Casting for reality television isn’t much different from putting together a boy band. There’s the cute one, the goofy one, the older one, the bad boy and so on.
On ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” Woodstock native Mark Huebner has been type-cast as the “quiet one.” Which, his sister would argue, isn’t exactly the truth.
“Mark is really fun-loving,” said Mark’s sister, Heidi Wheeler. “He’s always been the life of the party.” Wheeler, who lives in Chicago, was actually the one who nominated Mark for a spot on the hit reality show, a spin-off from “The Bachelor.” Wheeler said she’s always been a fan of both shows and while watching last season’s “The Bachelor,” an announcement came on that they were looking for male contestants for a new “Bachelorette.”
“I looked over at my husband and said, ‘I could see Mark doing that.’”
Soon after she nominated him – the process consisted of simply sending the show a picture and a few sentences about him – Mark was chosen to be one of bachelorette Jillian Harris’ 30 suitors.
“I wasn’t shocked, but with so many people in the world I was just surprised to see a Woodstock kid,” said J.C. Wise, Woodstock High School golf coach and Mark’s former physical education teacher.
Mark left Illinois to attend college as a communications major at Colorado University after graduating from Woodstock High School in 2001. Despite the “pizza entrepreneur” title he has on the show, Denver Pizza Company is only one of his many ventures. He also started Motive Branding, an independent marketing agency in Denver. The pizza shop was just something he’d always wanted to try – and now the only thing he’s known for by 7.2 million people.
Mark’s brother, Matt, also lives in Denver and works with him. Matt describes Mark as “adventurous,” so in a way the “Bachelorette” stint makes sense.
“It’s certainly not something I would do, but more power to him,” said Matt, who admits he had never watched the show before and isn’t very good about catching every episode his brother is in.
(Not to worry, Matt. Because of the “quiet” typecasting, Mark hasn’t gotten a ton of airtime.)
Matt said Mark didn’t go into the show expecting to necessarily meet the woman he would marry.
“Mark’s a love-at-first-sight kind of guy,” Matt said. “But he doesn’t want to waste his time.” Wheeler echoed her brother’s thoughts about Mark’s approach to the show.
“He doesn’t seem to be falling in love quickly like the other guys. He’s being realistic,” she said. “He told me that if he doesn’t like her he doesn’t want to put either her or him through anything.”
Mark is now one of the 10 guys remaining. Neither of his siblings would say (even if they know) how far he makes it, but to this point they’re rather pleased with the behavior he’s displayed on the show – and more specifically, the behavior he hasn’t displayed.
“He’s smart about not drinking too much, he’s approached it the right way,” Matt said. “Before he left I told him, ‘Don’t embarrass yourself, the family or the business.’ I think he’s represented himself really well.”
Even Wise noticed Mark’s good decisions, noting that he seems to be laying back and letting the other contestants handle the drama. Because Mark hasn’t made much of a name for himself either by drinking or smooching too much, fans aren’t sure how much longer he’ll last on the show.
But even if he doesn’t come away with another rose – or a new wife – he’ll definitely come home with some stories.
“He’s doing this for the experience,” Wheeler said. “He does everything with a sense of openness, like, ‘Let’s see what I can get out of this.’”
Don’t miss it
“The Bachelorette” airs 7 p.m. Mondays on ABC.