As I settled into my couch to indulge another week of hypocrisy and consume one more episode of a season of “The Bachelor,” I swore I wouldn’t watch, my mind wandered. This week is hometowns, where the Bachelor/Bachelorette travels to the contestants’ respective cities to stare at a meal their family had catered whilst toasting some innocuous toast with a glass of white wine the size of a cereal bowl. It’s one of the more entertaining yet nauseating episodes throughout the season as it’s when we see some of the more predictable elements, like a sibling trying a liiiitle too hard to look good for the camera or a dad whose tough guy persona was melted away with a ten minute conversation in which the Bachelor says his daughter is “special, definitely someone I’ve gotten to know, and is what I’m looking for in a future.” (What father could resist opines like that amirite?) But as the show rolled through a catalogue of B footage in each of the girl’s cities I realized that besides my abrasive personality and below average aesthetic, I could never win the Bachelorette because my hometown is too damn ugly.
I don’t think there has ever, at least not in the time I’ve been a consumer of the Bachelor franchise, been a contestant who was from an ugly town. First, there’s always diverse regional representation. One contestant will be from the Northeast, maaaybe as far South as the Carolinas. The cameras will show the contestants walking a historic little town square full of furniture shops that sell nothing but $10k couches. Another will, of course, be from California, so the producers can get a token swimsuit segment in between footage of locals walking a boardwalk that magically isn’t ankle deep in feces and needles. And, last and certainly in their eyes least, for comedic relief, someone from “THE SOUTH,” so they can tell the Bachelor/Bachelorette no less than two dozen times that “things are just a little bit different down here in The South, so today I thought I’d show you how we do things in, you guessed it, the motherfuckin’ SOUTH BABY. If your hometown doesn’t have a square to walk through, regional individuality, or a chance for a half naked date, you’re probably not getting picked.
But let’s face it, it’s not that Midland, TX doesn’t have water or uniqueness or shopping so expensive you could fill your house with more shit than the market value of your house, it has, in fact, all of that. It’s just the water is flammable, the uniqueness resides in the astonishing inverse relationship between wage earning potential and literacy rate, and the shopping is one store that’s decorated an entire town’s monied citizenry for twenty years (lookin at you, Carter’s). I’m sorry but that’s not Bachelor material.
The more I thought about this the more I wondered how big of a role the attractiveness of a contestant’s hometown played in their ability to advance. Has there ever been a situation where a particular contestant was on the fence about two partners, and was urged by the show to pick the one with the prettier hometown because after traveling to both cities there’s no way they’re going to be able to get a show’s worth of footage from the girl who’s from Heinousville, USA? I gotta feel like Chris Harrison wields and has used that sort of power before, because I can tell you right now if I were him and I found out I had to take the show to Midland, I’d be pissed. You got contestants from some of the richest, most cultured, most picturesque cities in America and you’re telling me I gotta spend 12 hours traipsing around some dusty hellhole trying to figure out how to make pipe yards look pleasing to a viewership in their twenties who live in studio apartments?
Maybe someone has been booted from the show because their hometown looked like Chernobyl. Maybe this is well known Bachelor trivia and I’m the one behind the facts, as I’m so often on so many other subjects. Who knows. Regardless, there’s no way I’m dragging a whole television show plus the love of my six week life out to my ugly ass hometown, thus, there’s no way I’m winning.
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