I refuse to recap Bachelor Pad, because I don't condone any Bachelor spin-off where true love is not the sole motivation. (Besides, who wants to watch partially nude twenty-somethings make out if they're not planning on getting married?) Still, so much of Monday's episode disturbed and saddened me, it had to be addressed.
It's not that I'd look to the Bachelor franchise for female empowerment per se, but Bachelor Pad is bringing PR for my gender to a whole new low. And I'm sure the blame rests as much on the contestants as it does on the editing, producing and casting of the show. But whoever you want blame it on, things do not look good for the ladies of Bachelorland. You name a sexist stereotype, there's a woman on the show who embodies it.
There are women falling all over guys who tell them, to their faces, they're not interested. (See: Elizabeth and Natalie). They are ridiculously emotional; they are incapable of rational thought; some of them seem incapable of thought altogether. And they are mean.
Tenley might be the meanest girl in the house, but every time someone says her name she cries to throw them off the scent. First, she needlessly spread gossip about Michelle, then there was a very catty public dig about Elizabeth (Remember the girl who refused to kiss Jake until he proposed? Turns out she's even more bat-poop loco than you thought.) True, neither Michelle nor Elizabeth is a shining example of acceptable behavior, but that doesn't excuse Tenley's.
Elizabeth is such a caricature of crazy, I don't know what to do with her. First she tells the mildly interested Jesse K. that she loves him, then when he tries to end things she tries to threaten him into liking her, then she tries to get him kicked off, then she's says she'll sacrifice her own chances of winning for him, then she says she knows he doesn't reciprocate her feelings, then she --well, then she does things that we're only allowed to see in silhouette.
Then we have co-host Melissa Rycroft (of Jason's season and Dancing with the Stars Fame), whose wooden hosting is overshadowed by her disturbing weight loss. Could they really not find a female co-host who doesn't look and sound like she's going to collapse at any moment?
And there's Gia. Oh Gia, you seemed relatively normal when you were on Jake's season of the Bachelor. You were sweet. Maybe not the sharpest tool in the shed, but reasonably grounded and sweet. And now? Gia, how annoying can you actually be?
Let me count the ways:
1. Gia has somehow positioned herself as the head of a coalition of "outsiders" (ie. contestants who haven't been to the reunions and aren't hooking up with anyone on Bachelor Pad). She made this whole elaborate plan that involved her giving Craig M. an immunity rose, which would shift the balance of power in the house, making the outsiders the majority in the house. She discussed the plan with her cohort of lady allies, and even with Craig M. Then at the last minute she ruined her own plan by giving the rose Wes because she felt like it.
2. And yah, let's talk about Gia giving a rose to Wes. Gia, with the boyfriend back home, was just too touched when Wes confessed his love to her. Really? Wes professing his love after knowing you for about four days, and on the very night when you have a rose to give out doesn't seem a tab questionable?
3. She believed Wes when he said, "You're smart, you're witty, you're quick." She has to at least be aware that her warm heart might be a stronger suit than her intellect, no?
4. Before the date, Gia picked two "outsider" guys to bring with (Wes and Craig). Then she made this whole show about picking the third guy's name from a hat. Sneaky Gia, however, had only writing one name of every piece of paper in that hat, and that was Jesse B. Why did she go through all that trouble? I have no idea. I guess so the "insiders" wouldn't suspect she was trying to get Jesse B. on her side. But clearly, she was going to try to get whoever went on the date on her side, right?
5. Gia got all upset when, after the whole plan had to be reconfigured thanks to her Wes mistake, someone changed her mind and didn't vote in line with the outsiders bloc. Gia ranted about how that girl "destroyed all of our chances. " Um, Gia you just did the exact same thing the day before.
6. Next week, according to the previews, she calls Wes Shakespeare...when he plays her the same stupid song he "wrote" for Jillian.
In case you're wondering the rogue outsider vote belonged to Nikki. The outsider girls (who include Krisily the self appointed b-i-t-c-h, the old blond, the unrecognizable blond, Nikki and Gia) decided to vote Kiptyn off, to keep fellow outsider Craig M. safe. But then Nikki felt so badly, because she didn't want to lose an amazing friend like Kiptyn. So she voted for Craig.
First of all, how close is a friend who you see once every six months when you're drunk at a Bachelor reunion? Secondly, Kiptyn told her if she voted him off, he wouldn't hold it against her. But Nikki, being a weepy mess like her fellow women, kept Kiptyn in the game. And she blamed it on her heart just like Gia. Nikki realized the error in her defecting ways and observed, "I am so alienated, it's sad." It'll tell you what's sad Nikki, the fact that you think these people are actually your real friends.
Anyway, girl Jesse and Craig M. were both sent back to Canada. Jesse was sad and wondered if the "love" she found (ie: hot tub make out session with Dave) was real, or had just been part of the game.
The men aren't shining examples of chivalry by any stretch of the imagination.( Kiptyn, who actually seems decent might be the exception. But that's just because he has no personality. And he has learned to do the stay-silent-and-look-pretty-thing. Are you taking notes Gia?) But at least they can keep it together. Their emotions do not render then incapable of acting rationally, and they stick to their plans and honor their allegiances. Even The Weatherman and Craig. M were able to put aside their differences for the greater good of the team. The guys who came off as crazy/horrible dudes on The Bachelorette have learned to tone down their personas for the camera.
This show is supposed to be fun, and that comes from the fact that everyone is nuts. Now the balance is all off and it's just sad. But maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way. Maybe if there were more helicopter rides and fantasy suites everything would feel normal again. Maybe these contestants would all be fine after some Chris Harrison counseling sessions.
As it is, David, the quintessential *insert word I can't write here* from Jillian's season is somehow one of the more likable characters. At the end of the episode he said, "These girls, they're gonna stab each other in the back at breakfast tomorrow." The sad thing was he was right. Sadder still, I didn't even care if they did.
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