a disseration on a reality tv cast member

Another old post from the archives.  This one came about as a result of a gchat conversation.  As usual, I was breaking down Reality TV for a friend, who considers me an expert because I spend most of my conscious time watching or reading up on different reality personalities.  After season 3’s Bachelor Pad ended with this guy taking all the money for himself, ABC cancelled the show in what was THE MOST DRAMATIC CANCELLATION IN TELEVISION HISTORY.

Originally written: August 20, 2011

I got caught up in a conversation about TV because the person talking to me considers me a connoisseur of the television. After going off about how I missed my opportunity to be on Real World (damn you cut off age!) and about why I consider reality TV fantasy TV, I began to delve into the beauty that is The Bachelor franchise.

It started off innocently enough, with me explaining the premise of Bachelor Pad, the newest iteration of the Bachelor/ette franchise. It’s only in its second season, but this shit is establishing itself as pure gold. It takes the romance element of your standard dating show and twists it with the competitive, I’ll-do-anything-for-a-buck mentality of shows like Big Brother and Survivor. Throw in a ton of narcissism and a dash of crazy mental instability (not a whole lot, but just enough to make it interesting), and you’ve got yourself a winner.

The beauty of Bachelor Pad is that you don’t have to be a winner on some sappy show like the Bachelor/ette to compete. In fact, with the exception of the infamous Jake and Vienna, no one on Bachelor Pad’s two season has been a winner of one of the other shows. Usually, they were the token crazy or loveable loser or dramatically dumped or something to that effect. It’s the people that the viewer wants to see again, because you know they’re going to do or say something ridiculous.

The premise of the show is to make it to the end in order to win money, either as a couple of individually. The twist in the first season was the couple at the end had to decide independently if they would split the money or if they wanted to keep it all for his/her self. If they both chose split, they split it. If one chose keep it and one chose split, the person who chose keep it gets to keep it all. If they both chose keep it, the rest of the cast gets to split the money and they get none. OOOOOOOOH. Shockingly, they split it. Nothing dramatic there.

Anyway, who’s to say what this season will bring. And I’m digressing from my original intent of this post, which was to talk about one cast member in particular.

On this week’s episode, Jackie was eliminated in a not too shocking rose ceremony. The shocker (heh) came when Ames eliminated himself to follow love and be with Jackie, whom he met mere days earlier on the show. It was touching and heartfelt and romantic and, I admit it, I cried. Of course they aren’t together anymore, but still. It was sweet.

What I really want to dig into is this Ames character. He was just on The Bachelorette, and here’s a video montage of his elimination. See if there’s something you notice that’s a little… off… about him:

If you thought: WHY THE FUCK DOESN’T THIS GUY CLOSE HIS MOUTH EVER? Then you are right on track.

Here’s the thing. I really, really, REALLY want to be attracted to this guy. I mean, he’s kinda got a rockin’ bod:

Plus, he’s super educated. A quick google search on this dude turns up the information that he got his undergrad at Yale, his masters at Columbia and is working on his PHD at Harvard. Is this dude for real?

On top of all of that, he didn’t carry the usual machismo douche bagginess that guys on these types of shows usually sport. He was kind of artsy almost, and definitely a renaissance man.

Here’s his hometown date.

Skip to the end where he and Ashley are all alone, and he’s trying to romance her with a picnic. He says this shit about there being more magic in the ordinary and all kinds of bs that would normally turn my stomach, but the way he just so casually mentions it… it’s kind of nerdy and educational more than contrived. It seems like this is how he is. And it’s weird and kind of wonderful.

BUT GOD DAMN IT DUDE THAT MOUTH.

Just. Close. It. Up. When. You’re. Not. Talking.

I want to like this guy. But he always looks vacant. All herp-a-derp-a-doo. Maybe that’s part of what makes him appear genuine. But god damn it. Is he super hot or is he a dud? I CANNOT MAKE A SOUND JUDGEMENT.

During his entire time on the Bachelorette, I was always most conflicted about him. I’d hate him one second and then be like wow this dude is kind of interesting then right back to ugh. I’d go from thinking he’s a total bore to someone totally unique.

Fast forward to Bachelor Pad, where once again he looks all blank faced and dopey all the time but then he does something adorable by leaving with a chick he barely knows under the guise of potential love. And it seemed FUCKING REAL. I’m so confused.

What is up with this dude? Why is he such an enigma to me? Is he some kind of super genius who is tricking us all? Is he setting himself to be a reality juggernaut? Or is he really just this odd?

I need to sit this guy down in a room and figure out if it’s for real or not. Or I need to find a new hobby. One of those things.