On Monday night in the reality television world, all eyes were on the new Bachelorette contestant, Becca Kufrin, who was looking for love after having her heart broken two months ago on national television.

But in Mashpee all eyes were on one of the 28 men vying for her affection: Ryan Peterson, who was watching his Bachelorette appearance surrounded by an excited group of family and friends.

“I have no idea what to expect,” Mr. Peterson said during a viewing party at his family’s Popponesset home, which was adorned with a red heart-shaped balloon on the mailbox, vases of red roses, and large snapshots of Mr. Peterson’s face. “It’s extremely embarrassing looking at these pictures of my face.”

Ryan posing with his mother Dawn Peterson at a screening party for family and friends. — Sara Brown

Mr. Peterson, 26, is more familiar on the Vineyard and around the Cape as part of the seafaring, musical Peterson family. Kurt Peterson, one of his three brothers, lives on the Vineyard and runs Catboat Charters out of Edgartown. (His catboat Tigress, which has a sail painted like the American flag, is well-known around Edgartown harbor.) Their mother, Dawn Peterson, has family on Chappaquiddick, and the Peterson sons often join their father, Eric Peterson, in musical performances on the Island and elsewhere.

Ryan Peterson made his debut on the show in March, when Ms. Kufrin met five suitors who would compete on the 14th season of the ABC show.

Wearing a floral velvet jacket and bow tie, with a banjo slung over his shoulder, Mr. Peterson introduced himself through song. “That girl, she’s awfully pretty,” he sang as Ms. Kufrin clutched her chest. “Is she a country gal or is she from a city. As for me, I’m from the sea, and I’m looking for the one to sail away with me.”

Mr. Peterson enthusiasm for music and the sea led to his television debut. He was approached by a Bachelorette producer while he was sitting on a mattress on the beach in Manhattan Beach, Calif., playing the banjo.

Yes, a mattress. He dislikes sand, and he had packed a mattress for his cross-country drive from the Cape to California, where he recently moved with his younger brother.

With the producer’s encouragement he came in for an interview, landed a spot on the show and decided to go for it.

“It was a great time. I made a lot of great friends,” he said Monday evening. He can’t divulge how far he progressed in the competition to win the Bachelorette’s heart.

Ryan, Nathan, and Eric Peterson perform on Main street Edgartown last Fourth of July. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Mr. Peterson was watching the premiere on Monday for the first time along with everyone else. “I have no idea what to expect,” he said.

He said that his parents regularly watch the Bachelor franchise but that he had never watched it before. Many of the Peterson friends, family and neighbors attending the viewing party Monday said they weren’t regular viewers, either, but they would be watching because of Ryan.

“I have renewed interest in the show,” Marjorie Clapprood said, recalling the first time she met Ryan, during a musical bonfire at the family’s home.

Neighbor Caroline Donahue said she was thought Mr. Peterson might be not just the cutest contestant, but also the most unique.

Ryan’s mother said she was excited and a little nervous. “Ryan’s a little bit quirky. We’ll see what happens.”

Mr. and Mrs. Peterson insisted their children choose instruments to play starting in third grade and stick with them. “The love of music has never left,” Mrs. Peterson said.

Ryan’s band teacher was at the party, to see her former student introduced as Ryan the Banjoist from California.

Love was in the air elsewhere on Monday, from the heart carved into Eric Peterson’s catboat Pinkletink, anchored outside on Spindrift Cove, to the Hershey’s kisses included as part of the food spread.

Kurt Peterson couldn’t make his brother’s viewing party because he was busy with charters aboard his catboat, including a planned marriage proposal.

As the show began friends and family gathered around televisions to wait for the moment when Mr. Peterson would step out of a limousine and meet Ms. Kufrin, who was looking for a second shot at a happy ending after receiving the final rose on the last season of The Bachelor, only to have Bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr. end their engagement on national TV to be with the runner-up.

One former football player was introduced, and then another (“He’s really cool,” Mr. Peterson said.) Then came a “colognoissuer,” a fitness coach, and a male model.

“He’s cute, but too perfect,” someone remarked.

One contestant arrived riding an ox.

“How many people are in this,” someone else asked. “Come on, where is he?”

Ryan’s mother and several friends stole away to her bedroom to watch the big moment away from the din of the party. Meanwhile Ryan’s grandmother, Mary Ahigian, found a good spot to watch her grandson.

“I’m excited. I can’t wait to see him,” she said. “I just can’t wait to hear what he has to say.”

At last the moment came, after a tease where a commercial showed a banjo player plucking at strings. Mr. Peterson appeared briefly on the screen to greet Ms. Kufrin, who asked where his banjo was. Then it was on to more introductions.

At the end of Monday’s episode, Mr. Peterson was one of 21 men who received roses from Ms. Kufrin and moved on in the competition.

Back in Mashpee, Mr. Peterson ended the night jamming on the banjo with his dad.

On the Cape for the summer, Ryan will resume familiar roles. He’ll do some sailing, including serving as first mate aboard the Tigress out of Edgartown. And on Tuesday morning, he said, he was going to get to work painting the bottom of his dad’s boat.