Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Now on its 14th season, ABC's The Bachelor is still alive and strong, still chasing the American dream of finding a wife after eight weeks of excessive helicopter rides and force-fed candlelit dinners.
This time it's 32-year-old Jake Pavelka who's looking for love in all the wrong places, and though he's easier to look at than last season's Jason Mesnick, I'm starting to think Jake is perhaps more obnoxious than all previous Bachelors combined.
Fellow enthusiasts will recall that last year, Jason shocked audiences by choosing Melissa Rycroft, then breaking off the engagement on national television and asking runner-up Molly Malaney to give him a second shot. A ploy for record-high ratings? Maybe. But I felt Jason was an annoying little single dad nerd even before the finale, and this spectacle confirmed all pre-conceived notions.
So on the "twerp scale" –– which I now exclusively measure on a scale from zero-to-Mesnick –– Jake "the nice guy" Pavelka is starting to supersede even Jason's buffoonery.
This season the producers have tacked on an extra bit at the end of the show's title so it now reads- "The Bachelor: On The Wings of Love." This sticky-sweetness mimics Jake's squeaky-clean, sparkling-smile persona, who repeatedly reminds the camera how "outgoing" and "fun-loving" he is, then cries in sheer terror before a bungee-jump date.
Let us also address the remaining women on the show ––all of whom are willing to overlook the fact that Jake is blander than butter-less Wonder Bread for the chance at a diamond at the end, paid in full by the hopeless romantics at ABC.
Last Monday, Jake sent home 23-year-old Corrie after a one-on-one date in which she revealed she was "saving herself for marriage." Meanwhile, daddy's girl Vienna remains in the running and continues to say stupid things like, "I'm on cloud Jake right now" while adjusting her fake boobs.
If there's anyone best suited for Jake, it's the prim and preppy Tenley, whose clean-cut image is irritating but nonetheless seemingly-genuine. No matter who he chooses, all seem equally excited to ditch personal aspirations for a life of waiting for their pilot to return home, nervously wondering which stewardess he's fooling around with.
I guess that last bit was a little unfair. I'm just wrestling with how these entirely-too-young ladies can fall so quickly for a man who says "golly," wears tight leather blazers and form-fitting turtlenecks, and stares blankly in the face of dry humor.
But alas, that's why I'm not on the show. Because I swear I wasn't rejected in the first round of last summer's open Minneapolis auditions - who would wait in a five hour, 23 minute long line rehearsing irresistible answers to questions like, "what is love?" Definitely not me.
In the midst of a mis-guided Bachelor rant, I've almost forgotten my initial point, which is to make a bet with you all that by the end of this season, Jake will have out-Mesnicked even the Mesnick. And if you're still following me –– no matter how sweet or how phony ––you too will be riding on the wings of love 'till the end.
- Dee Fabbricatore
Posted by The Daily Iowan Arts and Culture Blog at 6:22 PM