Publically I claim to detest the reality show The Bachelor.
“It's degrading to women,” I proclaim. “The very idea of twenty-five single women throwing themselves at one man is disgusting.”
Secretly, I am a closet Bachelor viewer. My addiction to train-wreck television doesn't stop there. I watch The Bachelor spin-offs, The Bachelorette, and even worse, Bachelor Pad. On average, I've wasted over four hundred hours or approximately seventeen days of my life watching what I claim to be trash television, but I wouldn't trade a minute for it. Whenever I want to feel better about myself, all I have to do is tune in to ABC on Monday nights and watch twenty-five catty women try to scratch and claw their ways into the heart of the prized prince.
For those unfamiliar with the show, and you'd have to live under a rock to avoid exposure to this mindless drivel, the game show—and yes, ladies, it is indeed a game show—consists of twenty-five emotionally unstable women vying for the attention and ultimately a proposal from the bachelor. The grand prize includes a handsome fiancee and a huge Neil Lane diamond ring, which in my opinion is considerably more valuable than the man presenting the bauble. After a series of group dates, the bachelor whittles away his harem to a precious few who will enjoy the perks of contrived dates to exotic locations, Chlamydia-filled hot tub love fests, and strained meet-the-parent homecomings.
The real entertainment takes place in the mansion-turned-sorority-house where the bachelorette beauties live during the ten week taping of the show. I'm convinced these women's menstrual cycles sync, bringing out the worst human behavior ever seen on television. Their idiotic antics will live forever on YouTube, yet the women seem oblivious to the fact they are being filmed. All the wine, tears, hook-ups, and cat fights are televised for their friends, family, future boyfriends, not to mention employers, to see.
The question I'd like to ask the star of The Bachelor and his twenty-five ladies-in-waiting is “What type of job do you have that allows you to take ten weeks off work to make a fool of yourself on national television?” Maybe the better question is, “Do you have a job?” I can assure you, if I asked to take an almost three months leave of absence from my job to participate in this nonsense, I'd be told to not bother coming back.
During the sixteen season run of The Bachelor, not one of the men has actually married the woman he proposed to during the final rose season finale. The success rate of finding true and lasting love on The Bachelor is nil, unless you count the bait-and-switch proposal by Jason Mesnick to Melissa Rycroft in season thirteen. Jason had a change of heart the day after the big proposal and decided to go with bachelorette number two, Molly Malaney, whom he did eventually wed.
The Bachelorette has fared better, spawning two marriages, a couple of kids, and no trips to divorce court as of this writing. Makes me wonder if these women, always Bachelor cast-offs, have learned life lessons from their first reality TV experience and now make better choices. In my opinion, the best choice would be to avoid the dating-for-ratings game. The odds of winning are not in your favor.
Every season of The Bachelor is touted as “the most shocking season ever.” The only thing shocking to me is the series is still on the air. I'm surprised the National Organization for Women hasn't boycotted ABC and the Bachelor franchise. Perhaps the women in the organization find the show as amusing as I do and don't want the madness to end.
This season's not-so-shocking pick by the mop-topped Ben Flajnik of despicable vixen, Courtney Robertson, proved the show is a battle of survival of the fittest. Whichever woman is willing to push the envelope, strip naked for a skinny dip with a man whom she's barely acquainted, stir up the most drama, and demand the most air time is sure to win the prize. Courtney, whom I've diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder, played Ben like a fiddle with her manipulations, seductive behavior, and attention-demanding displays. I think the model was never seeking the attention of the dim-witted Ben, but rather that of a Hollywood agent to turn her modeling career into acting fame. Well played, Courtney. May you at least get a nomination for C-list celebrity for next season's cast of Dancing With The Stars. The Bachelor venue worked for Jake-what's-his-name. He got to strap on his dancing shoes and extend his fifteen minutes of fame into a full hour.
Ben and Courtney have already broken up and gotten back together since the March 12 finale of The Bachelor. I predict this relationship going the way of all other Bachelor pairings, and that is straight down the crapper. If they actually do make it down the aisle, I doubt Courtney will take the Flajnik name because it is too hard to spell. The Bachelor and its sister shows will remain on the air as long as the series continue to be ratings cash-cows for ABC. I doubt the supply of desperate, single, attention-seeking women or horny men will diminish with time.