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Kasey Stewart — better known as “The Hashtag Guy” — made a name for himself on the most recent season of “The Bachelorette” as #marriagematerial.
Stewart — a San Luis Obispo resident — was one of 25 men chosen to date the “Bachelorette,” Desiree Hartsock. Despite getting a rose on a one-on-one date, he was ousted in the sixth of 10 episodes (the same episode the next “Bachelor,” Juan Pablo Galavis was eliminated).
So how does an ordinary SLO advertising executive go from Rosetta to roses? What’s reality television really like? And is San Luis Obispo’s most eligible single and ready to mingle (cameras optional)?
Mustang Daily sat down with the 6-foot-4, 30-year-old, hazelnut latte-drinking bachelor to find out how a SLOcal became Bachelor Nation’s hashtag darling.
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7: The hour in the morning when the opening night rose ceremony ended.
3: The number of barbecues Dan Cox, who was voted off in the third episode, blew up trying to grill chicken.
1: Despite not being a big drinker, Kasey took one shot the night of the first rose ceremony to “take the edge off.”
7: Total hours Kasey estimates he spent with Desiree.
What was the casting experience like?
My sisters actually submitted my stuff. I broke up with my girlfriend last year, and a couple months later, my sister took my Facebook picture and information and sent it in … They bring you down to L.A. and they ask you all sorts of stuff about your background, family, past relationships. They do some psychology stuff to find out if you’re crazy or not.
Did you pass?
I think so. If not, they thought I was crazy and just wanted me to go on. But no, I’m kidding, yeah I passed.
Did they STD test you?
Yeah, they did. They do all sorts of drug and STD testing.
What’s in the contract they had you sign?
Well, that’s part of the contract — that I can’t say what’s in the contract.
It’s like first rule of “Fight Club?”
Yeah, the first rule of the contract is don’t talk about the contract.
How did you come up with the now-famous “hashtag guy” entrance?
It was something I came up with along with some of the producers in the room before we started filming. Thinking about it before, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal, but it didn’t come out quite the way I had planned it.
Do contestants and the “Bachelorette” actually talk about important things?
We have a lot of real conversations. They film so much that they can’t show everything, and it just depends on who goes far as to what conversations they show. I did have some very deep conversations with her about some things that are very serious to me, but since I didn’t go to the very end, those conversations aren’t as important to show.
Is there any conversation that they didn’t show that you wish they did?
There was a conversation I had with Des in L.A. after the Soulja Boy group date. We had this really good conversation about my upbringing, who I am, where I’m from, how we both grew up, things we believed in, religious beliefs — all those really important questions you’d get to with somebody you’re dating.
Watching the show back, were you surprised to see things happen on other guy’s dates that you didn’t see during the taping?
It was Chris’s (Siegfried) (“The Bachelorette” winner) date — even dates. You could tell they connected a whole lot more than we saw in the mansion. He came back from his dates, and he was a lot quieter about how the dates went. I was surprised watching it back, when they had their little one-on-one time after the dodgeball date, that they had started connecting back then. I didn’t see that when I was there, but it makes sense now in the end.
How much access did you have to the outside world (news, television, family)?
None. No Internet, nothing. They just want you to focus in on your relationship with her. It’s definitely reality, but you’re in a reality you’ve never experienced before, so people do things they never would have. It’s so unique because everything else is stripped from you except talking about her and the relationship.
What did you do when you weren’t on dates?
Honestly, you don’t really do much other than eat, talk about Des and sleep, unless you’re on a date. We played Cards Against Humanity a lot. We played Speed, the card game, a lot.
Who would you say was the quirkiest guy on the show?
Zak W. (Waddell) was probably the quirkiest, as people could probably guess now. He’s got a whole lot of personality, and he kind of shocked everybody because he was the guy who came in with his shirt off, then jumped in the pool with his pants off, but he was also the guy who cooked and cleaned for everybody the most. It wasn’t soon after we realized that he wasn’t the d-bag we thought he was for coming out with his shirt off. And, he always slept outside. Everywhere we went, Zak W. would sleep outside. He even slept out in the backyard of the mansion.
Let’s be honest — you had a bromance with Drew (Kenney).
Drew and I did become close on the show. He’s a great guy, and there’s so much time to talk to each other, and you’re going through the same thing. I mean, you’re dating the same girl. He’s actually come up to SLO a few times.
I heard that you and Drew are in a “Bachelorette” fantasy football league with some of the other castoffs from your season?
Yeah, yeah, you heard about that? It’s like me, Bryden (Vukasin), Drew, both Zak/Zack’s (Kalter), Jonathan (Vollinger) — the fantasy suite guy … some other guys.
What’s your team name?
My team name is the Eskimo Bros.
Speaking of Eskimo brothers, how many of you actually slept with her?
Nobody I know slept with her. I honestly have no idea. I’ve heard about past seasons, but I really don’t know. I’ve been wondering that myself. I don’t think they’re even telling each other. Like, I don’t think Drew’s going to tell Chris if he did, or vice versa.
Would you put money on Chris and Des making it?
It’s always hard to tell. They seem like they’re doing really well right now, and I hope that they make it, but just like any relationship, anything can happen.
But seriously … would you bet for them or against them?
Knowing them, I’d want to bet for it, but if you look at past stats from the show, you’d bet against it. It’s 50-50.
What happens when you get sent off the show?
You go to a different hotel.
You go to “Heartbreak Hotel?”
Yeah, pretty much, but not for long. You fly out as soon as they can get you a flight. From the time I didn’t get a rose to the time I was out of the country, it was less than 12 hours.
How did your life change after returning from “The Bachelorette?”
Well, I have a lot more Instagram followers. People recognize me on the street. I’ve met a lot of great people through it, a lot of great guys.
What’s it like being a San Luis Obispo celebrity?
To be honest, my day-to-day stuff isn’t much different. I like it, though. I moved here four years ago from Oklahoma, and I didn’t know a soul in this town except for my cousin who played tennis for Cal Poly. So for me to be here now and have people say that I’m a local celebrity or whatever, it’s just wild to see how far I’ve come in the four years that I’ve been here. Coming to a new town, a new job and new everything from Oklahoma was a big move for me. And looking back, I couldn’t be any happier or any more excited to be where I am today.
Why did you move from Oklahoma to San Luis Obispo?
Growing up in Oklahoma, you always look at California and you love the California weather, but you think of L.A. and San Francisco and traffic. But then I saw San Luis Obispo and I saw no traffic, good weather and great people, and it was this perfect match for this guy from Oklahoma. It was a big risk for me because I had lived in Oklahoma for 18 years but I said, “You only live once,” and I packed up a car and drove out here and did it. Then, I found a job, broke up with my girlfriend and my sister asked me if she could send in my stuff for “The Bachelorette.” I said, “Sure, whatever,” and the rest is history.
Are you dating anybody right now, though?
No. I have not found love yet.
What type of woman are you looking for?
I like a girl who just is herself and doesn’t try to be somebody else. I like girls that are original, have some personality. They need to be big into family, adventurous, like to travel.
Really … I like good girls with a little bit of a wild side.
I don’t know if that sounds like Des.
Well, that’s probably why I’m here and not engaged to her. We obviously didn’t have enough chemistry.
How are you trying to find someone? Are you meeting up with fans, online dating, trying Tinder?
No, not Tinder! I won’t do Tinder or online dating, but sure, I’ll reply to people whenever they send messages online, on Facebook or Twitter or stuff. I’m in no hurry right now. I’ll let everything settle from the show. Whenever it’s supposed to happen, it’ll happen.
Where can Cal Poly students catch you around SLO?
My favorite restaurant is probably Giuseppe’s. I get drinks the most at Creeky Tiki. If I’m out for drinks, then I probably will end the night at Buffalo. I love breakfast on Saturday or Sunday morning by the water, so I’ll go to Hula Hut or Custom House (in Avila Beach) in the mornings.
You don’t need to stalk Stewart’s favorite spots to catch him. He and a few of the other contestants (Zak, Robert Graham, Brandon Andreen and Drew are possible attendees) will be at a public meet-and-greet at Creeky Tiki — date soon to be determined. Can you say #bringabouquet?