Former “Bachelor” contestant Colton Underwood came out on Wednesday, and some fans are hoping that ABC will have a same-sex “Bachelor” season in the near future (ABC has not announced plans for any such show). In reality, there’s already been a gay “Bachelor”-type show — “Finding Prince Charming.”
“Finding Prince Charming” aired on Logo, Viacom’s LGBTQ-themed cable channel (and original home of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”) back in 2016 and borrowed heavily from “The Bachelor.”
Thirteen gay men moved into a mansion to try to win the affections of a handsome eligible bachelor, interior designer Robert Sepuvelda Jr. At the end of each episode, there was their version of the rose ceremony where black bow ties were handed to the suitors still in the competition. Former ‘NSYNCer Lance Bass played the Chris Harrison-esque host.
In the end, Sepulveda chose hairstylist Eric Leonardos as his guy. Leonardos and Sepulveda dated for a bit after the show but did not stay together.
“Finding Prince Charming” was not without controversy, though, but not for its gay slant.
After filming and just prior to its premiere, reports emerged that Sepulveda had previously been a sex worker. At the time, a person close to the situation told TheWrap that Logo followed “standard protocol” when vetting Sepulveda and that “nothing came up during the background check.” One contestant said he was fired from his job after Sepulveda’s escort past was revealed.
Despite the controversy, the show still aired and was even lauded for its portrayal of HIV-positive individuals (Leonardos disclosed he was HIV-positive on the show). A second season was planned but never made it to air.
“Finding Prince Charming” wasn’t even the first male-male dating reality show. Back in 2003, Bravo aired “Boy Meets Boy,” but the show’s twist was that some of the suitors were heterosexual men.
It remains to be seen what’s next for Underwood after coming out on “Good Morning America.” Underwood has been filming a reality TV series for Netflix about his journey coming out as a gay man.