Bryan Looks So Totally Different In His Pre-'Bachelorette' Reality Show Appearance

by Kayla Hawkins
Rodrigo Varela/ABC

If you're going to appear on The Bachelorette, just know that there's no embarrassing past moment that the show's dedicated fan community can't unearth. One of Rachel Lindsay's frontrunners, Bryan, looked totally different on The Player, which was the last time he was on reality TV, in 2004. Years before Bachelorette, Bryan appeared on a reality dating show on UPN, which aimed to take self-proclaimed "players" and turn them into good relationship material, all while they lived in a house together. Most of the show has disappeared into the wormhole into which all of the most embarrassing parts of the mid-'00s disappeared, but in the clips that do still exist, Bryan's appearance is preserved. And he's barely recognizable.

Granted, The Player was filmed 13 years ago, and there's a big difference between most people at 24 and then at 37. Not only is he a chiropractor, but judging by Bryan's Instagram, the guy works out pretty regularly. So it's no surprise he's in even better physical shape now than he was back in 2004. Some have speculated on Twitter that perhaps Bryan has done more than hit the gym to maintain his appearance. He hasn't confirmed that he's a Botox user or has had cosmetic surgery however, so these are just fan rumors. (Bustle has reached to ABC about fans' plastic surgery comments, but has not yet received comment back.)

But don't underestimate how long ago 2004 was. While it's possible that Bryan has decided to change his looks in other ways — and has a right to — it seems that most of the reason he's so unrecognizable in the UPN series is because he was in his early '20s, his haircut was terrible (they all were), and he was trying so hard to be, well, a "player" instead of a normal, nice guy who wants a real relationship.

Really, Bryan has not just changed his appearance, but also his whole philosophy on relationships. According to UPN press release hosted on the Futon Critic, when he was on The Player, Bryan was eliminated by Dawn, the woman the "players" were fighting to impress, after a hometown date. "When she asked his buddies about Bryan and they fell silent [...] Dawn started to doubt his player skills," the release said. "The following day [...] Bryan just stayed downstairs and kept to himself, which only helped Dawn make her decision. [...] Her choice was easy, and she asked Bryan to leave. She just felt he had no game." It sounds like Bryan was passive in that particular reality dating situation, which is also evident from this clip of a challenge in an earlier episode.

Watching that clip, you may feel like 2004 actual happened several centuries ago. But if you pay close attention to Bryan (and not his oversized boot-cut jeans), you'll notice a something: he's totally bored, and looks like he's about to fall asleep every time he pops up on camera.

So while Bryan has certainly had a style upgrade since The Player — finding a better haircut and keeping up with a skincare routine so good it's suspicious — the biggest change between Bryan back then and Bryan on The Bachelorette is that the latter has openly and doggedly pursued Rachel from the beginning. He even admitted that he loved her, and the couple's frequent makeout sessions have been heavily featured in practically every episode. It looks like Bryan has learned from his mistakes on The Player, both sartorially and romantically.