Mar 23, 2022 - Culture

Forget The Bachelor. Let’s talk “Joe Millionaire,” starring Charlottean Kurt Sowers

Kurt Sowers on a date during "Joe Millionaire." Photo: Wilford Harewood/FOX

Let’s put this dumpster fire of a Bachelor season behind us and turn our attention to Charlotte’s newest reality TV star, Kurt Sowers.

The big picture: Sowers played the co-lead in Fox’s reboot of “Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer,” which aired its finale on March 10.

  • The reality show featured two men — one millionaire (Steven McBee) and one “Average Joe” (Sowers) — in their quest to find love among a pool of 18 women.
  • Scroll to the bottom for spoilers. If you don’t want to be spoiled, catch up on “Joe Millionaire” on Hulu.

I sat down with Sowers at Community Matters Cafe last week to talk about his experience on the show and his life in Charlotte.

Kurt Sowers. Photo: Emma Way/Axios

Background: Sowers was 12 when his family moved from Pittsburgh, and he’s lived in Charlotte ever since.

  • Now 33, Sowers owns his own construction company called Soco Group.
  • Though he’s dubbed the show’s “Average Joe,” the CEO of a construction company is likely doing just fine.

How it happened: Sowers didn’t apply to be on the show; he was recruited through his Instagram.

  • He got a DM from a casting company, sent a screenshot to a group chat with friends (as one does) and within days, he was on calls with producers.
  • Filming began just a few weeks later.

Sowers says the filming process was brutal. “They were longer, tougher days than I have in construction.”

  • He and his co-lead on the show, McBee, would get their phones every day from 6-8am so they could manage their respective businesses.
  • Then they’d film dates and interviews back to back, sometimes going into the next day.
  • At times, that meant only four hours of sleep.
Steven McBee (left) and Kurt Sowers. Photo: Wilford Harewood/FOX

Favorite part: Besides the bromance between Sowers an McBee, the Charlottean says he loved getting to know the crew.

  • Sowers tells me he would do reality TV again, but “absolutely not” a dating show.

Least favorite part: “Being pressured to date everyone,” he explains. “I saw a lot of these women as friends … I knew it wasn’t going to happen.”

What happened: Spoilers ahead … At the end of the show, Sowers chose Amanda Pace, a 29-year-old entrepreneur from California. The two broke up shortly after the season wrapped, and Sowers tells me he’s single.

Sowers says life hasn’t really changed for since the show aired, aside from getting recognized out and about in Charlotte.

  • He is about as close to an Uptown socialite as one can get. “I can’t deny that,” he says. “I am known to frequent clubs and bars on the weekend.”
  • His face is painted on the side of the Brooklyn nightclub on Caldwell Street by local muralist Nick Napoletano (as seen in episode 9).

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Kurt Francis (@sir_kurt)

Why he loves Charlotte: “Everyone’s a go-getter in Charlotte. … I think it’s just a good place to be.”

More of Sowers’ favorites:

  • Anything within the 5th Street Group of restaurants and bars — Sophia’s Lounge, Church & Union and La Belle Helene.
  • Cheering on the Panthers.
  • Going to a comedy show or a concert at The Fillmore.

What Charlotte needs: A fashion scene. Sowers says Charlotte is lacking a bit of culture, and he’d love to see more.

Photo: Wilford Harewood/FOX
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