With the advent of reality television, many average Joes around the country have gotten the opportunity to rise to stardom. Yet in the quaintness of the purple bubble, the thought of spotting a celebrity is generally limited to D-list stars during the summer theater festivals. Few would imagine that a star who regularly graces celebrity magazines could be sitting across the room at Mezzé or strolling down charming Spring Street. However, Ali Fedotowsky, star of The Bachelorette and contestant on The Bachelor who hails from our very own Williamstown, shows us that the little man can grab fame and the hearts of the American public in the process.
The bucolic hills of western Massachusetts – where the small towns are packed so tightly together that you barely have time to leave one before the next one sneaks up on you – isn’t the place where you would expect to find a girl destined to appear on multiple reality TV shows. Though Ali Fedotowsky was the type of girl for whom a career in television seemed plausible, her entrance to The Bachelor was a little surprising. “I’m not 100-percent positive on what prompted Ali to do the TV show, but I do know that it was more spontaneous than a childhood dream,” said her brother, Mike Fedotowsky. “I know that she tried out for shows like Real World in the past, but I think it was more of a situation where her friends recommended and pushed her to apply for the show.”
A friend of A. Fedotowsky once counseled her to appear on the show saying, “If you find your husband on this show, then nothing else matters.”
Participating in The Bachelor did pose some risks in A. Fedotowsky’s life, however, to which the family was not impervious. “When Ali first told me that she was going on The Bachelor, I had no idea what the show was or what she was getting into, so initially I didn’t understand how much Ali was risking her heart,” said her brother. “After watching her on The Bachelor, I had a much better understanding of what she was getting herself into on The Bachelorette, and it was very difficult to watch, knowing she left her entire life behind to potentially come away empty-handed. I know the rest of my family felt the exact same way.”
Apart from her family’s concern, A. Fedotowsky also had to worry about the risk that the show posed to her career. “Doing The Bachelorette did cause Ali to lose her job, but she did feel it was worth the risk,” her brother said.
After all, the probability of finding the perfect someone to share your life with isn’t optimistic, and A. Fedowtowsky was given a second chance. That’s not opportunity knocking; it’s opportunity breaking the door down.
“Whether it’s sports, friends, relationships, work or even video games, Ali challenges you to become a better person,” said M. Fedowtowsky.
As a sister, A. Fedotowsky was supportive, standing up for her siblings in all circumstances. “Ali was always very independent and outgoing,’ said M. Fedotowsky. “She wanted to learn [about] the world and her surroundings.” As a college student, A. Fedotowsky channeled her love of helping others into her studies in psychology.
Though she lived part of her young life in Williamstown, A. Fedotowsky didn’t associate much with students at the College. “I don’t think Ali got too involved with the Williams crowd,” said M. Fedotowsky. “She had a lot of close friends growing up in Williamstown, and she spent her free time with them mostly.”
Her brother recalls good times growing up with A. Fedotowsky, “playing dark tag with all of the kids in our neighborhood, her teaching me how to do flips on the trampoline and our battle to see who could beat the N64 game Zelda first. Needless to say, she won.”
Although a loving daughter, A. Fedowtowsky occasionally didn’t see eye to eye with her parents. “I think the funniest childhood memory of Ali was her hatred of the glasses my parents made her wear,” her brother said. “She would do whatever it took not to wear those things: hiding them, flushing them down the toilet, etc.”
Even though she is making a new life on the West Coast with fiancé Roberto Martinez, A. Fedotowsky has remained in touch with her small town roots. “Ali still loves to come back to Williamstown. Whether it is to come back to embrace [the] beauty and peacefulness, or if it’s just to get away from all of the attention that the major cities give to her,” her brother said.
Though at first A. Fedotowsky’s newly acquired fame led to ambivalent feelings among the family, perhaps the need to look good under all the flashing cameras has actually helped the family. “I was very skeptical of how all this fame for Ali would affect our family, but I am happy to say that, if anything, it has brought our family closer together,” M. Fedotowsky said, “We have had more family get-togethers in the past three months than we had in the past three years. Having A. Fedotowsky away during the time she was filming was tough, but it also made it that much better when we had the opportunity to talk to her and see her.”