It has been 7 years since I watched this show for more than 5 minutes while skimming through the channels. I remember watching Jake Pavelka’s season with my roommates back as a sophomore in college, and that was my first and only attempt with the franchise until now. I agreed to watch this season and compare notes with a friend back home each week and as any fan in “bachelor nation” knows, the finale was last night. It’s over, you can have your Monday night’s back, at least for a second before the bachelor himself, Nick Viall, competes on Dancing with the Stars. I have little to no patience to write weekly recaps, and I barely think I can get through this one, but I figured since I spent the time and effort to watch this season I may as well have something to show for it.
Continue reading for some of my thoughts:
- Nick Viall is on his 4th attempt at the show to find love. Two attempts on The Bachelorette and one on Bachelor in Paradise. That screams TV whore to me, not someone looking for love. Not sure I’d repeat the same thing three extra times if it didn’t work out the first. Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result? I hope ABC feels exhausted with him and doesn’t put him on another show at this point (after DWTS). Also, please no painful spinoff like Freeform gave to Ben and Lauren. Lastly, Nick cries a lot and his hair has come a long way.
- How do these girls circle back to their professional lives after putting themselves on this show? I know I would never go to see a mental health counselor (yes I’m looking at you Taylor) if I knew she were crazy enough to sign up for this show. I would never want to take any sort of life advice from someone who tried to find love while competing with several other women on national television. And yes, I’m quite aware most of these women hope to gain a social media following, quit their real jobs and sell FlatTummyTea or something else for $5k-10k a post on Instagram.
- How do these women pack for cocktail parties, rose ceremonies and unidentified trips? I heard recently they’re told to pack for a minimum of 5 days and a maximum of 8 weeks. They’re not handed clothing by a wardrobe department on set and the only dress that is provided to them is the one that they wear if they’re on the finale, since ABC wants them to look their best on the day they get dumped or engaged. Additionally, who has the kind of money lying around to buy a handful of ball gowns? Are they able to be returned if you get kicked off the first night?
- This show is a creepy social experiment. Who falls in love with someone in less than or equal to 8 weeks? I know normal people can, when they can call, text, date and see each other with frequency. And when the other person is only dating them. But these people do not see each other regularly. If you’re not on a group date or a one on one, you might not see Nick for a couple days. You also don’t get to text him during the time you don’t see him because ABC confiscates your entire ability to access the world before you arrive at the mansion. So maybe you’re spending a mere couple of hours a week with Nick. Shared between a gaggle of other women with no real quality one on one time. But yet, you see women crying and completely upset if he decides to send them home. Or how about the way they talk about him being perfect, good-looking, etc… it’s like a programmed Stepford Wife robot. And I know you can thank the producers of the show for being super gifted at their job. Brainwashing these girls, feeding them lines about how much Nick likes them and locking them in this world of make-believe where it’s completely normal to go to bed in the United States and wake up in the Caribbean, only to be whisked off to Finland a few days later.
- Does Chris Harrison have the easiest job in television history? Yes. In 2015 he got paid approximately $60k an episode. He has like four lines per show. My absolute favorite is something like “ladies, this is the final rose of the night, Nick, whenever you’re ready.” Well, any viewer with eyes can see there is one more rose left on the table. Thank you Chris for that astute observation. Also, he gets to fly to some of the awesome places too. Like St. Thomas and Finland this year. It’s not like he’s studying any sport teams stats on his way there or writing an investigative journalism piece. Nope, he just has to tell America what it already sees, and at times offer an awkward consolation conversation to an upset contender or a confused bachelor.
- Kudos to ABC for the money machine. Not only do the repeatedly crank out new seasons, spin-offs and additions to their “Bachelor Family”, but also get cross promotion on their other shows like Jimmy Kimmel, GMA and of course, DWTS. There is no shame in constantly producing a less than stellar show for pure entertainment because America eats it up.
- This is my least favorite show in the reality TV genre. It makes me cringe so often as these women throw themselves at someone they barely know. As they rip their dignity and professional lives into shreds. As they confess to the world that they’re in love with someone they’ve known for five minutes. There’s really know “real life” to this reality. Though, who am I kidding, most reality TV is not real. But really, if I’m watching reality programming because it’s supposed to be some kind of “next-step reality” when the cast has a life that is just out of attainable for me, this completely misses the point. Also, unless you’re Nick Viall there’s little continuity for a cast between seasons. You might get people repeatedly showing up on the spin-offs, or getting their “second chance at love” if they become the next Bachelor/ette, but you’re looking at an ever-evolving door of reality television “stars.” As a proud reality TV junkie, I like to follow the lives of some of my favorite cast members from season to season. I like to see their kids grow up or watch drama from 5 years ago resurface as an ex-housewife returns to a new season. That is why I appreciate the Real Housewives franchises. I heard a casting agent say in an interview that you can never lose more than two cast members a season per franchise, because you need the building blocks for why the show is successful. I agree with that. Not saying The Bachelor isn’t beyond successful, it’s just not my cup of reality tv tea.
- Corinne made this season bearable for me. Sure she might have had a few champagne infused one-liners that might not have been said if cameras weren’t rolling, but she was the most real of the girls. She was not shy about the fact that this was a competition she wanted to win. Did she really have feelings for Nick, probably not. But she definitely used this season to her professional social media life advantage. She’s already raking in the dough with sponsored posts and the season just ended last night. Coming soon: 310 Shakes?
- Keep in mind the limited success this show has at producing lasting couples and marriages. Yes, there are some that truly made it work. Like Trista and Ryan, Jade and Tanner, etc. But there are tons more that crumbled shortly after their season ended. Kind of proving the point that you really didn’t “find love” on your “journey” and that perhaps your “connection” wasn’t really “that deep.”
- If you’re good-looking enough, in a career that will let you take 2+ months off and you’ve got extra cash lying around to purchase a new wardrobe, consider going on this show. It might be a fantastic career move, if you’re looking to completely leave behind the job you had before the show. Look at Ali Fedotowsky. A couple stints on the franchise and boom! A job at E! News, that several journalism-majoring girls with 100 internships under their belt would kill for. (She has since left this role and started a successful blog). She actually just got married too, to someone with zero involvement in the franchise. But, he’s from Northwest Indiana so shout out to Kevin Manno. If you can be one the wiser, play the part of an adoring robot and secure yourself a spot in the top four with the goal of, now listen, this is key, NOT WINNING, you will definitely have a chance at some form of a career in the Hollywood Machine. If you win, you’re just prolonging your ability to get to LA. You’ll be on the media circuit with the “love of your life” for quite a while and have to watch in the audience while he competes on DWTS. If you lose, you can start a blog, be a correspondent, sell diet products on Instagram, go to Mexico for 5 weeks in the summer to be on Bachelor in Paradise and grow your social media following even more, etc. I promise, this is not a competition style reality show that you actually want to win. Because chances are, the person handing out the final rose is not your soulmate.
Oh, and I’m sure you all know this, but if you don’t *****Spoiler alert***** Vanessa wins. Poor Raven. I liked her better. Also, can we at least mention that up until 5 minutes before Nick proposed to Vanessa he was still dating Raven? How is that ok in any woman’s mind to accept a proposal from someone who hasn’t been seeing just you the entire time you’ve been dating. Don’t even get me started on the Fantasy Suites where the Bachelor has the chance to sleep with three different women in a week. Gross.
In essence, I can see how so many Americans watch this show week after week. It’s entertaining and it’s something to rally around. There’s Bachelor Bingo, Bachelor Fantasy League, etc. It’s a way to spend time with your friends, drinking Bachelor franchise-produced wine (yes a real thing). It makes Monday nights in the middle of winter a little more bearable and it takes a solid spot on your DVR. It’s also going to be all over the gossip blogs and magazines each week, so you might as well know what they’re talking about. In any case, if you’re wondering what will now fill your Monday night void, you can rest assured that Dancing with the Stars will provide you with another competition-style reality TV show that will actually force contenders to portray some form of talent, hard work and sacrifice to win. There’s minimal brainwashing, but plenty of spray tans and bedazzled wardrobe pieces to be found.
What did you think of this season? Will you be watching Nick on DWTS or Rachel on The Bachelorette?