John Buresh grew up in Excelsior, went to Minnetonka High School and graduated from the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas. But when he appeared on this season of "The Bachelorette" this summer, the screen labeled him: "John B. from New York."

"I really wanted to be John B. from Minnesota," Buresh said by phone last week. Sure, Buresh, 27, had moved to New York City months before going on the ABC-TV show. But "my mind-set, my values, I feel like they're a lot more Midwestern.

"The way I say 'pop,' the way I say 'boat.' "

Being from the Midwest was a big reason why Buresh did the show. In the reality TV world populated largely by East and West Coast types, he had "an opportunity to represent the Midwest."

That and his older sister had urged him to apply. She's the "Bachelorette" fan. Buresh, it turns out, doesn't even watch TV.

Three years ago, after a tough breakup, Buresh quit TV, movies and video games — "things that weren't contributing to my life." He's always trying to better himself, to challenge himself. That is why he left his dream job with a hedge fund to meet Charity Lawson, the show's star. Why he, a "shy, insecure, scrawny kid from Minnesota," ended up in a skintight Ken doll costume on national television.

Why, if given the chance, he'd do it again.

"To go onstage in my birthday suit with a song I wrote in 45 minutes, performing it in front of hundreds of people? John of 10 years ago would have cried and left in a fetal position," he said. "It was an amazing experience."

That's good news, because since he was eliminated from the show last month, some fans are calling for Buresh to become the next — and first Asian — star of "The Bachelor."

His sister and best friend, Kristin Lehman, believes he'd be a great one. The show spotlighted how intelligent and funny, caring and faith-oriented he is in real life, she said.

"He held true to who he is," said Lehman, 33, who lives in Victoria. "That is the John that I've always known, I've always loved."

She laughed and added: "But I could have done without all the making out."

Growing up, Buresh played basketball, soccer and track and field, skills that would prove handy on "Bachelorette" group dates. But his focus was academics.

"It was all about getting into a good college," he said. "I didn't do anything except sports and school."

He attributed that to growing up in a half-Asian household, with his "wolf dad" and "tiger mom," as he put it in a half-serious Instagram post. A favorite story: He once had 115% in Chinese class, thanks to extra credit, and then earned 100% on a test, the highest score possible. His mom, who is Chinese, saw the drop and reprimanded him: "'You think you can just slack off?' "

"Mom, I said, that's the best I could do," Buresh said, laughing. "It's literally perfect."

She had the best intentions, he continued. "It's what instilled this academic prowess in me."

That prowess led Buresh to graduate from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management in 2.5 years, to earn his master's degree at St. Thomas, to publish research in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

While working at UnitedHealth Group as a data science manager, Buresh and his team had access to early, extensive data on COVID-19. So they started partnering with prestigious universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, to study a host of issues: COVID's effect on kids, risk factors leading to hospitalizations, mortality in Black patients vs. white.

"We were literally the only ones with the data," he said. "So especially as a guy obsessed with data, it was amazing to have that, to own it, to be responsible for it and then lead the charge for some of those efforts."

Many people who go on "The Bachelor" and its spinoffs have jobs that directly benefit from the publicity: Realtors, models, personal trainers trying to build Instagram followings. But to be on the show, Buresh had to leave his position at a hedge fund, a business invested in keeping a low profile. (He starts a new job at UnitedHealth Group in just a few weeks.)

"The whole reason I make money is to gain life experiences," he said. "I was fit, I was happy. ... My biggest goal in life is to get married and have kids.

"I believe you have to put yourself in situations where you can allow God's work."

Lehman helped Buresh pick his suits and came up with the idea for his so-called "limo exit," introducing himself to Lawson — and the country — by giving her a fortune cookie. "It's a little Chinese, a little American," he said during the June premiere. "I'm a little Chinese, a little American."

She read the fortune aloud, laughing: "'You will meet the man of your dreams tonight. His name is John.' "

"I'm just as shocked as you are," he said. "You picked a good one."

That first night was "terrifying," he said. "The limo just gets quieter and quieter and then all of a sudden, the guy opens the door and there's a spotlight on you. Boom."

But Buresh and Lawson connected over their shared faith and love of Elevation Worship, a Christian band. Lawson is a child and family therapist, and Buresh has a deep interest in psychology and "a naturally empathetic heart," Lehman said.

"And they both seem very family-oriented," she continued.

Buresh is close with her two children. Uncle John and her 3-year-old son FaceTime every night. "Their relationship is so cute," she said.

Buresh would be open to becoming "The Bachelor" or appearing on "Bachelor in Paradise." When asked, he said he'd be up for meeting fellow Minnesotan Michelle Young, the "Bachelorette" star, former teacher and collegiate basketballer, who is now single: "If Michelle wants to grab drinks, I'm down for that," he said.

It's all part of his effort to keep pushing, to keep growing. "One of my goals is to seek discomfort," he said. "When you get comfortable is when you stop progressing in life."

Buresh believes that Charity "has a real shot" at marrying one of the three men who are still contending for her heart. He will be watching.

But because he doesn't have live TV, it'll be a day late, via a friend's Hulu account.