La Jolla man hits primetime on ‘The Bachelorette’

La Jolla resident Spencer Robertson is a suitor on ABC’s “The Bachelorette.”

Those who watched the Nov. 10 episode of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” may have seen a familiar face, or perhaps noticed the name of their beloved town flash across the screen.

Longtime La Jolla resident Spencer Robertson made his primetime debut when the show shook up its usual format, introducing a new leading lady five episodes into the season.

For those who aren’t part of the so-called Bachelor Nation (dedicated fans of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette”), here’s a recap of the episode, as well as comments from Robertson’s friends and former classmates from La Jolla High School.

For the first time in the series’ history, a new bachelorette came on in midseason because former bachelorette Clare Crawley chose one of her suitors right away and opted to leave the show. With 16 contestants remaining, new bachelorette Tayshia Adams and three more contestants were brought in.

The remaining contestants opted to stay and get to know Adams, though some admitted to developing feelings for Crawley.

One of the three newcomers was Robertson, who was the first to meet Adams. He appeared onscreen to the identifier “Spencer, La Jolla, 30.” After their initial conversation, a giggly Adams said to the cameras: “He is hot. Like hot, hot, hot.”

Robertson described himself as a “big beach guy” who “loves surfing.” Adams called him “really nice, sweet and cute” and “definitely” someone she would go out with. Her heart “skipped a beat” when they met, she said.

His reception was not as warm when he walked in to meet his competition. “Which one of you scared off Clare?” he joked.

Later in the episode, another contestant said Robertson “comes off like an [expletive].”

Adams, however, decided to give Robertson what is known as the first impression rose, a gesture for the contestant who made the best first impression.

After bestowing the rose on Robertson, Adams immediately planted a kiss on him.

Bachelorette Tayshia Adams kisses suitor Spencer Robertson of La Jolla on the Nov. 10 episode of ABC's "The Bachelorette."

For those who know Robertson, his early success on the show wasn’t a surprise — though his participation is.

Robertson moved from Arizona to La Jolla when he was 12 and immediately started playing lacrosse at Muirlands Middle School. He would go on to play at La Jolla High School before moving out of state to attend the University of Oregon. He moved back to San Diego and is president of Robertson Water Treatment.

“He’s a great guy,” said his friend Caz Morawski. “He’s driven, entrepreneurial and is constantly doing something. He’s not one to ... sit back and wait. A lot of people who grew up in San Diego are more laid-back, and he is very driven. He has that SoCal vibe, but he is more likely to be out and about and making things happen.”

Marcus Matibag, a friend since middle school, added that Robertson is a “super-nice guy, genuine, a true gentleman, but more on the shy side. It was actually a surprise to me that he was on ‘The Bachelorette.’ He’s not really cocky like that.”

So what of the disagreement with the other contestants?

“I think producers made him out to be more of villain than he is,” Morawski said. “He made a comment when he walked in, and he does that from time to time. Some people might think it’s funny, but others might be sensitive about it. He’s also really competitive, so I think some of the other guys might have been threatened by him. But he gets along with most of the people he meets. If it was a normal situation, just a party or something, he would get along with everyone.”

Matibag agreed, saying he thinks the producers “sliced and diced” some of the footage for dramatic effect.

And as for Adams’ “hot” comment, Matibag said Robertson is “one of those guys that has no idea how good-looking he is. I’m sure that will be a big surprise when he sees that.”

So will Robertson win Adams’ heart?

“I could see him going far because he is a nice guy,” Matibag said. “But I’ve never seen him compete against 16 other dudes for the attention of one woman, so I don’t know how that will go. We’ll see.”

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