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What’s the point of The Bachelor?

What’s the point of The Bachelor?
February 24
17:59 2021

The Bachelor is an American dating reality TV series which made its debut on the ABC channel in 2002. The way the show is arranged, one man (the bachelor) must pick a wife from almost 40 women (contestants), within 2 months, more or less. He gets to know the women through group and one-on-one dates. Each episode ends with a rose ceremony where the bachelor hands out a rose each to the girls he wants to stay on. The bachelor can also give out roses after a date. Regardless of how or where the women receive a rose from the bachelor, those with no rose at the end of each episode have to leave. The same process is repeated after and so on and so forth.

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The idea is that within the season, the bachelor would’ve found love.  The season ends with a proposal by the bachelor to the ‘winner’ although there have been seasons where the bachelor broke off his engagement to the ‘winner’ to go with a runner up or even someone further down the line. Who actually believes people can fall in love so quickly in the full glare of the public, in a matter of weeks? Put another way, especially with these constraints in mind: Is love really the point of The Bachelor? Is there even a point at all? I can almost hear some people saying that I’m overthinking this and exclaiming: “It’s all entertainment!” But isn’t there another way we can be entertained without women getting the short end of the stick?

I only started watching The Bachelor because I wanted to understand what the fixation with and/attraction to the show was all about. Every season, all kinds of people, big names get so involved. There was a season even then-President Obama felt compelled to weigh in on the contestants. So, this current season 25 is the first season where I’m watching and paying real attention. Season 25 bachelor is Matt James, 29, real estate broker and entrepreneur. He also happens to be the first Black bachelor.  I’m not sure whether this season was a good time to watch and judge the show considering the ongoing pandemic. Be that as it may, I’ll like to share my observations with you. The overarching theme is of these young women mostly in their 20s presenting themselves (or being presented) as desperate beings whose very survival is dependent on winning the heart of the ‘messiah’ bachelor. Patriarchy is in full flight mode as these young women fight and scheme to find love, willing to go to great lengths to get other women out of their way. It’s almost a version of polygamy except this one is of Biblical Solomon proportions.

If we see the contestants on The Bachelor as role models, then they would be sending a powerful message that nothing is more important than winning some guy’s love. Serena C (Chew), 24 had this to say on the February 14 episode: “If I get a rose tonight, it would mean everything because I am falling in love and I feel like I know enough about Matt to know that we would actually be really great together.” She wasn’t given a rose at the end of the night. Serena P (Pitt) was luckier even though she would pull out in the February 22 episode.

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Rachael Kirkconnell, 24, one of the final three women made perhaps the biggest speech of the night: “I’ve never felt like this and it’s really terrifying (sniffs). But it’s exciting because you know I feel like I’ve been like searching for what feels like my whole life for this (sniff) And now I feel like I finally found it but I don’t know if I’m gonna get it (sniffs). The only worry is if I don’t get you at the end of this.” Matt then confesses how when he’s not around her, he can’t stop thinking about her. She’s been searching for Matt her whole life, all of her 24 years on earth, abi? Meanwhile, some past racist behaviour by Rachael has surfaced. It remains to be seen whether Matt picked her. The show is pre-taped. On that same February 14 episode, 24-year old Bri Springs quit what was described as a dream job after being put through school by her single mother, for The Bachelor. In the same year, Kamala Harris became the first US female vice-president and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala became the first woman and African to head the WTO!

Michele Young, 29, one of the remaining 3 women declared passionately: “I’m fully invested in Matt. He’s the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with. He’s the person I want to have a family with. Going home at this point, my heart’s gonna be broken…” Fortunately, she got a rose at the end of the night.

23-year-old graduate student Pieper James wasn’t so lucky: “This is not me. I’m not someone who blindly follows feelings and emotions.” She regretted putting out herself “literally for nothing” saying she should’ve stuck to her normal self because that was better than “feeling like your entire soul was stomped on.” On the night, there were quite a few violent references/metaphors. Another woman said: “I feel like I could rip my stomach out right now.” Yet another one said: “This feels a dagger to the chest…” 28-year-old Chelsea was afraid too: “… so, like if I go home tonight, it’s going to crush me.” All the crushing, dagger to the chest and people’s soul being stomped on makes it obvious that The Bachelor is not only scripted but quite a lot of the drama is contrived.

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I do understand that there are many different ways for people to advance their personal goals. In Nigeria, the Big Brother platform has become a huge launchpad. And the new set of BBN participants seem to understand what’s at stake as each one works hard to “secure the bag.”  I’m not against people looking for love. I don’t even mind love at first sight. But I don’t see how one guy ‘sampling’ over 30 women qualifies as love. And many of those girls don’t look like they’re ready to get married even in the next 10 years. And the stats from past seasons of The Bachelor show a very high break-up rate. I doubt anyone actually expects anything better. Indulging in some kind of fantasy may serve an escapist agenda but women don’t have to be collateral damage. Perhaps I’m wrong but I’m happy to hear from you dear readers…

The Headies’ Bogus Live Stream on Youtube

The Headies, formerly known as the HipHop World Awards held its 14th edition (for 2020) on Sunday, February 21, 2021. I love watching award shows especially when there’s a chance to watch live musical performances. However, I wasn’t conscious of The Headies’ new dates because it traditionally used to be held in December. Anyway, thanks to social media, I found out about the awards on the day but still didn’t manage to catch it live. At some point, I learned of some complaints from those who were unable to watch The Headies in real-time on Hip TV’s media platforms.

A few days later, I saw on HipTV’s Youtube channel that an almost 12-hour worth of live streaming from the award show had been uploaded. I couldn’t believe my luck. The fact that it wasn’t live meant I could skip uninteresting parts. Alas, the entire thing was HipTV Headies promo ad looped, and it ran for all of those hours. There are so many questions but my main question: Is anyone responsible for managing the content on the HipTV Youtube? Otherwise, why is a video like that allowed to stay up on their channel? Or is Youtube too ancient for the guys at HipTV?

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Speaking of which, HipTV has an explanation for the disruption of the live transmission on the night in their Instagram account: “Despite making adequate accommodation for the available nominees, Award presenters and crew on-ground within the venue, the State authorities gave a stern and understandable directive for The 14th Headies live broadcast; television or online, to be stopped. We sincerely apologize for the break-in transmission. However, tune to Hip TV Channel 324 on DSTV and 74 on GoTV this weekend for a repeat broadcast of The Headies and everything else you wouldn’t have seen on TV. Follow our social media platforms for updates on show times.”

Onoshe Nwabuikwu, AIRTIME columnist is a renowned TV/Film critic, and Film scholar. She also has experience in Advertising as a senior Copywriter and Corporate Communications as Communications consultant.

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