With the conclusion of The Bachelorette, and the revelation that Ali and Roberto have found true, long-lasting, eternal, undying love-between-two-hot-people, ABC has decided to continue The Bachelor hit parade in the cheapest way possible: Assemble all the old, loony contestants, Real World/Road Rules Challenge style (and have them and their various buoyant breasts/chiseled six-packs sleep in one giant room), all under the guise of a competition for $250,000, the rules of which are still unclear after suffering through the entire two-hour premiere. The entrance of the contestants at the beginning of the show was a series of, “Oh, yeah, that guy!?” and “That insane girl again? … YES.” There was violent, bug-eyed Dave from Jillian’s season, stage-five clinger Michelle who scared Jake (who, at the time, still seemed reasonably sane), and Ali’s eighties-movie villain, thawed out again for the occasion.
Host Chris Harrison’s blindingly white teeth explained that each week, the girls get to vote off one guy and the guys one girl, and co-host and Bachelor winner/loser Melissa Rycroft stood by his side, apparently only there to remind us that she’s married now, so Jason Mesnick can go F himself, thank you very much. The contestants started immediately drinking and cavorting; some paired off, and some were still mad at each other over previous hook-ups. So get this: There’s a network of former Bachelor/Bachelorettes who have reunions, and go on, like, cruises together — can you imagine walking into a bar and being surrounded by 25 of these eight-foot-tall, bikini-wearing, chest-hair-less aliens? Not a good self-esteem night, that’s for sure.
Anyway, some boring stuff happened; there was giant Twister game that basically led to a big orgy; and finally we got to see Michelle acting like the crazy lady we knew her to be. Someone started a rumor that Michelle made out with the eighties villain, and even though it was most likely true, this made her very, very angry. She thought it was Tenley, poor, delicate Tenley, and so cornered her in the bathroom, holding the door shut menacingly. The cameras only picked up the conversation — watch the video below to see the full scene. Sadly, Michelle got kicked off in the end; the Bachelors thought she was just too frightening to keep around.
While this show is good for the initial sight gag of seeing so many long-lost reality-TV personalities together, after that first laugh, it veers into depressing, post-fifteen-minutes-of-fame territory. At least on The Bachelor/ette there’s the gloss of love, no matter how contrived. On Bachelor Pad, everyone’s in it expressly for the money, and you get the sense that most of them desperately need it. What’s romantic about that?