Bobby Bones Says He Was a ‘Grinch’ Before Meeting Caitlin Parker

Bobby Bones is happily engaged to Caitlin Parker, with plans to get married later this year — something at one time he thought he might never do. The 40-year-old reveals that, although he had been in relationships in the past, he never fell in love, until he met Parker.

“I’ve never told anyone I love them at all until her,” Bones told Parade. “I’m like the Grinch. I had a deep, dark heart and no one was able to get to it. And then, like at the end of The Grinch where his heart grows in size three times, that’s what happened when I met her.”

Bones might have continued staying emotionally guarded, if he hadn’t won Dancing With the Stars.

“In the end, that is what introduced me to my fiancée … We had a chance meeting,” Bones said. “She had a friend that was working PR, but I only went to visit them because I’d won Dancing With the Stars. So because of that Mirrorball, I am now with the person I’m going to marry and be with for the rest of my life.”

Season 19 of American Idol will kick off this Sunday, February 14, with Bones once again returning for the fourth season on ABC, to serve as a mentor for the contestants. It’s a role he cherishes, even if he was initially unsure if it would be a good fit for him.

“Working with Idol is great because this is really the one singing competition show that is about the artist,” Bones acknowledged. “And so, even from season one on ABC, it was, ‘Hey, let’s see what I can lend to the contestants,’ because I didn’t really know yet. I hadn’t been on the show yet. Then to not only watch them grow and to see that I could help them with a lot of things, like what songs to sing or how to impress the judges, and then once I won Dancing With the Stars, I could actually talk to them about competing on a show, because I’d been through that as well.”

Bones has plenty on his plate already, including his award-winning iHeartRadio The Bobby Bones Show, and his upcoming show on National Geographic, Breaking Bobby Bones, but the Arkansas native feels compelled to keep pouring into the aspiring singers.

“What keeps me going back is the fact that I get to keep developing these guys even after the show is over,” Bones said. “I took a couple contestants from the last season on tour with me as well, to open and to play in my band. So it’s been pretty great for me so far as the continued mentorship.”