ABC’s The Bachelor [and it’s nega-universe counterpart, The Bachelorette] is one of my favorite shows. I started watching it a few years ago out of curiosity about what the women in the office were all chatting about around the water cooler and was instantly hooked. I don’t just watch The Bachelor like I watch most TV shows, I get into it each week like it’s a big sporting event.
I get drunk while watching every week I yell “OHHHHH!” or “WHAT?!?” and excitedly send texts at epic moments (though the people I text about The Bachelor are generally not the same people I text about the Alamo Bowl).
I’ve thought a lot about what it is that has me borderline obsessed with The Bachelor. On the surface, the show is laughably stupid and exists in a fantasy world very far apart from reality. Contestants “fall in love” in a matter of a few episodes. The Bachelor takes women out on dates to exotic locations that only the richest and greediest of the 1% could afford. After only a few weeks everyone is ready to get engaged. And where are all the black people? With these issues on my mind every week, I can’t be considered one of the people who get swept up in the storybook romance and really want to believe that this couple that practically just met is going to have a love that echoes through the ages.
Really, I think my fondness for the show boils down to the fact that it is a train wreck every week. Cat fights, petty arguments, embarrassing drunken moments, needlessly complicated challenges, cringe-worthy confessions, tears, childish sexual innuendo. And that’s just before the first commercial break. It has all of the individual components that make other reality shows great rolled into one and put into a mansion with twenty-five emotionally unstable women. If you’re reading this blog there is a strong likelihood that you already watch an embarrassing amount of trashy reality TV. So if you don’t already, you should go ahead and add it to your rotation. Each week this season I’ll provide a quick recap, including my best and worst moments of the week. I’m also going to do some power rankings of the contestants. The rankings will be based on an arbitrary combination of my thoughts on their chances to win, how entertaining they are, and how attracted to them I am.
This season features Ben F., the runner-up from last season’s The Bachelorette. Ben owns a vineyard in California and seems like an all-around good guy. So why he’d subject himself to this is beyond me.
The opening episode cocktail party is always awkward. Everyone is trying to stand out in the brief amount of time they get with the Bachelor to ensure they can make the cut. Brittany brought along her grandmother, and even though the grandmother seemed more interested in Ben than she did she was able to collect a rose. Some of the other tactics, like walking by Ben without saying a word, weren’t as successful. There was lots of drinking and crying and not much else to recap, so on to the rankings:
Best Moment: Monica falls for Blakely. Blakely’s career was listed as “VIP cocktail waitress.” To me that is a euphemism for “prostitute.” And evidently when Monica gets drunk she falls in love with prostitutes. I know that some may claim it was just creative editing, but I have heard “you’re so pretty, I need your number” in slurred speech coming out of my own mouth often enough to know when it is genuine. If Monica and Blakely can both stick around for a few episodes we might get video evidence that they are there for the “wrong reasons.”
Worst Moment: Emily raps about being an epidemiologist. Contemporary hip-hop is struggling to find an identity. It didn’t need this.
Jamie is a major sleeper. She didn’t get much air time at the party, but her modern-day Cinderella story (didn’t really have parents, raised herself and her siblings, so has been too busy to find love) is the stuff the producers of this show live for.
Shawn also didn’t get much time on camera once the cocktail party started. Like Jamie, she seems to have that sweet underdog quality to her. Except instead of raising her family out of poverty, her thing is that she is a kid. I think Ben likes a comeback story, so that gives her a chance. Also, she’s hot.
Jenna was the star of this episode. She opened awkwardly by just saying “yeah” to Ben approximately 1,000 times. Then she had a few too many glasses of wine and got aggressive with other girls and spent most of the party crying in a bathroom alone. Who knew that a blogger could be so unstable?
I want to dislike her on principle because of the spelling of her name. But I think Lindzi is in for a strong season. She obviously hit it off with Ben, and we all know that girls who have horses have a greater tendency to be crazy than girls without horses, so she could provide some great entertainment as well.
Every year there’s a girl that the female audience is meant to dislike, and that is obviously Courtney this time. She also said “model” so many times that I made a drinking game out of it. I think she’s going to be a strong villain and last well into the season.
She emerged from this episode as the clear front-runner. She’s one of the best looking contestants, and she came across as smart, funny, and confident. She has some baggage and she seemed a little clingy, but clinginess is probably an advantage on a show where you’re expected to get engaged after a few weeks.
Bold Prediction: Jenna goes home next week. If she can avoid alcohol she might be able to hide her crazy enough to stick around. But she can’t avoid alcohol.