‘Bachelorette’ burns with love for Vail firefighter
Wednesday night, Feb. 19, the acronym for Vail’s trendy fuBar stood for "Fans Unbelievably Bummed About Ryan." But for the past six weeks, fuBar, the local headquarters for ABC’s “Bachelorette,” stood for "Frenetically Up-Beat About Ryan."Like pulling for your local sports team, one would think fuBar’s love-struck and primarily female clientelle would have been pulling for Ryan Sutter, the Vail firefighter who made the finals of the reality show, but after “Bachelorette” Trista Rehn chose Sutter over a California account executive in the show’s finale, the mood at fuBar was decidedly stunned – and somewhat morose.The results of the show seemed to come as a complete and nearly unanimous shock, as Rehn went with her heart and selected the former University of Colorado football player turned hot tub poet, taking a pass on Charlie Maher, a smooth-talking account executive from Hermosa Beach, Calif.Sutter, a 27-year-old fireman and snowboarder, apparently won the heart of TV’s most eligible bachelorette with his blend of poetry and sensitive, mountain-man mystique.After learning the good news from Rehn, who had just given the heave-ho to semifinalist Maher, Sutter dropped to his knees to ask the woman he’d known for six weeks to marry him. She said yes.And with that, the jam-packed, largely female crowd at fuBar in Vail let out a collective shriek of joy for their boy, who’s been a firefighter since October 2001.But it quickly became apparent that Vail’s young, single female population will mourn the loss of their hottest, hunkiest firefighter."It’s too bad she picked (Ryan)," said Vail local Sara Carlson. "He looks so cool, and she looks really lame and annoying. I feel bad for him."Her friend Katie Zworka was even more blunt: "Married and divorced in a year," she said of Sutter’s proposal and Rehn’s acceptance. "Dude, she ain’t moving here."Virtually no one among the fans who have been gathering at fuBar for the past six weeks thought Rehn, a former Miami Heat cheerleader who was the runner-up in the original “Bachelor” show, would go for the mellow mountain man.Sutter had been holding court at the trendy subterranean fuBar the last few weeks, and his presence was sorely missed Wednesday night (he was reportedly staying in a hotel in New York with Rehn).Those surveyed, to a woman, seemed to think Rehn would go for Maher’s money and the warmth of California’s beaches, and they all seemed shocked by her final choice, even though the show had already aired on the East Coast and the bartenders were knowingly winking about the final results."He’s a Vaily," Suzanne Gerdes, of Edwards, said of Sutter, "and there’s something about the way he is and what Trista is looking for. Charlie is Mr. L.A. and Mr. Sophistication. I’m amazed she (picked Ryan). But it’s a TV show, and what are the odds it will really work out?"Coat-check girl Carla Eldridge agreed that Rehn doesn’t seem suited for mountain life, and Vail’s laid-back lifestyle."I don’t want to see her in town," Eldridge said. "She’s ditzy, and I’m sure Vail will be fine without her. I just wish Hollywood would deal with it, and Vail wouldn’t have to. (Sutter) can go there, but we don’t need (Hollywood) here, and I don’t want to see Trista buying a cabin on (upscale) Potato Patch Road."Several males thought Charlie had the inside track."I saw her going more for Charlie, the money, and she wouldn’t have to leave California," said Sutter’s fellow firefighter, Reggie Black, who was hawking Vail Fire Department T-shirts for $20 a pop.Black said, win or lose, he was sure Sutter would be glad to put the whole experience behind him."It’s been a little hectic at the station, and I think it’s starting to get to him a little bit."Tears dropped from Rehn’s eyes when she informed Maher that her heart belonged to someone else. Driven away in a limousine, he said he felt like he’d been hit by a bus. Instead, Sutter got the rose."This day is a day I dreamed about my entire life," Rehn said. "I see smiles and laughter, I see babies and grandbabies, I see comfort and safety. I see me in a white dress and I see it with you."Ryan replied that he loved Trista "with every ounce of who I am."The former safety for the University of Colorado was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 1998. After being cut and picked up by the Carolina Panthers, he blew out his shoulder and ended his career on the first play of his first NFL game making a tackle on a kick return.But the Fort Collins-born bachelor has some options now, said Rob Lail, owner of Maximum Talent in Denver, the agency that "discovered" Sutter as a model."What I find interesting is that I don’t think he’ll do the publicity really well. He’s just too private," Lail said Wednesday night."He said to me once the show was over, he would look at and talk about any modeling potential," Lail said. "He’s not going to do anything on a smaller scale."Lail said he’s had some interest from Wrangler jeans, and that it’s essential Sutter exploit his 15 minutes of fame immediately."He’s a great-looking guy, but the next ‘Bachelor’ show will air in a month or two and that guy will be the next guy. People in our business go with whatever’s hot right now."ABC was hoping Wednesday’s last episode of “The Bachelorette” was a happy ending in the ratings, too. The series has faded in appeal compared to Fox’s juggernaut, ‘Joe Millionaire,’ which averaged nearly 35 million viewers Monday, Feb. 17.Time will tell if this dating game will work. During last night’s show, ABC continually hyped the Thursday, Feb. 20, interview with the winning couple from last fall’s “The Bachelor.” Their engagement is already on the rocks.– Scripps Howard News Service contributed to this report
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