Fans of reality TV did a double-take last month when Charlie Maher from The Bachelorette materialized just days after the show's Feb. 19 finale on an episode of Blind Date on TNN! No, his Trista Rehn-induced broken heart did not mend in record time. Turns out, that particular installment was taped three years ago.

"There's a skeleton that got out of the closet," laughs the 28-year-old financial analyst from Hermosa Beach, Calif. "I knew as soon they found out I was on Bachelorette they would start [re-running] the hell out of that thing again.

"It was right after I turned 26," he adds of the Date. "I did it because [a scout] approached me down at the beach. I figured, 'Hey, what the hell. This would be fun... Kind of a gas.' But as you saw, the girl was not very quality. Of course, they decided to set me up with somebody they thought I would have massive friction with... [so] it would be good television."

Maher, whom Rehn passed over for Shamu-lovin' poet Ryan Sutter, insists his reality days are over. "Basically, what I got out of [the Blind Date experience] was a big laugh," he says. "It definitely wasn't because I wanted to become a perpetual dating show contestant."

For more about Maher's surprise Blind Date, read the current issue of TV Guide magazine.