I have a confession to make. I am unexplainably and incurably obsessed with one of the most ridiculous shows ever to air on TV. It’s called The Bachelor. On May 24th, its sister show, The Bachelorette, will begin its SIXTH season on ABC. How on earth does a reality TV dating program showcasing 25 lunatics competing for the love of one person find millions of viewers to loyally follow it each week after a total of 20 combined seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette? Perhaps it’s the romantic in all of us. The quest for true love. Perhaps it’s the chance to witness what ridiculous drama may unfold. Or maybe it’s just an escape from your everyday life. For me, it’s a little bit of everything.
I hope you will join me this season right here at RBR-TVBR (rbr.com/tvbr.com) as I write about the show and explore its intricacies, shocks and splendor. Please don’t tell anybody at my day job that I’m doing this. In real life I’m a lawyer in the financial world with a serious job and responsibilities. Nobody would believe you and if they did, they would really start to question my sanity. I watch the show with my husband, who will rarely admit in public that he’s even heard of it. Also, from time to time, my husband and I do quick audio podcasts on the show and whatever is going on in our lives which are great for killing time at the office, on your commute or when you need a good laugh. I hope you enjoy these postings and share your own thoughts and comments on the show.
Monday, May 24th marks the beginning of the sixth season of The Bachelorette.
This time, Ali Fedotowsky (let’s call her Ali F), will get her shot at torturing, I mean, getting to know, 25 men in the hopes that one of them will be her Prince Charming. This season’s Bachelorette is rumored to have an “around the world theme.” Ali will be getting wooed by these men all over the place. Good for her! In case you have decided to save your brain cells for the past 5 seasons of The Bachelorette and 16 seasons of The Bachelor, let’s recap a bit.
Last season, on The Bachelor, Jake Pavelka, the good looking, wholesome, blonde haired, blue eyed commercial pilot who liked to start sentences with “Gosh” or “Golly” had quite an adventure in his search for love. Most recently, you may have seen him on Dancing with the Stars. With new fiancé, Vienna, cheering him on in the audience each week, Jake showed off his amazingly white teeth along with toned and spray tanned muscles as he danced his little heart out. On the night of his elimination from the competition, Jake cried – he wasn’t ready to go, but not enough people wanted him to stay.
Jake was the first Bachelor in history to have the song “On the Wings of Love” played in the background of almost every episode (viewers were privileged to hear the original Jeffrey Osborne version of the song, an instrumental version and even a live performance from Mr. Osborne of it on the finale). He had his fair share of drama. There was Michelle, a feisty and kind of creepy bachelorette who was so convinced she was the right one for Jake, that she cried within minutes of meeting him, threatened to leave multiple times because he wasn’t giving her enough attention (did she not know that she was signing up to compete with 25 women at the same time?) and even (in hopefully a very drunken state) claimed that her mother was demanding grandchildren and she was anxious to make this happen.
Then there was charming Elizabeth, a 29 year nanny from Nebraska, who looked like a supermodel but played mind games and frustrated the hell out of Jake and the viewers. She told Jake that she didn’t want him to kiss her until he knew for sure that she was the one for him. She revealed this in a little poem that she read for him on a group date. Minutes later, she started teasing him with words like, “You want to kiss me, don’t you?” and got within inches of his mouth. It didn’t make any sense. I am still confused by this behavior. Once he got past her Courtney Cox looks, Jake had the good sense to eliminate her.
And who can forget the biggest controversy of them all – Rozlyn Papas? Roz had the unfortunate fate (or fortunate depending on whether you think being presented as a lying villain on national TV is actually great publicity) of being booted off the show after being confronted that she had an inappropriate relationship with one of the show’s producers. Perhaps the most scandalous moment of the entire season was on The Women Tell All. Roz came back to answer questions and multiple women on the show admitted to witnessing physical contact between Roz and this producer. (One woman swore on her dog’s life that she witnessed them making out in the middle of the night in a stairwell of the mansion they were all living in together. Roz swore on her son’s life that this was not the case. Holy heated!). Chris Harrison, the host of this wonderful show, asked Roz some very direct questions about the nature of her relationship with the producer. This clearly must have struck a nerve with Roz as she retorted that Chris had hit on the producer’s wife. Chris maintained his composure perfectly at such a nasty comment (his wife was in the audience and they have been happily married and together since high school). It also became known that the love triangle of Roz, the producer and the producer’s wife would never be solved. Roz secured her spot as the hottest and cruelest liar ever to be on the show.
So where does Ali F fit in to all of this and how did she become the next Bachelorette? Ali had her own interesting journey from last season. She secured one of the coveted one on one dates with Jake early on in the season. Ali was presented as this happy-go-lucky, carefree, adorable mid-20s blonde beauty who was falling head over heels for Jake from the beginning. By the end of their first date, fireworks were flying as they danced together to a live, private concert of Chicago. We all fell in love with Ali on that date.
Then fast forward to the next couple of weeks of the season. The claws start to come out. Ali HATES one of the girls in the house, Vienna, who is outspoken and doesn’t get along with the rest of the girls. We never really see why the girls can’t stand Vienna, but Ali leads the charge against her. We see a new side of Ali, a darker side. This is confusing to the audience, because Ali was originally presented as the bright and sunny one (she loved wearing yellow dresses and often acted happier when wearing yellow).
The season continues and with only four girls left, Jake goes to the hometowns of each lady, including Ali. He meets her family, but only after being taken to her dead grandmother’s house where he learns that Ali helped take care of her. It’s not clear whether anybody still lives in the house, but Ali doesn’t seem to care as she leads Jake through each room and shares a little bit about her grandmother with him. It’s a bit strange as a romantic date with Jake, but we also get to see Ali as a caregiver, nurturing and loving granddaughter and we are supposed to forget the nasty comments she makes regarding Vienna. At this point, ABC probably already knew that Ali would be the next Bachelorette and was hard at work doing damage control on her image.
The “Rose Ceremony” occurs at the end of each episode where the Bachelor or Bachelorette chooses which contestants will stay around another week by handing each chosen one a rose and whispering some cheesy line into his or her ear. Before the rose ceremony of the hometown dates episode, Ali appears at Jake’s hotel room needing to talk. She reveals that she has to make a choice. It’s Jake or her job (which we later learn is a sweet gig as an account manager at Facebook). She tries to get from Jake a sense as to whether she’d be The One at the end of the show, but he can’t give her that answer. He does tell her that he doesn’t want her to go. After lots of tears, deep conversations while cuddled up together and watching Ali’s pony tail get messier by the hour, Ali makes the most rational decision of any person in the history of the show. She chooses her job and leaves Jake! As she sobs in the limousine carrying her away from the show, we know that Ali regrets this decision immediately. When she was interviewed on The Women Tell All later on, she says that she’s just a normal person with bills to pay – she simply couldn’t afford to lose her job. This is the first time we see a contestant admitting that life is not all bungee jumping, bikinis and hot tub dates.
The remaining women and Jake fly out to St. Lucia where predictably, Ali calls Jake to tell him that she regrets her decision and wants to return to the show. Jake denies her. At this point, we know Ali will be the next Bachelorette. She’s too full of regrets, cries too much, and has been styled too nicely for any other result to make sense. A few weeks later on the finale, (Oh and Jake surprisingly does pick Vienna in the end, which shocked most viewers as she seemed to have rubbed people the wrong way), Ali F is officially announced as The Bachelorette. She has ditched her job at Facebook for now and is ready for the makeover the show gives every Bachelor and Bachelorette.
Things to be excited about: Ali is beautiful, smart and practical. The guys will love her, a former high school Varsity soccer player, and it will be interesting to see what her thoughts are as these men try to pursue her. An around the world theme will finally get us out of this annoying pattern of a Malibu mansion setting followed by a long train or bus ride, followed by a tropical beach setting the past few seasons have followed.
Things to look out for: Ali definitely has a mean streak in her, and if somebody crosses her, look out! Plus, there always has to be some drama going on with the contestants. You can almost guarantee that one or all of the following will happen: (1) one of the guys is a musician/actor/model/pharmaceutical sales rep and is only looking to forward his modeling/acting career; (2) somebody has a girlfriend at home; (3) somebody leaves in the middle of the season; (4) Ali or one of the losers of the show will end up on Dancing with the Stars or (5) Ali cries.
So there you have it. My Mondays will be quite busy this summer. I hope you will check back each week as I post commentary and thoughts and give some of your own feedback. Set your DVRs and Tivos for Monday, May 24th on ABC from 9-11 PM EST/PST (the show will then return to the 8-10 PM timeslot). Best of luck to Ali. May true love win.
By Stacey B
RBR-TVBR note: For a look back – See these special reports
– Premiere: ‘The Bachelorette’ will Jake be in Ali’s life
– Stories behind ‘The Bachelor: The Final Rose’ special inside look
ATTENTION: Calling all fans of your favorite TV or Cable SHOW.
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