How do you go from Canadian fireman to Bachelorette Canada winner? Kevin Wendt did just that – and Ben Higgins was to thank! When his brother and wife watched Higgins’ season of The Bachelor, they told him he should go on – and The Bachelorette Canada just happened to be casting at the time.
“At that point, I was single for two years after a four-year relationship, so I was totally free and ready to find love,” Wendt, 34, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “I’ve always been the type of person who likes new experiences. I’d say the first time I went on The Bachelorette, I wasn’t there to find love as much as I was there for a really unique and new experience, but I wound up finding the love of my life on the show.”
However, a few months after getting engaged to Bachelorette Jasmine Lorimer, the two split in April 2017. A few months later, he headed on Bachelor Winter Games, again finding love, this time with Ashley Iaconetti. However, with her living in Los Angeles and him in Toronto, they couldn’t make it work. They split and she reunited with her Bachelor in Paradise love, Jared Haibon.
“At the end of the day I’m a fan of true love, so I am glad they found their way to each other. I still care about her happiness, I don’t wish a bad relationship on her,” Wendt notes. “I don’t know if I was a stepping stone for her to reveal her feelings, but we ended and pretty quickly after she started seeing Jared.”
When Iaconetti and Haibon revealed they were together on May 22, Haibon admitted that while he had been interested for a while, what really made him realize he wanted a relationship with his best friend was seeing her with Wendt. “The 4,000 miles in between us was a huge hurtle, and I wasn’t too keen on moving to the states. Based on what she’s posting, I think she would have ended up with Jared regardless,” Wendt adds.
As for what’s next, Wendt is focused on work, working out and family. After being in the Canadian navy and helping those in trouble, he was drawn to firefighting. “I know it’s a cheesy expression, but when others are running away and we’re running in – that was something that I wanted to keep doing,” he says. “I had a few friends who were firefighters and the way they talked about it really drew me in. love the adrenaline of not knowing what tomorrow brings.”
In his off time, he coaches CrossFit in Toronto, travels when he can and spends time with his nieces and nephews – who make him want to have a family one day. “I’m not as young as I once was, and I want to start having kids really soon,” he tells Us. “ I’m just looking for someone that doesn’t put up with my s–t, I talk a lot and express myself a lot, that’s how the Bachelor really helped me get closer to my friends and family as well, I can open up to them so much easier now and I can communicate so much better. I don’t bottle anything inside anymore, I just lay it all out there.”
And, there’s a chance he’ll find that – on TV. Wendt admits he’d be interested in going on Bachelor in Paradise, because the franchise is “the best human interaction experience of all time.” He also admits he has his eyes on a few women, if he does go on the dating show. “There’s a few women off Arie [Luyendyk Jr.]’s season that seemed great. Kendall, she’s so cute, and a sweetheart. But I’m such interaction person, I can’t develop a crush through Instagram or on TV. I’d rather not know anything about the women or form an opinion until I meet them.”
He’s also open to meeting 28 women as well – yes, he’d consider being the next Bachelor. “I’ve had such positive experiences and I feel really good about the franchise and finding love in that way,” he tells Us, adding he’s spoken to Kaitlyn Bristowe and JoJo Fletcher and only heard great things about it. “I think it would be a great space for me to meet someone. The former Bachelor and Bachelorettes that I’ve met have given me some great advice and that is to expect the unexpected and if you give everyone a chance, it’s the best move. Just because someone is the nerd, doesn’t mean they aren’t beautiful and fun. I don’t care if you’re the villain, the nice one, the mean one, the nerd, I would give everyone a chance. Ben Higgins told me that and I’ve taken it to heart.”
With reporting by Travis Cronin