How The Bachelor Enables Toxic Behavior

Where you at Bachelor Nation?! I just recently watched part one of the INCREDIBLE, AMAZING, SHOWSTOPPING, SPECTACULAR, NEVER THE SAME, TOTALLY UNIQUE season finale of The Bachelor. After sitting on the edge of my couch for weeks screaming at my TV and sighing in exhaustion, I’ve realized that I have a love-hate relationship with Peter, the Bachelor. This isn’t my first rodeo– I love watching trashy reality TV shows. If you need something to watch that requires absolutely no brain cells, then I have some shows I highly recommend. Some of my favorites include (but are not limited to) Chrisley Knows Best, the Real Housewives franchise (particular praise to RHOA and RHONY), Vanderpump Rules, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Catfish, etc.

I LIVE for the drama of these reality TV shows. It gives me a chance to forget about everything, and to instead get invested into drama that I don’t personally have to deal with after I turn the TV off. The Bachelor, however, is a show that I never really got into, until pilot Pete flew his way into my heart. I heard about the previous season of The Bachelorette through Twitter. On Twitter, I saw clips of how Hannah Brown stood her ground against the biggest villain from last season, Luke P. Her most iconic line from being slut-shamed by Luke P. is, “I have had sex and Jesus still loves me” (this definitely will be recited for centuries to come and will be written into history books). Along with Luke P., Pilot Pete was in Hannah Brown’s season, but she unfortunately did not give him the coveted, final rose— which is why he is now our newest Bachelor. At first I was so excited to have Peter find love after being rejected last season, but after watching the first few episodes, I see him in a completely different light. I wholeheartedly believe that this season of The Bachelor has enabled toxic behavior from the contestants on the show.

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There is just a lot to unpack here, as Johnathan Van Ness says. The first episode of The Bachelor is hilariously awkward as the contestants start introducing themselves to Peter and do anything they can to be remembered. It’s all fun, until it’s not. Unnecessary drama starts to explode in the house. Come on Hannah Ann! Kelsey brought that champagne from Des Moines and you knew! The drama starts to unfold like any other type of drama on reality TV shows, but the way Peter handles it is just so off-putting.

Every time he gets a whiff of drama in the air between the women on the show, he immediately wants to get to the bottom of it. He starts interrogating these women as if he was a detective, shining the bright light onto their faces and slamming his fist onto the cold metal table. The women on the show see his behavior and start reporting to him on everything that is going on in the house– even on some things that is absolutely none of their business. Like seriously Tammy? You’re just going to say that Kelsey has a drinking problem? Peter’s rationale for “getting to the bottom of things” is because he wants to know that these women are genuine and are truly putting in their best efforts to see if they could be in a meaningful relationship with him.

But this starts to be a never-ending cycle of toxicity between everyone on the show. Peter praises those that come to him about the drama in the house and rewards them by keeping them on the show and chooses to eliminate those that were the supposed source of all of the drama. The problem that arises from this is that the source of the “drama” is subjective. It’s not a one way street to someone being wrong (like Peter thinks it is)– there are multiple ways to frame a situation and every woman had a valid reason to be upset the way that they were, but subsequently get shifted into becoming the “villain” of the show or the “aggressor, and who gets these titles is determined by Peter’s actions.

Why I made it all the to the season finale, you ask? The show is so infuriating that I can’t stop watching it. I am addicted to wanting to know who Peter ends up choosing despite everything that is going on in the house. I guess this is how reality TV reels you in, right? I have my gripe about this show, but I’ll be damned if I don’t find out who Peter ends up with after putting up with this show for that long.

“My expectations and feelings are valid, just as much as his. I totally get that it’s his journey, but it’s also mine and I have the standards that I have. I’m not going to apologize for that. I’m not going to be ashamed of that or remorseful for that because I didn’t tell him what to do.”

Madison Prewett to Barb

I also have a few things that I want to address with The Bachelor’s season finale. Can we all just applaud how Madison handled the situation with Barb! Barb is Peter’s mom, and Madison’s one-on-one talk with her was cringey, to say the least. Madison and Peter ended on a rocky note after last week’s episode because Madison told Peter that if he was intimate with anyone else on the show, then she didn’t know if she could continue to have a relationship with him. Peter responded and said that he had been intimate with other women on the show (AHHHHH!!!).

In this week’s episode, Barb brought it up to Madison and said that she should’ve expected that Peter sleep with other women because that was what she signed up for when she joined the show. And in response to her, Madison said, “My expectations and feelings are valid, just as much as his. I totally get that it’s his journey, but it’s also mine and I have the standards that I have. I’m not going to apologize for that. I’m not going to be ashamed of that or remorseful for that because I didn’t tell him what to do.” Madison responded beautifully because if it were me, then Barb wouldn’t hear the end of it, and I’d eventually get kicked off of the show.

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Madison wants to save herself before marriage and wants to have her faith as a priority in her life. Madison and Peter just don’t have the same level of spiritualness, as Barb likes to point out, so they just aren’t right for each other. Madison shouldn’t have to compromise her faith and beliefs just so that she could be with Peter, and I’m glad she really stood up for herself in front of Barb. Barb was just meddling a little too much and was too invasive on this situation. By the end of the episode, Madison eventually leaves the show because she decided that her and Peter were just too different. I am glad that this season is finally over because I have started to loathe Peter more than I loved him, and this season was just a MESS. If there was one takeaway from all of this, just don’t be a Barb.

Signing off,

@nastywoman21

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