When asked if he was worried about his daughter appearing on a nationally televised reality show, Buckeye resident Ken Butler was quick with a response: “Of course not. I know my daughter, and I know she makes wise choices.”
He added: “When she called, she told me, ‘Dad, don’t worry. I’m not in a hot tub or anything.’”
They were words every father sending a daughter off to TV Land wants to hear, Ken said.
His daughter, 21-year-old Courtney Butler, made her television debut Monday night on the NBC reality show Average Joe: Adam Returns, where she and 19 other women are vying for the attention of one average guy. The guy, 29-year-old trading assistant and New York resident Adam, who was rejected on Average Joe in 2003 (285 days, 11 hours, 44 minutes and 18 seconds ago, the show states), returns this season to pick a woman of his own, all while the cameras are rolling on him and his 20 dates.
Monday night’s premier allowed Adam to cut four of the girls from the show based on their formal introductions and one five-minute conversation. Courtney, dressed in a slinky green dress and smiling the entire time, made the cut.
“Adam is the guy that I’d run into on the street and meet. That’s how I want to meet someone: running through Central Park and tripping and a guy coming to help me and that’s my future husband,” Courtney said in an interview on Monday’s airing of the show.
Courtney, born and raised in Buckeye, but now living in New York to pursue a career in theater or dance, even plugged her hometown, calling it a “farming community” where her family owns a dairy. In her conversation with Adam, he revealed a similarity: his grandfather also owned a dairy.
“This is real because you’re having a real conversation with real people and trying to get to know them,” Adam said during the show, which is being filmed near Palm Springs, Calif.
While Courtney was not eliminated Monday night with four other girls, her parents, Ken and Cindi, had to learn their daughter’s fate like everyone else in the country — on live TV.
“They don’t allow them to tell anything to anyone, not even the parents,” Ken said. “When they were done taping, we pretty much got a call that said, ‘I’m done, I’m safe and I’m going home,’ and that was it. [NBC] is real funny about that I guess.”
Courtney’s parents had no idea she had even sent an application and video into NBC until she made one of the final cuts, when Average Joe producers flew the final contestants out to California for more interviewing.
“When she called to tell us, she was like, ‘Here’s this thing I did, it’s kind of a silly thing and now they want to talk to me,’” her father said. “At first we were concerned, but our daughter is the type of person that would never allow herself to get in a situation that would be compromising in the least. She’s a great person, and she’ll do great things in her life.”
Her family’s biggest concern was that Courtney is diabetic, a fear that was ebbed when their daughter told them the show’s producers would be able to help her if the occasion called for it.
“They really took care of her it sounds like,” Ken said.
Even though the Butler Family isn’t the biggest of reality-TV fans — “I watched some of the first Survivor episodes, and some Apprentice, but that’s it,” Cindi said — they were glued to the tube Monday night as their daughter appeared on the show.
“We’re having a good time with it, like Courtney,” Cindi said. “Now I’m a reality-show mom. It’s fun.”
Ken agreed: “We’re just going to enjoy it and be happy for our daughter, whether she wins or not. Now we just have to hope the power doesn’t go out when it comes on.”
Buckeye’s own Courtney Butler can be seen again on Average Joe: Adam Returns March 22 on NBC.