We all have our guilty pleasures, and I am about to share one of mine with you. I am a fan of the reality TV Show 'The Bachelor.' For those of you who are not familiar with the show, it is a reality competition where one man has a choice of 25 women. He takes them on various group and individual dates to get to know them, eliminating a certain number of women in each round. The girls all live together in a house while these activities are going on, resulting in some estrogen-induced drama each week. In the final episode, our Bachelor is down to two women and he must choose which woman he will propose to.
I am not naive enough to believe that this show is based on true love. I watch it for the entertainment value and to keep up with a few really great bloggers who also follow the show. My mom and sister watch it too, so it has become somewhat of a bonding experience over the past few years.
Last night our Bachelor Jake had to make the ultimate choice between two women. It was the classic 'good girl' versus 'bad girl' scenario. Tenley is a sweet, honest and respectable woman. By all accounts she had excellent moral character, shared his values and got along with his family. Vienna, a former Hooters waitress, was the girl in the house who was most hated by the other girls. She is young, opinionated and generally insensitive to the feelings of others. As Vienna so appropriately stated, she was not there to make friends.
All of the signs pointed to Tenley as the final one. Physically, they looked adorable together. And when you consider all of the other attributes Jake said he wanted in a wife, it should have been a no brainer. Yet, throughout the season you could see that Jake was drawn to Vienna, as much as he tried to fight it. He ignored the advice of almost every woman who departed the show and warned him that Vienna was no good for him. And in the end Vienna is the one he chose.
When Jake broke up with Tenley, he told her it was because "something just didn't feel right." The reason Jake could not explain it to Tenley is that there is no rational explanation for his decision. It is something he could never admit to himself, let alone a national TV audience. Throughout the show all we heard about was Jake's moral character and values. Yet when it came time to choose between a woman who lived up to all of those values or a woman who was clearly lacking in most or all of those areas, he chose the latter.
Maybe Jake had a hard time putting this all into words, but for me it is easy. Its a little something I refer to as 'the ho factor.' A common phenomenon by which a self-declared nice guy has an irresistible attraction to the polar opposite of what he claims to be looking for. As any girl next door can tell you, we have all been a victim of similar circumstances on more than one occasion.
Jake is a man of character and values. As such, I think he prides himself on being the moral compass in his relationships. It feels good to always be the 'nice guy.' The problem with Tenley is that she was also a 'nice girl' with high standards and expectations. When he was around Tenley, Jake had to constantly challenge himself to be a better person. With Vienna's questionable past, it placed Jake in a more comfortable position of moral superiority. At the same time, he had the opportunity to get down and dirty with Vienna which no doubt can seem exciting to a geek turned heartthrob such as Jake.
I am not sure if Jake and Vienna are really in love, or if they will end up getting married in a splashy TV wedding. But anyone who watched that show last night can tell you that despite ABC's best efforts, the audience is just not buying it.
In an era where Tiger Woods has enough mistresses to fill Howard Stern's next beauty pageant and John Edwards cheated on his wife while she had cancer, we are tired of watching the nice girls finish last. For a show like 'the Bachelor' that is supposed to be light and entertaining, this episode seems to have hit a nerve with viewers, myself included.
When it all started, Jake appeared to be a nice, humble guy just looking for love. Now it seems, he may be more into the fame game than we all thought. After the finale aired, we learned that Jake will be appearing on Dancing with the Stars along with the likes of Pamela Anderson, Shannen Doherty and Kate Gosselin. Jake was quick to point out that Vienna will be there, proudly cheering him on from the front row. That in itself is enough to make me skip this season of Dancing with the Stars.
As it turns out, my guilty pleasure is causing me more pain than its worth.