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Reporter Shaun Byron and Video Editor Andrew DuPont sound-off on whatever is on their minds, from politics to pop-culture, from movies to the main stream media. Local, national, world-wide? If it's in the media mix, these two are sure to have an opinion on it.

Friday, February 27, 2009

I have a bridge to sell you...

If you're a fan of reality TV, a part of you has to know there isn't that much reality left in it anymore. When there were just a few shows and they were in their early seasons, the concepts alone were enough to draw in people, but evetually the hook gets dull and they need something to sharpen it with.

I used to be a fan of Survivor. I admit the first few season really had me addicted. I even watched up through the "All-Stars" season. What made me finally give up (cold turkey, I might add) was hearing that the newest season would divide the "tribes" by race. That was it. The shark had been jumped. At that point it was clear the show was no longer about the contest and was about shock value and ratings.

Now the same thing is happening again to another long standing reality show: The Bachelor. The current season is scheduled to end this Monday, as this season's bachelor Jason must make "the hardest decision ever." Problem is... word has leaked there's nothing difficult about this decision at all, Jason has known who he wants to pick for a long time, but it only gets weirder.

I've heard through the series of tubes known as the internet that Jason decided a long time ago that wanted to propose to contestant Molly. However, on Monday's episode he is going to propose to the other final contestant... Melissa.

Confused? Well, apparently in an effort to give the audience "the most shocking finale" in bachelor history, Jason agreed to propose to Melissa and then dump her at the "After the Final Rose" show (which immediately follows the finale). The show's host has repeatedly promoted the show by saying this will be the first after-show without a studio audience out of "respect" for everyone involved. Now why would they think to do that? It's almost like they knew ahead of time what he was going to do...

So why do this?
1) It's never happened on the show before (+ ratings)
2) It gives them shock value (+ ratings)
3) It allows them to have a second "After the Final Rose" show a week later where he will almost certainly bring back Molly and propose to her there. (+ ratings)

If nothing else, this should hopefully garner some sympathy for Melissa. She's almost certainly an unwilling participant being forced onto an emotional rollercoaster for the sake of boosting a drab show's ratings. I doubt she would be in on it, as the thing they are almost certainly hoping to capture is genuine shock and heartbreak on camera. Nice huh? People will tune in to see though, that's for sure, and that's all the producers really care about. Kind of odd that Jason (who had his heart broken in the finale of last season's Bachelorette) would be okay with leading someone on like this, but then again ABC pays for his outfits, dates, travel expenses and even buys the engagement ring for him to use in the finale. At least we know he can act, because he certainly is good at pretending to be having a hard time deciding and not wanting to break someone's heart.

So IF all of this is true (and we'll know in just a few days if it is):

- ABC Wins because everyone will be "shocked" and their ratings will get a big boost.
- Jason wins because he gets to propose to the girl he wanted to all along with an insanely expensive ring he didn't have to pay for
- Melissa... well, she loses and the crap they are going to put her through for the sake of ratings is despicable. Maybe they'll offer to make her the next Bachelorette as a consolation prize for being their emotional guinea pig.

Are you shocked to learn that the Bachelor might be completely staged? If so, make me an offer on that bridge.



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