One of the Bachelor franchise’s dumbest and yet most hallowed tenets is that all contestants must accept the unimpeachable truth that the eponymous single lad or lady is really, REALLY desirable. The contestants are to think of themselves as deeply fortunate to be in the mix, and must unquestioningly treat the mere CHANCE to win the title character’s heart as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for which they can and should do ANYTHING. If for some reason you don’t feel this way, then you’re not there for THE RIGHT REASONS, and a bunch of white guys in fitted v-neck t-shirts who were all social chairs of their fraternities in college are going to have WORDS with you, bro.
Outside the context of a prime-time melodrama masquerading as reality television, this is absurd. Unless you are a character in a bad Nicholas Sparks novel (congratulations to those of you who just screamed “REDUNDANT”), you don’t immediately decide that you want to be with someone forever after you see them for the first time. No, you need time! And time is in very short supply on The Bachelorette, where the 10- or 11-episode seasons are filmed over about six weeks. If considered seriously, this detail would undermine the entire premise of the show, which is that it portrays true love blossoming organically before your very eyes (please, stop laughing, I know). So, each contestant tidily disposes of this problem by treating their love and commitment for the bachelorette as an intrinsic, latent truth that will vest immediately upon, hopefully, their receipt of the final rose.
I say all this because your local GNC branch manager and probable UFC superfan Chad gleefully took the red pill this week, flatly refusing to participate in this sacred charade. After Jojo teasingly told Chad to tell her what he loved about her, Chad called her a “nag,” a word that should honestly take its place alongside the c-word, the p-word, and “Trump supporter” in the pantheon of ways you most profoundly offend a woman. When Jojo and the other horrified contestants acted as if Chad had just taken off his shirt to reveal a swastika tattoo, he disdainfully explained that he doesn’t KNOW Jojo yet, and that he isn’t going to PRETEND like all of the rest of the LIARS on the show, and that he intended to just be himself and get to know her as if there were not cameras surrounding them at all times. He expressed this thought by affirming his intent to “have some protein shakes, keep working out, keep eating food, and just continue doing what I do,” a sentence that perfectly encapsulates why the terrorists hate us.
You won’t believe this, but this approach did NOT go over well. “Hey man, it’s supposed to be a joke,” mumbled Christian, whose credibility was pretty low given that he had just willingly performed an impressively bad version of “Gangnam Style” as part of some inane skit. Chad, seizing the opportunity, asked if this was all a joke to Christian, who, since he wanted to make no such statement, shut right the hell up. “You obviously missed the point of today, which is that this was supposed to be fun,” chimed in Alex the Tiny Marine, gamely shooting his shot. After a slight delay during which the sound waves made their way from Alex’s mouth all the way up to Chad’s ears, Chad angrily explained that this is a SERIOUS PROCESS for him, and he has no intent of LYING to Jojo in what he views as a desperate, inappropriate attempt to curry her favor.
Chad has a point! In any other context, these dudes would have no business whatsoever discussing what they love about Jojo, a woman who they have seen more on television (last season) than in real life. But the reason Chad is still a tool for this take is because, homie, you’re NOT out in the world, idly swiping through Tinder whenever your date gets up to go to the bathroom. You’re on a TV show. There is a limited universe of possible outcomes, and a limited period of time in which to sort out who does what. Chad’s gripe, really, is with the show itself, not the contestants who agreed to fall in love quickly, madly, and completely. ABC quite literally doesn’t have time for any of them to do anything else.
That said, although Chad is a disingenuous dickbag, his antics are VERY good for ratings, so expect him to stick around for a few episodes until enough contestants complain about him to Jojo, who then kicks him off dramatically to tremendous collective schadenfreude. And at that time, he’ll be joining these dudes that bowed out quietly this week.
Now that his online bio’s picture has been converted to the Grayscale of Shame, Brandon looks sort of like Diet Kurt Cobain, which I intend as an insult but also understand that he would probably interpret it as the highest compliment he’s ever been paid. I remember almost nothing about Brandon’s time on the show. He was a generic hipster whose laconic attitude, bad goatee, and refusal to wear a tie made him look like the crappy, long-lost seventh member of Arcade Fire. I could not care less that he’s been elimina WHOA HEY WHAT’S THIS
Turns out that he’s a good-looking dude when not wearing clothes that make him look like he’s auditioning for a community theatre production of the Addams Family musical! Brandon, I forgive you for everything. Make this man the next bachelor immediately.
Shocker: the person who listed his occupation as “Bachelor Superfan” did not make it past episode 2. Poor James S. never really seemed comfortable in his own skin, and in a season with three Jameses, at least one of them had to go early if for no other reason than to help Jojo keep these dudes straight. James F. and James Taylor are now the only remaining Jameses, and I wish them both well in their quest to win Jojo’s heart or, more likely, the right to be murdered by Chad on national television.
Will was the token house clown, lovably making (!) and using (!) a paper fortune teller (!!!) to coax a kiss out of a very reluctant Jojo during the premiere. This time, he provided the show’s producers with great B-roll footage of him and Jojo TPing the Bachelorette mansion. But TPing doesn’t quite have the same effect when you are doing it…on television, and people are filming you, and you know it. That’s just unapologetically creating a mess that you know a bunch of jaded ABC interns will have to clean up later on.
This crappy version of Chris Pratt was mildly entertaining, but he was never going to win. After all, as Chad and friends reminded us this week, there is NOTHING funny about being one of twenty-six dudes on a semi-scripted TV show ostensibly falling in love and preparing to propose to a woman they’ve known for all of six weeks. No. THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS, BROS. MAY THE MAN WHO OFFERS THE MOST OVERWROUGHT PROTEIN SHAKE ANALOGY WIN.