Since its birth in 2002, The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise has produced a near constant stream of mediocre drama—a kind of white noise in the realm of celebrity tabloids. While entertaining, most of the subjects of these stories experienced short-lived fame before ABC shoved them into a basement dungeon somewhere, only to be trotted out for reunions and the occasional cameo. I have never cared about this franchise or the people in it until this year, when The Bachelorette graced us with the most magnificently douchey contestant in its history. You know who I’m talking about.
In this moment I am thankful for every bit of mind-numbing media that Chris Harrison and company created over the last 14 years, because it has lead us to this glorious era of pop culture. We are gathered here today to pay our respects to the man (the bear?), the myth, the legend: The Chadelor.
Chad (né Brian) Johnson started out as any other typical reality show villain. His combination of predatory good looks, unabashed confidence, and an explicit need to voice his opinion at all times (not to mention what has to be a healthy dose of steroids) are the archetypal makings of that guy. Much like any mean girl contestant on America’s Next Top Model, Chad is not here to make friends. He is, however, here to eat inhumane amounts of deli meat, threaten other contestants, and win the heart of one Joelle Fletcher. He proves to be exceedingly skilled at two of these three tasks.
What sets Chad apart from the ranks of other reality TV assholes is that most of his actions make sense. On a certain level, we can all identify with him and his motives. Ask Chad who’s the realest guy in the house, and he’ll tell you it’s Chad. Yes, he will actually identify himself in third person, but don’t let that detract from the accuracy of his statement.
When Chad lounged on the couch for the entirety of the first cocktail party, sipping his drink and mocking the other guys’ outfit choices, we were all Chad. When Chad called everyone out for obviously lying about being in love with Jojo the second they laid eyes on her, we were all Chad. When Chad refused to propose to a girl on his first actual date with her, we were all Chad. When Chad threatened to rip the limbs off of every other guy in the house and then throw their torsos into the pool, some of us were Chad.
If you’re honest with yourself, you have more in common with him than you’d care to admit. For me, it’s a healthy passion for milk and a tendency to make up completely inane platitudes. Maybe you identify with a different part of him, that’s the beauty of The Chad! There’s something there for everyone. But some of his best performances have come after his regrettably early dismissal from the show.
In his time since being eliminated, Chad has only become exponentially more Chad. In levels of petty yet uncharted by mankind, he bought up the domain names of his enemies and redirected them to his OWN INSTAGRAM. His inevitable stint on Bachelor in Paradise was confirmed, only to have him kicked off a week into filming. The reason? He was “being very Chad-ish” on set. That’s a surprising accomplishment considering his name isn’t even fucking Chad.
This man-bear actively decided to abandon his respectable first name of Brian, and instead opted to live the life of a Chad. I would imagine that decision was accompanied by an Ironborn-style ceremony in which he was drowned and reborn from a pool of Jaeger Bombs. If nothing else you at least have to acknowledge the dedication to his brand.
But is it really his brand? Undoubtedly there are skeptics out there who believe this mythical creature to be entirely producer born. Having binged the entire first season of Unreal last weekend I would almost be tempted to agree with them if it weren’t for Chad’s outdated Match.com profile, which proves that Chad is 100% the organic Oklahoma-raised douche we’ve all come to know and love. He may be a half the size, but his ego is might as ever. Like, Buzzfeed turned his best quotes into motivational posters, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to print them out and hang them in my home.
The best part? We’re not even done! Next week we all get to watch in silent horror from the safety of our homes as he busts back into the Pennsylvania house and presumably skins Evan alive and wears him like last season’s Versace before he runs rampant on the rest of the guys. Idk, I haven’t seen a promo yet, but honestly the odds are in my favor here.
The point to all this? I’m not really sure. I just know that I never want this man to go away. Bring him back to narrate every rose ceremony for the rest of the season. Give him his own Kardashian-style spinoff so I can see what his day-to-day life entails. Make him the next bachelor, for God’s sake. It isn’t the TV show America needs, or even the one it deserves, just the one we want really, really badly. Don’t let us down, ABC.