There was a time, deep in the darkest depths of grad school that I ceased to have viewing standards and became tragically obsessed with the “reality” travesty that is the Bachelor/Bachelorette series. The premise is utterly ridiculous, and yet, it’s oh so wonderfully entertaining to watch two dozen men or women plead that they’re “here for the right reasons” when really, it’s pretty apparent that they’re there for the perpetually open bar, to show off their abs on national TV, and hopefully get some in the process.
Dear ABC, or whoever airs this fascinating experiment in the increasingly desperate search for love:
I propose a change in formula. I propose that I, Katelynn Enright, be the next Bachelorette. I can give you ten very excellent reasons why my season would haul the ratings out of the gutter that dear Desiree has sunken them into. Trust me, its science.*
1. Superior group date ideas.
I’m tired of challenges designed to be ridiculous and theatrical and demonstrate the alleged macho-ness of the male contestants. Quite honestly, I would rather perish than have to watch y’all act out classic Shakespeare scenes on stage or race down a building before Carrie Underwood can finish singing her latest single.
What’s important to me, the Bachelorette, is how you feel about ducks. We will all go to the petting zoo, and whoever can befriend the cutest baby goat wins. Also, I don’t give out roses. I’m taking a page out of the Baby Bachelor’s book and distributing dinosaurs to my suitors.
Perhaps we will have a group date to Disneyland. Can you imagine wandering around at Disneyland with a bunch of dudes wearing Mickey Mouse ears? If you don’t like Disneyland, we can’t get publicly engaged on television.
2. One-on-One Dates
The problem with the Bachelorette is that she isn’t really all that interesting, or at least she isn’t allowed to be on TV. Where is the fun in watching her awkwardly slow dance with a bro while some relatively well known singer songwriter has been hauled all the way in to perform in a random location, like a bridge? Also, WHY ARE YOU WASTING DOLLY PARTON’S TIME, ABC?! DOLLY IS A TREASURE AND SHE HAS IMPORTANT SHIT TO DO.
Point being, I want my one-on-one dates to be ridiculous. Not outlandish, like involving helicopters and shitty beer in the mountains. I want one on one dates with my bachelors to involve demolition derbies and golf cart racing and visits with sugar gliders and one of those giant foam pits they have in gymnastics facilities. Yes, I will be painfully awkward and ask ridiculous questions of my dates. But that’s why you tune in every week, to watch the struggles of an ordinary Bachelorette looking for temporary, pretend love. Right?
3. The Dinosaur Ceremony
The critical portion of each episode of my season of the Bachelorette will be the dinosaur ceremony. Chris Harrison will join the men solemnly and announce that it is time for the Dinosaur Ceremony. They will gather after many Old Fashions and Greyhounds and nervously await my decisions. I, on the other hand, will be awkward and probably publicly drunk while I try to decide who to send home and who to give a dinosaur to.
Of course, things will become awkward when I develop an odd attachment to the velociraptor whom I’ve named Ingrid and end up sending odd numbers of dudes packing because I simply can’t part with her, and have even concocted an elaborate backstory about how she survived the dinosaur apocalypse.
4. The Fantasy Suite
Chris Harrison and I need to have a little chat about the fantasy suite. I picture it being this horrifyingly cliche room full of rose petals and candles and baskets full of birth control (can you imagine if you got knocked up while on the Bachelor/ette!?). The only music available in this grotesque box of “sensuality” and “romance” is Boyz II Men and Lionel Richie and Air Supply. It’s probably the worst thing ever.
MY fantasy suite will have none of this nonsense. It will be full of blanket fort making materials, stuffed crust pizza, good beer and LP records. The cameras can totally come in, because let’s be honest: this Bachelorette is WAY too awkward to be scandalous. Mostly, it’ll be a lot of me running around in a Snuggie trying to make it flow out like the robes in Harry Potter when Snape goes missioning down corridors. Many potential suitors will leave of their own volition. The rest will be bribed by producers to stay.
5. The Drama
While the current Bachelorette season is being plagued by alleged girlfriends and guys with serious daddy issues, the drama that surfaces when I am the reigning Bachelorette will be much less contrived and far more involved with the goings-on in the house. It will literally be something like, the alleged girlfriend shows up, and I’m hiding behind a curtain in the house with the guys listening to the drama unfold in the courtyard. My eyes will probably be Zooey Deschanel-sized. That is to say, the size of dinner plates.
When the producers approach me regarding creating drama, I will have a plan already prepped and ready to go. What is the plan, you ask? THIS.
I will order a pizza. I will then eat the pizza, leaving only ONE single slice. I will then take this slice, and leave it (on a plate, obviously) in the middle of the main room. What will ensue will be the most epic fight to the death EVER in television history. Seriously. THE DRAMA. Someone is totally getting punched for that pizza.
6. The Exotic Destinations
A crucial element of the franchise is obviously the travelling to exotic destinations and making your potential suitors do ridiculous stuff there too. Apparently you’re also supposed to be in a bikini most of the time and make out a lot in the water. Isn’t that incredibly dangerous? Like, how are you supposed to survive an undertow or a shark attack when some rando is all up in your face and stuff? No? Just me? Okay then.
Anyways, the point is that while Emily Whatsherface spent a whole bunch of time prancing around on beaches and stuff, my season of the Bachelorette will likely feature an unprecedented amount of pubs and really bored looking dudes pretending to read while I’m making them sit at a cafe in Paris and drink wine and read books. Actually…given the amount of pubs and wine involved in this, perhaps things will get interesting after all.
7. The Hometown Visits
The unfortunate bachelors who get pegged by the producers to stick around will have the distinct pleasure of introducing me to their families. I intend to make this process as exciting as possible by being true to my exceptionally awkward self. The Bachelorette is usually very good at pretending to be interested in stuff and talking to everyone and generally being a social creature. I am not this person. But this is where the fun enters the franchise.
I’ll bring flowers or something to the house, as a polite person does, but this likely will not compensate for my picky eating, or the random and bizarre questions I pose of his family members as a means of making conversation. Apparently it’s difficult to follow my train of thought sometimes, and I have a feeling that making quokka puns probably won’t be endearing. It WILL make for good television though. What happens when they ask me about my intentions for their son? Will I quickly divert the topic of conversation by inquiring about kumquats and how ridiculous that word is? Will I respond with a wink and a nudge and an “EH? know what I mean?” Or will I declare my undying love and then fall into a swoon? Do modern North American families still stock smelling salts?
8. The Nightly Cocktail Party
I’m sure the concept of a perpetually open bar might get old rather quickly, or be quite dangerous, but the novelty appeals to my future Bachelorette self. I would like to propose a few additions to that giant room they use for cocktails between 4 and 8 am. I want there to be a karaoke machine, and more blankets, and nachos. WHY ARE THERE NO NACHOS WHEN YOU’RE GETTING PEOPLE DRUNK!?
Also, I think there needs to be at least one puppy. How can people be angry and ridiculous when there’s a precious puppy around. They can’t!
I mean, they can be ridiculous in that they start crawling around and talking in a weird voice that they just made up and trying to coerce the puppy into admitting its affection for them by licking their faces. But it would be nothing but love up in the Bachelor house, because puppies fix everything.
The puppy would probably eat the pizza I laid out as a dramatic trap…but that’s probably for the best.
9. The Big Secret I Reveal
Every Bachelorette or Bachelor usually has something about them that they feel the need to reveal to the more “trusted” suitors, or something that is going to make them appealing or relatable to the viewers. I don’t have a child that I can use in this situation, nor do I have any pets, so I’m going to have to invent something. Let’s run through some options:
a. We go to one of our many exotic locations and there are horses there. I reveal my tragic fear of being bitten while feeding a horse (disclaimer: this is a real fear that I have). Manly man bachelor is empathetic and protects me from that carrot mongering equine creature. Somehow this makes me “marriage material”
b. I reveal a tragic, life changing incident from my past, one that makes me simultaneously vulnerable and strong. Bonus points for shedding a single tear while my makeup remains unmoved. “One time, I got food poisoning at a Harvey’s” “One time, my cousins threw me in a giant hole they dug in the sand at my cottage” “One time, I got bit in the face by a dog and I was literally scarred for life. LOOK AT ME. I’M A MONSTER!”
c. Play up past heartbreaks. Like, reaaaaaaally lay it on thick. “I almost DIED from the devastation,” or “I swore I would never look another human being directly in the eyes again.”
All I know is that you need to be desperately looking for love while simultaneously on the verge of complete and utter mental collapse.
10. The Engagement
If, somehow, one of these suitors makes it to the final episode without being institutionalized or bankrupting the franchise in bribes, we’ll naturally have to get engaged. That’s fine. I accept this. I have some stipulations, however.
I reserve the right to choose the soundtrack music. None of this epic, swelling, sappy nonsense plagued by strings and sunsets. I want Europe’s “The Final Countdown” playing behind us.
I want the ring to contain as few diamonds as possible, because we all know I’m going to lose that shit ASAP and I want to be able to sell this thing for a profit once our “engagement” tragically falls apart because I’m emotionally distant or he cheated on me with Cher.
I want to be proposed to via a rap.
BONUS POINTS IF THE RING IS PRESENTED TO ME WHILE TIED BY RIBBON AROUND A DUCKLING.
ABC, have your people call my people. I’m ready to get down to business. I’ll even wear sequins.
*It’s totally not science, but it totally makes you think there’s a peer reviewed study confirming my hypothesis, doesn’t it?