‘The Bachelor’: This Past Week’s Episodes of Pilot Pete’s Season Included Every Reality TV Cliché in the Book
Peter Weber’s season of The Bachelor has had its ups and downs–but if we’re being honest, it’s been quite a bit more valley than peak. Many Bachelor podcasts and fans have pointed out that Pilot Pete’s contestants seem out to get each other. It seems like not a moment goes by that one of the women isn’t trying to get another cast member kicked off, simply because she doesn’t really like her. But this past week on The Bachelor, in which we got two episodes, and five hours of content total, the contestants were on a particular brand of Bachelor stereotypes. Things like saying “I’m not here to make friends,” which only recently seemed like a thing of reality TV lore, is back and here to stay. We note all of the cliché moments in this past week of The Bachelor Season 24 for alone, for you below.
Questioning a contestant for her youth and/or past relationship experience
Hannah Ann Sluss, an early candidate for season villain (see: Champagne Gate 2020), has stayed well out of the drama the past few weeks. We guess she’s not really a champagne stealer—so the producers had to find a new angle on her.
Throwing it back to the Bekah Martinez storyline on Arie’s season (Martinez has since admitted producers literally prevented her from telling Arie her age until her one on one), Hannah Ann is 22 and has never been in love.
While the fact that you haven’t yet been in love in no way determines whether or not you’re about to be, Weber is very concerned about it.
To be fair, Hannah Ann gives Peter very practiced, pageant girl answers to his tough questions. (To paraphrase: “you have the qualities I was raised to want.” What?) Sure, maybe she’s not ready—but she’s no less ready for marriage than the rest of the women on the show this season, who are concerned with birthday champagne and seem to think other girls crying constitutes a mental breakdown. (Save for Kelley and Madison, who many fans agree are the only two women on Pilot Pete’s season who have their sh*t together.)
ABC throwing way too much ‘Bachelor’ content at us
Five hours of The Bachelor this past week alone! We have lives, Chris Harrison. But those geniuses over at ABC know we will watch every second of new Bachelor episodes. At the very least, this season has been content-heavy, which is a relief. Out of the several hours of The Bachelor that aired recently, not a minute was spent in a backlot studio, interviewing Ben Higgins for the 18th time since he was Bachelor. (We love you, Ben, but we’re getting some real senior-who-graduated-but-hasn’t-really-moved-on vibes, you know?)
The most iconic sentence in reality television: it’s back, baby!!!
On Monday, Tammy said it. And somewhere around the world, a talentless narcissist got her own YouTube series. That’s right, Tammy said the iconic reality TV words: “I’m not here to make friends.” As if it’s 2002 and reality television is in its infancy. A simpler time!
Honestly, though, Tammy (and every other contestant on the show this season): why aren’t you here to make friends? You all live in a house full of women where the wine flows freely and usually there is literally nothing to do. Make friendship bracelets, you jerks!
‘Is she here for the right reasons?’
As Jared Haibon pointed out on Instagram, that phrase shouldn’t really be used anymore except in parody.
And yet, it came out of Mykenna’s mouth several times. It came out of Tammy’s mouth about Mykenna, too.
The accusation, as it tends to go, accuses a fellow contestant of just being here for the publicity, for the spinoff shows, or maybe for their burgeoning dog food jingle career. But in the age of Instagram influencers, REVOLVE trips chock full of Bachelor alums, and teeth whitener sponsorships, is anyone here for the right reasons?
Sure, you might win the show—though it’s unlikely. You have a much better shot dating in the real world or online. These days, the only real guarantees of appearing on The Bachelor are: wine and Instagram followers. (If you’re on TV long enough, anyway.)
An old couple from a foreign country on a one on one date that is an obvious producer plant
Why, on every season of The Bachelor and Bachelorette, do they force the lead and one of his/her frontrunners to “bump into” a couple who’s been together for some insane amount of time? It’s always in a foreign country where the Bachelor barely speaks the language (Pilot Pete is really only slightly better at Spanish than a first-year high school Español student). The old man or woman always asks how long the Bachelor couple have been dating, which is a horrifying question to ask two people on The Bachelor, because it’s always like, two weeks. (And there are about ten other women still involved). Then, the couple, gives some boiler-plate, useless advice, like, “communicate!” And the Bachelor is like, “Wow…incredible.” Yeah, we could do without the elderly lovers plant.
A two-on-one date with two girls who hate each other
The saddest, most manufactured two on one in the history of the show happened this week. We mean, the two women showed up an hour early for the cocktail party and each sat with Weber on a couch. Can you call that a date?
It was so clearly a last-minute producer hack to feed into the feud between Mykenna and Tammy. Sure, we got some totally ridiculous, meme-worthy lines out of the condescending, anti-intellectual fight between the two women. But do you remember on Ben Higgins’ season, when Ashley Iaconetti was left crying on an island after sparring with her nemesis, Kelsey!? Now that’s a two-on-one, people.
There was not even a rose on this two-on-one. That’s no real Bachelor date! Poor Mykenna, only got to stay a couple more hours and then probably had to get on the same flight as Tammy back to the United States.
“You’re gonna make someone so happy someday”
Note to all future bachelors, and all dumpers of girlfriends and boyfriends everywhere: this is not helpful. Also, they know. Just be cool and say goodbye.
Someone getting a second one-on-one with the Bachelor before several women have even gotten one
Victoria F., you snake! Way to turn the Chase Rice fiasco (er, finasco) into enough of a thing that Pete needed more time with you.
And what better way to make sure the underdogs go completely off the wall? (We’re looking around you and your wild facial and tongue reactions, Mykenna). The lack of a one-on-one at this point is basically a death sentence for your time on The Bachelor. So the fact that Victoria F. is on her second private date? Simply great television.
Turning fighting another woman on ‘The Bachelor into your own feminist narrative
Mykenna really had a night this past week. We’ll be darned if she didn’t watch Colton’s season, see Hannah Brown’s very strong and measured reaction to being sent home, notice that she eventually became The Bachelorette, and take some notes. Before she was even walking to the giant black SUV, Mykenna was fighting with Tammy and making sure that we knew she was a strong woman. She even thanked Tammy, sort of, for making her “find her voice.”
“Love wins,” she said, which is not a thing that applies to this situation whatsoever.
Later, upon getting the boot, Mykenna remarked through tears on how resilient and tough she is. This is all fine and good; we believe in self-love, sharing your feelings, and affirming your own strength. This, however, is The Bachelor. We leave our feminism at the door to watch young women in lingerie pillow-fight each other while the lead male-gazes at them, and then calls them “catty.” (Ah-yikes.)
It’s one thing to stick up for yourself and present yourself well on television— it’s entirely another to co-opt language and ideals of a marginalized group and take them onto a reality dating show with very traditional ideologies about men and women.
Contestants wasting their precious time gossiping about other women
Have any of these women ever seen the show? Has the Bachelor contestant who rats on other cast members ever won? (It’s possible — but in recent years, has not been the case). The women took every opportunity they got to throw Alayah under the bus–Alayah’s crime, as far as we can tell, was being a kind-of-annoying pageant girl.
Considering many of the contestants have spent about ninety minutes alone with the Bachelor so far, you’d think they’d want to focus on him. And yet, the Bachelor women can’t help themselves. “She’s fake! She’s creating hashtags! She takes pills!” It never ends. This season, full of reality TV trope after reality TV trope, really feels like it never will.