Chase Rice: What 'Bachelor' Fans Should Know About the Country Star (Including His 'Survivor' Past!)

In addition to being a country star, Chase Rice also has a reality TV past

Peter Weber may be the star of The Bachelor, but Chase Rice has recently been the man at the center of the drama.

On Monday night’s episode, viewers watched as the country singer made his debut on the ABC reality series, performing in front of his ex (and current Bachelor contestant!) Victoria Fuller. Although Rice was excited about the opportunity to sing on the show, he didn’t know he would come face-to-face with Fuller until the moment she walked out with Weber at the private concert.

“I didn’t know any of that was going to happen,” he said during an interview with SiriusXM’s The Highway on Monday. “I don’t want to be a part of that, you know? That’s not why — I’m going on there to promote [my music].”

When asked about his relationship with Fuller, Rice simply said on the podcast, “I’ve known her for a little while now.”

Although Rice didn’t expect to be a storyline on The Bachelor, he is no stranger to reality television and its drama. Here’s six things to know about the 34-year-old country crooner.

1. He competed on Survivor.

In 2010, Rice was a contestant on Survivor: Nicaragua and competed on the La Flor tribe. Then 24 years old, he was named the runner-up on the CBS reality competition show.

When asked his reasoning for competing, Rice said in his Survivor biography, “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

He also described himself in three words as “adventurous, athletic, competitive.”

Though he didn’t win title of sole Survivor, he said he hoped “people will trust me because I’m from the South and people tend to trust a southerner.”

Chase Rice
Chase Rice. Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty

2. He worked as a race-car jackman.

Prior to establishing his name in the country music world, Rice worked as a pro race-car jackman, he said in his Survivor bio.

While he enjoys strumming the guitar, Rice also likes using his hands to fix cars.

He said of his hobbies in his bio: “Working on cars, riding 4-wheelers, hunting.”

3. He played football at the University of North Carolina.

Rice, whose hometown is Asheville, North Carolina, played linebacker at UNC. During his senior year of college, the 6-foot-3 athlete weighed 230 lbs., according to his athlete biography, and “played in all 13 games.”

“When I came to Carolina, I was 190 pounds,” Rice said in an interview with UNC in 2015. “I had guys like Larry Edwards and Tommy Richardson who were real linebackers. They were bigger and faster than me. I had to work harder than them just to get on their level. They were more gifted than me.”

“I’ve always played that underdog role in music, too. Right away, I had people telling me I was doing it wrong. I knew I would have to write more songs or tour more, because there are better singers, better writers and better guitar players than me. But if nobody outworks me, then who can stop me?” he said.

4. His first song was about his late father.

In May 2008, his father Daniel died at the age of 57. Rice turned to the guitar to help him heal.

“I wrote that first song about my dad in the month after he died,” Rice told UNC. “I wasn’t really good at playing the guitar yet, but it was a way for me to talk about it. That’s the way it happened. I wrote that one, and then I kept writing more. It was fun for me.”

He added, “With football, so many things got in the way of me being able to be the best.”

“With music, as soon as I started doing it, I saw results. People showed up, and the next show got bigger, and then the next show got bigger. That gives you the confidence to keep working. I’ve been fortunate to do it my way, and that’s what I want to keep doing,” Rice said.

Chase Rice
John Shearer/WireImage

5. He recently dropped an album about his ex.

While some Bachelor fans speculated that songs on Rice’s recent album, The Album, Pt. 1, were inspired by Fuller, he set the record straight.

“That’s not true at all, either,” Rice said on SiriusXM’s The Highway. “Without throwing her under the bus … it’s about my ex-girlfriend.”

Speaking with PEOPLE about his new album, Rice revealed last week that every song on his record was written about his ex-girlfriend, a med school student whom he dated for a year and a half.

“All of the songs are about one girl,” Rice said. “I dated a girl for a year and a half and we broke up and I wrote songs about it. I’m not the first person to do that and I won’t be the last.”

Rice continued: “It’s tough s— to go through. It’s not fun, especially when you love somebody. But the coolest part about my job is that I get to tell my side of the story.”

He also opened up about the situation during an appearance on Fitz in the Morning radio show ahead of Monday’s episode, revealing he knew Fuller was going on The Bachelor and had expressed concern to his manager and publicist before agreeing to perform.

Chase rice and Victoria Fuller
ABC; Michael Loccisano/Getty

“They were like, ‘Don’t even worry about that,’ ” he recalled. “ ‘They’re not going to do that to you, that’s a weird coincidence … there’s no way they would do that to you. They’ve never brought somebody else in like that, surprised the guest on the show.’ ”

“So the fact they did that to me, it’s over the top, it’s unnecessary,” he said. “I didn’t expect it. But at the end of the day, it happened.”

6. He was a co-writer of Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise.”

While Rice writes and plays his own music, he has also co-written for other artists — most notably Florida Georgia Line‘s 2013 hit “Cruise.” As of August, “the song remains the best-selling digital country single of all time; in fact, it was certified diamond (or 10 million times platinum) in early 2016,” The Boot reported.

The Bachelor continues with two episodes next week, on Monday and Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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