When The Bachelor returns to ABC Jan. 3, a chastened Brad Womack — a.k.a. the guy who dared to defy the rules of the reality TV universe by not proposing to either of the women lovingly hand-selected for him by television producers — will embark upon a serious, introspective, soul-baring journey toward lifelong love, again with women carefully hand-selected for him by television producers. (See, you can tell how chastened he is by his intense look in this photo of him clutching the rose. Doesn’t he look like he’s going to bite someone?) And it seems, judging from the network’s just-released press release teasing the first episode, that the proceedings will be off to a great start toward that high-minded end: First, Womack (“a changed man”) will be ambushed — ahem, confronted — by DeAnna Pappas and Jenni Croft, the ladies he jilted at the vaunted Platform of Soon-to-Be-Broken Engagements. Because, of course, it’s important to his emotional health … and … stuff. Not because that’ll make good TV and because this is really about him making amends to the 18- to 49-year-old females who watch The Bachelor. My guess is DeAnna and Jenni are pretty over not marrying a guy who didn’t want to marry them; it’s the fans who still need closure.
To that end, we’ll also get the allegedly genuine slap from the allegedly irate first woman out of the limo that we’ve seen in all the promos. Then Womack — who, we are reassured, has “undergone a radical personal transformation which he feels sure has readied him to make a genuine commitment to a relationship,” as if anyone who resists the foolproof process of The Bachelor has issues requiring intensive therapy — will choose from the likes of “a fun-loving nanny [who] playfully grabs his rear end,” “a dancer from a famed troupe [who] tries to teach Brad a few dance moves,” and “a mysterious model [who] literally shows him her fangs.” Yes. Brad was definitely the problem last time around. Thank goodness he’s finally ready to submit himself to this important “journey.”
Other significant stops on his vision quest for love this season will include: a bachelorette makeover, performances by Train and Seal, an appearance on Dr. Drew’s Loveline (how has he not gotten involved with this show until now?), a NASCAR date, a trip to Cirque du Soleil’s “Viva Elvis” show to learn aerial ballet routines, and a final jaunt to South Africa. You know, all the necessary milestones in a journey towards serious commitment and deep emotional connection.
So, PopWatchers, are you convinced? Is Womack “ready” to “find” “love” “again”?