Before there was Colton Underwood, another man was in the running to be the Bachelor: Blake Horstmann, who was runner-up on Becca Kufrin's Bachelorette season. People magazine reported that Blake thought he was going to get the Bachelor job all the way up until when Colton was announced, and he was disappointed to learn he didn't get it. "I really do believe in this process," he told People of the show. "I’ll defend it to my last breath. I do think you can find your person through that." But, was he able to find his person outside of that? Is Blake dating anyone now post-Bachelorette?
Blake told People magazine that he's been over Becca for a while, and that seeing her and Garrett so happy together on After The Final Rose showed him that it wasn't meant to be between him and Becca. So he began dating in the real world again, and immediately some rumors popped up that he was seeing fellow Bachelor Nation star Kristina Schulman.
In early October 2018, Blake told Extra that his Bachelor Nation crush was Kristina and that the two of them had been hanging out a little. He later clarified on Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti's podcast that they weren't officially dating, though.
"I can confirm I am single right now. I am single, we’ll just say that. I mean, [Kristina and I] talked, we chatted, we did hang out a couple of times. She’s amazing, she’s great, and you know, we get along really well. But right now, you know, we are hanging out, but it’s nothing serious right now ... [we] are not boyfriend-girlfriend."
In January, the rumor mill struck again, this time pairing Blake with Brandi Cyrus, since she's friends with a lot of Bachelor Nation stars. Cyrus told HollywoodLife that there wasn't any truth to that rumor. "He lives in Denver [like me], so he and I are really good friends," she said, adding:
"I think because he and I started doing everything together — we were going to the gym together and we were going out together — I think everyone assumed that we were together, which is funny. But no, we’re just friends. He’s super sweet.”
Blake confirmed to Entertainment Tonight in January that he wasn't dating anyone, but that he would consider going on Bachelor in Paradise if he was still single come this summer. "Paradise is still six months away, so there's so much that could happen... but it's something I might look into," Blake said.
Because he was one of the men in talks to be the 2019 Bachelor, Blake didn't get a chance to go on Bachelor in Paradise last summer. Bachelor franchise creator Mike Fleiss confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that Blake had been in the Bachelor running along with Jason Tartick, who is now dating Kaitlyn Bristowe. Fleiss said he ultimately chose Colton because he felt that would lead to a better story for the show. He said:
"What the show is really about is the journey of coming in [single], and then going through the arduous process of finding that person and making a firm decision that will affect the rest of your life. I think Colton represents the biggest potential for that story to create a lot of drama and romance."
Blake didn't get a chance to find his person as the Bachelor, but he did say he believes that the show can help people find love. So the next best thing for him would be to hit the beaches of Mexico this summer on Paradise and try to find love there. Perhaps Kristina will be there too?