News and Tribune

April 23, 2011

Loving life: Path to stardom leads Jeffersonville High School grad to surprising stop on reality TV


JEFFERSONVILLE — If you were walking the halls of Jeffersonville High School a few years ago, chances are you wouldn’t have noticed John Miller. “If he was in a room with you, you wouldn’t even know he was there,” his father, also named John Miller, said referring to his son. “He’s such a quiet guy.”

He wasn’t an imposing fellow either. As a freshman he only weighed about 120 pounds and was less than 6 feet tall. Considering the person he was back when he first came to Jeffersonville High School, it’s safe to say no one expected to find his picture in the cast bios section of the website for the reality show “Love Games: Bad Girls Need Love Too.”

The reality show the reserved kid from Southern Indiana wound up on is the second season of a dating show where 15 bachelors live in a $20 million Los Angeles mansion with three women from various seasons of another reality show called “Bad Girls Club.” According to Oxygen’s website “Bad Girls Club” brings seven bad girls together, “in a house where the women recognize that their outrageous behavior has hindered their relationships, careers and lives.” In the first episode of Love Games, which aired Monday night, the competition was a kissing booth where the bachelors stood in a line blindfolded, kissed each bad girl and voted on who was the best kisser. It’s not exactly where you’d expect to find that small, quiet freshman a few years after graduation, but what a difference a few years can make.

While a bachelor on Love Games wasn’t exactly what Miller aspired to be, it does compliment the career he has wanted to pursue for as long as anyone can remember. Since his early childhood Miller’s father remembers his son saying he wanted to be a professional wrestler.

“At that time I was shaking my head,” John Miller Sr. said. “He was a skinny, little bitty kid.”

But his size didn’t deter him from his dream. From day one on the Jeffersonville High School wrestling team, Head Coach Danny Struck said Miller was talking about becoming a pro wrestler.

“Typically kids who wrestle don’t talk about pro wrestling,” Struck said. “But he said that was his goal.”

Miller began lifting weights and got into bodybuilding, which led him to the Kentucky Muscle Strength & Fitness Extravaganza. At the event, while Miller was walking from booth to booth, he ran into professional wrestler Rob Conway who was with World Wrestling Entertainment at the time. They discussed Miller’s interest in becoming a professional wrestler and Conway suggested he join Ohio Valley Wrestling, which was the former developmental organization for the WWE. This training, along with a growth spurt that turned a scrawny teenager into a 6-foot-1-inch 220 pound man, helped Miller get a call from the WWE to do a try out in Tampa, Fla. Since then Miller has appeared in several wrestling events and is scheduled for a WWE pay-per-view event May 1 and Monday Night Raw on May 2.

It was through the WWE that Miller met someone who had done reality TV before and told him it was a good way to get some exposure. Soon after that Miller called his father and asked for a video camera. He sent a video to MTV’s reality show “The Real World,” but he didn’t make it. He did however get a phone call and several subsequent interviews, before being chosen as one of the bachelors for Love Games. Then it was off to Los Angeles for, “a wild experience,” Miller said. “There were all different kinds of personalities. Every group of people you could think of in high school, we had one of each personality.”

Despite living in a house for a month with so many different personalities, Miller said he made friends, especially with Taylor, an in-store model at Abercrombie and Fitch who is originally from Birmingham, Ala., and Emilio who is best known for being the ex-boyfriend of Snooki from MTV’s hit reality show “Jersey Shore.”

The eight-episode season of Love Games was filmed in September, so Miller knows how far he made it, but he’s not allowed to spoil it for viewers. Although, using some show business skills, he did offer an intriguing hint for viewers.

“Let’s just say I was a valuable guy on the show,” Miller said.

His old wrestling coach seems to agree. Struck said when he was watching the first episode he noticed Miller didn’t say very much. That’s when Struck told his wife, “You know what, he’s making it to the next round. If they were cancelling him he’d be all over the screen.”

When and if that face time comes, Struck hopes it doesn’t come at a cost. “I hope they don’t make John look like a jerk,” Struck said.

Miller isn’t too worried about how he will be portrayed on the show, despite the potential for a surprise.

“All in all, I was pretty much just myself on the show,” Miller said. “As far as editing, I have no idea. I haven’t seen the show.”

Miller’s father said he’s not at all opposed to having his son on a reality TV show.

“I’m not against somebody trying to live their dreams,” John Miller Sr. said. “I’m just proud of him.”