The final rose handed out at the end of last night’s premiere of THE BACHELOR tells you everything you need to know about not only the latest cycle of that show but, in a larger sense, the current state of reality television. Despite the painfully obvious fact that the wild-eyed, tearful contestant named Michelle is clearly unbalanced, Jake — against the unusually sound advice of former BACHELORETTE Jillian and her beau Ed — handed the loon a rose. More importantly, he made sure that — for full dramatic effect — hers was the last rose, allowing for endless shots of Michelle glaring at those whose names were called first.
In other words, there was absolutely nothing “real” about the moment at all, as producers had obviously pushed pilot-turned-love seeker Jake to keep Michelle… and do so in the most dramatic way possible.
And what of those ads that have been running for the past few weeks which said “it wouldn’t be THE BACHELOR if it didn’t start with one shocking scandal,” implying that the season premiere would be rocked by two female contestants having a sexual affair? While episode-ending scenes indicated that might indeed be coming later in the season, there was no hint of the “scandal” that we were promised would “start” the season.
At this point, you pretty much know what you’re going to get if you tune in to THE BACHELOR. A sexy guy with camera-ready abs who will be lovingly filmed in the shower, in the hot tub, on the beach and anywhere else the producers can think of, and a bunch of women who are, for the most part, bat-guano crazy. Most aren’t there for love — which is why so many come with the tagline “model” after their names — and many are obviously ready, willing and able to stir up the drama producers love. Thus, you have one girl who announces she has brought parting gifts for each of the girls and hands them out at the getting-to-know-you cocktail hour for no other reason than to get under the skin of her rivals (and earn herself more camera time). The women are plied with liquor and pointed at Jake like heat-seeking missles with emotionally-explosive warheads.
Watch at your own peril… and those of your brain cells. You have been warned.
Photo Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC