Ben ‘The Bachelor’ Starts Another Sideshow

The first night is probably the best night to watch “The Bachelor” – before things get bogged down in their super-sized dates or round the globe sightseeing. On the first night, when all the girls are meeting the guy, the possibilities are endless, the more desperate among them are ready to do anything for a rose and most importantly – everybody is drunk.

How else to explain the emotional breakdowns, vicious fighting and incomprehensible dialog as the evening goes along?

And just imagine how long a night it is: The women are all drinking champagne in the limo all the way over to the out-of-way mansion they’ve been using for just about every season. Then there is the long line of individual hellos, marked by now by carefully prepared speeches, notable stunts (one came on horseback! One brought her grandma!) or just blanking out altogether (two women claimed to have forgotten entirely what to say – maybe they were already blotto).

It helps to note that Ben Flajnik is not the greatest conversationalist in the world. He didn’t have many questions for those tumbling out of the cars and it was most of them who had to say something.

Then there’s the getting to know him better at the cocktail party, which involves in some cases push-ups, soccer games and learning to line dance. Then the endless rose ceremony to follow. It must be Red Bull and vodka that keeps them both awake and loose lipped through what must be an all night shooting.

In their inebriated banter, a surprising amount of contestants said “I’m glad it’s you” to him, causing him to reply at one point, “I’m glad it’s you, too.” But “The Bachelor” as its played for the past several seasons, calls for a known commodity as the serial dater – somebody who had made a mark but been ceremoniously dumped in the previous season. Still working on audience sympathy, the producers scoop the person up and line up 25 people to meet him.

Ben went as far as going down on his knee to propose in the season finale only to find he had been chosen runner-up and would be dismissed with a home version of the game. Though he seemed ticked off at the time (enough to stop her from telling him what a great guy he was), Ben wasn’t so put off by the TV show process to keep him from returning to the show. After all, dating 25 beautiful girls at once is the best revenge, I suppose.

By now, the women are chosen as much for their viability for spin-offs such as “Bachelor Pad” as they are for finding true love. In the opener, you could see a couple of women who are likely to go the long haul (if they can stand to see their guy dating all the other women along the way). But there’s no chance for the two women who battled almost incomprehensibly.

One did a disgrace to all bloggers by being inarticulate, self-conscious and stumbling (again I blame the booze). And the woman who goaded her on, as well as hit on one of the women, was there in the running for worst villainess ever, a role that will serve her well in future episodes of “Bachelor Pad” and beyond (if there is a beyond).

Women who hissed that she was there for the “wrong reason” don’t realize that they are all there for the wrong reason. And we’re probably watching the show for the wrong reasons as well.

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