How Did Fred & Rachel Know Each Other Before 'The Bachelorette? The Pair Goes Way Back
Paul Hebert/ABC

My only note to the producers of The Bachelorette — never change. With so many seasons of the show behind us, the producers have to find a way to keeps things spicy and interesting, and that includes putting people on the show that know each other and know the Bachelor or Bachelorette. Such is the case with Fred on Rachel’s season of The Bachelorette. How do Fred and Rachel know each other before The Bachelorette? He whipped out his yearbook to show her.

During his limo arrival, Fred announced that he originally was from Dallas and showed Rachel her own eighth-grade picture in the yearbook (he was in 3rd grade at the same time). Turns out that these two kids went to school with each other when pigtails were still in Rachel’s hair arsenal (knee socks, probably, too) and before Fred hit his growth spurt. It was…. A little awkward, but pretty harmless. According to Us Weekly, Rachel was also his camp counselor way back when.

Throwing a blast from the past in there like that is interesting enough for Rachel to think about Fred but not so crazy that they were exes or something like that. Even I wouldn’t want to watch that because the secondhand embarrassment would be way too much for me to handle. I would have to turn off my television, as I have many times in the past with this show.

According to Fred’s own website, RealFredJohnson.com (I don’t know how that domain was even open, but power to him), Fred left Dallas for college at Florida A&M University, eventually receiving his MBA from FAMU and a Masters of Fine Arts in Film Production from Florida State University. Sounds like he was busy all of those years. Today, when he’s not on The Bachelorette, he works for production company Chernin Entertainment.

First impression? It could be cynical, but it seemed like Fred saw an in with knowing Rachel and wanted to boost his profile. I mean, this guy is slick. None of the other Bachelorette contestants that I’ve seen so far have a fancy-dancey super-duper website like Fred does, and the man does work in Hollywood production.

The question now is how long will Fred last? Rachel could either really like the idea that someone from her past has been “fated” (aka cast) to be on her show, or she could be weirded out by the idea that her eighth-grade yearbook photo is now in the public domain. I would be the latter of the two, but Rachel may feel differently about it. Fred’s charisma, handsome face, and cheerful demeanor would certainly make him a catch for a lucky lady, but I’m just not sure he’s on The Bachelorette for the “right reasons.”