Reality TV used to be once-in-a-lifetime, but now it isn’t unusual to see cast members return to the spotlight in spinoffs or subsequent shows. That’s the case for West Loop resident Kenneth “Diggy” Moreland, 31-year-old senior inventory analyst at Groupon, who isn’t giving up on love after being denied a rose by “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay.
Later this summer, Moreland’s bow ties and stylish specs (he gets his nickname from his love of fashion) return to TV on Season 4 of “Bachelor in Paradise.” We caught up with him before he left for Mexico, where “Paradise” is filmed, to talk behind-the-scenes drama and what he’s looking for in a girlfriend.
What surprised you the most about being on “The Bachelorette”? I didn’t know I would talk about my feelings so much. [While filming], we don’t have TVs, we don’t have our phones, so you really just develop these relationships not only with Rachel, but with a bunch of [the other] guys. You’re talking about your life experiences and feelings and you realize you’re talking to people who pretty much identify with everything you’ve been through. I talked more about my feelings in that three-week span than I had in my life.
It’s a unique situation — you’re all forced to get along since you’re living together, yet you’re all competing for the same woman. Was there anyone you didn’t get along with? Lee [Garrett]. I think the general consensus is that nobody did. Lee was that guy. I hate [saying] “not here for the right reasons,” but I would say he had ulterior motives.
What are you looking for in a partner? Somebody who likes to have fun, is down-to-earth, doesn’t take herself too seriously and just lives in the moment. And doesn’t care what everyone else thinks — that’s the key to me.
Back in Chicago, where are your favorite spots to take a date? Anywhere I can do Movies in the Park. I’m also a big fan of Parlor Pizza Bar (108 N. Green), but my favorite restaurant is Green Street Smoked Meats (112 N. Green). I truly love barbecue but it’s really loud, so it’s not ideal for a date.
What can you tell us about the “Bachelor in Paradise” drama with Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson? I was there when everything happened. I thought [the show] was going to be cancelled, but the producers asked me to come back. I don’t know anything other than that. We were just told, “We want you back and here are your flight arrangements.” The details will come soon.