I don't watch many reality shows. The ones I watch, I tend to think of as the "gold standard" of these kinds of shows: Survivor, Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor, Bachelorette. An occasional Amazing Race. That's pretty much it.
In all my watching of all of these shows (most of them from the very beginning), I can't recall seeing such a season of shame as what's going on right now on The Bachelor. Thankfully for America and for Ben F (our illustrious Bachelor), after next week, it'll all be over.
I wanna dissect what's happened so far from two perspectives:
1. He was a user/manipulator and so was she.
2. He had no idea, and is now in hell.
Let's try the first one on for size. If you listen to some of the tabloids, Ben was only in it for sex. He never wanted a wife. And if you looked at his choices, there were many (and I do mean many) great women this season. Ones with open hearts, great looks, genuinely into him, reacting genuinely, even telling him they were "falling in love" with him. At every turn, when this stuff happened, that particular woman was the next one to get bounced.
And on every episode, he was kissing and hugging and getting physically intimate with women (to varying degrees). Every episode. Starting with the FIRST one.
So, yeah, a cynic would say that he was just in it for the sex, and his fav among them all was the beautiful model. You know, the one who stalked him and seduced him in the ocean. While they were both naked. And if you tell me sex didn't happen that night, I have some swamp land to sell you.
That would be the cynical view. These two people who SPOILER end up together next week, deserve each other. They are both manipulators, just on this show to get famous or in Ben's case "to talk about his winery," according to one tabloid.
Although, truth be told, he did mention it was either in Sonoma or San Francisco, but they never showed it, and he never named it, so if he was "self-promoting" as they claim, he did a pretty piss poor job of it.
The thing is, I'm a romantic. I don't wanna believe that all the reality shows are actually "written." I don't wanna believe that anyone goes on The Bachelor without actually seriously trying to find love. Well, sure, there's the odd duck here or there trying to promote themselves, but that usually backfires. Right, Wesley?
But let's just play out this narrative.
Let's say that Ben F. appeared on the first show, genuinely wanting to find a wife. Or at least someone he could have a relationship with. Long-term.
Let's ignore that he really turned down every woman he could conceivably do that with.
And he's walking, stumbling, tripping through this season, doing the best he can. And suddenly a woman who has a good head on her shoulders is telling him to watch out for another woman. He ignores it, and actually thinks worse of said woman (who, btw, I would marry in a heartbeat. She's awesome. Very straightforward.).
Note to all future Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants: If someone in a season comes to you to complain about someone else, at least listen. Don't dismiss them.
So, the season goes on. He continues to make bad choices, but for the most part, the best women stay till the end.
And again, three women whom he likes tell him AGAIN about this particular woman, who, for whatever reason COUGHsexCOUGH he keeps picking.
OK, one woman, could be a fluke, could be just two people who don't get along. Now it's FOUR different women? And you don't pay attention? :-/
But OK, he still thinks he's in love with this model. She keeps stringing him along.
Until the point he dumps the woman who really has become America's sweetheart. She is quite possibly one of the best Bachelor contestants ever (except for her parents, she'd be perfect).
But she is beautiful and wonderful and she's genuinely in love with you. She is DUMPED (you stupid fool) and still she RETURNS to talk to you. To get some closure, since she was so blindsided. And as she's leaving, she says Oh BTW, I still care about you and this woman, the one I've been telling you about all along, is going to break your heart.
She's got no more skin in this game, she's already been dumped. And STILL you don't listen?
This is the point where I blame the producers, actually. Though they very likely have a bunch of heartless bastards running The Bachelor, and saw this whole Courtney debacle as a great way to get ratings, since everyone hated her so much.
But what happened throughout the season was that they just kept running interviews with Courtney shooting off her mouth, being an ass, dissing the other girls (of course, we are going to hate her). And now, maybe four shows from the end, they start having her say stuff (this is the scripted part) that she's all in love with Ben and blah blah. Like we believe her now?
Cause, you know, the "goal" of a Bachelor season is to have a man propose at the end AND to have America collectively swoon, as he gets down on one knee. Here's what's going to happen instead. As Lindsey is the first one getting out of the limo (aka the dumped one), you will hear TVs all across America clicking to another channel.
I know mine will.
In fact, if it were me, I'd fire whoever produced this Bachelor season.
Because it's been really painful to watch. You see all throughout, this loser/bitch saying crappy things about the other girls on the show. She was ugly and hateful and spiteful and mean, and didn't play by the rules. I don't care what anyone says, the little jaunt in the ocean was where the season effectively ended. Game over.
And they had cameras there, filming it. It's not like they weren't participants in this train wreck.
I mean, hey, if you want to make it all about Who Can Get the Bachelor in the Sack first? that's a whole different show. I think Snooki's on it. On THIS show, girls like to watch it because they wanna believe in romance. That courtship could be possible. And ever since Puerto Rico, which was like four shows in, I've just felt this stench of shame, watching it. Every episode.
Courtney's smug smile, knowing she wasn't going anywhere, cause she'd already banged Ben. Ben, believing so gullibly that this hot model really wanted HIM and not stardom.
Again, I say, where were the producers? Really? Next week, he's going to propose to Courtney and you think there is going to be anything but collective puking all across America? Chris Harrison rightfully in this last episode, "Women Tell All," called Courtney, the woman all of America hates.
The Bachelor should take a page from Survivor. Last season, they had all these spiritual people on (on what I think was the best Survivor season ever). It was a joy to tune in each week. I rushed to the TV. I live blogged it. I participated in the "virtual living room." I wanted to see more of it, cause what was happening was so stunning and amazing. And, conversely, this season, everyone is like The Bachelor was this season: mean, manipulative, spiteful. I've turned it off. Why bother?
But back to poor soddy Ben.
Let's assume that what the tabloids say is true: He proposes to the wench Courtney next week. So blinded by the way she stroked him in the ocean, he can't see what women all season long have been telling him. He proposes to her.
Then, he goes home, and actually watches the season unfold. He sees all the interviews with Courtney, where she is mean, spiteful, wenchlike, bitchy, cruel. Hears how much America hates her. Sees all the dirt the tabloids dig up on her, how she isn't even attracted to him, and is just doing this for fame.
Sits through last week's "Women Tell All," where 90% of the show is the women bitching about Courtney or bitching AT Courtney. The last 15 minutes are Ben (in a show that's normally mostly devoted to the Bachelor). He enters with the very telling phrase, "Welcome to My Nightmare."
When he said that, I have to say, I felt immensely sorry for him. To be dragged through this muck because some producer went with the Let's Hate on Courtney ratings bonanza, instead of letting a man just maybe find a soul mate.
Why is it, Bachelor producers, that Survivor has had BY FAR more couples hooking up that stay together than The Bachelor can manage in all its seasons? Why is that?
I would suggest that just like some smart producer managed to nip that Wesley baloney in the bud quickly, they should've done so, too, with this Courtney craziness. Let the poor man see some dailies or something. How horrible this is now, for him to watch this, as America, or at least the part of America that's still watching this train wreck, is sitting there thinking what a colossal ass he is. He sits there in his shame.
Has proposed to someone who totally played him, and all of America knows it. It's ugly.
The Bachelor used to be something you could believe in, and dream on. Now it's just some tramp having sex in the ocean, and I can't wash off the stench.