When you work on a television show with a success rate as low as The Bachelor‘s is, you have to be prepared to milk every opportunity for all its worth. Which is how the fifteen-minute wedding of Ashley Hebert and JP Rosenbaum, arrived at my television packaged in two hours of complete nonsense.
Ashley and JP are from the seventh season of The Bachelorette, and join the storied ranks of successful couples from the show…all two of them. In seventeen seasons of The Bachelor and almost as many engagements, the only people who have gotten married from the show are Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter, from the second season, and Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney, from the thirteenth season, and now Ashley and JP. Three couples out of seventeen seasons. Look at ‘dem odds. Add to that the fact that Trista and Ryan were rumored to have known each other before their season aired, and the fact that Jason didn’t even choose Molly on his season (he originally proposed to Melissa Rycroft, and then broke up with her in the finale, getting the ring back so he could ask Molly for another chance), it’s hard to understand why people are still watching this show.
But watch it I did, and I’m ashamed to say that somewhere in the two unnecessary hours of wedding planning, dress alterations, bachelor parties, and random interviewing of former castmembers, this special actually melted some of the ice around my miserly Grinch heart. Because somehow, against all odds, these two seem to actually be in love. I don’t know how it happened, I really don’t, but I guess when you do the math it kind of makes sense. Each show starts with approximately 25 people, give or take, and multiply that by the number of seasons, and around 425 people have been on the show. I guess it stands to reason that sooner or later, at least six of them will fall into legitimate love.
Some less successful stars of the franchise were in attendance as well, including former Bachelorettes Jillian Harris, Emily Maynard, DeAnna Pappas, and Ali Fedotowksy, and some gentlemens including Ames Brown, Michael Stagliano, Ashley Spivey, and the network’s next Bachelor, Sean Lowe. We had to sit through them discussing their own personal lives and their wishes for JP and Ashley, delicately interspersed among the annoying clips of Ashley getting mani/pedis with her bridesmaids, JP racing cars and drinking scotch, and the two of them missing each other so much that they ditched out of their own bachelor and bachelorette parties to go ice-skating together. But then finally finally we get to the actual ceremony, officiated by Chris Harrison (of course), and it was actually really nice. The parents were thrilled, their vows were adorable, the dress was stunning, and against all odds, it looked to be a fairly normal wedding, aside from the fact that it was televised.
But here’s the thing about that. If you are somehow able to meet ‘the one’ on national television, and he’s okay with the fact that throughout the beginning of your dating life you’re actively seeing other guys, and then he actually proposes to you in the finale and you accept…then absolutely by all means you should get married on television and let the network foot the bill. I have no idea what kind of money got thrown around for this wedding, but Trista and Ryan were paid $1 million by the network just for the privilege of airing their wedding. That’s in addition to the wedding itself, which I can’t imagine that ABC didn’t pay for. So yeah. Meet on TV, get engaged after three weeks, then take a year or so to actually date and get to know each other, get married on TV and get your whole wedding paid for and a little slush fund on top? I can’t be mad at that. Best of luck to you, Ashley and JP. Keep holding it down for the Emily Maynards out there.