Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Suckiest Bachelor Ever (Bachelor 11-Brad Womack The Final No's)

Jen Schefft

Is Brad Womack the Suckiest Bachelor yet? He was getting a very positive edit until he began circling the altar. First, Jenni Croft had warned him that she was very cautious about declaring her feelings. He encouraged her to do so, letting her read her “private feelings” to him during their last chance date. While the Phoenix Suns dancer kept looking to the Bachelor to stop her if he didn’t want her going there, Brad pushed her towards further vulnerability. Yes, Jenni read the journal like some character out of the Babysitter’s Club or Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but why the heck would he let her say those things in front of the cameras if he was going to drop her on the big lift?

Next, Brad made what most people would hear as a proposal speech to a constantly blinking Deanna Pappas, “You’re everything I want in a wife”-“I could see you with me until we die”-You’d be an even better mother for the kids”. He then said, “I’ve just said goodbye to Jenni” then suddenly stopped, began walking around the altar, and I wondered if he was going to lift his leg to mark his spot or if Ashton Kutcher was going to show up with his camera crew.

I was waiting for ABC to run a promo for a remake of Great Expectations. Just a few minutes earlier, the show had Brad buying an engagement ring and saying that he had made up his mind. If you’ve made up your mind not to choose anyone, why would you buy an engagement ring and bring it to the ceremony? Deanna’s the one who should have thrown the guy in the pool, not his brothers. Btw What was up with that third Womack brother. No, he didn’t look younger, he definitely wasn’t quite as hot, and he got to say like one thing as Daryl or was it Brad’s other brother Chad?

Okay, Brad kept saying I don’t want to have to send either one of them away. So why not do what Charley did? It didn’t exactly add up to lead them on then dump them both. It made me wonder what Hillary Reisinger was thinking? Was she sitting at home alternately laughing and crying hysterically throughout the super abbreviated finale, "Look, they're getting the friends card too"? The show didn’t even spring for trips to Brad’s mom’s actual home. Maybe that’s a good thing, with all those angry Bachelor fans they probably would have had to put the whole Womack family into witness protection.

About a week ago, there were some anonymous comments on Kate Brockhouse’s blog from someone claiming to be Solisa Shoop of the body shots, lapdance, and Christian values. Kate Brockhouse also got on to say that she had heard that Brad chose no one.
The Solisa/anonymous blogger claimed to have been told the same thing while in the bathroom during the Women Tell All taping, possibly they tap shoes in the stalls or have some other kind of code. A number of others had noticed how cold the edit had been for all the remaining finalists. Jenni had spent most of her onscreen time talking about her dancing career or giggling. Deanna had been called the “b” word by the other women. Bettina Bell had a disastrous home date and was shown still upset at the Brad for his “feeling judged” by her parents.

Based on Brad’s statement that he was “very happy” with his choice and the suggestions that he had indeed chosen someone, I picked Deanna. That said, I had noted that there was more romantic chemistry between Chad and Sheena Stewart on the Women Tell All than there was between Brad and any of the women. There was definitely some “heat” between Brad and Bettina Bell, but at that point they appeared somewhat angry with one another. There was also a rumor that Brad had asked Bettina if he could still call her after the Women Tell All. Similarly, one Women Tell All audience member claimed that Bettina had first answered “He doesn’t choose either one” when she was polled about Brad’s choice during the taping.

I’d say the evidence was there, but I wonder if a “shocking ending” really makes for good tv. Perhaps the famous tv cliffhanger happened almost thirty years ago with the primetime soap opera Dallas and “Who Shot JR Ewing”. The buzz kept the show number one and it got so deeply rooted in pop culture that it was even homaged by the Simpsons more than a decade later with “Who Shot Montgomery Burns”. There is no question that Mike Fleiss caught the vast majority of Bachelor viewers off guard with his non-ending, hyped as the most shocking Final Rose ceremony ever. My question is whether or not it wound up being satisfying entertainment

Let me start with another Dallas season ender that tried to reprise the tsunami of publicity that the show got from Who Shot JR with what became known as Bobby Ewing’s Shower Dream, where a whole year’s worth of episodes got wiped away as just a dream that JR’s brother happened to have. While the show ran for five more seasons, it never achieved the level of popularity it had with Who Shot JR. Bobby Ewing in the Shower was one of network TV’s great jump the shark moments, because the show broke trust with its viewers. People watched and they talked, but they stopped caring about Dallas.

If anything, Reality Television is more reliant on script than sitcoms or soap operas. Unlike many reality shows like Idol and Dancing with the Stars that depend on a live performance and audience votes, the Bachelor is taped in its entirety a couple months before any footage gets shown. During that stretch, the producers edit furiously to turn the events into a storyline. They pay so much attention to detail that many claim they will even take care to reverse the negative for previews, splice in footage from past shows for promos, and move bits of dialogue out of context with the video. While it’s not scripted, the Bachelor tells stories and records memorable moments. While it sometimes tells a romantic story a la Trista/Ryan or Andy/Tessa, the show still works when it’s not necessarily a love story. Charley O’connell’s season was decidedly silly with lots of dates to bars, even more shots of the Bachelor drinking, and what appeared to be some seriously whacky characters with Kim the final four lady who kept taking her clothes off and the swimwear model spy, Krisily’s grandmother, etc. Even Lorenzo and Jesse Palmer’s seasons had Erica Rose who didn’t get one in the end and Trish the bachelorette who stalked Jesse and Mandy's fantasy date. I don’t really care that Brad Womack didn’t choose anyone. Even if he reverses field in the After the Final Rose Show tonight, the damage is done.

Here’s the problem. Beginning writers love springing surprise endings in their first stories. For some reason, they think it’s supposed to be all about the shock. Stories just don’t work that way though. The storyteller is supposed to drop just enough clues so the reader hits the surprise ending then smacks himself/herself on the side of the head and goes “Damn, I should have known.” You have to earn that ending.

For six weeks, we saw Brad Womack treated as the nicest most level-headed guy in the world, someone who wasn’t necessarily loquacious but who was so sensitive that it pained him at any rose ceremony to have to let anyone go. Combine that with the scruffy look and the chiseled upper body and we were told that every one of the Bachelorettes would do most anything just for a chance to be Mrs. Womack. Also, Brad tells the camera repeatedly that he’s on the show to look for the woman he can marry.

The last five minutes of the thing, they turn the guy into every woman’s nightmare. Not only can’t he commit. While I do tend to believe that he was expecting to give Deanna Pappas that final rose (no other way to explain his speech up to the point where he mentions Jenni), Mr. Sensitive and dignified utterly humiliates both women and doesn’t even cry.

“I just can’t look you in the eye and say the same things,” were his words more or less to Deanna.

Brad’s mom said that he’s very black and white. I have another way to put it. Brad is a hanging Chad, with the whole Bush v. Gore implications fully intended. Where brother Chad probably made millions of women swoon with the way he talked (quite appropriately btw) to Sheena Stewart at the Women Tell All show, Brad just left the whole Bachelor kingdom feeling all but ripped off. In his defense I would say that I doubt that Brad’s going to go out and kill a couple hundred thousand people. Still, he essentially voted, then said "See, it's still hanging there. I didn't really mean to go all the way, except in those fantasy suites of course heh heh."

When it came to showing real sensitivity with either woman, he just left everyone unsatisfied.

It’s women who watch this show. I saw twelve women either look like catty idiots or get embarrassed by the Bachelor. In the meantime, we were told over and over that this was the nicest and sexiest Bachelor yet. When did being an emotional wimp turn into “sexy”?

Again, let me say it real slowly. He could have chosen no one, but you don’t play them like that in the meantime. Was it the edit? Neither woman acted as if Brad had given any warning signs of his drooping last rose. Don’t even get me started on what likely happened during those fantasy dates.

Maybe they’ll have yet another surprise during After the Final Rose, but Bettina Bell’s parents were right to be skeptical of this guy. Maybe it was for the wrong reasons, but should they ever do the show again they need to find a Bachelor with an educated heart.

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At 11/21/2007 01:43:00 AM, Blogger sylvs said...

DeAnna Pappas should definitely have won it! She is so beautiful and sweet and amazing! I can't believe that Brad turned her down! She deserves someone much better than him! Most guys would have chosen DeAnna anyway. See, check out this poll which proved it!

At 11/21/2007 06:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a sequel with DeAnna and Jenni as roomate
bachelorettes hunting for the perfect guy? They deserve that, and so do the viewers.

At 11/21/2007 09:31:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I liked Deanna, though I'm not sure I would have chosen her myself. I remember being in the same situation where I was in love and was pretty sure the woman had feelings for me, but had started for some reason to deny them. Like Deanna, I kept going at her about what I thought was so clear. I may have been right, but it didn't really matter. She couldn't see it. Whether that was for a good reason or not made no difference.

Looking back, I should have just backed off. The other person just gets defensive and then there's the whole restraining order thing :}
Seriously, people frequently do deny their own feelings or get "scared", but do you really want to be with someone who can't manage that sort of thing after two and a half months?

I'm not sure anyone "deserves" to be on another reality tv show. I do think duelling Bachelorettes could be interesting though. I've read that Jenni is back with her ex-boyfriend though.
Both women came off very well during the After the Final Rose.
I can't believe that Brad had them fly Deanna's father out (we're in sociopath territory there). Also I was pretty amazed to hear that no one bothered to tell Jenni that Brad hadn't chosen anyone.

At 11/21/2007 10:11:00 AM, Blogger Jenica said...

First of all, Brad Womack is not the brightest bulb in the fixture. Not because he didn't pick either of the "amazing" women he had before him, but that he just doesn't have anything to talk about. I thought it was funny that he kept saying his idea of a good time was to "just sit and talk". The only things I ever out of his mouth were "you look amazing", "....more than you'll ever know", "she is smart, strong, and beautiful" (I think he said this about every girl on the show), "this is the hardest thing I have ever done". He said he didn't feel a strong enough "connection" (word used too frequently), this was probably because he was never more than anything physical with them. I cannot recall a conversation on the show, most the time it was
Brad: "How are you?"
Jenni: "I missed you so much"
Brad: "Me too"
Jenni: "Do you wanna see me do a dance?"
Brad: "heck yeah!"
Jenni: (dancing)
Brad: "Wow, that was amazing"
Jenni: "You're amazing"
Brad: "You're amazing"
(then they kiss because there is nothing else to say)
He didn't seem to care to really learn anything about the women, but instead just talk about the idea of each of them. Brad more or less said this about a dozen times "I could see myself with DeAnna". I rest my case, he just liked the idea of her.

At 11/21/2007 10:26:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I agree and you put it well. Thanks for dropping by. Andy Baldwin wasn't much of a talker, but he appeared to be serious about the process. Brad was sort of a less-intelligent Jesse Palmer....I'm still wondering how that's possible, but it seems to fit. When it was Jesse, the show gave the guy a very tough edit. They should have done the same with Brad, so at that level it's Fleiss's fault.

At 11/21/2007 01:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Find out why Brad really rejected all of the women!

At 11/21/2007 03:48:00 PM, Blogger Captain Barbarossa said...

That was a very insightful break down of why ABC may live to regret the decision to market the season the way they did. Brad was given a wonderful edit and the women were made to look tacky.

The women then turned out to be earnest while Brad went into commitment phobic shock in the last five minutes. A terrific recap.

At 11/22/2007 09:02:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

thanks for the link.

Thanks for coming by and commenting. It's interesting. I think Deanna and Jenni turned out to be much more memorable than many of the "winners".

At 11/23/2007 04:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like this Bachelor show thing has become a tempest in a thimble? Jumped a school of sharks?

"Rotter" is the word that leaps to mind from your description of the benighted Brad. Or Brad the Cad . . .

At 11/23/2007 09:38:00 PM, Blogger Dale said...

I will never watch this show again! Okay, I've never seen it but I did read about the shocker ending and knew your take would be the one I'd get the most from CL. Suckiest ever sounds about right.

At 11/24/2007 05:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brad just had a classic case of COLD FEET. Not that that makes the girls feel any better.

Maybe he will have a go with his ex now.

At 11/25/2007 08:54:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Mr. Pogblog,
I just think he should have confessed about the butterflies before the fantasy date cards from Chris Harrison came his way.

Here I was looking forward to you being Bachelor 12 with the Korean Bagel lady in the cast.

I think if Brad goes back to his ex, it'll make him an even bigger "villain" in most people's eyes.

At 11/29/2007 06:51:00 AM, Blogger Dale said...

Do they pay you to be The Bachelor? I'll consider it.

At 11/29/2007 03:08:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I've been trying to get something definitive on this. Most say you just do it for the fun of embarrassing yourself on national television.

I'm not sure how they get around having to make you a guild member and paying scale for the appearances.
Are you saying you'd do it if the Korean Bagel Lady is one of the bachelorettes? Or would you do it in general? I''ve tried to convince Atul to go on the show, but he doesn't seem to take me seriously.

You would be perfect. You could even blog about it during the season, etc.


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