Bachelorette finalist Justin Glaze reflects on his new life as a meme

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In a GIF, Bachelorette finalist Justin Glaze looks stunned, eyes wide and mouth gaping. In another, when he hears something he doesn’t seem to like, his eyes narrow and then roll as he takes a deep breath.

These are just two of the many faces of Glaze, a 27-year-old investment sales consultant from Baltimore, whose colorful expression caught the internet’s attention during the 17th season of the ABC reality dating show.

Glaze, who is also a painter, was one of the last two men left during Katie Thurston’s season that ended last week. Although Thurston eventually got engaged to Blake Moynes – a latecomer to the show who also appeared on Claire Crawley’s and Tayshia Adams’ seasons of The Bachelorette – Glaze walks away with an award no other guy in the house can claim: meme- Fame.

“I’ve been told about facial expressions for a long time,” Glaze told me on Thursday via Zoom. “But when I saw myself on TV, I thought, ‘Okay, that’s what people are talking about.'”

A search for “Justin” and “Bachelorette” on Twitter will take you through a gallery of exaggerated expressions. Glaze’s jaw hangs open in a picture taken from a confessional. Another of his looks up from an easel on a group date, his hand under his chin and his eyes looking straight into the camera.

And as the show unfolded, fans couldn’t get enough. “I’m sorry, but Justin’s face steals every scene, it’s absolutely unbelievable,” wrote a Twitter user. Wrote another, “Just to see Justin’s reactions at this point.”

Some even argued that Justin’s facial expressions were faces suitable for The Bachelor’s next star. “Can Justin PLEASE be the bachelor? I need a whole season with these faces,” wrote one user.

Glaze looks friendly and uncomplicated via Zoom. His eyebrows sway and he speaks with his hands, and the combination results in at least one meme-worthy moment. As he describes how he reacted to the drama in the house, he holds an imaginary cup of tea to his mouth: “You would see me in the corner just sipping my tea and not letting me in,” he said.

Glaze says the colorful expressions are natural. People will see him in public and comment on liking his faces on the show and he will react to that without even realizing it.

“They say, ‘There! This is the face! That is the face! ‘ And I don’t even know what I’m doing, “said Glaze.

Keep your brain entertained with the coolest news from streaming to superheroes, memes to video games.

The meme that started it all (or at least the first meme Glaze saw of himself) was from episode two. In it, the candidate Karl Smith steps on stage during a group date and reaches for a cardboard clipping from Katie. He strokes a banana and says the bachelorette needs someone to “rock their boat” after a long day. “You guys understand what I’m saying?” he asks.

“No,” Glaze says firmly in front of the camera, his eyebrows furrowed in an epic way. “That’s the first one who went crazy,” said Glaze.

Glaze said his friends sent him GIFs from the show in their group chats, but he wasn’t very interested in sharing memes of himself. “I tried my closest group of friends just to test the water and they made fun of me so badly,” said Glaze, who also makes fun of himself.

“I’m not sure who works faster, Twitter or the cameraman associated with my face,” he tweeted as the show aired.

Before Glaze’s face got taped all over social media, he was just a single guy during the pandemic. When things were closed he didn’t go to the office or bars and he didn’t meet people. He said the show seemed “a really cool way to date someone else”.

Looking back, he said, the experience had shown him how hard he could try. “If I can do that – sit out there so the whole world can see me and form opinions about me – and you know you’re okay with that, then I can do so much more than I thought before,” he said. he said.

In July, when the season was still on air, old tweets Glaze wrote between 2009 and 2011 reappeared and caused a stir. Glaze first posted the tweets, labeled homophobic and racist, as a teenager.

When the tweets resurfaced, Glaze said he “immediately felt awful … Little did I know those were tweets I posted when I was 14.”

Justin Glaze and Katie Thurston find a new boyfriend in the latest season of The Bachelorette.

ABC

Glaze apologized for the tweets on former Bachelorette Becca Kufrin’s Bachelorette Happy Hour podcast on July 12.

“I’m not going to defend myself and find excuses for anyone who turned me on or attacked me,” said Glaze. “I will let my actions speak louder than my words. And I just hope that people will see what kind of person I am. “

Now Glaze is back in Baltimore, juggling his job with his new life as a Bachelorette alum. (His most recent Instagram post shows him hanging out with his peers Greg Grippo and Andrew Spencer in New York.) He’s traveled a bit, got back to his art, and enjoys spending time with friends. “I’m kind of trying to get back into the groove of things,” said Glaze.

And good news for those who can’t get enough of Glaze’s face. He’s still single.

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