‘The Bachelor’ premiere: Two San Diego County contestants make their debut


Whether you love, hate or have never even heard of “The Bachelor” franchise on television, you should at least know that there are some major ties to San Diego on the new season.

“The Bachelor” is a long-running dating show on ABC in which about 30 women will vie for a marriage proposal from one man — former NFL player Colton Underwood — known as “the bachelor.” Two of those women who hope to marry Underwood are from San Diego County.

Underwood has his own San Diego connection, and there have also been reports that the show may have filmed in Belmont Park in September. Here’s what you should know about Season 23 of “The Bachelor.”

1. Contestant Erika McNutt is from Encinitas.

"The Bachelor" contestant Erika McNutt.
(Craig Sjodin / ABC)

Erika McNutt is a 25-year-old from Encinitas.

According to her Instagram and LinkedIn accounts, she works for a San Diego-based company called Aya Healthcare as a recruiter for traveling nurses. On social media she can be seen popping up all over San Diego County including at Hotel Del Coronado and Stone Brewing.

Her biography on the show’s website describes her as a “ball of energy with a great sense of humor.”

2. Contestant Heather Martin is from Carlsbad.

(Craig Sjodin / ABC)

Heather Martin is a 22-year-old from Carlsbad who describes herself as a thrill-seeker. Her job, according to her Linkedin page, is an assistant program manager at Aethercomm, which is also based in Carlsbad.

“Born and raised in San Diego, California, Heather is a Southern California girl through and through,” her show biography says.

3. Underwood is a former San Diego Charger.

Colton Underwood.
(Craig Sjodin / ABC)

Underwood first made his appearance in “The Bachelor” franchise on Season 14 of “The Bachelorette.” But before that, he spent a few years working to make it as a professional football player.

In 2014, he was signed to the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent. He also had short stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders, though he never appeared in any regular season games.

Before arriving to the NFL, he played tight end for Illinois State University. He now lives in Denver, Colorado.

His Instagram photos from back in his days playing with the San Diego Chargers show him hanging out at Padres games, participating in local charity events and playing golf around the area.

Other San Diego moments on “The Bachelor”

This isn’t the first time San Diego has had major ties to “The Bachelor” franchise. Season 22 contestant Krystal Nielson lives in Little Italy and was on the cover of San Diego’s Pacific Magazine for January.

Season 20’s Becca Tilley is another former contestant who was based in San Diego when she went on the show.

Season 23 of “The Bachelor” premieres on Monday, Jan. 7, at 8 p.m. ET in a live, three-hour special on ABC. Here’s a look at what you’ll see of McNutt, Martin and Underwood if you tune in.

Erika on 'The Bachelor.'
(Rick Rowell / ABC)
Heather on 'The Bachelor.'
(Rick Rowell / ABC)


Twitter: @abbyhamblin