I have been a reality TV connoisseur since the first season of The Real World aired on MTV in 1992. Additionally, I avidly watched dating game shows like “Love Connection,” “The Dating Game,” and my all-time, these-couples-will-need-family-therapy-after-the-show-airs favorite, “The Newlywed Game.” If I see a Millionaire Matchmaker or Tough Love marathon on, I will make time to watch Patti and Steve deliver their stern, yet sage dating advice, to clueless women and men.
While I gravitate towards shows that focus on the cast’s talent, like So You Think You Can Dance, Project Runway, The Sing Off and The Voice, big personalities like the ladies of Double Divas, Dance Moms, and this season’s little gem, Kim of Queens, which follows a former pageant queen as she molds girls into pageant winners, are always worth a look-see.
When the first season of “The Bachelor” aired, I watched it, but never became a fan. Even when “The Bachelorette” spun off, I was not sold on the idea of “dating” 25 people in the bubble of reality TV. However, a few of my die-hard “Bachelor” friends started commenting on the last season of “The Bachelorette,” starring Desiree Hartsock. They really liked Desiree, and after following a few of their Facebook chats, I was intrigued enough that I started watching. I also became invested in Desiree and hoped she would find a man who genuinely cared for her. She did! Together with beau Chris Siegfried, they celebrated their first New Year’s Eve together.
As we watched Desiree “date” the preselected hunks, one man stood out from the pack. His name was Juan Pablo Galavis, the soccer-playing, single dad with the sexy Venezuelan accent. Desiree may not have been attracted to Juan Pablo, but America was! And so was I! ¡Ay papacito!
ABC listened! When they announced the next “Bachelor” would be Juan Pablo, people went crazy. My middle-aged, happily married self, included. Juan Pablo came across as a nice man, in a hunky package. He was devoted to his daughter, Camila Valentina, who was born on Valentine’s Day, and remained friendly with Camila’s mother. In other words, he was Central Casting directors’ wet dream. The pre-show buzz included the special, The Bachelor: Countdown to Juan Pablo. I watched it as research to prepare for the actual show. Mmmmm.
The first show aired last night and Juan Pablo (and America) met the contestants vying for a rose. ABC did not disappoint. There were the requisite beautiful, intelligent, accomplished women, who should be able to find long-term relationship partners, and there were the “unique” women. Some may categorize them as unconventional, quirky, socially awkward, overly emotional, but I like to call them reality TV “money.” Let’s face it, no one watches reality TV to see normal, balanced, happy people. We like our train wrecks, thank you very much. Providing last night’s entertainment were Shoeless Lucy, Creepy Massage Therapist Amy J., Bicycle Piano Player Lauren S., Mineral Coordinator and What-Not-to-Share-on-a-Date-Queen Lauren. Uninterested, Possibly Jetlagged, Opera Singer Sharleen received the first rose, but did not look as if she wanted to accept it. Ah, must see TV.
I will be pulling for Florida girl and single mom, Renee, Prosecutor Andi, and Pediatric Nurse Nikki. And, of course, drunk girl drama, which seems to be a staple of “The Bachelor” franchise. Popcorn, at the ready.
Cue the theme song for “El Bachelor” which could be Juan Pablo’s Lucha Libre alter ego, if he is unable to find love.
I live tweet during TV shows using Get Glue, if you would like to join the party!