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Friday, February 10, 2012

The Bachelor - Turning Roses To Mulch Since 2002...

Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  I personally am not a huge fan of the day itself, as I believe that we should be telling our wives, husbands, life partners, or significant others that we love them all year round.  But, that’s just my opinion.

And, what is one of the most popular Valentine’s Day presents that a lot of people give and/or receive?

Sure, other flowers make it into Valentine's Day floral arrangements, but roses are probably the most popular choice.  But, did you know that roses can have different meanings based on the colours of the roses, as well as the number of roses presented in a bouquet?

I did a bit of research online, and found out some information from as well as a couple of other sites which will clear up some of these meanings.  Consider it your guide to tapping into the heart of your loved one with flowers that have the right meaning.
We’ll begin with the colour of rose that is the most widely used for Valentine’s Day.  That colour is, of course, red.  Red roses are most synonymous with love, passion and beauty.  Red roses could also be a symbol of bravery, or respect.  But the meaning can change just by the shade of red.  If the red is darker, then the meaning could represent unconscious beauty.  And, if one has a single red rose, the message that it is sending is a simple ‘I Love You’. 

Coincidentally, two roses tied together can almost be considered a non-verbal marriage proposal.  Half a dozen roses send out the message, “I need to be loved”.  Eleven roses tells the recipient that they are deeply loved.  And, if one were to get a bouquet of thirteen roses, it means that they have been sent by a secret admirer.
Other colours of roses have their own meanings as well.  Yellow roses are a symbol of friendship and joy.  Orange represents desire and enthusiasm.  Dark Pink roses illustrate a feeling of appreciation and gratitude, while roses that are light pink show a feeling of sympathy, or admiration.  Peach roses show modesty and sincerity.  Lavender roses send the message of love at first sight, and white roses represent purity and youthfulness.

So, now that you know the meanings of roses through their colours, it may give you some ideas as to which roses would best represent the message you wish to send to your sweethearts.
So, how does this relate to today’s blog topic?  Well, roses happen to be a big part of one particular show.  The roses (whether they be in long-stemmed or in boutonniere form) are handed out to groups of women or men by somebody who is in search of their one true love.  It sounds romantic and lovely on the surface.  However, the more and more I see clips of this particular show, the more and more the roses represent this particular song release from early 2004.

This show has successfully turned roses into something that really stinks. 
But what show could take something so bold and beautiful as a rose and cheapen it so badly that it isn’t even worth as much as a plastic flower?

I can come up with one.

When ABC debuted their reality dating series known as “The Bachelor” back in March 2002, it seemed like a concept that was radically different from other dating shows that had premiered before.  The original series had bachelor Alex Michel looking for love with someone.  The show moved him into a luxurious mansion along with twenty-five single ladies, all dying for the chance to become Mrs. Alex Michel.  Each week, Alex would be handed a bunch of roses, and he would hand them out one by one to those ladies that he wanted to get to know better.  Those who did not receive a rose were handed a one way ticket back to the single life.  In the end, our bachelor would have to choose between the final two women, and if he so chose, could propose marriage to her at the conclusion of the series. 
Sadly, Alex Michel did not get the girl.  The woman he chose dated him for a few months before the couple broke up (and yes, I admit to looking all of this up, as I have maybe only seen a total of maybe half a dozen episodes of the Bachelor).  But, hey, Alex shouldn’t be too unhappy.  The Bachelor is now currently wrapping up season sixteen, and of the sixteen seasons, only one bachelor managed to have a wedding.  And, we’ll get to that little story a little bit later in this entry.

There’re a couple of spinoffs from this show as well.  In 2003, The Bachelorette premiered on ABC where instead of one guy choosing between 25 women, this time, the woman gets to choose between 25 single men.  The show has had seven seasons air so far, and the track record is slightly better than its parent show. 

The first bachelorette, Trista Rehn, and the man she chose are still happily married.  At last check, the bachelorette from season seven is still engaged to the man she chose.  All others have busted up.

Then there’s Bachelor Pad, a show that’s similar to Big Brother, only much more of a train wreck.  That’s all you need to know.
So, now that you know a little bit about how The Bachelor and The Bachelorette works, let me explain why I hate both of these programs.

To say that a program such as The Bachelor is indicative of reality is like saying that an ice cream sundae with extra fudge has zero calories.  Just saying it doesn’t make it so.  In actuality, I find the show to be a huge joke that treats love and relationships as though they are cheap prizes in a competition.
I mean, seriously...when is ANYONE going to be in a situation where they have twenty-five women or men who absolutely are swooning over them, and would kiss the feet that they walk on?  Not many people, I bet.  Even worse, what are the odds that these people will be living in the same house as you are?  I’d say those odds are even less now.  Those shows are nowhere near close to being what I would call a normal situation.

I mean, some of the dates that the contestants go on are group dates where as many as twelve people can be on the date at the same time.  Let’s forget the obvious that nobody in their right mind would date a dozen people at once on the same date in real life.  How can ANYONE develop a connection with another person when they’re sharing their intimate time with eleven other people?  It’s absolutely impossible.  You’re going to have a lot of tension, and you’re going to have a lot of fighting. 
(Of course, the tension and the fighting probably bring ratings to ABC, but I digress.)

Another criticism that I have of the show is the number of contestants who seemingly seem to coast through week to week, charming our Bachelor or Bachelorette while behaving badly the rest of the time.  I have a hard time swallowing the fact that our contestants could really be that blind and foolish as to let these people stick around as long as they do.  If I was picked to be ‘The Bachelor’ (which will NEVER happen), I would probably make the season incredibly boring, as those ones who cause the drama would be shown the door first.  Let’s face it, if someone was spending more energy stirring things up with others instead of focusing their attention on any future we might have, would I REALLY want them in my life?  No way!

In doing my research for this blog entry, I guess on the last season of ‘The Bachelorette’, there was a contestant named Bentley who openly insulted the bachelorette, and openly admitted that he was disappointed that another contestant wasn’t selected as the Bachelorette instead.  He ended up hurting her terribly.  I know what you’re going to say though.  She knew what she was getting into and she should have expected to have had some moments in which her heart might have gotten broken.  Yes, this is true.  But, this guy was just needlessly cruel and shameful.  And, I know that many of these shows are edited and manipulated in a way that people do get bad edits, but even so, it’s still quite sick on his part...and even sicker on the parts of the producers who encourage behaviour like this.  Would you want your heartbreak filmed on camera for ten million people to watch, being forced to relive a very humiliating experience?  I would feel absolutely sick to my stomach if that happened to me.

I bet Melissa Rycroft felt the same way when she appeared as a contestant on The Bachelor, as one of the 25 women wanting to win the love of Bachelor Jason Mesnick.  She ended up earning the final rose, essentially being the woman that Jason wanted to be with.  That should have been the end of that, right?

It wasn’t until after the show was filmed that Jason decided that he had a change of heart.  Sure, he had given Melissa the final rose...but his heart belonged to first runner up, Molly Malaney.  If it was just a simple change of heart, that would be one thing.  Sometimes people’s feelings do change, which explains why the success rate for The Bachelor is so low. 
The way that the situation was handled makes me hate the show (and to a lesser extent, the ABC network) even more.

Rather than sit Melissa down gently, and admit in private that he wasn’t that into her, ABC decides ‘hey, let’s film this on television and watch the moment when Melissa’s heart breaks right in two’, and has an hour long special!  We have host Chris Harrison interviewing Jason, Molly, and Melissa, and we see Jason dump Melissa for Molly on LIVE TELEVISION!
Gee, you really think that’s a good idea?  Yeah, let’s take a woman who was proposed to on national television, tell her that you did an ‘Oopers’ moment, say that you don’t love her, but instead you want to be with the woman who came in second, and watch her heart explode into a million pieces as the tears flow down her mascara stained face.

It’s shameful and disgusting.  After hearing about that moment, and watching the video clip of the whole thing (which I won’t post here because I know it’ll get me riled up again), I am disgusted with the whole concept of the show.  It’s a show that takes roses and turns them into something not even worthy of the compost heap.
Seriously, Jason, what the heck were you thinking?  As if it wasn’t bad enough that you chose the wrong girl to be with, but then you humiliate her on national television?  What was the whole point?  To show America how sorry you were?  Well, you got your wish.  I certainly find you to be sorry, all right.  But, hey, at least you and Molly ended up getting married and had your wedding televised on ABC, so it was all worth it right?  Personally, if I were Molly, I’d probably have turned you down.  I mean, she basically admitted that she was okay playing second fiddle.  Let’s hope for Molly’s sake that he doesn’t change his mind again.

Oh, and ABC doesn’t get a pass either.  To come up with even the idea of an insensitive and disgusting television special celebrating the union of one couple at the expense of a woman’s humiliation is beyond words.  If not for the fact that ABC happens to air ‘Wipeout’, I’d have no problem boycotting the network for good.  Truly shameful.

As for Melissa...well, although she wasn’t as mad at ABC as I would have been (she joined the cast of another ABC program ‘Dancing With The Stars’ after The Bachelor), she ended up finding true love with someone who actually wanted to choose her, and she’s now very much happy and in love.  Well, at least for now, anyway.
But, as far as The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are concerned, I would never appear on the show as a contestant.  If I’m going to go on a date with someone, it will be away from cameras, without group date cards, and you know what? If I were to give my date a rose, it would be because I want to, not because a television producer forces me to.


  1. I totally agree with you Matthew. I watched the first few seasons, but when the couples never stayed together and they seemed to want to focus more on the drama, I lost interest.

  2. Yeah...I know exactly what you mean. Out of 23 seasons total, only three had a wedding. Some track record!