Meet Clinton's most eligible bachelor. Kellen Schneeberger enjoys working out, watching sports and playing music with his band.
The Clinton High School English teacher is looking for a partner who is intelligent, independent and family oriented but still up for an adventure.
But, according to some family members, the normally laid-back Schneeberger needed a little help finding that special someone. Then along came the WQAD-sponsored “Bachelor” contest, a local spin on the popular national TV dating contest.
“My mom and sister were pretty adamant about (applying),” he said.
A few weeks later, Schneeberger found himself in Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano in Davenport, attempting to make polite conversation with a hand-picked stranger while ignoring the nearby camera crew.
“It was like a blind date on steroids, basically,” he said.
The “Bachelor” contest provided area women an opportunity to compete for a date with Schneeberger, who was chosen as the face of the contest despite submitting his application on the last day possible.
Footage of a date between Schneeberger and a woman chosen by online voters was aired during the commercial breaks of ABC's "The Bachelor" reality dating show.
For weeks after being chosen by WQAD producers, Schneeberger was in the spotlight. A camera crew interviewed him during a workout, he made a guest spot on a morning TV show, and he endured endless questions, comments and dating tips from his students.
"So that was embarrassing," he said.
Involvement in the relatively high-profile endeavor was out-of-character, according to Schneeberger.
"It's not my style to do this kind of thing," he said. "It's definitely out of my comfort zone."
Still, he said he enjoyed himself and was glad for the experience. The contest sponsors at WQAD, Biaggi's and Necker's Jewelers were fun to work with, he said. Plus, he got a free meal and pleasant conversation.
He said that his meal with Leah, chosen to be his dinner date after more than 600 online votes were cast, went well, given the circumstances.
"All things considered, in that situation, it went pretty well," Schneeberger said. "It was an awkward situation for both us of us, but we tried to get the most out of it."
The date was Monday night, and Schneeberger said he had not spoken to Leah since, but did not rule out further association with his co-star.
Schneeberger said he is looking forward to a return to normalcy. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he coaches football and track, which is currently in season. Future reality TV experiences are unlikely, he said, and a run at the national version of the "Bachelor" is completely out of the question.
The experience served as a teaching moment, according to Schneeberger. His students will learn of the value of trying new things, and not being afraid to occasionally step outside of their comfort zones.
"To me, that was the best thing about it," he said.