Manteca-raised “The Bachelorette” contestant Garrett Yrigoyen walked off with a win and series star Becca Kufrin’s heart on the reality show’s season finale Monday night.
The 29-year-old medical sales representative, who lives in Reno, was chosen out of field of 28 men by Kufrin on the long-running ABC dating series. As is tradition on the show, Yrigoyen proposed to Kufrin at the end of the episode, set this season in the tropical beach in the Maldives.
Last month on the show Yrigoyen took Kufrin to meet his family in Manteca in the “Hometown Dates” episode, when the remaining contestants were narrowed down to the final four and met each man’s respective family. In Manteca, the couple planted tomatoes together off the back of a tractor as Yrigoyen showed her his family’s “agricultural business.”
On Tuesday, the couple made the morning talk show rounds to celebrate their engagement, stopping by “Good Morning America” and “Live With Kelly & Ryan.”
But the engagement media tour hasn’t been all champagne and final roses. Instead, the couple has had to field questions about the social media controversy surrounding Yrigoyen since the start of the season, when it was revealed he liked a series of offensive posts on Instagram.
Some of the posts made fun of undocumented immigrants, transgender people and feminist women. Others criticized one of the survivors of the Parkland high school shooting and called him a “crisis actor.”
In response to the discovery, Yrigoyen took down his Instagram account and began a new one with a statement apologizing for his actions.
In the “After the Final Rose” show that followed “The Bachelorette” finale, Kufrin addressed the controversy.
“The Instagram situation, I don’t condone that and I know that he stands by his apology and he feels so bad for everyone that he did offend,” she said on the show. “He didn’t mean it. But I just want to move forward and to learn and to grow and to continue to educate ourselves. That’s all that you can ask for in another person is that somebody who recognizes if they make a mistake and do something wrong and want to learn and grow from it. And that is what he has shown me.”
On “Good Morning America,” Yrigoyen repeated his apology and said the pair had talked about it and are moving forward together.
“I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean to offend anybody, but now I know the weight that a like holds on Instagram, and things like that,” he said. “So we just addressed it, her and I. I know it went against things that she stood for before, but she knows through the show and getting to know me that that’s not my true character. She didn’t let my Instagram define who I am as a person. And we’re moving forward. We’re trying to grow, be better people, and I’m trying to not make those same mistakes again.”
Yrigoyen was a baseball standout at Manteca’s Sierra High School before graduating in 2007. After that, he went to study and play ball at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton and then the University of Nevada-Reno. He now lives and works in Reno as a surgical technology salesman.
In his “The Bachelorette” biography, Yrigoyen references growing up in “a small town in Central California” and calls himself a “true outdoorsman” who loves “fly fishing, hiking and snowshoeing.” He has been the frontrunner on the show since the beginning, when he stepped out of a minivan to greet Kufrin.
She gave him the coveted “First Impression Rose,” which is bestowed in the premiere episode each season. The producers of “The Bachelorette” gave the couple an old, used minivan as a tongue-in-cheek gift during the “After the Final Rose” show.
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