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He’s growing on me. And not just because his hair is getting a few inches higher by the day.

*Spoiler alert! I have no idea if any or all of the spoilers are true, but here’s what’s out there and how I feel about it…*

I’m cautiously optimistic about Emily Maynard. I never really wanted her to be “The Bachelorette,” but if she does pick Jef Holm — as way early spoilers indicate (see below) — I’ll think maybe this was a good idea after all.

Last summer, Emily said she was looking for a “funny/cute” guy. In ABC’s first press release for Season 8, it stated that Emily was looking for “someone who makes her laugh, doesn’t take himself too seriously and can be her best friend.”

She also mentioned in the press release that she’s particularly interested in volunteer work that helps children — and next on her list is a mission trip to Africa. (Side note: Must be nice to never have to *work* work.)

Keltie Colleen, Em’s friend from “The Bachelor” Season 15, recently shared some things to know about Emily, including “We had dinner when she came to hang with me in Myrtle Beach and we talked about our love of musicians, rocker types, slightly dirty and with that sense of style. I think everyone expects Em to love the ‘Ken’, to her ‘Barbie’, but she’s really not into that. She doesn’t care about abs and all that…”

Jef isn’t really grungy or dirty, but he’s no Ken doll and he does seem to have a hipster vibe with his skateboard and sunglasses.

So with that in mind, I looked at the ABC pics and bios for Em’s 25 guys and was … totally underwhelmed. Those photos are invariably horrible — too much hair gel, unflattering angles — but the 12-year-old with the pompadour really stood out in a bad way. That was Jef, who is actually 27, a year older than Emily.

Em and her men. There’s Jef, just to her left, looking like her kid brother.

But Jef is the kind of guy who grows on you. With Jef, it’s partly because of the good work he does with People Water. Watch him in action in this video.

In his intro on “The Bachelorette” premiere, Jef says people rarely take him seriously, because of the way he looks and acts, but he likes being underestimated, because if people care enough to get to know him they are pleasantly surprised. He is the CEO of a bottled water company and, for every bottle that’s purchased, a portion of the profits goes to a charity that builds wells around the world for people who need clean drinking water. He’s young and wants to enjoy life and he’s just missing that person.

He skateboards into the Charlotte, N.C. mansion instead of taking a limo, riding a horse or entering via helicopter, ala Kalon. When Jef throws his board to the side as he approaches Emily for the first time, she jokes “I was gonna ride that later!”

She seems very impressed with him right away and when they eventually sit down for a chat, she tells him she had been looking for him all night. That’s a good sign. Em eventually tells the cameras Jef made a great first impression (although he didn’t get the first impression rose) and he made her feel like a “nerd.” “He is super cool and I hope that he thinks I’m cool too.”

Interesting that he made her feel that way, since Brad Womack said he felt like a lovestruck high school sophomore around his Chosen One from “The Bachelor” Season 15 and we know that turned out to be Emily.

So Jef looks funny and cute, doesn’t take himself too seriously but has a serious, responsible side, seems good with kids (according to promo shots) and does inspiring work Emily probably admires. Plus, he lives in the Salt Lake City area, so if Em and Ricki move there, Em could be close to Michelle Money and Michelle’s daughter, Brielle.

Jef seems like he’d be a fun, childlike (but not childish) father figure for Ricki, inspiring both Em and Ricki to think beyond themselves, while adoring Emily the way she clearly wants to be adored.

** FORUM SPOILERS **

So what have the spoilers told us so far?

Last we heard from Reality Steve, Emily’s final three were Jef, fitness model Sean Lowe and Indy car racer Arie Luyendyk, Jr.

While Steve works with his sources to figure out the ending, The Bachelorette 8 forum has been busy sleuthing things out with their own sources.

Am I the only one who thinks these promo pics make Emily look like Season 3 Bachelorette Jen Schefft? Please let Em’s season be more successful.

Back on May 6, Love_Me posted info on the final two:

“I wanted to start a new thread because I was able to confirm who the F2 contestants will be this season.

This information is correct. There is no doubt in my mind I have the right information!

The F2 Are:

Jef
Sean

Arie was eliminated last night.”

Then, on May 9, Love_Me posted: “Jeff is the F1. There is no doubt in my mind.”

It seemed a little fishy because the final rose ceremony hadn’t been taped at that point — and there was some scuttlebutt about Arie sticking around after being eliminated, as if he were going to come back and make another play for Emily’s heart, as contestants do from time to time — but at this point taping is over and Jef is the early (and only) spoiler out there.

I have no idea if it’s true, but it feels true. I’d love it if Jef were picked early as the winner and the final rose ceremony was actually Jef and Emily’s wedding. It seems like fast work — especially for a serious single mom — but I know that’s Mike Fleiss’s dream for a couple to be so madly in love they get married on the spot. Since the show has a lot of romance work to do after Ben Flajnik’s season, maybe it will happen?

That’s kind of crazy talk at this point, but I hope it’s true anyway.

Read my recap of Emily’s premiere here.

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