Monday, August 20, 2007

Andy and Tessa Slow Down (post-Bachelor comments)

"When the fantasy wore off and the reality set in, we both realized that we weren't ready to be engaged….We're taking things much slower."
Those are the words of officer-doctor-triathlete-Bachelor fodder Andy Baldwin about the state of his relationship with Tessa Horst. It’s understandable. The two got off to Personal Bests at the end of their initial plunge in the Bachelor triathlon. When Andy went to one knee with the Hawaiian sunset in the background, they were well ahead of Prince Lorenzo, fellow Dukie Doctor Travis, and Jesse Palmer who already had a one way ticket to the waiver wire of love even before his show finished airing. Perhaps Andessa just read the rose petals. When it comes to off-camera relationships, it’s not an all out sprint. Pacing matters. It's also worth mentioning that apparently Andy may be transferred from Pearl Harbor earlier than he had expected, so the vagaries of military service matter as well.

My first thought when I saw the story was to check to see if Bevin Powers had been spotted on flights to Hawaii. I’ve learned however that Bevin Powers posted on her myspace page that she has since found a boyfriend. Maybe the guy at the tattoo parlor burst into tears about having to work in the presence of other tattoo artists and she realized that they had a “connection”. Maybe Bevin ran off with the drill sergeant from the Bachelor boot camp episode.

Maybe it’s Mark Philippoussis? You want to talk about a dud dating show. It didn’t help that a friend told me that the Australian tennis player was already being spotted at Southern California parties in the company of a younger woman who hadn’t been one of his choices before Age of Love even finished airing. Still, when two of the women drop out of the final four for reasons of their own, you’ve got a reality disaster in the works. Btw, if one of the contestants goes on camera to whisper the number of orgasms she can achieve or provide in succession in the bachelor’s ear, you at least make sure the number’s audible. Those hot tub scenes on the Bachelor suddenly felt awfully classy after that. Did anyone consider introducing Jennifer Braff from Age of Love to Scott Baio? They’re even quite close in age. There are a lot of cross-dating show matches that would be very intriguing.

Of course, Bevin Powers might have found a really nice guy. Off camera, without Fleiss editing, she’s probably a terrific young woman who deserves to be happy. I’d say the same thing about Tessa and Andy. (ironically, Tessa and Bevin are now physically closer to one another than either is to Andy) They seem like a nice couple who deserve a chance to let their relationship progress normally. It’s bizarre that we talk as if any “Bachelor” couple who doesn’t marry three weeks after the show ends is somehow a pair of losers.

One of the appeals of the triathlon is that you don’t have to have the fastest time to feel like a winner. For most of the competitors, the point is to finish what you started and to push yourself beyond what you thought were your physical and mental limits. Okay, so they’ve gotten off the bicycles for a little bit after they crossed marker one, still being together after the show aired. As we head to marker two, the beginning of the next Bachelor Season on September 24, (Brad Womack, a 34 year old Austin, Texas bar owner is Bachelor 11), Andy and Tessa have fallen off the blistering pace set by Trista and Ryan. This doesn’t mean they won’t finish. In fact, they could still finish ahead of say Mary Delgado and Byron Velvick and/or Charley O’connell and Sarah Brice. Even if they don’t marry in the end, I don’t think it means that the Bachelor process “failed”.

The personal best test or interpersonal-best if you will can be measured simply enough, did the show result in an actual romance at the end. I don’t think anyone doubts that Meredith and Ian was a real romance, they just didn’t get married. It didn’t mean that fans wound up saying “What a farce!” I think most viewers felt the chemistry was real enough, the two tried, but it didn’t work out. Any anger about that one is limited to the whole business of Meredith telling Matthew that she really wanted a ring from him.

Bachelor fans get turned off when the final two just aren’t sincere about the process. Jen Schett was likely the all-time worst because it was clear that she never invested emotionally in the choice. Most believe that she already had a post-Andrew Firestone boyfriend even while the show was filming so didn’t even go through the motions. Bob Guiney appeared to use his Bachelor 15 minutes to woo his eventual Soap Opera Star wife and to sell CD’s for his band. Lorenzo, Travis, and Jesse Palmer all appeared to pick a woman they could safely dump rather than someone they really wanted to take a chance on.

I’d already mentioned Age of Love’s near complete lack of chemistry. When Mark chose Amanda Salinas, it felt like that speech they used to give at the end of Miss America about if the winner is unable to perform her duties… fwiw, My niece actually once wound up being the final choice on one of these shows. She’s an actress. She saw the experience purely as a means to get some exposure. They gave her a ring and at the end she immediately asked the producers if she could go on the cruise given to the winners “separately” rather than together. Btw My niece is a very nice young woman. It’s just that she never saw the experience as anything more than a tv show. Any illusion that it was anything else was just that. She also said that Kate Beckinsale is very nice in real life. I know that has nothing to do with Bachelor talk, but it's good for search engine counts and it's actual relative of a friend gossip (not very good gossip though).

Even if they're not still "trying" or even if Tessa ran off with a talking muffin, didn't like the Bevin footage, got upset when Gatsby(Mitch Thrower) and Andy didn't come home one night, or was convinced to delay the engagement by her best friend Samantha, Andy Baldwin and Tessa Horst already met their responsibility to reality television. I hope they finish their triathlon at the pace that works for them. Whether it’s separately or hand in hand, I wish them well.

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At 8/22/2007 02:09:00 PM, Blogger Cup said...

Maybe I'll grab a flight to Hawaii ...

At 8/22/2007 03:17:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

If you meet Andy, let me know. I'll be interested in finding out if the two of you have an "amazing connection" while you begin your "Journey". Maybe Rufus Wainwright and REM will be in Honolulu at the same time as well.

At 8/31/2007 09:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw, gosh, now I'm almost sorry I quit watching. Except you just described for me the only interesting 3 minutes of the season.

At 8/31/2007 11:21:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

the new season starts September 24th probably right after they stop running "Fat March".

You seem to have Songwriter in the meantime, which has got to be way more interesting than reality tv.

At 9/25/2007 08:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read your recap and thoughts of last night's show - I think the new bachelor seems really sweet!

At 9/29/2007 07:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy and Tessa was just spotted this month together with Clint Eastwood. Here is the link to a picture of the three.


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