Life after “Bachelorette”

August 12th, 2013

ross-bachloretteD4 Mike Ross on love, reality TV and the rose that got away.

If D4 Mike Ross thought he could remain anonymous after a stint on ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” he had another thing coming.

Some of the attention has come from unlikely sources. Dr. Ali Bolouri, professor in restorative sciences, is an avid viewer who presses Ross with unceasing questions.

“Now whenever I’m hunting Dr. Bolouri down to chat about a case, he jokes, ‘Are you looking for a rose … because I don’t have one for you,’” Ross says.

A number of patients now show up with daughters and granddaughters in tow. Passersby in the hallway murmur curious comments in Ross’ direction. And even if he can’t prompt Bolouri or Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock to give him a rose, at least one patient to date has been happy to pick up the slack.

Ross appeared on the May 27 premiere of the show’s ninth season as one of 25 men vying for Hartsock’s affections. It wasn’t the easiest of tasks, considering Ross had an eclectic mix of suitors with which to contend, like Mico, Texas, drilling fluid engineer Zak Waddell, who sauntered shirtless out of the limousine sporting a broad smile and six-pack abs. Then there was Diogo Custodio, who donned a full suit of armor, and Nick Roy, a tailor by day-magician by night, not the least bit shy about demonstrating his supposed skills.

The antics proved successful only for some. Ross, along with several others, was flown home empty-handed after the first night.

“Many of the guys told elaborate stories as to why they made the journey out there and about their initial feelings for Des,” says Ross. “I’m a very honest and direct person and couldn’t overtly try to impress or exaggerate my reasons for being there or my feelings toward her initially. This undoubtedly cost me a rose, but I have no regrets for how I carried myself during my time there.”

The experience didn’t color his opinion of the show or even the premise of finding love amidst TV cameras and crews.

“If people can find love on a train, at the mall, through a friend, at a bar, etc., then why not on a reality TV show?” says Ross. “Granted, it is much harder to find a genuine connection, but the opportunity is most certainly there.”

While the concept of searching for love in front of nearly 6 million viewers didn’t give Ross cold feet, the prospect of seeking permission for a leave of absence during his third year of dental school sure did.

“I was honestly scared and slightly embarrassed when I had to set up meetings with my deans and course directors,” says Ross. “To my surprise, the faculty supported me 100 percent.”

So is more reality TV in store for this dashing London native? It might not be the last we see of Ross, who merely hints at the possibility of exploring other opportunities in entertainment.

But don’t be misled: Ross’ primary focus is gaining acceptance into a graduate orthodontics program. The application process took up the entirety of his month-long summer break.

“I think it’s important to take advantage of opportunities and try to get involved in as much as you can,” he says. “I’m looking forward to graduation, residency and seeing what the future has in store.”

— Jennifer Fuentes