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June 27, 2023

Meet Joey Graziadei, 'The Bachelorette' contestant from Montgomery County

The West Chester University alum, who now lives in Hawaii teaching tennis, charmed lead Charity Lawson during the season premiere

TV The Bachelorette
joey graziadei bachelorette Ricky Middlesworth/ABC

Joey Graziadei, a Montgomery County native and West Chester University alum, is a contestant on the new season of 'The Bachelorette,' which premiered Monday.

A new season of "The Bachelorette" has officially begun, and this time around, the troupe of eligible bachelors looking for love (and roses) includes someone local.

Joey Graziadei, a 28-year-old Montgomery County native and West Chester University tennis alum, is among the pool of 25 contestants vying for the heart of lead Charity Lawson. The teaching tennis pro, who now lives in Hawaii, made his reality TV debut in the season 20 premiere Monday night on ABC.

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Graziadei grew up in Royersford and attended Spring-Ford Area High School. He went on to play tennis at West Chester University, where he majored in communication and media studies and graduated in 2017. 

After college he moved to Hawaii to work as the head tennis pro at a golf club, then spent time in Tennessee as a sales development representative for a construction company and an account executive for a payroll company. 

But Graziadei's stint in the corporate world did not last long. According to his ABC bio, "this tennis pro quickly realized the corporate world wasn't for him and moved to Hawaii to live his passion of teaching his favorite sport."

After relocating back to Hawaii, Graziadei has been working as a tennis pro and “lifestyle and experience ambassador” in Koloa.

Graziadei shared with ABC that he enjoys stargazing, golf and country music, and is a "die-hard" Green Bay Packers fan. He appears to still root for some Philly home teams though, as he posted an Instagram photo last month wearing Phillies gear.

Family is important to Graziadei, and he is looking for someone to start his own with.

"Family does mean the world to me," he said in his intro package. "When I was in kindergarten, my dad came out as gay. It's made me more loving and accepting. I thought by this age I'd be with someone, and I do want a family. This could be the one."

Spoilers ahead for season 20, episode one of "The Bachelorette"

During Monday's episode, Graziadei gives a nod to his Hawaii residence with his limo entrance. Upon meeting Lawson, he places a plumeria flower behind her right ear, which according to Graziadei signifies her status as a single woman. The pair joke about whether they'll be able to move the blossom to her left ear, which would mean she's in a relationship.

From there, Graziadei heads into the mansion to join a cast that includes everyone from a professional jumper to a wrestler to Lawson's brother disguised as a bartender. There were also a few other guys from the tristate area: Tanner Courtad, a mortgage lender from Pittsburgh; Nicholas "Nic" Barber, an Army veteran and HR executive from Bayonne, N.J.; and Josh Young, a graduate student from Bethlehem, Pa.

the bachelorette contestantsCraig Sjodin/ABC

Montgomery County native Joey Graziadei (top left) pictured with 'The Bachelorette' lead Charity Lawson and 24 other contestants during the first night of the season.

Joey, who is 5 feet 11 inches tall according to his profile on the WCU tennis team website, jokingly expresses distress about how tall most of his fellow suitors are.  

"Why is everyone so tall?" he asks during the episode. "They're huge. I'm just like, 'Damn, I'm gonna be the shortest guy.'"

Despite the contestants' staggering heights, Graziadei's confidence doesn't waver too much and he is the first to pull Lawson for a conversation. Sparks fly between the pair, and Lawson tells the cameras she feels "butterflies." 

Six men were sent home at the end of the episode, but Graziadei nabbed a rose and will continue on the journey.

Whether Graziadei and Lawson fall in love remains to be seen (except for viewers who can't help but Google spoilers), but Graziadei has already earned some fans on social media.

"We’re all planning on being obsessed with Joey already right??" Twitter user @zacharyreality asked.

Members of Bachelor Nation can watch Graziadei's journey on "The Bachelorette" season 20 Monday nights at 9 p.m. on ABC or stream episodes the next day through Hulu.

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