Ay, ay, ay. What a load of crap. Spoilers ahead, folks!
Yes, this was the first season I ever watched The Bachelor. So why after 17 seasons of never watching a minute of this horribly contrived series did I suddenly decide to watch it now? I really love my friend Megan Wheeler, and that’s my only excuse.
I also hate her just a smidge now. However, as consolation to her, I hate myself more. MEGAN, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME?!
I watched every episode, maybe not the full time frame, but I knew all that happened – or all that the show wanted to tell me. I saw how all the girls were force fed wine throughout their stay because what else are a bunch of strange women going to do to break the tension that they’re all vying for the love of the same guy? It reminded me of that time in middle school when I had a massive crush on Trey and my best friend Katie called to ask if she could be his girlfriend because he asked her. Ummmm, okay…? Except I had to suck that truth down with a Sprite at dinner. If only I had the balls – and height – to bust into my parents’ liquor stash.
Instead of a prepubescent phone call, these adult (by age) women sat around and watched as this guy piceds out each one of them for alone time, left to wonder whether that chick just made a stronger connection with him than they did. Or if they’re totally sucking face, because they want to totally suck his face. And then he definitely sucks a lot of face. But he’s a hot, single father with a bunch of handpicked size 2’s around him. What guy wouldn’t want to be crowned make out king?
But this is a fairly conservative operation ABC has molded for 18 seasons now, so it seems like the audience was horrified watching a single father, who’s intention was to find “the one,” make out with most of the contestants without so much of a “Hey, mi potential amor, que es your thoughts on religion y family?” Everyone is suddenly feeling sorry for all the girls on the show, as if this douchebag wronged them.
First off, this is a contrived show that has led to more break ups and divorces than it has happy marriages. This is the type of television institution that the LGBT community points to when people fly off the handle thinking gays would taint the sanctity of marriage. HAHAHAHAHAHA – no. When a paid program on primetime television spends millions of dollars carting around hot guys and girls to exotic locations around the world, loads them up with champagne and wine, and then gives them a timeline for how and when they need to fall in love, the sanctity of marriage is pretty much punched in the face and left to fend for itself on the side of the road.
So when this season’s bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis decided not to propose last night but carry on a relationship with the “winning” contestant, Nikki, I didn’t understand why this was such a hard concept for Chris Harrison, Sean and Catherine, and the entire booing studio audience to comprehend. And I really hate them for making me feel the slightest bit defensive over a piece of shit like Juan Pablo.
What exactly did I take away from my first viewing of a Bachelor season? Here are six things that lowered my IQ while watching the show.
1. Chris Harrison is a dick.
Apparently this guy is an audience favorite, but, as a first time watcher, he’s total crap. Seriously, Chris? This is your career? This, THIS is what you decided you wanted to do for 12 years of your life. Make people talk themselves into or out of love, a love that has grown and changed and experienced intense tribulations in front of cameras over the course of eight weeks. Eight weeks. Thank God for all those international trips, or this would’ve been really hard for you. As I watched him last night grilling Juan Pablo, Nikki, Clare, and the other head-scratchers in the studio, I really wanted to kick him in the balls. Like, really goddamn hard. He fished and dug and tried – he put on his best Barbara Walters, except these aren’t A-list celebrities or prominent figureheads. These are people earning paychecks and trashy magazine covers. Juan Pablo doesn’t want to say he’s in love, who gives a shit? You have an audience full of Clares, so I’m sure this is heartbreaking for you. The Bachelor system shut down, it’s broken. A perfect love wasn’t found in under two months. Why are you so frustrated? Go home and masturbate.
2. The producers will make you hate someone.
This is a normal tactic in any reality show. The Real World used to do it (and still might, I think it’s still going on?), Jersey Shore did it, and The Bachelor does it. Typical ratings gimmick: in every story line, you want good versus evil. I assume the girls are usually pitted against each other, and they tried to do that when Nikki mysteriously got really bitchy for about three episodes. Clare was always off her rocker, so it was easy to pin her against the newly anointed bad girl Nikki. But it wasn’t believable, it wasn’t enough. The guys in the producers room must’ve figured, “Hey, this Juan Pablo guy seemed to say something crappy against the gay community, and people didn’t like that. Plus, his English sucks, so let’s twist this shit and make everyone hate him. A Bachelor first!” And then a villain was born. It wasn’t too hard, either. Juan Pablo’s attempts at diffusing any conflicts was brushing a girl’s hair behind her ear and whispering, “Eeesokay, I respect you and your honesty.” Except she just honestly called you a jerk, sooo…vamonos, por favor.
3. People love the craziest and sluttiest contestant.
I can’t speak about the other seasons because I simply don’t know anything outside of this one, but it makes good television to keep the craziest person around for as long as possible. Clare was really crazy. She was also very obvious in her sexual nature toward Juan Pablo. One episode this season, Clare snuck out and lured Juan Pablo out to the waters of beautiful Thailand for some sex. They had it, let’s be honest. It was played off like a sexy dip in the ocean, but no. Juan Pablo apparently regretted his 4:00AM rendezvous with the girl he could never say no to, and decided to make her feel bad about what she did. The internet went crazy about slut-shaming. Personally, I think this is a mixed bag. First, Juan Pablo could’ve said, “No, caliente, go back to your room. I can’t do dis.” But instead, he followed his boner into the ocean with Clare. Listen, Juanie, the only person you need to be shaming is yourself. On the other hand, Clare took a wild chance with Juan Pablo even with a bunch of women still left in the running. Did she use sex to further her advancement as Mrs. Juan Pablo Galavis? It’s completely possible. Oddly enough, it might’ve been what got her to the finale, and what made her cling to the guy like a goddamn leach. Regardless, Clare talked more than any other contestant, cried more than any woman, and wanted the fairy tale so bad that she seemed desperate in the end. If Juan Pablo had picked her, she would’ve been elated. He didn’t, so, of course, she totally flipped. Clare, honey, there’s a reason you weren’t picked as the next Bachelorette.
4. “Love” is viewed as “winning.”
That’s it, isn’t it? These girls willingly participated in a competition to win an engagement ring and some good press. I wonder how many clips are on the cutting room floor of contestants using the word “win” rather than “rose”? From the position of the Bachelor, it’s safe to say they’re 50% there to find a relationship. The other 50% might be in the contract. Last night, Chris Harrison annoyingly kept asking, “Was Juan Pablo really looking for love?” Puh-lease. With a failing relationship rate for the show, I’d assume each contestant understands the odds are against them, but HEY! Free trips! Free booze! Women for daaaaayyyys! I imagine Juan Pablo was at least a little sincere about finding a good woman when entering this season, but then the cameras freaked him out and make him draw blanks on the English language and human courtesy. Perhaps it would make more sense if Chris Harrison asked, “Was Juan Pablo really looking for fame?” Nope. Not at all.
5. People are super desperate to get married.
Even dating sites allow you to take all the time you want to meet and get to know a person. How desperate does someone have to be to drop their lives to go on a bunch of group dates with a guy you’re forcing yourself to fall in love with? As Andi Dorfman’s dad so eloquently put it, “I can’t give you my blessing to propose when you’re dating two other women.” Clare struck me as the most extreme in this case. She wanted it…bad. To the point where she ignored every red flag throw in her path. But I think she would’ve been crazy enough to balance out Juan Pablo’s sleeze. Honestly, I thought they’d live happily ever after for about six months and then part ways. Regardless, after watching 20+ women vie for the affections of one guy, I’m dying to know how a bunch of guys handle the same situation. Do they cry and purse their lips as much as Clare? Do they talk themselves out of the whole scenario like Sharleen? Do they waste their time confessing their budding feelings in front of a camera for all to see? I’m laughing just thinking about it. This is the ultimate gender experiment.
6. The Bachelor/Bachelorette alumni seems like a carefully watched cult.
The show brought in their most shining symbols of love last night while Chris Harrison hosted the finale and “After the Rose” special. Juan Pablo didn’t propose and didn’t confess to being in love. Insert crickets here. On a finale where there wasn’t a standard happy ending, the producers decided to bring in their new lovebirds Sean and Catherine to shed light on this sad and anticlimactic season end. As a first time watcher, this felt very well planned as a way to continue vilifying Juan Pablo and his chosen lady-friend Nikki. What I would’ve loved to have seen was all the past Bachelors/Bachelorettes who also didn’t propose during their finales, or all the ones who’s relationships failed. What would they have said to Juan Pablo? What would they have said to Chris Harrison? Would they have kicked him hard in the balls? Dammit. I wish. I think that’s what was pissing me off most last night: watching a studio audience full of Clares hiss and boo these two people who didn’t get engaged, aren’t planning a wedding, and just trying to figure things out after being flown around the world and breastfeed for the past few months. Yes, Sean made a good point that by signing up for this show, you’re subjecting yourself to public scrutiny and praise. But what about the people who realize they got in too deep? I think that’s where Juan Pablo is, he’s not cut out for this shit. But Sean and Catherine, I hope they’re really happy, because ABC owns their asses.
In conclusion, my first season watching The Bachelor and the whole system flopped at the end. I’d like to believe I was a part in that.