August 2011

He Was The Cape’s Most Eligible Bachelor

Cape Cod Life  /  August 2011 /

Writer: Lindsay Oliver / Photographer: Stacey Hedman 

After finding fame on The Bachelorette, Dennis native Chris Lambton shares thoughts on life, love—and why Cape Cod will always be home.

The Bachelorette, Dennis native Chris Lambton

Despite his national television appearances and newfound fame, Cape Cod resident Chris Lambton is just your guy next door. Photo by Stacey Hedman

Most people go about their days without being approached by perfect strangers who ask them probing questions about their personal lives. But for Chris Lambton of Dennis, the runner-up on last year’s season of ABC’s hit reality dating show The Bachelorette, this kind of occurrence has become normal. Whether out at a restaurant with family and friends or in his front yard on Cape Cod, people walk right up to this reality star and start engaging him in conversation. “You’re Chris L.!” they exclaim as they rush toward him. “Are you heartbroken? Are you okay? Have you found love?” they ask, as though speaking to a close friend. While Chris didn’t win the show or the heart of Ali Fedotowsky, viewers fell hard for this handsome, down-to-earth Cape Codder.

After his stint in the TV world, Lambton is doing well. He embraces the good life with his friends and family back on the Cape, having famously turned down an offer from ABC to be the next star of the show The Bachelor, opting instead to return home. Lambton now believes in finding real love off-camera (which he did, but more on that later). “There’s a reason why [reality TV relationships] don’t really work out that much, because you’re in these perfect situations,” he says. “How can you not fall in love with somebody when you’re walking a beach at sunset on a tropical island, holding hands and sipping piña coladas? It’s not like, ‘Hey, did you pay the electric bill this month?’—‘No, did you?’ It’s just not real.”

Lambton was born at Cape Cod Hospital and grew up in Dennis, attending the Ezra H. Baker Elementary School, Wixon Middle School, and Dennis Yarmouth Regional High School. He went on to study chemistry and math at Providence College.
He was teaching math, coaching basketball, and working as head dean of discipline at a high school in New York City a few years ago when he got news that his mom, Marjorie was diagnosed with multiple system atrophy (MSA). He returned home to the Cape right away to help care for her.

Since her passing in 2008, Lambton has lived in Dennis and worked in the family business, E. Lambton Landscaping, which he co-owns with his brother Erik. So how did a landscaper from Cape Cod end up on a reality dating show?
Two summers ago, Lambton was working on a landscaping job for a local woman and got to chatting with her. She couldn’t believe he was still single— Lambton is a striking figure, tall and athletic with a head of short, sandy-colored hair above a handsome face. Moreover, he’s smart, funny, and kind-hearted— an ideal bachelor!

The women he was working for took Lambton’s picture, wrote an application, and sent it in to the producers of The Bachelorette. A month later, Lambton began receiving calls from the producers asking him to be on the cast.
He turned them down until he serendipitously ran into the lady who sent in his application, long after his landscaping work for her had finished. She found out that he had been chosen and told him he just had to do it! Lambton said to himself, “OK, that’s got to be a sign or something” and said yes to the offer.

The Bachelorette, Dennis native Chris Lambton

Lambton takes a big swing while playing some pick up baseball. Photo by Stacey Hedman

Lambton spent ten weeks filming the show as one of an original group of 25 men who were vying for the affection of the bachelorette, Ali Fedotowsky. In each episode, Fedotowsky would give a rose to every guy who had a chance of continuing during a climactic Rose Ceremony; those who didn’t receive one were eliminated and sent home. The show took Lambton on trips from L.A. to N.Y.C., and to exotic locations like Iceland, Turkey, Portugal, Tahiti, and Bora Bora, where he and the other contestants went on scripted “dates” with Ali in the hopes of winning her.

Adjusting to this new life on camera was definitely strange for Lambton. “It’s bizarre,” he says. “I’ve been spending my life without cameras around, and all of a sudden there are cameras on you 24-seven, and big ones too, not little sneaky ones.”

The Bachelorette, Dennis native Chris Lambton

Lambton has succeeded in finding love after his Bachelorette days, pictured here with his fiance. Photo by Stacey Hedman

When Lambton went on dates, he had a microphone on, and there was almost always an intrusive boom mike hanging right in between him and Fedotowsky. “It’s definitely a little awkward,” he says, “but after a little while you kinda get used to it . . . I don’t know if it’s good or bad to say that it became normal, but it did.”

Lambton has none of the familiar complaints about unfair editing that other reality stars have. He thinks that he was portrayed accurately. His brother Erik agrees, saying, “Chris is a really friendly, outgoing guy and he came across that way.”

The Cape Cod guy made it through the competition right up until the very end, having become perhaps the most popular cast member along the way. In a heartbreaking scene, Ali Fedotowsky broke things off with Lambton during their final date, sparing him the pain of attending a last Rose Ceremony, since she had already chosen the only other remaining contestant, Roberto Martinez.

The Bachelorette, Dennis native Chris Lambton

Between his two brothers, Lambton feels at home in the Cape despite traveling the world on the television show. Photo by Stacey Hedman

Looking back, Lambton now sees his relationship with Fedotowsky as a “good friendship,” one that would have developed the same way had it happened off-camera. He says, “I think on-camera and off-camera, our relationship would have been kind of the same . . . We would have been like really good friends who hung out a lot, more than boyfriend-girlfriend.”

For all of the fame that the reality show brought him, Lambton still prefers his laid-back Cape Cod lifestyle. “My brother and I work for ourselves,” he says. “In the summer, if it’s a really nice day and it’s a Tuesday, we’re like ‘Hey, wanna quit at one and go to the beach?’” Lambton says. “We like to enjoy the beautiful weather in the summer. Most people who grew up here or stay here have that mentality.”

In addition to working with Erik, he also spends a lot of time with his other brother Mark, who works at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and with his dad, Ed. Every Sunday, the family congregates for dinner, and everyone brings an appetizer, dinner, or dessert. “It’s an old-school tradition that not enough families do together,” he says. Lambton also has a close-knit group of friends here. And of course, he loves hanging out with his beach-loving dog, a black lab named Jetty.

As Cape Cod Life prepared to go to press, we learned some big news: the Cape’s most eligible bacehlor won’t be a bachelor for much longer! In June, Lambton proposed to his girlfriend Peyton Wright, a former cast member on The Bachelor. It looks like appearing on The Bachelorette did lead him to true love after all.

With all the fervent admirers and the perks that fame provides, Chris Lambton never loses touch with his roots. He is content to settle into life on the Cape with his lovely wife-to-be. As Lambton says, “Born a Cape Codder, always a Cape Codder.”

Lindsay Oliver is a freelance writer and a former intern at Cape Cod Life Publications.