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The Bachelor: The Most Unforgettable-Ever!


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26.06.2020, 22:49   #176
 
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Season 6 Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky would become an E! News correspondent and, in easily the biggest leap of Bachelor Nation history, made a small cameo in a Woody Allen film. But these stories were few and far betweenno one really expected appearing on this show to alter the course of their lives. Perhaps a contestant or two thought exposure wouldnt hurt, but few people expected much fame to follow. Your 15 minutes really were limited to however long anyone remembered you.
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barish   
26.06.2020, 22:57   #177
 
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Maybe Ill sound old-fashioned in admitting this, but I long for those days. Id be lying if I said I thought the show is better today. In fact, in just about every possible aspect, its worse. Reality TV is about real people, and watching Seans season highlights last night, I missed the days where the women on this show seemed to represent the everywoman. These women were normal ladies with normal lives and jobs; not an aspiring content creator or pageant queen in sight. Without Instagram followers beckoning, we knew these women were at least somewhat sincere. They went on the show because they were singlethey didnt become single to go on the show. When Catherine told Sean, I wouldnt be here if it wasnt you, I actually believed her.

Today, that line is an eye roll-inducing Bachelor trope.
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
26.06.2020, 23:17   #178
 
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Notably, the villain was a much more complicated creature back then. Today, we equate villainy with airtime, and airtime with Instagram fame. We are pulling further and further away from reality as we watch contestants angle for airtime rather than the leads affections. Im utterly fascinated by Tierra.

Last night, we were shown in vivid detail her most iconic moments: her pout turning into a slow grin as Sean leaves to fetch her the Group Date rose, her falling down the stairs, the legendary polar bear plunge hypothermia. This was BEFORE social media made this kind of behaviour useful. It made villains so much juicier, to know the gain for them wasnt nearly what it is today. Was it really just for his attention, not the airtime? That alone feels so pure and sincere by comparison with today. Ive long felt Instagram has been irreversibly destroying The Bachelor, and last night convinced me all the more.
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
27.06.2020, 04:04   #179
 
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When you consider a season itself is a collection of its own greatest hits moments from filming, last nights recap was essentially a double-distilled version of the original. While we cant complain about the fast pace, there was little nuance to be observed. We could only sit back and take Chris Harrisons ever-hyperbolic word for it as he described each woman and her relationship with the lead. It got me wondering: Who is going to watch this? I mean that sincerely. Do first kisses and professions of love and proposals translate without feeling like you know these people, without the build-up of their interactions? Will we sink our teeth into villains without the context of having our nerves grated? In my case, it was mildly pleasing to have my memory jogged. I enjoyed being taken back to a time in my life intrinsically linked to Seans season, to reminisce about a pre-social media cast. But would this be entertainingor even interestingfor someone who hadnt actually seen it?
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
27.06.2020, 04:14   #180
 
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Looking forward, itll be interesting to see what other seasons are considered the best ever. We already know who the franchise favourites are based on guest appearances: Sean Lowe and Ben Higgins are frequent guests on newer seasons, surprising the latest leading man with advice on how to shop for a wife on TV. Kaitlyn Bristowe and Jojo Fletcher make regular appearances and were recently featured as judges on Listen To Your Heart. These were all good seasons, but this walk down memory lane will be a waste if were shown mostly recent-ish seasons. My hope is that Seans journeyonly seven years back in an 18-year stintisnt considered vintage.

Finally, in light of the powerful Black Lives Matter movement: Looking back over the many options40 seasons across 18 yearsreally puts into perspective just how undeniably and offensively WHITE this show is. Its not a pleasant observation, but nor is it some revelation. Sure, it might be easy (or at least more convenient) to scoff at the role this franchise plays: Should a largely fluffy reality show about finding love really be responsible for representing diversity? Frankly, yes, it should. I understand TV is a numbers game and all decisions are made with ratings in mind. However, with those ratings comes responsibility. When so many millions of eyeballs are watching, there comes a point where you are either working to fix the problem, or youre a part of the problem. 18 years in, were well past that point. The Powers That Be need to stop covering their eyes, ears and mouths, especially since a cast of more diverse leads and contestants is ultimately a win-win: Either they realize ratings will be unaffected, or those ratings will be affected and a portion of The Bachelors viewership can be outed as being prejudiced. In the unfortunate latter scenario, are these really the people we want to entertain and pander to? There are a lot of uncomfortable truths coming to light at this time, but its time to face that discomfort rather than keeping our heads in the sand any longer. Casting Rachel Lindsay as the first ever Black lead (15 years in!) was a step in the right direction, but the franchise must realize that wasnt an end goal they should be patting themselves on the back over. It was only the beginning.
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
27.06.2020, 04:17   #181
 
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Sharleen Joynt on Episode 2 of The Bachelor: The Greatest SeasonsEver!


I wasnt able to really enjoy Kaitlyns season when it first aired. Since I began writing about this show in 2014, and to this day, Kaitlyns is the sole season I didnt recap on my blog. I felt too entrenched in it: I had heard from Nick about his crush on Kaitlyn for weeks, as well as his deliberation leading up to his trip to NYC. Andy and I had dinner with Nick the night before he would crash her rap battle Group Date; we would even meet him there. When Nick was gone filming for quite some time, we began to genuinely think he might wind up engaged. When he called me from the airport after getting second place again (a Bachelor franchise first and sure to be last), my heart broke for him. How anyone could think he had anything but sincere intentions in pursuing Kaitlynwhen no one knew shed for certain become the Bachelorette and given that pursuit would involve moving into a house as unwelcoming as Kaitlynsis beyond me.
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
27.06.2020, 07:55   #182
 
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What complicated things was the fact that I genuinely adore Kaitlyn, both on and off my TV screen.

In 2015, it was difficult to watch what had been described to me in detail, to watch one friend deeply hurt another friend. But, time heals all wounds (OK, most wounds) and last night I was finally able to sit back and enjoy Kaitlyns season for what it was: excellent television.
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
27.06.2020, 08:06   #183
 
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Last week left me thinking there was little reason to watch this series of Greatest Seasons Ever. Sean Lowes episode, while enjoyably nostalgic for me, didnt provide much besides an extended montage and a few catch-up conversations. Hardly a good return on a three-hour time investment, even with pandemic-lowered entertainment standards. A question I posed to you last week, without any irony, was, Who is going to watch this? Thankfully, last night was a different story. Perhaps realizing their track record with successful love stories is more woeful than theyd have you believe (legend has it more singles find love on The Biggest Loser than they do The Bachelor), The Powers That Be took a sharp turn and focused on a lightning rod rather than a happy ending.

It paid off. Kaitlyns season, while still on the recent side, has aged very well.
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
27.06.2020, 08:11   #184
 
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First, her crop of men was one of the best weve ever seen: Not only Shawn Booth and Nick Viall, but other Bachelor Nation classics like Ben Higgins, Jared Haibon and Tanner Tolbert got their start on this season.

(Knowing Jared and Tanner would go on to marry two ladies from Kaitlyns original seasonChris Souless seasontickles me.) Weve known for years a seasons success has as much to do with the cast of contestants as it does the lead herself, so this really was the ultimate dream team.
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
27.06.2020, 08:18   #185
 
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Last night, Nicks love letters to Kaitlyn were finally brought to light, a move I found brilliant. It kept things new and interesting and also added further context to their relationship. Hearing Nick put into words his current friendship with Kaitlyn and how theyve joined each others podcasts, it put into perspective what this show really is about in the long term.
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
27.06.2020, 08:26   #186
 
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Its well and good that Catherine and Sean ended up together, but this is every bit as valid an ending.
Kaitlyn wasnt wrong to pick Shawnthey were together a whopping 3.5 years.

She was absolutely correct in her choice, and Nick himself admitted he and Kaitlyn probably wouldnt have worked out either. The End isnt about finding your husband/wife and getting married. (I can speak from experience that in many ways thats just the beginning.) Rather, this was about what choices Kaitlyn made with what she was given, both in terms of cast and circumstances. She and Nick are friends to this day, and theyre both really happy and far better off. Highlighting this shows what The Bachelor experience is really about: self reflection, self discovery, the ability to forgive and be forgiven, humility.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
27.06.2020, 08:54   #187
 
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To me, Kaitlyn was the ultimate Bachelorette and last night didnt alter that opinion.

Shes sweet and funny, yes, but shes also blunt and has a backbone. Shes self-deprecating yet confident. Her ITMs felt like a conversation youd have with a friend; there was no filter, nothing put on. Ive talked ad nauseam about how I long for the days when reality TV felt real. Kaitlyn personified real. While she no doubt took on the adventure knowing it could bring about opportunityas any human wouldabsolutely nothing she said or did felt in the interest of her building her brand or kowtowing to what viewers would expect or want from her. Her brand IS honesty and authenticity, and has been to this day. That brings me to the famed talking point of her seasonthat aforementioned lightning rodwhen Kaitlyn would (gasp!) have sex with Nick at the end of their 1-on-1 date.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
27.06.2020, 16:10   #188
 
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At the time, watching it, I cant say I saw the whole sex-before-the-Fantasy-Suite thing as the big deal it would end up becoming. After all, had Kaitlyn waited another two weeks for the Fantasy Suite, even if it meant sleeping with three different men back-to-back, this would have been accepted as totally fine and even normal. Now, I realize the casualness I feel towards this likely makes me a product of a similar social culture; sleeping with a guy at that point in the relationship wouldnt feel wrong to me, nor would it to any of my friends. So, I do see how a lot of this comes down to your personal beliefsoften involving religionand how intimacy lines up with that. But, even if you are against premarital sex, a) objectively, doesnt it make more sense for the lead to get intimate with her date when it feels right, not when the shows arbitrary format tells them to? (I always laugh to myself remembering that condoms are provided in the Fantasy Suite, as if to say, Alright, you may boink now.) Isnt it less likely to feel clinical and comparative if its a natural, spur-of-the-moment decision? And, b) why are you watching The Bachelor franchise, which quite literally pimps out its many contestants to one lead and asks her to try each one on for size? Everything about The Bachelor encourages romance, romance is intrinsically linked with sex, yet the show simultaneously seems to champion chastity. It is confused.
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
27.06.2020, 16:13   #189
 
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For me, watching Kaitlyn take a guy home after a romantic date was and still is the ultimate in reality TV. It is both real and relatable. Weve all been there: on a steamy date and not wanting the night to end. I wouldnt choose a boyfriend, much less a fiancé, without making sure the sexual compatibility was there. (I LOVED when Kaitlyn said, in her interview last night, Even though I didnt pick that person, I didnt want there to be shame around [the intimacy] because that was just part of how I got to the end. The sex isnt some pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; it is far more part of the rainbow itself, a factor in the decision-making process.) So while one could argue Kaitlyn went about it wrong, or didnt exhibit the self-control she should have, this comes back to what I seek more than anything from this show: realness. Trust me, if it were just about looking great, lasting a while on TV or collecting followers, itd be easy to do and say the right thing, behave in the right way. But this mistake, this was a moment of reality, of a woman doing what she wanted for her, not for the benefit of millions of viewers. Last night, the show repeatedly referred to Kaitlyn as being a trailblazer and I wholeheartedly agree. If you enjoyed the rawness of Hannah Browns season, you have Kaitlyn to thank for paving the way.
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
27.06.2020, 16:16   #190
 
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Buttheres always a but!for how much credit was given to Kaitlyn for being that trailblazer, I found it curious that the show tiptoed around what she was credited as being a trailblazer for. When I think of Kaitlyns turn as Bachelorette, I think of a sexually empowered female. Here was a womannot a girlwho, as Deanna Pappas aptly put it, knew she was attracted to a man and as a grown woman made a decision to explore that. But, interestingly, while the show is apparently quick to take credit for Kaitlyns trailblazing ways five years ago, it certainly didnt protect or even come to her defence, not then and not last night. If anything, they did just the opposite: Both five years ago and last night, Kaitlyns night with Nick was endlessly teased as shocking, controversial and polarizing, fuelling the impression that what she did was somehow wrong. (Indeed, when I asked Kaitlyn why she thought the show played up their night so much, her answer was a painfully concise: Ratings.) Five years ago, at her seasons Men Tell All, Chris Harrison would go on to read Kaitlyn tweet after tweet from people calling her a whore (among other things), in an attempt to snuff cyber-bullying. While it was a well-intentioned enough mission to shame trolls, wouldnt it have been more effective to not frame what she did as so wrong and shocking in the first place?
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
28.06.2020, 01:58   #191
 
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With the above in mind, I wish the show went that extra step further in Kaitlyns defence. The recap seriously glossed over the flak she got; Kaitlyn would go on to become one of the years most talked-about women and was slut-shamed to high hell, receiving multiple death threats for her decision to have sex. Last night, Deanna Pappas and Clare Crawley were brought on for that female supportive voice, which I suppose was better than nothing.
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
28.06.2020, 02:04   #192
 
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And perhaps if we hadnt just heard the announcement that Matt James will be our next Bachelor, I wouldnt even notice this. But just as I craved a firmer opinion and clearer ownership from The Powers That Be in finally crowning a Black man Bachelor,

I craved more of a stance in Kaitlyns defence for her sleeping with a man she desired to sleep with, in a situation designed to encourage it.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
28.06.2020, 02:15   #193
 
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I came to the realization while watching last nights episode that, while some things havent changed in the last five years, my expectations for this franchise have. In the past, I would have accepted the Deanna/Clare cameo as enough, assuming that segment was the shows mouthpiece in their support for Kaitlyn. But I no longer feel that way. Its no longer enough to stand idly by and allow the star of your showthe star you cast and filmed every step of the wayto be raked over the coals, particularly when the reason shes being punished is a decision you set the stage for, encouraged and downplayed to her face, yet advertised to the world as shocking. The fact that The Powers That Be are finally giving Kaitlyn an opportunity they should have given her years agoto appear on Dancing With The Starstells me they agree. I appreciate that they did this and cannot wait to watch Kaitlyn tear up that dance floor, but the gesture should be seen less as a benevolent gift and more as an owed apology.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
28.06.2020, 02:25   #194
 
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Sharleen Joynt on Episode 3 of The Bachelor: The Greatest SeasonsEver!

Ill admit: I may have groaned when I heard Bens season would be recapped in this weeks Greatest Seasons Ever roundup.

Its not that I think his wasnt a good season (quite the opposite, really), but, as I said in my first recap of the season, I would hope Sean Lowes 2013 season isnt considered vintage. Last weeks recap of Kaitlyns season brought us to 2015, and seeing how Bens and Jojos seasons are both from 2016, it sure seems like my fears are coming to fruition. Its actually starting to feel a bit conspicuous, as though there are legal reasons for keeping earlier seasons from being highlighted. Or perhaps many of todays producers themselves havent even watched earlier seasons and therefore arent acquainted enough to highlight them? This show has been around since 2002! Surely there were interesting, greatest-worthy happenings in that first decade of television? Or do The Powers That Be really think this franchises best and most memorable scenes all occurred in the last handful of years? (Newsflash: They didnt.)
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
28.06.2020, 07:11   #195
 
  barish
 
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Last night, as if predicting our side-eye, Chris Harrison qualified the choice, touting Ben as another trailblazer, even comparing him to Kaitlyn.

With all due respect, Kaitlyn would spark a years-long conversation about gender double standards, The Bachelors unwritten rules involving sex, and might have even played a role in the term slut-shaming going mainstream. Meanwhile, Ben telling two women he loved them wasnt exactly some glass ceiling in need of shattering. If we must credit Ben for changing this show in some way, it would be for diminishing the meaning of the L-word for every subsequent season. Before you think Im being harsh, hear me out: There have been several leads since Ben who have told more than one contestant they loved him or her. (Heres looking at you, Arie.) Ben was just the first to get that ball rolling. Id rather we all just call it like it is: Bens season performed very well. Like Kaitlyns season, it introduced many iconic Bachelor Nation stars to the world. Above all, Ben is clearly a producer favourite, frequenting our screens season after season. Thats reason enough for me; no need to fit the square peg that is Ben into the round hole that is some trailblazer of a lead.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
28.06.2020, 07:51   #196
 
  barish
 
: 43,880
"": 11,532
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Nonetheless, theres no denying Ben Higginss turn as Bachelor was a momentous one. As a longtime viewer and now longtime recapper, it has become clear to me that Bens season draws a distinct line in the sand in terms of viewers; I cannot tell you how many people have told me they began watching with Bens season.

New viewers were moths to Ben Higginss flame and, indeed, even after all these years of Ben being advertised to us as so perfect, I have to admit he comes about as close to living up as any human can. First, the fact that none of us have gotten sick of him yet is unto itself a major signif he were remotely too weepy, too outspoken, too meek, Bach fans would have had their fill a long time ago. Its obvious he is self-aware. Hes a good conversationalist (as I learned when I joined as a guest on his podcast with Ashley I). Hes the opposite of the Bad Boy, yet hes a Good Guy with enough edge to evidently leave several women weak in the knees. Hes unwaveringly respectful and kind. I loved how he handled Olivias appearance last night; it would have been much easier for him to just not show up. Instead, he went out of his way to not only point out how strong Olivia is, but to take responsibility for how he could and should have been better for her. Crucially, you wont ever hear a former contestant from his seasoneven if they were brutally hurt by himspeak ill of him. Hes just THAT beloved.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
28.06.2020, 07:57   #197
 
  barish
 
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Thats all well and good, but a season can only be as good as its cast of contestants. Perhaps what Ben deserves the most credit for is his exceptional taste in women. His Final Four is an impressive line-up of Bachelor Nation whos-whos: Lauren Bushnell (now Lauren Lane), the Jojo Fletcher, Amanda Stanton, Caila Quinn.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
28.06.2020, 08:00   #198
 
  barish
 
: 43,880
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Last night, I enjoyed being reminded of Laurens quiet confidence and how, even on a reality show filled with feelings and tears, she maintained an air of privacy and dignity about her.

(Also, this may sound weird but Ive always loved the sound of her speaking voiceshe just has a calming presence.)
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
28.06.2020, 08:07   #199
 
  barish
 
: 43,880
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Jojo was THE cool girl, the one you want to be friends with. She charmingly broke the fourth wall time and time again, even saying, Are you allowed to say that? when Ben told her he loved her. During her chat with Chris Harrison, I loved how plainly she admitted shes had a pit in her stomach over these recap episodesas I said two weeks ago, my own initial feeling was one of dread, so suffice it to say Jojo echoed my thoughts.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
28.06.2020, 08:13   #200
 
  barish
 
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I didnt need to be reminded of Amandas sweet turn on Bens season, but it was still nice to see that emotional clip of her tearfully greeting her daughters on the beach during her Hometown date.

What I like about Amanda was how she defied the single mom stereotype and would continue to do so well into her spins on Paradisemuch like Emily Maynard before her, here was a woman who could be both a loving mother and a romantic lead. It wasnt one or the other.
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
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