Clint Arlis, a former Bachelorette contestant from Season 11, died on Tuesday, Jan. 11, according to reports from his family on Friday. He was 34 years ago.
“It is with great sadness, to tell you that my family has lost my best friend and older brother Clint on the morning of January 11th,” his younger sister Taylor wrote on Facebook. As fans and fellow cast members struggle to learn what happened, she asked for people to, “Please respect our family’s privacy as we try to cope with this great loss.”
No cause of death was reported for the Chicago project manager and architectural engineer. His family said that funeral arrangements will be announced soon as well.
His high school wrestling coach, Scott Bayer of Batavia, Ill., stated in a tribute on Twitter that Clint Arlis was a “protective, loving older brother of his sister, Taylor, and the boyhood idol and best friend of his kid brother, Coach Logan Arlis.”
A coach alongside his father, Bayer wrote that, “I have found him to be extraordinarily devoted to his family and deeply committed to the sport wrestling at a level few of us have ever reach[ed] in our careers. His legacies as a fierce competitor, tireless worker, a caring influence to younger Batavia wrestlers, a devoted friend and a loving son and brother will resonate far beyond his days in our presence.”
Fans may remember Clint Arlis for coining the phrase “villains gotta vill,” or for his much joked-about on-screen bromance with fellow contestant JJ Lane. The two shared time together in the hot tub at the Bachelor mansion and Clint played him a song on the guitar.
“The possibility of coming onto The Bachelorette and falling in love with a man never crossed my mind,” Clint said at the time. “I’m not really into Kaitlyn, but I need a rose tonight. I love JJ.”
“I feel like I’ve connected with JJ more than Kaitlyn,” he continued. “I want to stay here, and it’s actually making me fight more for this.”
Though eliminated in the third week or Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of The Bachelorette, he lived on in the lives of fellow Bachelor Nation contestants and was remembered for his now iconic phrase.
“Clint was very well-respected in his world,” Kaitlyn Bristowe said in an Instagram video Thursday night.
“I’m not sure what happened [or] how it happened, but all I want to say is knowing him from the show, even though things didn’t end on the best terms for us, from his time on the show until today, I have heard nothing but incredible things about that person from his peers, his students, his coaches, his teachers, his friends, his family,” she said.
“To anyone that knows him who might follow me that I am so sorry. It’s such a huge loss and I am honestly just beside myself at this news,” Kaitlyn continued. “So, if there’s anything I can do, I don’t know what I can do, but anything at all, please let me know.”
On Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of The Bachelorette, Clint received the first one-on-one date and later got the rose after Kaitlyn felt that they had good chemistry. He was let go the following episode, however, after the guys convince Kaitlyn that he was not “there for the right reasons.”
Nick Viall, a fellow contestant on Kaitlyn’s season and a prominent figure in The Bachelor world, wrote Thursday night that he got a chance to know Clint through the process of filming the show and that he “always enjoy[ed]” their time and conversations.
“A very kind, unique, and talented person who was taken from this world far too soon,” he continued. “RIP.”