Friday, February 7, 2014

El Bachelor Does El No-No in the Ocean

The Bachelor on ABC. Cassandra, Juan Pablo, Kat. (Courtesy of ABC/Christopher Jue)
Oh, I was so hoping to get through all of Juan Pablo’s season without writing about any of it. But no...

First, let me release my usual disclaimers. I know that large parts of this mess we call The Bachelor is scripted. Nonetheless, I believe in a perfect world, where people don’t lie to me on TV, and really would prefer that, thank you very much.

Like most women who watch this mess (I believe), I wanna believe in The Bachelor. I really do wanna start at the beginning with 27 candidates and end up with a teary proposal at the end of it all. However, I am simultaneously aware that the whole prospect is ridiculous. Even if you told the producers beforehand every last detail of what you want in a spouse... really? Are they going to come up with that, when you’ve spent your whole life searching for it, and came up with bupkiss? Ahem...

So let’s have another disclaimer here. If one did want to walk through this TV process of finding a wife/husband, and you only have a month or two to do it, what would you do? Exactly. You’d cut to the chase. How does he kiss? Is he good in bed? Does he have a job? And we’re halfway there already.

Well, that’s how I’d do it.

So, we have this artificial construct, because it is national TV, and you remember America? America freaked out when Janet Jackson accidentally showed her nipple for a half second. Add to that, we are on ABC, owned by the lovely Disney corporation, so you could say that having people banging live on TV probably isn’t in its worldview.

Which makes for a very strange “dating” show.

Remember back when I said I was into honesty? Well, I would honestly rather have someone say at the beginning: I am not attracted to any of these losers, forget it. But they can’t. They are contractually obligated to go through the hoops that ABC lays down for them, and lemme tell ya, many of those hoops are beyond ridiculous.

For example: you can’t tell someone how you really feel, because you don’t want to give them false hope over the other 26 contestants. You also (of course) are being filmed constantly, so that every conversation (even if you wanted to have one privately) is being taped.

That’s all Bachelor 101, for those who might not be up to speed with this particular bizarrity we have here in America.

And I’m quite sure that along with English lessons and whatever else the Bachelor producers had Juan Pablo go through, he was trained well in what to do, and what not to do. What the multitude of rules are.

The fact that indeed one of ABC’s big selling points of this guy at this time, besides the fact that he’s dreamy and nearly every woman who sees him is creaming her jeans over him, is that (insert Swoon here) he’s also a DAD. So, yes, at prominent points, we are going to show little Camilla, so the country can all swoon together. Ready?...

It has been noted already in this season (whether through producer coaching, or his own volition, or a combo of both) that Juan Pablo is quite free with the kissing. However, when he doesn’t want to kiss someone, suddenly, there’s a “oh, I don’t want my daughter Camilla to see her daddy doing bad stuff on TV,” or some such nonsense. (Instead of just saying: I really don’t want to kiss you, thank you. Which would truly be the gentlemanly way of doing it.)

Juan Pablo, as you may’ve read elsewhere, already has an image problem. He let his mouth fly with what he really thinks and said (in interviews), basically, that he wouldn’t want to see a gay version of The Bachelor because “they are too perverted.” ABC quickly put the spin on that, finally ending up with, “Ooops, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean that. You know... my English... so bad.”


Yeah, ok.

Anyway, back in reality.... We had a Bachelor a couple of seasons ago. I called him in my blog posting, “The Bachelor of Shame.” Mostly because I was ashamed of how ABC handled the whole Ben-Courtney fiasco. Don’t know if they are doing this again this season (so far it doesn’t seem so), but ABC spent a good part of Ben’s season painting Miss Courtney as the “hated” one in the women’s house, the witch, the villainess. Then wondered why, when Ben actually proposed to her, no one cared. Or, instead threw tomatoes at the screen. It makes my skin crawl this minute thinking about it.

Believe me, I would like very much to forget that both Ben and Courtney even exist. Sadly, we have a moment in Juan Pablo’s season which prompts me to bring it up.

There was a moment early on in Ben’s season, when the women were trying to distinguish themselves from each other, that Miss Courtney grabbed Ben, late at night, while all the other women were sleeping, and they both disrobed and jumped into the ocean naked. We couldn’t see it definitively (and I’m sure ABC would deny it officially), but let’s just assume that they had sex. In the ocean.

Which, of course, made Miss Courtney the new frontrunner (and, I would argue, the ultimate winner) who got proposed to. Cause say what you will, things change when two people have sex. They look at each other differently. There is just a difference. And as much as ABC and the two people involved tried to make it look like nothing had happened, in fact, she had just turned over all the cards, and all the other women could go home.

And OK, I suppose you could say, well, all is fair in love and war, and love doesn’t happen on some TV show’s timetable. She wanted him, she got him. She did what any woman would do. And, when last I paid attention to it, I think they are still together now. So, good for Courtney.

What was bad (and hopefully they fired the producers because of it) is that they had already invested in making Courtney the “villainess” of the season, and they stuck with it. And then were surprised that America hated them both at the end.

(I still do. I hate being lied to.)

So this season, everyone (of course) is madly in love with “El Bachelor,” Juan Pablo.

Juan Pablo and some of his contestants. (Courtesy of ABC/Christopher Jue)
He’s hot, he’s a soccer player, he’s Latin, what’s not to like?

And I think it’s safe to say that he’s partial to blondes, but intimidated by brunettes. But one blonde, in particular, named Clare, seems to have caught his eye. In various moments, he can be seen canoodling with her. In fact, in whatever country they are now in (I think it’s Vietnam), she is the only one who was shown (by him) where he was staying. (They messed around a bit in his pool on one group date.)

So one night (after said group date), after she receives the rose from said group date, she decides she wants more, and comes back to his hotel room (at around 4 am). He, of course, is dressed, seeing the camera crew there at his window. He comes out, and instead of saying, “What’s wrong with you, you crazy stalker lady?” as most sane humans would probably do, he interviews that “I was trying to get her to open up more, show me her emotions.” (Typical Bachelor speak. *eyeroll*)

In true speak, it was more: “Sure, you wanna go frolic in the ocean at 4 am? Let’s go!”

The Bachelor producers this time had learned their lesson. They insisted both of them kept their bathing suits on, at least until they got to the ocean, and when they came back.

But there is no doubt in my mind that these two did the nasty in the ocean.

We could tell this because of how weird and crazy they were acting afterwards.

Of course, it always gives someone an edge if they have slept with someone and the other girls have not.

From afar, on paper, the other woman with a child named Renee is who I would pick to be his best match. She’s indeed the one I’m rooting for. She, at least, is doing everything by the rules. But she was recently worried about whether or not he would actually kiss her. (He finally did. And she was over the moon about it.)

Sadly, I fear another Ben-Courtney repeat. Where Clare will be the last one standing because she was the first who dared to jump in the ocean with Juan Pablo.

We shall see.