Tampa Jesuit grad Chris Watson wins first season of ‘Bachelor’ spinoff ‘Listen to Your Heart’

He graduated in ‘08 and won the contest with his new girlfriend Bri Strauss.

Share on Nextdoor
click to enlarge Tampa Jesuit grad Chris Watson wins first season of ‘Bachelor’ spinoff ‘Listen to Your Heart’

The Tampa Bay area has pumped out its fair share of contestants on ABC dating shows “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” but it finally produced a winner.

Chris Watson and his girlfriend Bri Strauss—who he met on “The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart,” where aspiring singer-songwriters must pair up, find love and compete in an “American Idol” and “The Voice” style competition—were crowned winners on Monday night.

Watson’s “Bachelor” bio says he’s a soul-singer from Los Angeles, but the 30-year-old grew up in Tampa, graduated from Jesuit High School in 2008, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Creative Writing from the University of Miami. His dad, Patrick, died in 2014 when Watson was just 24 years old.

Strauss, 28, and Watson pretty much hit it off from the get-go on “Listen To Your Heart,” and more or less were the most musical couple on the show. A panel of judges including Taye Diggs, Jewel and Rita Wilson, as well as “Bachelor nation” couple Kaitlyn Bristowe and Jason Tartick crowned the couple winners, meaning they got to record music together as part of their winnings.

On the finale, a title card said, “Bri and Chris are still deeply in love today and are excited for the release of their debut album.” That album, Chris and Bri, is already on streaming services.

As Variety points out, Watson and Strauss are one of the only interracial couples of any “Bachelor” series.

And in case you’re wondering, the Catholic school boy and practicing Mormon from Provo, Utah did not take advantage of the fantasy suite they were offered on the finale.

Other notable Bay area “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” contestants include Ruskin native Leslie Hughes, University of Tampa alum Connor Jordan Obrochta, lawyer Samantha Passmore, sales executive Erin Gardner, and patient care coordinator Astrid Loch.

Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas.

Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Follow @cl_music on Twitter to get the most up-to-date music news, concert announcements and local tunes. Subscribe to our newsletter, and listen to us on WMNF 88.5-FM’s “Radio Reverb” program every Saturday from 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
Scroll to read more Local Music articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.