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Former Verndale student in CMT reality show cast

Photo by Ron Jaffe/CMT. Jeremiah James Korfe1 / 2
Photo by Ron Jaffe/CMT. Former Verndale student Jeremiah Korfe (right) is on the cast of CMT reality show Sweet Home Alabama. Here he is shown doing a bean bag toss with Chance Lawrence and Shaun Smith.2 / 2

Jeremiah James

Korfe has worked behind the scenes of reality shows, but now he is on the other side of the camera with the third season of Country Music Television's (CMT) "Sweet Home Alabama" airing 8 p.m. Central time on Fridays.

The Clarissa native, who also attended Verndale High School during his junior year, was cast as one of twenty-two guys vying for the love of former NASCAR spokesmodel and southern belle Paige Duke.

A twist on the dating reality show genre has the men divided into "city guys" and "country guys," with farmer and musician Korfe as one of the country guys.

Duke also has a central Minnesota connection: in the premiere episode, she mentions her current job with Kruger Farms in Starbuck.

"After NASCAR I started working at Kruger Farms in Starbuck, Minnesota. I get to wake up every morning at the crack of dawn, take our clients hunting and fishing, and I couldn't ask for anything better," she said on the show.

The season premiere, "Cupid's Arrow," aired Friday Jan. 13, and can also be seen on CMT's website.

"When it airs, that's when I get to see it for the first time," he said, adding that there is so much footage that gets shot and so little that actually ends up on TV.

With twenty-two guys in a three-bedroom house, Korfe said, emotions ran high at times.

Of the eleven country guys, Korfe is the only one solidly north of the Mason-Dixon line. On the show, his southern teammates described him as "the token."

"It's very much country versus city," Korfe said. "The girl, Paige Duke, she is so well traveled and everything, that she knows what she loves about the city and she knows what she loves about the country."

Korfe gets in a bit of a tiff with New York shipping executive Sean Bigos - who is shown to be the alpha snob of the city guys - when the latter won't look people in the eye while introducing himself.

"I had to call him out on it," he said. "I had to set him straight right off the bat."

When Korfe met Duke by a John Deere, they connected over bow hunting and country life, and the season previews show them having some good chemistry later on.

During the premiere episode, Korfe said he was the only one of the ten kids in his family who wasn't married yet, and two years ago he bought a ring even though he hadn't found a girl.

"The story about the ring - that will all come out on the show," Korfe said. "That's just going to play out on the show."

Only his mom, dad and sister knew about the ring and asked him why.

"I knew personally that I was ready to get married, and it was one of those things that I came across a really beautiful ring," he said.

Korfe explained how he got on the show: he was in the middle of combining corn when a friend who worked with CMT gave him a call, which led to a Skype interview with producers. A few days later he was offered the role. Hesitant, he talked to friends and family, who encouraged him to go ahead with it.

Korfe was planning to return to Los Angeles after harvest anyway, and he took the job.

"It was awesome," he said.

Korfe works on his music in California and opened for Brian McKnight during the People's Choice Awards after party on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

The alt-rock band "From Joyce" has a few songs on iTunes, and a full album will be released as well. A few of the songs are on iTunes, and a full album will be released as well.

Korfe named the band shortly after his grandfather Joyce Line of Verndale passed away in 2010.

He keeps up with friends and family in the area.

He said he also made some new friends through "Sweet Home Alabama."

"You get really close with all the guys in the house because you're in such an unreal situation. You don't have a phone. You don't have a computer. They take your TV. No radios," Korfe said.

With the show in progress, no spoilers are allowed.

"There's so much that [I] just can't even talk about when I want to," he said.

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