Not that I ever doubted that Wichita was capable of producing hunks hunky enough for the likes of reality television.
But I have to admit that I was a little surprised to learn that the new installment of ABC's "The Bachelorette," which will premiere on May 18, will feature not one but two muscle-bound, dentally and follically gifted 20-something men from the Wichita area.
"The Bachelorette," in the very unlikely case that you don't know, is a reality show that is a spin-off of its slightly seedier predecessor, "The Bachelor."
The show puts a single bombshell woman in a mansion with 30 single gorgeous men. The bachelorette dates and marinates in a hot tub with her suitors until she can decide which one she wants to coerce into proposing to her on national television.
A few weeks later, they break up in US Weekly.
This season's bombshell is Jillian Harris, who was (perhaps mercifully) rejected by last season's "Bachelor" Jason Mesnick, himself a former "Bachelorette" reject.
I called ABC to attempt to get a tad more info on Jillian's two prospects from Wichita, who are listed on the network's Web site as "Mathue, Personal Trainer, Andover, KS" and "Tanner F., sales representative, Derby, KS."
Nope, a PR agent told me, that's all she had, and furthermore, the contestants and their families were forbidden from speaking to the press. ABC guards its dating show secrets very seriously.
Thank goodness for the Internet. After a couple of hours of online sleuthing, I was able to put together partial sketches of our hometown bachelors.
Mathue is Mathue Johnson. He's 26 and is a 2001 graduate of Andover High School, where he was apparently a bit of a football star. (I know this because I found in our archives a bunch of photos of him pummeling opponents in the 2000 season.)
Mathue graduated from Wichita State University with a degree in exercise science in 2005, according to WSU's Web site. And he has apparently indeed used his degree to become a personal trainer, at least according to a Craigslist ad I found offering Johnson's services for in-home personal training.
I had a bit more luck tracking down information on Tanner F., also known as Tanner Fanello of Derby.
Tanner, 28, was a 1999 graduate of Derby High School, where he played football until he was injured. He lives in Denver now, where he works for a company called Tuftex as a carpet dealer.
A relative of Tanner's, whom I promised not to name so that the relative would not risk suffering the wrath of ABC, told me that in his job, Tanner deals with lots of female interior designers, who nominated him to appear on the show. (Interesting that Jillian is an interior designer.)
And it's perhaps not a good sign that it sounds like the most meaningful moment in Tanner's "Bachelorette" experience was meeting another man his age named Tanner. (Tanner P. is a financial analyst from Brownfield, Texas.)
Both Wichita men seem like contenders, and I may just have to watch this season to see how they do.
Though I can't imagine how they could possibly compete with Michael, a 25-year-old break dancing instructor (you read that right) from Astoria, N.Y.