‘Bachelor Live’ puts social experiment on SLC stage
Mar 31, 2020 10h43
By Heather Lawrence
Live at the Eccles posted this photo of SLC Bachelor Crispin Calvert, hosts Ben Higgins and Becca Kufrin, and the 10 local women who competed for a date on Feb. 21. The final rose was accepted by Audrey Wadhwani – center, holding rose. (Photo from @liveeccles Instagram)
By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]
“The Bachelor” reality show started in 2002, and whether you love it or hate it, it can create strong opinions. A new live-on-stage “speed dating” version with local “cast members” played at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City on Feb. 21. Bachelor nation fans weren’t disappointed.
The SLC bachelor was Crispin Calvert. He’s a California native who lives and works as a firefighter in Park City.
“I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m hoping that I will meet a great woman that has similar interests to mine. Ideally, we would go on a real date after the show and see where things go from there,” Calvert told the City Journals in a Q&A facilitated by Park City entertainment company Magic Space.
Calvert’s coworkers from Park City were in the audience. “We hear that a friend signed him up, and he’s never seen the show before. I think he would really like to have a good partner,” one said.
The evening’s hosts, Ben Higgins and Becca Kufrin, were alums of the reality show. After Calvert arrived onstage in a limo to a screaming and excited audience, he was introduced to 10 local women. The women wore variations of fancy dresses.
The live version had echoes of the reality show. Each of the night’s dating games was followed with a rose ceremony and elimination, and a “fantasy suite” was a four-poster bed on stage.
Sadie Pfister wore pointe shoes during her introduction. She showed her dancing skills in the “High School Prom” segment. Though the audience loved her, in the end she was not offered the final rose. She wrote about the night on social media.
“Had the best night of my life! Maybe didn’t win the guy, but definitely won the crowd. Thanks for the support Salt Lake City. And so great to meet all you beautiful girls. So fun. Still feeling like it was a dream,” Pfister wrote.
Morgan Judd made it to the penultimate rose ceremony. “Wow, Friday night I stepped WAY outside my comfort zone and went on stage at [the] Eccles for the Bachelor live on stage show and let me tell you, I had the time of my LIFE!” Judd posted online.
Another Utah connection was dancer Ezra Sosa. Sosa and his sister Stephanie were finalists on “So You Think You Can Dance” in 2019. He was one of four dancers hired to tour with the Bachelor Live show. They opened with a dance number, and helped the women during dance and lip sync games.
“What a dream it was to perform in my hometown. I love you [so much] Utah. Thank you to all of my family and friends who came to support me. It meant the world to perform for you all,” Sosa wrote on Instagram.
Christine Robertson and her daughter Madelyn Mundy of Holladay weren’t disappointed with the live show. “It’s a crack-up!” Robertson said.
They watch the show together regularly, along with some of Mundy’s high school friends. “They all get into who they like for that week. A couple of her friends at school said they were coming tonight, so we got tickets and came,” Robertson said.
“My mom and I joke about me going on the show. She said if I ever go on, I have to be one of the nice ones. But I don’t think she’d ever really let me,” Mundy said.
When it came down to the final rose, it was between Audrey Wadhwani and Kali Hartzold. Wadhwani, a pharmacist, talked about how much she loved her job and the people she worked with. Hartzold arrived with her signature chocolate chip cookies for Calvert, and brought the sexy to the show during the “Naughty or Nice” game.
Audrey W. or Kali H.? Who would Calvert choose?
Calvert offered the final rose of the evening to Wadhwani. “I love that you love what you do and the passion behind it,” Calvert said of his reasoning. The couple was offered a date package, which they said they would use.
Social media posts by the participants were positive, so Calvert got what he wanted. “Regardless of the outcome, I’m hoping everyone involved will be able to say that they had a fun and memorable night,” Calvert said.