Remember when Erica Rose was basically called the ugliest girl in the house last season? She's coming back for more.
Shock, horror, and envy—those were the emotions that filled me as I read the just-announced cast list for the upcoming third season of Bachelor Pad (i.e. the innermost circle of Reality TV Hell, adjacent to The Choice) and learned that its contenders include five Bachelor-franchise “Super Fans.”
ABC’s staffers read enough of their emails to distinguish between different levels of fans? I thought they coldly looked at the ratings and kept the interns busy deleting the onslaught of “DO YOU HAVE JAKE PAVELKA’S EMAIL?!” messages that fills the inbox of firstname.lastname@example.org. When I worked briefly at Entertainment Tonight, the policy was that fan mail should be instantly destroyed, a policy only circumvented by a whimsical receptionist who kept a binder of the craziest letters and threats. (Two of which she allowed me to squirrel away to my own apartment, where they were pinned up on my wall alongside Mother Theresa quotes and club flyers featuring awkwardly airbrushed strippers.)
Horror: ABC is ENCOURAGING these Super Fans, to whom the only appropriate response should be rigorous bouts of therapy and prayer? Not only this, they’re putting them in striking range of the himboes and betties who are the subject of said Super Fans' obsessions. How long until Jake Pavelka is in the bottom of a well, screaming at a basket of lotion being slowly lowered from above?
Envy: WHY CAN’T I BE ON BACHELOR PAD?!! (At least until the part where the girls have to wear bikini bottoms with targets on them.)
Then I got to the part of the ABC press release that describes a set of twin Super Fans who will compete “as one participant.”
Into what kind of moral/physical/existential purgatory have we plunged when two women who resemble each other are allowed to be considered one person?! Like, this show is about coupling up—so one lucky guy will COUPLE UP with two women? Once again, the vague sense of dread that comes from not having a dick fills my heart. It’s a cold world out there for a bitch.
So let’s just say, the contestants this season are really in for a treat. At one time, Bachelor Pad was a way for the clique of hotties who'd once appeared on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette to set out on a private singles retreat. Now it’s officially a three-ring circus in which all the dignity and decorum of The Bachelor (haha) has been mercilessly stripped away, with some of the contestants not even having D-list celebrity status, and only the quivering reality of dumb hot people forced to choose between sex and money is left, naked in its shame. Let’s check out who the contestants are!
LINDZI COX: Ben Faljkfdfjsdklfjs’s second runner-up, she of the horses and the Aniston face and the voice that sounded like her throat had been luxuriously bathed in Jagermeister shots and gravel chasers. Lindzi, your horses miss you.
BLAKELY JONES: OMG Blakely! Courtney called her a stripper but she is now describing herself as an “Estherician” (typo? I’d prefer to think not). Blakely made scrapbooks out of magazines describing her dreams largely in terms of liquor brands and looked not unlike Hope from General Hospital, and for that I love her like a sister.
SARAH NEWLON: Drawing a blank on this one. She was on Brad Womack’s season and doesn’t want her “15 minutes of fame to end” but her odds of longevity will probably improve once her 15 minutes of fame actually start.
JAMIE OTIS: Jamie was smart, sweet, and kind of demure—so she over-compensated by giving Ben F. a lap dance moments before he sent her home. She deserved better, but instead she’s getting this.
ERICA ROSE (AGAIN): This poor bitch turned up LAST SEASON of Bachelor Pad and was almost instantly voted the least-popular/least-attractive girl in the house. She ended up essentially making fellow pariah Jake Pavelka her gigolo to keep them in the game. The fact that ABC continues to play with this person’s maladjusted self image is sort of criminally negligent but she’d probably be in more danger of self-harm if the cameras stopped rolling, and she might possibly have just rented a room in the Bachelor Pad mansion between seasons.
JACLYN SWARTZ: Remember this puzzling addition to Ben’s season? Me neither.
RACHEL TRUEHEART: Wow, what a great last name. Rachel gave up a successful career as an NYC fashion buyer to be on The Bachelor that she apparently wasn’t able to reignite after Ben sent her packing. So here she is, ready to spend another season laying her excellent genes and fabulous personality out like trinkets at a bazaar for whatever half-cocked a-holes Ashley Herbert wasn’t into.
BRITTANY AND ERICA TALTOS: The half-humans.
PAIGE VIGIL: A Super Fan and blogger! Right on, girl. Paige recapped The Bachelor for her college newspaper (I'm very curious to know what college) and now operates a Jumbo Tron. (Editing and writing skills will take you many places.)
DONNA ZITELLI: Super Fan who “loves drawing and writing songs” and I’m going to guess looks good in a bikini.
RYAN HOAG: A former NFL Player who fans may remember from DeAnna Pappas's season of The Bachelorette. Himbo Ahoy!
KALON MCMAHON: He JUST got kicked off Emily Maynard’s current season of The Bachelorette for referring to Ricki as “baggage,” being super-condescending, and having unconvincing veneers. Apparently Luxury Brand Consulting is not doing so well in our recession-stricken times, so good job keeping warm and drunk in this time of global crisis, Kalon!
NICK PETERSON: Nick was quickly voted off Ashley Herbert’s season but apparently was mouthy enough during “The Men Tell All” that ABC sees some potential in him.
TONY PIEPER: When last we saw Tony Pieper, he was getting drunk and calling up his son late at night and arguing about who was the Batman and who was the Joker with his 6-year-old. Now he’s back and hopefully has found a baby-sitter who knows how to use Caller ID.
REID ROSENTHAL: Reid, Reid, Reid. Remember Reid? Reid tried his damnedest to keep Jillian from ending up with Ed (good call on his part, as Ed turned out to be a dud). Despite making half the nation swoon he’s still somehow single and not invested enough in his career to resist the siren call of Grown-Up Sleepaway Camp. Reid, we love you. Remember that the cameras are rolling.
MICHAEL STAGLIANO: Man, love this guy so much. He’s cute and honorable and was a good sport about losing his beloved fiancé Holly when he won the money last season. This season he’s just racing the Male Pattern Baldness Clock to find a reality TV girlfriend. (There’s always plugs, dude! Good luck!)
ED SWIDERSKI: DUNH DUNH DUNNNNHHHH!!!! (Darth Vader breathing) Ed?! The same guy who won Jill Harris from Reid, then, if US Weekly is to be trusted, screwed her over? In the same house with Reid, who begged Jill not to marry him?! Maybe I WILL watch this season. He is sure to bring both drama and mesh tanks to the house.
CHRIS BAIN: Super Fan! He’s a “good ole’ country boy from Georgia” which is apparently the only state where men still watch the Bachelor franchise. He is a motha-effing SWAT TEAM OFFICER.
DAVID MALLET: Another Super Fan who has eyes for Lindzi of the horses, and who has decided to call himself “Kamikaze.” Can’t wait to see what the SWAT TEAM OFFICER has to say about that.
MYSTERY MAN: This will be someone as-yet-unvoted-off from Emily’s season. My money is on Chris or (shudder) Travis or (wink) Ryan.
1. What do you think of this cast?
2. Super Fans: amazing idea or "end of days" red flag?
3. Should this show be thrown in the ocean already?
Bachelor Pad Season 3 premieres July 23 on ABC.