When The Bachelor came to Australia, I had never watched an episode of the American version. I understood the concept of course – that there would be a large group of beautiful women competing for the love of one man.
Now lets stop a minute to think about this for a sec.
Here we have a TV Show where the main objective is to compete for the love of a man.
Its no secret that I love reality TV, with a special place in my heart reserved for the trashy kind. You can read about more of that here. But the concept of a Reality TV show about women – independent women – humiliatingly eliminated by a single man week after week is just gobsmacking to me.
And I write this, admittedly, with a level of hypocrisy. Because while I wasn’t an avid, dedicated viewer of The Bachelor, I did watch it when I remembered it was on. And lets just say I remembered it around half the time.
While watching these women go for a feel, lean in for a kiss, gush, blush and declare their love for one man - all the while stabbing each other in the back at every opportunity – I just couldn’t help but wonder: surely this can’t be real?
I mean. Surely one cannot love a man after such a short time – especially given the limited time they spend with him alone, under the watchful eyes of producers and cameras?
And surely just the idea of sharing the affections of a man would be enough to hightail it out of there, right? And hearing about him kiss other women in the house after you were last pash? Your ‘connection with him’ turned out to be one of many. Awks.
It’s almost the like contestants are being two-timed. Or 25-timed.
At the risk of sounding old fashioned – what ever happened to being chased, girls?
And as for The Bachelor himself – did he really enter the show to find his great love? Or was the prospect of playing a role on TV more enticing – the woe-is-me handsome chiropractor that just hasn’t met ‘the one’.
Its what most of my single friends do actually. Dateless? Go to a casting call, you will find endless love there. Not.
I know. I am being a cynic. I am sorry about that because I pride myself on my positivity.
But, come on.
Anyway. So a couple of days ago the man chose and the girl accepted with glee. The runner up believes The Bachelor knew all along who he wanted and accused him of leading her on. He denied this vehemently, claiming he had that ability to “open up to every date individually” and did not know who he liked better – or loved – until that very final date.
Er, okay then.
Now what I am about to write may confuse you. It just may. It even confuses me.
Because now that its all over, I kind of believe that The Bachelor and his winning girl are in love. In fact, I was rooting for them to be in love.
I know, cray, right?
And for many of the Bachelorettes, I believed them too in the end. I believe more than a few of those girls in that competition fell for the man, not the limelight (although the limelight won’t go astray) and that makes me feel a little sorry for them.
Because to all of us its a game; to the producers its TV gold; to the station its ratings.
But to many of them, it was hope.
And while we watched it – some of us cheerleaders for love, others laughing at the preposterousness of it all – there’s no escaping the fact that the The Bachelor is a sexist concept that uses the (mostly irrational) behaviour of women as entertainment. One was labelled a ‘stalker’, another declared her love the day before being eliminated and both runner up and winner both were completely sure they had won the heart of the prize at stake.
Of course, as we all know, only one of them did.
I really do hope Australia’s first Bachelor and his winning girl stay together for a long time. At least so something good comes out of it all.
So what do you think? Real or Fake? Love or not so much?