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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 16, 2003

Yes! Hawai'i bachelors find love out of spotlight

By Tanya Bricking
Advertiser Staff Writer

From left, Brynn Leake, Angela Hoan and Bachelor Kelly Komoda prepare for an evening of fun and memories at The Ocean Club, scene of the contest's wrap-up party.

Jeff Widener • The Honolulu Advertiser

The Hawai'i's Bachelor game may have led to a few love connections after all.

There was unofficial matchmaking going on at last weekend's wrap party at The Ocean Club, for one thing, attended by a few hundred contest applicants and friends. Meanwhile, the real winners of the game found love outside of the spotlight.

Some bachelor contestants brought their significant others to the party. One top-10 bachelor finalist has even proposed since appearing in our pages.

The dating game we've been chronicling for you is over. But the chapters in some of our contestants' love lives might be worth following.

Twenty single people in Hawai'i experienced their 15 minutes of fame because of this game. They were the top 10 bachelors, narrowed down by online voters, and the 10 bachelorettes in the dating pool.

The Bachelor contest's cast of characters

Kelly Komoda

Kelly Komoda, 26, the man who won the votes of Hawai'i readers to become Hawai'i's Bachelor, is still single and looking — looking for the next audition for sought-after acting jobs. He's not necessarily looking for love. He says this was a memorable experience, but it's one he wouldn't do over if he had the chance.

Brynn Leake

Winning bachelorette Brynn Leake, on the other hand, is ready to get back into the dating scene. The 29-year-old teacher has shown that she's skilled in carrying conversations and cracking jokes. And she has lots of new outfits, perfect for nights on the town. Judging from reaction we've overheard, she should have no shortage of offers.

Angela Hoan

Leake's best pal out of this turned out to be runner-up bachelorette Angela Hoan. Hoan, 21, works two jobs and is the guardian of her 17-year-old brother. She still finds time to go out and have fun, even if it is a night out with the girls. She says she's definitely still single and "looking for interesting dates" and possible job opportunities to come out of this.

Cory Mitsui

Bachelor runner-up Cory Mitsui, a 27-year-old financial planner, says he's been forever branded "The Bachelor" even though he wasn't the one going on dates. He has met a number of people personally and professionally because of the contest, and he's glad people are remembering his name, as well as the correct spelling.

Ken Lee

Ken Lee, a 35-year-old Honolulu firefighter who made the top three bachelors, says he's mostly staying home, studying for his captain's test that's coming up. At the wrap party, however, we saw that he is not shy on the dance floor. Maybe his experience at the Firefighter Bachelor Auction boosted his confidence.

Kelli Bullock

Kelli Bullock, a 32-year-old paddler who was among the first bachelorettes to be booted, says she keeps getting shot down. She went to help a friend's brother shoot a commercial at his restaurant (they needed extras), only to be left out of every shot. Then she got a call to be a porn star — actually, one of the "actresses" for the Vice City party at Ocean Club. Only later, the photographer called to say he'd found someone else. "Rats!" she said. "Foiled again!"

Casey Hewes

Casey Hewes, one of the top 10 bachelors, says, "Casey at the bat struck out for this competition." But the 23-year-old nursing student shouldn't give up yet: He has his admirers among rejected bachelorettes. And we happened to know he has exchanged e-mail addresses with at least one of them. But he was in a hurry to leave the night of the wrap party because his friend's car got towed, so there wasn't much time for him to get his groove on just yet.

Jenn Hee

Jenn Hee, a 23-year-old Harvard grad who asked Komoda to deny her a rose after the third date, is moving to Prague, Czech Republic, in September. Should she meet the man of her wildest fantasies before her departure, she might reconsider. Then again, she might not. She's waiting for someone to offer her a job as a professional traveling man-hating journaler. From the response she's received, many think she journals well. In real life, she says, she's not as funny.

Russell Cummins

Russell Cummins, a 45-year-old teacher and poetry buff from the Big Island, has found love. He is going steady, he says, "with a beautiful red-haired woman. My friends say that she is a keeper!" He gave her a toe ring with a butterfly on it to symbolize his coming out of a cocoon, and he brought her to the Hawai'i's Bachelor party. "I just hope I do not get splattered on the windshield of life," he says.

Jenn Lee

Jenn Lee, a 21-year-old nursing student Komoda eliminated after she revealed she was seeing someone else, continues to lead an adventurous life. First it was surviving the drama over her dating life (complete with on-air comments from radio listeners). Then it was surviving a car wreck. Then it was surviving having someone bang her new truck. People still come up to her and tell her they saw her in the paper. "All I do is make a hush sign," she says. "I dunno why."

Cathy Cruz

Cathy Cruz, a magazine journalist and bachelorette "dropout," turned 28 a couple of days after taking herself out of the game. Even though she didn't participate, the experience from afar taught her to be true to herself, her career, her friends and men.

Derek Chinners

Derek Chinners, a smiling 27-year-old sales engineer from Texas, says he's "still living life to the fullest and enjoying life in Hawai'i." Coming in fourth place in Bachelor votes made him instantly recognizable to many of his clients, and he's still trying to live that down.

Lauren Sumida

Lauren Sumida, 24, a fashion student and soccer player who made it to the trio of the last bachelorettes in the game, is no longer on friendly terms with the Bachelor after calling him "blah" and "boring" in print. But she says at least she was honest, and she has no regrets.

Jon Wataoka

Top-10 bachelor Jon Wataoka, a 33-year-old pharmacist, says he has "lots of hot dates and some romance going on." (We're not sure if that was a joke, but we hear that he is quite the ladies' man.) His guest list for the party was almost as long as the winning Bachelor's.

Brooke Price

Brooke Price, a 23-year-old preacher's daughter who was eliminated along with Bullock after the first date, says she's having a fabulous time being single. Laughing, she says she wouldn't mind finding someone to date, as long as he's perfect. (That was a joke.)

Bryan Langley

Life has changed very little for 27-year-old Bryan Langley, though his bachelor status still comes up in meetings at work, where he's a computer technician for a law firm. The University of Hawai'i grad said he's happy to have a story to tell his grandkids one day about how much of a stud he was in his 20s. Unfortunately, he had to miss the Hawai'i's Bachelor party. He was back home in Illinois to go to Chicago for a civil-service test and visit his mom on Mother's Day. (That last part might score him some points with the single women out there.)

Liane Ayako Kaneko

Liane Ayako Kaneko, a 23-year-old accounting student who was a favorite of Komoda's mom and grandmother, is excited about graduating this semester, vacationing in New York and starting a new job. She still gets recognized and asked whether the game was fun. She says it was. Younger girls sometimes approach her, giddy and wanting to know what Komoda was really like. She tells them he acted like a gentleman at all times and always smiled, which she thinks is a good thing. And, yeah, she still thinks he's really cute.

Chuck Mitsui

Dating also has become a hobby for 808 Skate shop owner Chuck Mitsui, who took a trip to New Zealand during the height of his local fame. Mitsui, 29, who made the top 10 list of bachelors, doubts that he'll be juggling dates. Though one woman he was seeing gave him the "let's just be friends" talk, he says it's not as bad as it seems. He's been working nearly nonstop, giving his Kailua skate shop a new look, and invites people to stop by and check it out. The only people who still give him a hard time about his bachelordom are the people at the post office, who know when he's too busy to pick up his mail.

Jamie Inouye

Jamie Inouye, a 27-year-old bachelorette who graduated from Maui High School the year before Komoda and has met many of Komoda's relatives on his home island, says only positive things have come out of this for her. People have been calling her a "celebrity," telling her how shocked they were to hear she was in the game. She was happy to represent a Neighbor Island, but she jokes that no model contracts or autograph signing has come out of it. Just some friendships, including palling around with the flight attendants who became buddies with her while she was commuting to be in the game.

Erik Snyder

Believe it or not, there is someone getting married after all of this. Erik Snyder, a 30-year-old civil engineer, started getting serious with someone about the time his picture appeared in the paper as one of Hawai'i's top 10 Bachelors. He and his beloved, Noelani Kahele, met at the beginning of March and already have set a Sept. 6 wedding date. They even had their names tattooed on each other's arms — just three weeks ago — and Kahele's tattoo was on display at the wrap party. Snyder says he has found true love, even though it wasn't through the Bachelor contest. He says he hopes the other contestants can be as lucky and find their soulmates, too.