Like most of you, I spent my Labor Day soaking up the last remnants of summer. And like most of you, I woke up this morning and checked Instagram, where news was everywhere that the new Bachelor was announced. To be clear, I was aware in advance that ABC would be making the announcement on Good Morning America this morning, but I don’t have cable and am not going to wake up early for that anyway. So, I read the news that ABC made Colton the Bachelor with a sigh.
The thing is, Colton is fine. He’s attractive, he helps sick kids, likes dogs, and is nice enough. But there’s nothing about this choice of making him the Bachelor that particularly excites me. Aside from the virgin thing, what’s really his personality? Without a Jordan type to come after, does he ever say or do anything interesting?
I’ve read that by making Colton the Bachelor, ABC is hoping to repeat the magic of Sean Lowe’s season—that is, produce a couple that actually sticks. I didn’t watch The Bachelor back then, but I’d venture that the success of Sean and Catherine’s marriage had less to do with the (not completely accurate) virgin label and more to do with their personalities. It also probably has something to do with the fact that Instagram sponsorships didn’t exist back then.
I’m not actively upset by the decision to make Colton the Bachelor. I would have been if rumors that Ben Higgins would be chosen for the second time turned out to be true. I’m just aggressively underwhelmed. Colton is fine, and I’m happy for him as a person, but I think people would have been way more excited if they had chosen Jason or Blake (or Wills, but I wasn’t really holding my breath there). Colton just seems like a safe choice, to the point that it’s boring. Not one person, from my friends to members of the Bachelor Facebook group I’m in to the random girls I overheard discussing it on the subway, feels psyched to watch Colton wade through 30 women next January. Not to mention, as a 26-year-old woman, the idea that a 26-year-old conventionally attractive former athlete really wants to settle down and find a wife is eyebrow-raising at best.
At the end of the day, Colton will do everything he’s supposed to do as the Bachelor—he’ll cry on command, he’ll propose at the end—and I will watch it. But I’ve got to wonder why it seems like ABC actively does not want viewers to be excited about the next Bachelor. You’d think they’d want to drum up as much hype as possible, right? And not beat us over the head for the next few months about why we should care about some guy? The numbers back me up. Arie’s season, perhaps the most controversial choice in recent memory, premiered to a disappointing 5.5 million viewers. Nick, who had at least some vocal fans at the time of his choosing, had a premiere that reached 6.6 million viewers. Ben Higgins, widely recognized as the favorite Bachelor of the past few choices, brought in 7.5 million viewers. We won’t know how Colton stacks up until January, but I would be surprised if his numbers even came close to Ben’s. Rather than eagerly awaiting the premiere of his season, I think people are accepting Colton being the Bachelor with a resigned sigh. It could have been worse, absolutely, but it could have also been a hell of a lot better. This is the way The Bachelor ends: not with a bang, but a whimper. (I know that was douchey, but I have to use my creative writing degree somehow.)
If nothing else, can Colton’s catchphrase be “let’s f*cking do it”? That, I think, would make this choice worthwhile.