Is Colton -- a frequently confused and upset young man -- the least eligible Bachelor ever?
|Sep 6||Public post|
On Monday's episode of Bachelor in Paradise, Colton surprised everyone in the BiP cast (and no one in the BiP audience) by breaking up with Tia after abruptly coming to the realization that his "whole life," he’s aimed to please other people while never really making any decisions for himself…
Then on Tuesday, ABC announced that Colton Underwood would be the next Bachelor, a position comprised entirely of sitting in hot tubs, riding in helicopters, looking into the distance without blinking, and consistently, constantly and without reprieve, making decisions in one’s own best interest with the full knowledge that they will be displeasing to no less than 25 women.
This is just…the weirdest Bachelor-choice. Obviously Colton is quite a typical Bachelor-choice in that he is large in stature, white in race, and pleasantly lunkheaded in disposition. But for ABC to take it upon themselves to cast a man that very few fans called for, over other, more popular lead candidates seems blatantly ill-advised. It puts the impetus of Colton's success on them, rather than on us. If they cast the audience-favorite and he ends up being terrible, we simply have to sit in our own filth and say, "Well, I was the one who thought Blake was cute, so it's my own fault that I have to watch him cry all the time now." [Ed. note: story of my life AMIRIGHT?].
No, Colton surely wasn’t the Bachelor most viewers wanted — but still, that's not a guarantee that his season will be any less entertaining than, say, a Jason or Wills season. As a subject matter expert, I am here to tell you that all Bachelor(ette)s are eventually rendered boring once put into the driver’s seat.
When you take someone who was charming in their limited amount of screentime as a contestant, and then put them in the starring role, they basically become a tour guide — they're just Kharon guiding a bunch of personal trainers and marketing executives down the river Styx that is the Bachelor franchise.
Just look at our most recent tribute Becca, who we all insisted be given the lead role as reparations for ABC exploiting her emotional trauma in revolutionary split-screen: Becca was technically a "good" Bachelorette in that she took on the job with the efficiency and decisiveness of a really competent accountant just trying to get these pesky freelancer-taxes filed right. But Becca's sure-handed approach was also incredibly boring! If the men in her season hadn’t been a bunch of tender-hearted INFPs mixed together with drama-hungry narcissists, it would have been a total bust.
So Colton's admitted emotional submissiveness is not an indicator that his season will be bad; in fact, it stands to be quite the display if they just get a bunch of dominants in there to thoroughly confuse this young, midwestern Winklevoss-imprint.
No, what continues to confound regarding the choice of Colton as Bachelor is not his potential to create an entertaining season, or his lack of fan-favoritism, or his cry face that’s now sufficiently burned into my brain…
It’s that Colton has to be the Least Eligible Bachelor in the franchise's history. The only thing that could make Colton less eligible for the role of being fought over by 30 women is if he was still dating Tia.
Listen, putting aside the fact that Colton has tried exclusively to date public-facing women for at least the last two years, he seems like a nice enough guy. I am not saying Colton is a bad person — I am saying there is absolutely no solid reason to explain why the powers that be picked him after he boldly declared in his recent BiP exit: “I’m broken.”
Aside from what appears to be some pretty solid orthodontia in his past, and trapezius muscles you could handily fashion into a hang glider, Colton contains exactly none of the marriage-material trademarks one would typically expect of a man that could lure in 25-30 of the nation's most beautiful RE/MAX agents…
Colton is 26
Colton is one year of teaching English abroad; one heart break; and one near-bankruptcy-brush with a pyramid scheme away from figuring his shit out. Twenty-six is not too young to get married, but following two televised heartbreaks, it might be too young to be like, Hey, I am in PRIME SHAPE to aggressively attempt to tie my tumultuous young adult life to someone else's right now. Mostly because…
Colton…doesn’t have…a paying job…question mark
This is not a personal attack on Colton. Everyone goes through transition, and one’s employment status is not always an indicator of one’s ambition. But still — if we're talking the number one draft pick for the number one dating show in the number one nation of dating shows [ed. note: unverified], then Colton's current employment status as a "former NFL player" is of note in a few ways:
Colton did play on NFL practice squads for two seasons where he earned a reasonable chunk of change for a recent college grad, per Over the Cap. His last NFL run ended in 2015…
Colton did found a cystic fibrosis non-profit humbly named the Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation, which is lovely in principle. According to Time, Colton doesn't take a salary from his part-time position as President of the Colton Underwood Legacy Foundation; that is perhaps even lovelier in principle…
But, is the time in your life where you're not tooootally bringing in a salary the best time to publicly present yourself as a highly desirable candidate for a life partner? Perhaps not. Is it suspicious that as the Bachelor Colton actually will be bringing in a salary now? I will leave that up to his 30 potential girlfriends who are ideally fitness-coaching for two.
Colton hasn't had sex before
When emotional and financial availability are TBD, there's always good old fashioned sexual connection to fall back on…right? Nope, not with this new age Bachelor pick! Despite the amount of physical space he takes up, Colton has never proven to be a particularly physical being with the women we've seen him date on TV.
It's also now common knowledge that Colton is a virgin, in whatever sense he chooses to define virginity (a wild guess here says we're pulling on the reins at #penetrative). Is waiting to have sex until you're comfortable having sex a bad thing? DEFINITELY NOT!!! Is knowing that the man you're dating seems to have only recently become comfortable owning up to that choice around three months ago the most sought after quality in a mate? It's a probably-no from me, dawg!
The goal of The Bachelor in season 1 was to present a man so universally eligible that women would not only be willing to share him, but would also be prepared to get engaged to him after only going on only a handful of dates with him over the course of two months. And now, 22 Bachelors later, we've landed on our 23rd: Colton.
An ABC "source" (probably Mike Pence) told E! News that Colton was the safest pick for obvious reasons: "He screams wholesome, middle America … producers were keen to pick someone whose intentions would be viewed as sincere. No one wants another questionably shady guy." Sure, sure, sure. After meeting his first It Girl girlfriend by hollering at her in a YouTube video, and his last It Girl girlfriend by hollering at her in a DM that eventually created a tale so torrid, it afforded him the opportunity to become the It Girl himself…a little societally-constructed virginity shored that wholesome, non-shady image right up for all us middle-America-loving folks at home.
ABC wants us to think they're serving us the corn-fed second helping of Sean Lowe, the only Bachelor out of 22 to actually marry his Final Rose pick. But we see you, ABC. We know what you’re doing just like you know what you’re doing:
Who, for what it's worth, is also still married to her Final Rose pick. Indeed, ABC knows exactly the emotional trainwreck Colton's stands to be, and they're looking forward to it. And hey, at this point, with all these thoughts of existential panic and barren Fantasy Suites swirling around in my heard…maybe I am too?