The Half-Naked Half-Truth
The women of ''The Bachelor'' show their nasty side: They model their trampiest clothes, but their backstabbing and bickering are far more revealing by Michael Slezak
Welcome to Hoochfest 2005, bitches.
Okay, okay, I realize that's no way to speak to regular readers, but don't shoot the messenger. To paraphrase Shaggy, it wasn't me who uttered the aforementioned snippet of profanity, but rather, this season's resident ''good girl,'' Sarah B., a perky labor and delivery nurse who, I imagine, probably hears her fair share of salty language in the course of a typical work day. And indeed, while I've taken Sarah B.'s comment out of context — she hollered her remarks as the bachelorettes modeled their trashiest clothing in an effort to mock resident floozy Kimberley (and quite likely to nab a few extra minutes of airtime) — hoochfest is indeed the best word I can come up with to describe this season of ABC's reality dating series.
In fact, there's been so much heaved cleavage, guzzled alcohol, and slurpy kissing in the season's first three episodes that I'm starting to worry ABC is going to have to shift The Bachelor to Cinemax for the remainder of its run. But it's not really all the skankiness that shocks me. Nor is it the women's desperation to win the frat-boy heart of sometime actor Charlie O'Connell. (Alas, The Bachelor has never been a show to make you feel good about the state of feminism in America.) I'm not even taken aback by Charlie's unabashedly lowest-common-denominator approach to selecting a prospective mate. Nope, what gets to me is how utterly clueless all of the participants seem to be about their own mortifying behavior.
Take, for example, Kimberley, a woman audacious enough to call herself a ''family kind of girl'' while rubbing her bare foot on the inside of Charlie's thigh on their first date. Then again, what do you expect from a woman who carries her enormous breasts like a pair of weapons — ready to burst forth from a series of slinglike bikini tops and bustiers, conquering any heterosexual male in their path.
Charlie ranks a close second behind the Canadian swimsuit model in the absurd-contradictions department. The guy talks a good game about wanting to settle down and find love, but then he sees Kimberley's form-fitting black cocktail dress and exclaims, ''Now we're cookin' — with gas!''
The one thing I can say for Kimberley — and Charlie, for that matter — is that they do seem to actually know themselves. I thought the show's producers were up to some mean trick sending the duo to an art gallery, but Charlie quickly defused the situation by cracking a genuinely funny joke about how he and art are as close as his index and middle fingers. And heck, who knew Kimberley could be funny, too, like when she pointed to a seascape with the word sex superimposed on it and declared it a winner. (She was making a joke, right?) I just wish we hadn't been exposed to the grody bottoms of Charlie's white socks during the couple's late-night makeout session.
Speaking of dirty laundry, what's up with early front-runner Sarah W.? Is the blond Fergie look-alike really the world-class villain the other women paint her to be, or is she just the victim of a vast bachelorette conspiracy? Well, let's think about it. We all know she chooses to knit quietly instead of hang around drinking and arguing with the other she-beasts. And, oh yeah, she tries to get time alone with Charlie whenever she can. Plus, when you throw her in the water, she floats. That settles it! Burn her! Burn her!
Seriously, though, there might be a little bit of a devil in Sarah W. How about her fuzzy, noncommittal response to the girls' questions about the appropriateness of casual sex? And certainly it wasn't very nice of her to tell Sarah B. she wasn't making the final four, then add ''at least [Charlie] has good taste.'' Still, if there's something of a schemer behind those doll-like eyes, all the better, especially if it inspires additional crowd-pleasing outbursts from the show's resident nut-job and human shot glass, Krisily. Ooh. Let's roll the tape:
''Truly, I do not know what Sarah W.'s last name is. But it could absolutely stand for wicked, witch, I don't know about worm, definitely weasel.'' Krisily's quips are a lot more polished when they've been practiced, but she's no less crazy when she's spontaneously attacking Sarah W. either. ''Since you've been here, you haven't had your own personality, you haven't been yourself, you haven't been realistic about anything!'' Krisily screeched, as if their relationship went back further than two weeks. What in the name of all that's holy is she talking about? Anyone?
A lot of EW.com message-board posters are speculating that the producers have forced Charlie to keep troublemaking Krisily in the mix, but I get the impression the Bachelor genuinely enjoys her hellion presence in the house, even if he's not all that into her romantically.
Charlie certainly doesn't seem terribly attracted to ''serious women,'' as the two remaining ones — single mom Kara and seemingly brainy Jenny — got booted this week. Charlie's gentle rejection of the former and his total lack of interest in the latter speak volumes about his character. Indeed, by eliminating Kara, Charlie proved that while he may not be the world's most marriage-minded single guy, he's no cad. This season of The Bachelor is no place for someone who's responsible for the care and well-being of a child.
As for Jenny, her ''I'm smart, and I'm pretty, and I'm funny, and I'm successful'' speech left out the part about how she didn't seem to even like Charlie, let alone be interested in dating him, and once again, the Bachelor saw right through it, giving the shrill Canadian and her pink prom dress the pink slip. Jenny provided the evening's final contradiction, declaring her ouster was ''no big deal,'' then bursting into tears. But on a show that's so blissfully deplorable, so grotesquely entertaining, who would have it any other way?
What do you think of this season of The Bachelor? Are you missing the romance? Are you enjoying the craziness? And if you were a single woman, would you be interested in dating Charlie?