The untold truth of The Bachelorette's Luke Parker

The Bachelorette contestant Luke Parker has become one of the most polarizing figures in Hannah Brown's Season 15 of ABC's hit reality dating show. And he's largely contributed to the season being one of the most dramatic ones the series has ever seen.

The Gainesville, Ga. resident, to whom Brown gave her First Impression Rose, has been at the center of the drama since Season 15 premiered. While the contestant's Bachelorette bio says Parker "prides himself on being able to get along with anyone," his interactions with fellow contestants throughout the season have seemed to prove otherwise. Despite this, Parker remained a frontrunner in Brown's eyes, and the self-proclaimed "CrossFit Try-Hard" earned himself a Grecian Fantasy Suite date with the Bachelorette. However, after a heated exchange regarding sex before marriage, Brown sent Parker packing.

There's no question that Parker will forever be known by Bachelor Nation as one of the franchise's most divisive stars — but there's more to this controversial contestant than what fans have seen on TV. Here's the untold truth of The Bachelorette's Luke Parker.

Luke Parker's sister-in-law nominated him for The Bachelorette

There's more than one way to become a contestant on The Bachelorette. While some contestants are scouted in the wild by producers, the bulk of contestants were once Bachelorette hopefuls who attended an in-person casting call, nominated themselves online, or had a family member or friend send in an application on their behalf. Bachelorette contestant Luke Parker falls within that third category. 

According to The Gainesville Times, Hannah Parker, Luke's sister-in-law, nominated him for the show without his knowledge. "This time last year, [Luke] went through a bad break up," she told the publication in a May 2019 interview. "I watch the show, so my husband and I were just sitting there and I was like, 'I'm going to apply Luke for the show and just see what happens.'"

She admitted she thought her brother-in-law had "no chance" of getting on the show. Of course, no one could predict what a polarizing figure the Gainesville, Ga. guy would soon become.

Hannah Brown met Luke Parker before The Bachelorette officially started

The Bachelorette has been a reality TV staple since Trista Sutter's season in the early 2000s — but the show has undergone some major changes throughout its years on the air. For example, while earlier seasons of The Bachelorette show the lead meeting her contestants for the first time at the Bachelor mansion, later seasons have seen the Bachelorette meeting five of her suitors during The Bachelor's end-of-season After the Final Rose special. Bachelorettes Rachel Lindsay, Becca Kufrin, and Hannah Brown were all surprised with this sneak peek at their contestants — and Luke Parker was one of the lucky men chosen to meet Brown before her season even started.

During The Bachelor's March 2019 season finale, Parker was the first contestant to walk on stage and meet the new Bachelorette. "You are absolutely stunning," Parker told a visibly nervous Brown. "You are the only one that I wanted to be the next Bachelorette. And now that I'm here, actually holding your hands, in real life ... this is just blowing my mind. I seriously cannot wait to get to know you on a deeper level."

Luke Parker wanted Hannah Brown to be The Bachelorette

The Bachelorette has a record of vilifying contestants who appear to be on the show for the wrong reasons, no matter what those reasons may be. Past seasons have seen contestants spark backlash for having significant others back home, openly wishing another former contestant was the Bachelorette, and using the show to promote their music career. However, while Luke Parker has certainly emerged as Season 15's no. 1 villain, those close to the contestant say he only appeared on the show to meet Hannah Brown.

Parker's brother, Mike, claimed that the contestant only had eyes for the Alabama native while watching The Bachelor, telling The Gainesville Times, "He didn't really want to be on the show if it was anybody else other than [Brown]." 

Hannah Parker, Luke Parker's sister-in-law, echoed her husband's sentiments, revealing that the family hoped Brown would be the next Bachelorette because she appeared to have the most in common with Luke. Specifically, as she told The Gainesville Times, Luke's family was excited to see Brown "reading her bible, and writing in her journal and stuff" while on The Bachelor.

Luke Parker's family was worried about his appearance on The Bachelorette

None of us like to see the people we love heartbroken, embarrassed, or angry — and we certainly don't want to see our loved ones simultaneously experience all three of those emotions while millions of people watch. Unfortunately for Luke Parker's family, they've had to do all that and more following the Bachelorette contestant's controversial run on the ABC reality TV show. However, while Parker's family has been vocal and unwavering in their support, his sister-in-law, Hannah, did admit she had concerns regarding Luke's reality television debut.

"I know that it's a reality TV show, and I've never been on one so I don't know how it works, but I imagine it's going to be kind of tough and they're going to put him in situations to maybe try to get him to act a certain way," she revealed in a May 2019 interview with The Gainesville Times. "So for him to stick to his guns and have character in all those situations they put him in, I think that's going to be the toughest part."

The Bachelorette's Luke Parker used social media to address his behavior

From the moment he received the coveted First Impression Rose during The Bachelorette's Season 15 premiere, Luke Parker was quite the divisive figure within Hannah Brown's group of suitors. Throughout the season, Parker only seemed to play into the negativity, continually making controversial remarks, arguing with fellow contestants, and seemingly shaming Brown for exercising her autonomy. Unsurprisingly, this behavior earned Parker a bad rap with many a Bachelorette fan — garnering a wave of backlash that prompted the contestant to address his haters directly through the power of social media.

On May 28, 2019 — just weeks after The Bachelorette's season premiere — Parker posted a photo of himself and Brown to Instagram, captioning the pic, in part, "Regardless of what is aired AND IF [Brown] and I are together or not, my behavior in all situations has been and will continue to be exposed." He continued, "I'm the first to admit I am far from perfect. This journey has giving me a great opportunity to grow and mature as a man, for that I am grateful."

Luke Parker took his Bachelorette drama to Twitter

On Monday, July 15, 2019, fans of The Bachelorette finally got to see the moment ABC had been teasing for weeks — Hannah Brown and Luke Parker's fiery argument about premarital sex.

"I don't believe [premarital sex is] something you should be doing, and I just want to make sure that you're not going to be sexually intimate with the other relationships here," Parker told Brown. This didn't sit well with the Bachelorette, who wasted no time in sending Parker packing, telling him, "I don't owe you anything." However, the jilted contestant apparently wasn't done with the conversation. While fans were watching their heated breakup play out on TV, Parker was busy calling out Brown on Twitter.

He tweeted, "@AlabamaHannah, [the] difference in how we view sin is seen in the response, I'm weeping at mine and you're laughing at yours. All sin stings. My heart hurts for both of us." When Brown tweeted that she refused to be "lectured on appropriate emotional responses" by Parker, he responded, "If you want to talk about it, you know how to get ahold of me."

Some Bachelorette fans have rushed to Luke Parker's defense

While allegations of infidelity have been brought up against Jed Wyatt, another one of Hannah Brown's season frontrunners, Luke Parker's onscreen persona has earned him the title of Bachelorette villain. As is the case with any Bachelor franchise bad guy, Parker's appearance on The Bachelorette garnered major backlash from fans — as did his heated Twitter spat with Brown. 

"You ruined the show week after week. Anyone can call themselves a Christian. Actions speak louder than words. You need Jesus," one fan tweeted at Parker, defending Brown.

But despite the overwhelming majority of fans who were happy to see Parker eliminated, the controversial contestant has been met with a surprising amount of support from the Christian community. One fan tweeted, "Luke, you deserve a girl who shares your feelings, beliefs, and moral standards. [Brown will] be convicted of her sins, let the Holy Spirit do it ... keep your head up and keep moving forward. I think the guilt was part of her anger tonight, not you." Another supporter posted to Twitter, "God will send you someone worth your time. You dodged a bullet."

The Bachelorette's Luke Parker claims to place faith over fame

For better or for worse, Luke Parker never shied away from openly discussing his faith — and what his faith means for his future marriage — during his Bachelorette run. Of course, differing interpretations of Christianity are what ultimately led Hannah Brown to send Parker packing — something the contestant's Bachelorette bio seemingly foreshadowed before Season 15 even premiered. 

"Luke P. is a good Christian boy from Gainesville, GA," Parker's bio reads. "After a religious awakening in college, Luke decided that when he dates, it's for marriage. To Luke, 'for better or for worse' means unconditional love. Luke seems to be everything Hannah wants in a husband. Is this a match made in heaven, or is it all too good to be true?" 

Considering Brown has indicated that she has no interest in speaking to Parker again, the answer to that question seems to be a resounding yes. While it's still too early to tell if Parker will become an active member of Bachelor Nation, the contestant's oft-used #FaithfulOverFamous hashtag (as seen in his Instagram bio) seems to point to Parker preferring solitude to the spotlight.

Luke Parker's exit ended a Bachelorette streak

Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette has been newsworthy for a number of reasons. From the drama surrounding singer-songwriter contestant Jed Wyatt, to fans' excessive adoration of frontrunner Tyler Cameron, to Brown owning and being open about her sexuality — the Alabama native and her group of suitors have made quite a few headlines throughout Season 15. Luke Parker's run on the show even ended a years-long Bachelorette streak, though it's probably nothing Parker will want to brag about.

As fans know, Bachelorettes have a knack for handing out their First Impression Roses to the men from whom they'll eventually accept proposals, as explained by Entertainment Tonight. As of this writing, six Bachelorettes have left the show engaged to the winner of their First Impression Rose, including the four leads who came directly before Brown — Kaitlyn Bristowe, JoJo Fletcher, Rachel Lindsay, and Becca Kufrin. While it seemed for a while that Brown would be the fifth Bachelorette lead in recent years to leave the show engaged to her First Impression Rose bachelor, Parker's Fantasy Suites Week exit ended that streak faster than you can say, "I f****d in a windmill."

Luke Parker's brother claims Bachelorette producers manipulated conversations

Like every reality television show, The Bachelorette is a highly produced series. While contestants aren't memorizing lines from a script, a lot of what they say and do is majorly influenced by Bachelorette producers. Former Bachelor producer Sarah Gertrude Shapiro has called the process "complicated manipulation through friendship," and even admitted that she would purposely mislead contestants into thinking they were frontrunners in an effort to elicit explosive, emotional responses when they eventually got dumped. Simply put, producers reportedly know the story they want to tell viewers and have contestants at their mercy.

According to Luke Parker's brother, Mike, producers on Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette are responsible for the contestant's appearance as a villain. Mike Parker told Fox News that producers decided not to include conversations between his brother and Brown in the final edit of the show, as those alleged conversations would, according to Mike, prove that Brown shared Parker's beliefs regarding sex before marriage.

Mike Parker told Fox News, "Leaving out those conversations makes Luke look judgmental and controlling when they talk about sex."

The Bachelorette's Luke Parker claims he never planned to propose

On July 22, 2019, ahead of The Bachelorette's Men Tell All special, viewers watched as Luke Parker made his way to the Grecian rose ceremony following the Fantasy Suite dates — even though Bachelorette Hannah Brown had eliminated him during the dinner portion of their overnight date. "She doesn't realize that I'm not through. This isn't over for me yet," Parker said in a video confessional. "She's never told me that she loves me, but she loves me."

Despite his confidence, Brown was quick to let Parker know that she wasn't in love with him, and that their relationship was, indeed, over. As the jilted contestant finally accepted Brown's wishes and left the premises, host Chris Harrison revealed to the Bachelorette that Parker had come to the rose ceremony with a ring in his pocket and the intention to propose. Oh, the drama!

However, Parker vehemently denied Harrison's claim in an Instagram story (via Bustle), writing, "I was not ready to propose. [The] producers gave me that ring to show Hannah how serious I was. I had zero intention of proposing."