I can finally admit it: I watch The Bachelor. And The Bachelorette. At first I was a closet-watcher, ashamed of my bi-seasonal guilty pleasure, but now? I guess you could say I’m out of the closet. I’m an avid follower of ABC’s reality television show, and not only that, but I am emotionally invested in it. If loving this level of reality tv is wrong, then I don’t want to be right!
And so of course, I, along with the other reality tv junkies in this great country, have been waiting on pins and needles for ABC to announce the next bachelor. The network already disclosed that the title would be passed on to Kypton Locke, Reid Rosenthal or Jake Pavelka, and I definitely felt entitled to an opinion regarding who it should be, as all faithful followers of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette do. My opinion? Reid of course! The handsome, funny, charming one. The one who said what he thought even when it meant not saying what he knew Jillian would want to hear. The sarcastic one with wit and flair! Well, not too much flair. But I was a huge Reid fan.
If I had been Jillian, I would have chosen Reid. That’s because Reid is more my type than any of the other guys. He is quirky and analytical and sarcastic. He doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve, vomit out all of the mushy gushy feelings going on his heart, cry at the drop of the hat, or fall in love with the first pretty girl who will hand him a rose (well, okay, he did that). All of these attributes describe my husband, and these characteristics drew me to Reid like a fruit fly to an overripe peach. There was just no getting around it: Reid was the man for me. Sadly, at the end of the season I came to find out that he was apparently not the man for Jillian.
I consoled myself with the thought that Reid would be the next bachelor. I hadn’t gotten enough time with him in The Bachelorette anyway, thanks to all the other guys stealing camera time away from him. Of the three guys, he seemed like the most viable chioce – after all, he had come back to declare his love for Jillian only to be rejected by the leading lady again in the final episode. Surely there would be more to Reid’s story than that!
So, yesterday when Jake Pavelka was announced the next bachelor, I did feel a little sink in my heart; I’m not going to lie. This was not the news I wanted to hear. However, the more I think about it, the more I can understand the choice. And the more I look forward to the next Bachelor season.
After all, what has made the seasons of The Bachelor/The Bachelorette memorable? Hasn’t it been the scandal, the drama, the shock effect that has kept so many fans coming back for more? Brad Womack not choosing Jenny or Deanna was a big deal at the time, but who could top Jason Mesnick breaking up with Melissa at the After The Final Rose Ceremony and choosing Molly, the second-runner-up, instead? If we hadn’t had Wes spicing up Jillian’s season with scandal and drama, and Reid’s last minute decision to try to win her heart for the second time at the emotional Final Rose Ceremony, then Jillian’s season would surely have been a dud. We reality television viewers are no different than the average Joe: we want drama, passion and intrigue, or else I can guarantee will find something better to do with our time on a Monday night.
So finally, this is where Jake comes in. Sweet, admirable, adorable Jake. It’s true, his integrity and sensitivity might lead some to believe this next season will be…vanilla, but I am here to argue otherwise. Before we were three episodes into The Bachelorette last season, Jake pretty much admitted he had fallen in love with Jillian. That’s fast! This man has nothing to prove, proven by the fact that he has nothing to hide. It didn’t take long for him to break all of our hearts with the statement, “Nice guys finish last,” and who wasn’t drinking up every second of his dramatic return in the second half of the season to warn Jillian about Wes, just like he was her knight in shining armor? What Reid was afraid to do (admit he was in love with someone he hardly knew), Jake proved very unafraid (considering he and Jillian didn’t have much of a relationship by the time he expressed to her his love). And who will ever forget the moment he, according to the guys at the Tell All show, “pulled a Mesnick” and sobbed dramatically on a balcony? Not I. Jake’s eyes filled up with tears countless times throughout the season, and every one of his statements were filled with such emotion and passion that it is no wonder ABC chose him as the next bachelor. Reid may be a cutie patutie, but what’s the fun of watching a whole season of someone who’s afraid to let us in on what he’s really feeling? We need someone who’s vulnerable, transparent, and really serious about falling in love and falling in love fast. Jake will be all of that and more. The more I think about it, the more I find myself intrigued and wondering what the next season of The Bachelor will hold for those of us who not only want to watch people fall in love, but also watch in fascination as the comedy and tragedy of an exciting melodrama unfolds.
But this might make me sound heartless, so let me close with this: Jake Pavelka is a sweetheart if I ever saw one. His integrity was obvious and genuine, and that alone makes him a killer catch. And let’s not kid ourselves: he’s smart, extremely good looking, and seems to know how to treat a woman right. So, lest I portray myself as one who takes delight in others’ heartache for my entertainment, you should know that watching people’s hearts get broken is the most despicable thing about this show to me, and why I resisted watching it for years. I cried when Jillian sent Jake home, even though I was a Reid fan myself. I hope the close of the next season finds Jake happy and in love, because if there’s one thing I know about Jake, it’s that he deserves it.