Chris Bukowski is officially rivaling former Bachelor star Nick Viall with the amount of the appearances he can make on popular franchise’s dating shows. He placed fourth on Emily Maynard’s season of The Bachelorette, after which he appeared on Season 3 of Bachelor Pad, made an embarrassing attempted to crash Andi Dorfman’s season of The Bachelorette, and failed to find love on Bachelor in Paradise twice.
While the 32-year-old sports bar owner penned a lengthy letter announcing his apparent “retirement” from the reality TV, and has talked at length in interviews as to how the Bachelor franchise nearly destroyed his career, Bukowski is back in Paradise for a third time, marking his sixth stint on a Bachelor franchise series.
With the majority of the contestants on Season 6 of Paradise were freshly plucked from Hannah Brown’s season of The Bachelorette, or from Colton Underwood’s former suitresses, Bukowski may be unknown amongst the show’s newer fans. And perhaps, sixth time’s the charm for the Chicago native. If the rumors are right, wedding bells may soon be in his future. If you can’t wait to watch and find out what happens, click for spoilers here.
Here’s what you need to know about Chris Bukowski…
1. Bukowski First Appeared on ‘The Bachelorette’ at Age 25
In 2012, Bukowski got an e-mail from producers after a friend nominated him to be a contestant on The Bachelorette, and he decided to give it a shot. However, the star of Season 8, Emily Maynard, wasn’t just looking for a husband, she was looking for a man who could be a father to her young daughter. While Bukowksi made it to the Hometown Dates portion of the series, after Emily visited his family in Chicago, she ultimately made the decision to let him go.
While Emily gave her final rose to Jef Holm, other notable constants on this season included Sean Lowe and Arie Luyendyk Jr., both of whom eventually went on to become stars of The Bachelor. As for who should be the next star of The Bachelorette in 2020? Big Mike Johnson has his vote.
Bukowski’s second appearance on The Bachelorette was short-lived, as he was never an official contestant on Andi Dorfman’s season. He showed up to the mansion and begged producers to let him meet Andi, but she declined his entry, and he was sent home. Afterward, Bukowski claimed it was all a staged event.
2. He Has a History of Regretful Appearances on ‘Paradise’
When Bukowski showed for Season 1 of Bachelor in Paradise, he hit it off with Elise Mosca, a former contestant from the much-despised Juan Pablo Galvis’ season of The Bachelor. Bukowski injured himself and wanted to leave the show, he asked Elie to join him, and together they left early. However, the split a mere a month later.
He later wrote about the situation saying, “Elise was a sweet girl who didn’t have a single mean bone in her body. I was never as miserable before as I was on Bachelor In Paradise. Yet, I kept coming back. I kept trying to fix my reputation and I again continued to make it worse.”
Bukowski the showed up to Season 2 of Paradise, but he was gone within a 24-hour period. He got black out drunk, gave his date card away, and then went home. While appearing on After Paradise he apologized and joked with host Chris Harrison, “Every day has been a group date with my own demons. I returned to Bachelor in Paradise in hopes of finding a date to my sister’s wedding. I left without a single memory of my time there.”
3. Bukowski Wrote an Official Reality TV Retirement Letter
After five attempts at love on three different variations of Bachelor Nation shows, including being dubbed the villain on Season 3 of Bachelor Pad, Bukowski threw in the towel on finding love on a reality TV. At 28-years-old, he wrote an open letter announcing his official retirement from the popular franchise.
Referencing the seasons of reality TV in which Bukowski’ actions on-screen caused his real-life reputation to plummet he wrote, “We all have our battles, but my TV obsession had taken me down a dark road. I was battling anxiety that led me down a road where I couldn’t find happiness. I compounded the problem by getting addicted to my anxiety medication. How was this happening? How did everything go from perfect to complete crap? It didn’t matter how much money I had or how many women wanted to date me. I was just a hated, desperate person…. I apologize that you’ve had to witness my struggle publicly over the last three years. Thankfully, I’ve finally realized my life outside of television — my real life — is spectacular. My family, my friends, business, etc. Everything is good.”
“I can’t wait for my television career to be over,” he continued. “I miss being me. And after today, I get to be me again. The best part is, this is the last apology I’ll have to write. I’ll never have to be sorry for being myself. I’ve made great friends through this journey and for that I will be forever grateful to ‘The Bachelor’ franchise. I’ll never say I regret being a part of it because at the time I always had a reason for doing what I did. At this point, it’s all in the past. I want to be Chris again.”
4. Chris Owns Two Successful Sports Bars
A graduate of University of Nevada-Las Vegas with a degree in business management, Bukowski opened up his first sports bar in Arlington, Virginia, named The Bracket Room Sports Lounge and Eatery in 2013. Evading the curse of most restaurants, his upscale sports bar continues to be a local favorite.
In 2017, Bukowski opened up a second location in his hometown, located between the University of Illinois at Chicago Forum and the school’s athletic center, perfectly situated to draw in college kids looking to watch the game one of the bar’s 50 big screen TVs. The menu is moderately priced with a ton of upscale bar food options like truffle fires, Philly cheesesteak egg rolls and white queso nachos. Brunch entrees include a bacon cheddar frittata, and chicken and waffles.
5. He’s an Advisor for a Dating App, The Catch
After living in Los Angeles, moving to the D.C. area, he has since relocated to Chicago and continues to dive into managing new business. In addition to his restaurants, Bukowski manages a digital web development agency the he co-founded called KCM Create. He also works as the head of investor relations for Forte, a live-streaming fitness class app, and is an advisor for the dating, The Catch.
Being on the east coast also means he closer to his parents, Rose and John, and sisters Renee and Theresa, whom are both now married with kids. Bukowski clearly has a tight relationships with his adorable nieces, as well.