Today’s post is about ABC’s Bachelor Pad.
If you don’t watch the show and haven’t already clicked away because you saw the words “Bachelor Pad”, I’ll give you my two-bullet-point synopsis:
- Telegenic former contestants from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette attempt to win $250,000 by staying in the game (Survivor-style), and living together in a house (Big Brotherstyle). Oh, and as a possible side-bonus, they can possibly find love along the way.
- Each episode begins with an immunity challenge (see? Survivor!), where the winner of the challenge gets a rose (huh?) and is safe from elimination at the next Tribal Council. Whoops! I mean Rose Ceremony. During the Rose Ceremony two contestants are voted off based on what can only be called “strategerizing”.
Got it? Good.
So, on this week’s episode, the immunity challenge consisted of a game of skill.
HA HA! No it wasn’t! It was a game of humiliation, with a little bit of skill involved. Blindfolded and with their backs turned, the men and women sported spray-painted targets on their bathing-suit-clad bodies. Then, competing by gender, each contestant was directed to throw paint-filled eggs at the line-up participants based on answers to a series of questions that the smarmy host Chris Harrison gleefully read from his notecards:
“Who would you most like to be sent home?”
“Who do you think is the dumbest?”
“Who are you least attracted to?”
To earn a point, you simply had to hit a person and make the egg break. It didn’t even matter if your egg broke on the intended target. But Mr. Harrison was quick to point out who the egg was supposed to hit.
While there are so many things wrong with the above scenario, right now I’m going to skip past this horrifying act of degradation and sexual objectification and instead give you the dirt on who was voted the most “unattractive” female.
It was Erica Rose from Prince (!) Lorenzo Borghese’s season of The Bachelor.
Lorenzo’s season was the lowest-rated one in Bachelor history. I don’t remember who won his heart. I don’t even remember the 2nd runner-up. And I sure as hell don’t recall a thing about any of the contestants, with the exception of Erica. She stood out because she pretty much created a vapid television persona for herself. She was the “spoiled brat” who complained about the lack of maid-service in the house, always wore a tiara, and carried her holier-than-thou attitude around in her many designer bags.
Now I realize that there’s this thing called “editing” which all reality show contestants seem to blame for portraying them as the “bitch” or the “psycho”, or in Erica’s case, the “stick-up-her-ass-celeb-wannabe”.
But, surprisingly, Erica owns up to all of these unattractive traits in her video bio which was aired during the first episode of Bachelor Pad. However, she then tried to spin it to portray herself as someone who had “grown up” since her stint on The Bachelor, five years earlier.
It was a valiant attempt on the part of Erica, but so far, I haven’t seen any evidence of growth. Although it must have been brutal to be called “least attractive” on national television, her on-camera interview after that humiliating contest shows her throwing fellow female housemates under the proverbial bus – or perhaps limo is the more appropriate vehicle – when the women had absolutely nothing to do with the eggs on her back.
I’ll paraphrase the rant: All the other women are skinny bitches with fake boobs, but I’m naturally curvaceous. Why didn’t they vote for Ella, who is way bigger than I am and not really all that attractive?
Physically, Erica is an attractive woman. So…maybe she had a little (obvious) “work” done. But the fact that she’s still wearing a tiara tells me that she hasn’t changed as much as she’d like to think she has.
And here are the facts: Even though her boobs are real and Ella is a tad heavier, she was the only one pelted with paint-eggs. I have to guess that it has something to do with her attitude. That must be why all the men targeted her.
But in the end I’m not gloating about poor Erica’s fate. In fact, I feel bad because I’m using her.
I’m labeling her as a shallow, mean-spirited woman because that makes me feel better about watching this schlock.
If I can look at her – or any one of the narcissistic women who sign on for a chance at instant fame – and say, “I’m better than that!” it absolves me of some of the guilt I feel when I watch these shows, and support the kind of treatment women receive on Reality TV. I can say, “Well, they deserve that. They’re not like me.”
I’ve watched The Bachelor franchise since its inception in 2002. I’m not naive. The producers don’t care if anyone finds love. They’re more interested in cat fights and tears and jealousy and insecurities. That makes for better drama, and thus better ratings.
So, what does it say about me that I’m drawn to a show where self-involved women end up “getting what they deserve”?
Maybe I should have a few eggs thrown at my back, because what it says does not sound very attractive.