On this season of The Bachelorette, Hannah Brown is on a quest to find "fierce love", and there are already some clear contestants to watch, even if you judge only by the promos. Luke Parker, a.k.a. Luke P., is one bachelor that's already shown up in the very first promo to proclaim that he was really, really into Hannah, so he's absolutely one to watch this season.
Spoilers ahead for The Bachelorette. Thanks to Twitter, some local eagle-eyed fans, and Bachelor guru Reality Steve, we also know a little bit about how Luke and Hannah's story might go. Luke is rumored to do extremely well this season. Of course, it's still anyone's game. But what do we know about this former athlete from Georgia who's already turning heads in the show?
He's a Southern guy.
Luke is 24 and from Atlanta, Georgia, according to The Bachelorette Facebook (although his bio lists him as being from Gainesville). Hannah is also 24, so they're age-equivalent. This could be also relevant, as Hannah is also from the South (as she's always keen to remind everyone) and it's a big part of her life, especially as the former Miss Alabama. The two are both religious, too, based on their Instagram profiles.
Based on his bio, which ABC just released, "Luke P. is a good Christian boy from Gainesville, GA. He prides himself on being able to get along with anyone, and he loves team sports. After a religious awakening in college, Luke decided that when he dates, it's for marriage. To Luke, 'for better or for worse' means unconditional love." Pay particular attention to those last two sentences, because they're a big hint for Luke's arc on the show (below).
His behavior has drawn a ton of attention.
By now, the Luke saga has become an indelible part of Hannah's season, unnerving and aggravating her and the other men. In the last episode, he was reluctant to leave after Hannah sent him home, saying she "owed it" to him to let him tell his side and repeatedly forcing her to defend her decisions. He has since been on social media to talk through some of the criticisms about him.
He also got on Twitter just a few days ago so he could tweet at Hannah directly. She was less than amused.
He's the bachelor who comes back with a ring.
Yup, the speculation was correct: Luke's decision to come back after being sent home before overnights is the second time on this season that he refused Hannah's request. The ring is a producer plant, according to Reality Steve, but the coming back and pleading his case (as well as Hannah's trouble in getting him to leave) is apparently real. She even has to enlist the other three guys to help:
Apparently Luke has a long and dramatic run on the "Men Tell All" episode, too—sitting with Chris Harrison for over two hours, both solo and in the presence of some of the other guys. Through it all he apparently is unapologetic, although we'll find out for sure on Monday's episode. At one point Hannah apologizes for keeping him on so long and says she hopes never to talk about him again. Here are all the spoilery things we know about Luke's arc and the impact on Hannah's season.
And here's more context on how we got here.
He's an athlete and entrepreneur.
Luke attended Faulkner University and played baseball—and sported a pretty majestic beard, too, while he was at it—and studied sports management, according to a LinkedIn page that appears to belong to him. He's listed as an entrepreneur, with a part-time "job" of Crossfit. According to a Gainesville Times article about him, he also works for Parker Warehouse, the family business.
From his bio, apparently his hero is Tim Tebow—football, so that makes sense.
His sister-in-law applied for him.
In the Gainesville article, Hannah Parker, who's married to Luke's brother Mike, said, "This time last year, he went through a bad breakup. I watch the show, so my husband and I were just sitting there and I was like, ‘I’m going to apply Luke for the show and just see what happens,’ thinking he had no chance of getting on the show.”
Mike added, "He didn’t really want to be on the show if it was anybody else other than (Hannah B.)."
He met Hannah B. early.
He already got an advanced meet-and-greet with Hannah on the Bachelor episode during which Hannah was officially announced. You can see their full (awkward but cute) encounter right here. Luke basically told her she was the bachelorette he wanted, and he was excited to get to know her.
And the two were into each other immediately.
There's been released footage of the show, and in it, Hannah and Luke agree that they're, like, REALLY into each other. Farther into the season, Chris Harrison explained that some of their off-air connection has centered around their shared faith.
He became the frontrunner right away.
Reality Steve said early on that he's the one to beat in this season—and apparently, he became the frontrunner super early, too, because he got the first impression rose. This would be the fifth time in a row in Bachelorette history if this happened—the first impression rose recipient went on to win the whole darn thing.
And he made it to hometown dates.
Luke was one of four contestants to make it to hometown dates and the duo were spotted holding hands and walking into a local dining spot (Curt's Cafeteria) to meet some of his friends.
The other bachelors did not like him at all.
Uhhhh, when someone calls you a "pathological liar" and a "psychopath," that's never a good sign—from the initial Bachelorette featurette and now with footage from the show, we know that Luke is a controversial bachelor. And, per Hannah, everyone in the house hates him.
Now, here's where I put the caveat that contestants doing really well can sometimes be ensconced in drama for reasons other than villainy (often other bachelors/bachelorettes will try to poison the frontrunner with gossip in the hopes they might bring that person down a bit). But the fact that Luke expresses doubts about his own commitment in some of the footage does speak to future drama, as well as footage of Luke straight up screaming at another bachelor. He also didn't get a rose from his one-on-one date in episode five, because he wasn't giving Hannah the realness or vulnerability she wanted. Oh boy.
Luke's addressed some of his behavior on the show.
Bachelors from the show have spoken out about Luke after their exits. For example, Cam Ayala (the guy who got unceremoniously booted for potentially trying to get a "pity rose," so take what he says with a big grain of salt) said that he and the other bachelors weren't totally a fan of Luke.
"[He] was one of those guys I distanced myself from in the house...I just got a weird vibe from him," Cam explained, though he didn't expand on Luke's character. "He's a big personality. He's a former collegiate athlete, so I know he has a very competitive nature...he had a very different approach than the other guys in the house."
"Several guys [also distanced themselves]," he added.
Luke himself actually addressed this via Instagram, saying, in part, " I want you all to know how hard it has been for me to watch myself this season so far." He added, "I have learned a lot and I am continuing to learn about my flaws as a man. I’m the first to admit I am far from perfect. This journey has giving me a great opportunity to grow and mature as a man, for that I am grateful." So, a little bit of self-awareness there—and Reality Steve is always quick to tell us that there's a ton that the producers don't show us.
He made it to overnights—but it was drama-filled.
Despite signs of trouble, Luke apparently continues pretty far in the show. There are photos of Luke and Hannah sightseeing before the main event, courtesy of Reality Steve. They have a very relaxed and happy energy and it's clear that Hannah really, really digs him. However: Chris Harrison has hinted that Luke and Hannah are headed down the path to a major confrontation, and it may have to do with Hannah feeling shamed and defending herself about being with other guys, as hinted at in previews.
"Religion and his conservative values are a big part of his life, and, in turn, became a big theme on the show because that is what will drive a lot of what’s about to happen in the coming episodes. It really goes back to his faith and that is a big connection, whether people like it or not," Chris explained.
He added, "Yes, obviously, we are setting something up down the road that will come to a head, where their faith and their values start to conflict, and how they perceive them."
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