, my mental support… and she was really supportive.

MC: What did you pack? Everyone always looks so amazing on the show. Do they give you a stipend for clothing?

HJ: My packing list was pretty massive. I had to be prepared for, I think, two months of just being away from home. So I had a couple of suits… I had to go out and buy some stuff. Everything from athletic wear to swimwear to date nights, I had the whole shabang.

They did not give us any budget for clothing. I ride for a company called Imperial Motion and I can’t have branded stuff on [the show] so I had to go out and buy stuff because a lot of the clothes I own have [Imperial Motion] brands on them.

MC: Tell us about your “first impression”. Where did the idea of “tying the knot” come from?

HJ: It’s crazy how that came about. I was in my room and ABC and the producers were in there shooting some stuff… they were shooting me getting dressed, pretending like I was getting ready, and I was like, ‘guys, I’m being honest, I’m really not too good at tying ties, can one of you give me a hand?’ and they were like, ‘oh that’s actually a good idea… maybe you can have Hannah help you tie your tie’… So that’s kind of how the whole idea came about.

MC: What was the limo ride like? What was going through your mind on the ride up to the mansion before you met Hannah?

HJ: That limo ride going up to the mansion was pretty nerve-racking. It’s crazy because there’s a camera in there and you’re with guys that you haven’t met who you know are also going to meet Hannah and you’re just so in your head, like ‘what am I going to say? Don’t freak out,’ and that’s kind of what was in my head the whole time driving up to the mansion from the hotels. I was just like, ‘this is actually happening. I’m actually going to meet her. Don’t blow it’.

MC: What did you think about the other candidates?

HJ: The other candidates were actually really rad. I was in the limo with “Pilot Pete”, that’s what they call him, and he was really cool. A super nice guy. It’s crazy because you meet 29 other guys in one night and everyone’s kind of freaking out like, ‘ok I gotta get my time with Hannah’.

MC: We watched the premier, and it looked like the evening carried on into the next morning. Did the rose ceremony end the next day?

HJ: It’s a pretty long night for sure. It starts around 10 p.m. and the night goes from 10 until the rose ceremony, at that ended early morning the next day.

MC: What was the rose ceremony like?

HJ: It was definitely nerve-racking hearing names getting called and it gets down to the wire and I’m like, ‘OK, maybe I’m next… I think I have a chance.’ It was cool to be a part of but definitely nerve-racking looking for a rose.

MC: Was your heart in it from the beginning? Did you think that there was a possibility Hannah could be your future wife?

HJ: My heart was definitely in it. I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t. It’s interesting because I felt like it was just the right time in my life… my best friend just got engaged. I’m single. I recently quit my job to pursue my own career and my own passions as an athlete, and this opportunity came at the right time.

MC: If you were to go back in time, would you still choose to go on the show?

HJ: I would 100 percent say ‘yes’ to doing The Bachelorette. It was so special and just so cool to meet the guys and be involved in the opportunity and to meet Hannah. Hannah’s so cool in person too… just from my small interaction with her, she’s really nice and I would definitely do it again.

MC: What was your favorite part of the whole process?

HJ: That’s a hard question. I think my favorite part of the whole process was finally realizing that I was a part of The Bachelorette because there’s only been 15 seasons of The Bachelorette specifically and there’s only been 30 guys per season to have been involved in it and so just knowing that I was a part of this kind of elite crew of people to have done the show, that was a shocker for me and really cool. And going to the mansion and walking in to it… that was pretty cool.

MC: What is your current relationship status? If single, are you looking to date?

HJ: I am not dating anyone. I am single. I’m just seeing what comes next… I’d definitely like to be in a relationship. I’m in that season of life I think. My childhood best friend just got engaged… I have some friends that are pregnant now and having kids, and it’s just crazy. So, yeah, I want to be in a relationship. I’m just waiting for the right person to come along.

MC: What are you looking for in a partner?

HJ: I just want someone who’s fun, who likes to have a good time, and who is OK with just hanging out on the beach, and traveling, or going on a drive to find some surf. You don’t even have to be a surfer, I just want someone who’s nice. I want someone who loves me as much as I love them. I want someone that compliments me and someone that challenges me, and I want to challenge my partner. Those are a couple of key aspects of things I look for in someone.

MC: What’s next for Hunter Jones?

HJ: I’ve got a couple of surf trips planned, which is good. I’m going to Nicaragua in July. Other than that, I’m trying to surf a lot. I’m doing a lot of video projects which is, you know, my other passion. Just trying to stay busy… getting ready for summer and just keep doing me.

The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.