ABC Is Choosing To Be Boring With The New Bachelor

After weeks of speculation, ABC revealed last night on the season finale of Bachelor in Paradise that Peter Weber, the lovable pilot from Hannah B.’s season of The Bachelorette, will be the new Bachelor. My reaction resembled that of my parents when I failed my driver’s test by backing into a pole while parallel parking in my instructor’s car: not mad, just bewildered disappointed. After shocking many loyal viewers by choosing Hannah as the Bachelorette, I was hoping the bigwigs at ABC would pull something similar with this year’s Bachelor. Unfortunately, they can’t seem to quit their addiction to mediocre men and went with the safe choice, once again shying away from a lead that might spike controversy or (heaven forbid) a cultural conversation.

He’s Slightly Sketchy

Peter caught some flak this summer when it was revealed by his ex-girlfriend that he dumped her shortly before Christmas, presumably because he found out that he’d been cast as a contestant on The Bachelorette. Opinions differ as to whether the show had anything to do with the breakup, but Peter himself has insisted that his casting occurred months after he parted ways with his ex. Even if we suspend all disbelief and take him at his word, his characterization of the breakup in the People interview is not consistent with the one he gave us on The Bachelorette, particularly during his hometown date, where his parents and brother recounted his most recent heartbreak in a way that gave me Blake-crying-on-his-mommy’s-shoulder vibes. While breakups are usually sad for both parties, the dumper does not usually come away disillusioned at the prospect of finding someone to love again, hence the dumping. We can all agree that Peter’s transgressions pale in comparison to those of dog food jingle lyricist Jed, but he’s not quite the wounded bird he’d like us to think he is either.

He’s Safe

bachelor peter

One important detail Chris Harrison forgot to announce last night when naming Peter as the Bachelor is that he’s already been The Bachelor. It was four years ago, his hair was darker, and his name was Ben Higgins. In all seriousness, it’s pretty clear that ABC is trying to recreate the ratings magic they had with nice guy Ben by bringing in a shiny new version. To be fair, there is nothing objectively wrong with either Ben or Peter. They’re both mild-mannered, sensitive and steadfast guys. The problem is that their best qualities are the same ones that come to mind when looking to purchase a family minivan. While comfort, reliability and safety are wonderful, I’m not really attracted to a Chrysler Pacifica. In light of recent events I knew we wouldn’t get my first choice Tyler, but I still can’t help but feel that ABC isn’t sending their best. We need a man with an edge and/or some undeniable sex appeal, and someone that still lives at home with his parents isn’t it, no matter how many condoms he has in his center console.

He’s (Yet Another) White Guy

It’s no secret that the Bachelor franchise has a race problem, but it’s a fact that bears repeating. In the more than 17 (!) years that this sh*tshow has been in the cultural zeitgeist, we have had one black female lead and no black male lead. It’s. Time. One could argue that we’ve had several great candidates in years past, especially when we see what passes muster to lead this dumpster fire year after year, but it’s pretty hard to deny that Mike Johnson from this year’s season of The Bachelorette would have been an excellent choice. Kind, charming, successful, smart and handsome, Mike was and is the full package (and Demi Lovato agrees, so don’t @ me). For all those who say he was “boring” on Bachelor in Paradise, kindly refer to my previous paragraph.

Even if Mike was boring on Paradise, I’m not totally convinced that his brief stint on the spin-off was the right litmus test. Mike doesn’t really exude f*ckboy like the Deans and Blakes of the franchise, so it’s possible he simply was not in his element arriving late into a situation where no one but the most boring and phony people were left (you know who you are). It’s true that ABC seriously botched the season with its first black Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, but refusing to engage in the issue at all kills any hope for future progress in dealing with race competently and compassionately. If they can handle a same-sex couple with grace, can’t they work towards doing the same with its contestants of color?

By choosing Peter, the franchise is making a conscious choice to remain stale. It’s not the wisest move for a show that’s been airing for so long that nearly every contestant has learned the rules and is out for fame. If ABC can’t find a dynamic and compelling lead from its usual crop of last year’s rejects, why not flush the format and let art imitate life by casting an actual celebrity? Not only do we reclaim the premise of an aspirational lead that the show was founded on, the contestants’ famewhoring can be repurposed and encouraged as a key element of the entertainment instead of an undesirable byproduct that must not be acknowledged. Until ABC hires me to consult on strategy (call me!), all I can do is hope to be pleasantly surprised with Peter, like I was with Hannah. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and watch, but if I see even the shadow of a windmill, I’m out.

Images: ABC; Giphy (3)

A List Of The Former Bachelors Who Are Single & You Might Have A Chance With

The Bachelor is about to enter its 22nd season, and with 15 years, 20 bachelors and only two marriages to its name, ABC should probably start investing more in its success stats and less in Chris Harrison’s salary. For real, though, how much do we think that useless man makes? It’s been anywhere between 15 years and like, three months since these men handed out a Neil Lane freebie that they then had to return, and while some of them have since found love or marriage or both IRL, almost half of them are still single as fuck. So in preparation of Arie’s journey towards public engagement and public post engagement single life finding true love, let’s check in on our still tragically eligible bachelors. And while we’re at it, let’s make entirely uninformed judgments on whether or not they will ever find love—because, why not?

Alex Michel, Season 1

Alex Michael

First of all, let’s take a minute to truly appreciate this photo: Chris Harrison’s jacket is like, five sizes too big and he also looks like he knows what the next 15 year of his life will be—sad. Anyway, Alex is now 47 years old and works as an exec at a technology company in NYC. Which is funny because he basically disappeared after his season, does not appear to use technology, and is probably a hermit.

Chances of finding love: Definitely slimmer than Chris Harrison’s suit fit. Sorry, can’t get over that picture.

Travis Lane Stork, Season 8

Travis Stork

They used to have doctors as leads? I have never watched a season where the Bachelor even had a real job. Now divorced, Travis is co-host of daytime talk show The Doctors. Glad to see he was able to turn reality TV into a career—fuck love, that’s the true Bachelor dream.

Chances of finding love: V likely, he’s a doctor with a TV show.

Prince Lorenzo Borghese, Season 9

Prince Lorenzo Borghese

Legit don’t understand how this guy is still single. He’s a prince, runs a pet spa, and all of his Instagram photos are with adorable puppies. I’m sorry, but is that not every woman’s dream?

Chances of finding love: Currently sliding into his DM’s…. 

Andy Baldwin, Season 10

Andy Baldwin

Wait, this dude’s a doctor too? WTF, ABC has seriously lowered their “desirable life partner” standards over the years. 

Chances of finding love: He’s a humanitarian navy doctor—if he can’t find love, no one can. 

Brad Womack, Season 11, 15

Brad Womak

Shocker. The two-time loser lead who couldn’t make it work with Emily Maynard still hasn’t found someone who can put up with him. The dude’s last tweet was in 2011 so I can only imagine that he is living somewhere in shame and sorrow, regretting the day he decided it was smart to do a second season. 

Chances of finding love: Yea, no. 

Jake Pavelka, Season 14

Jake Pavelka

IMHO, Anyone who would think marrying Vienna was a good idea sorta deserves to be single. But props to him for turning pretending to be in love into a career as an actor on The Bold and the Beautiful.

Chances of finding love: Daytime television is the perfect place to fall in love! 

Chris Soules, Season 19

Chris Soules

Single and awaiting trial for fleeing the scene of a fatal car accident. Let me just remind you that a few seasons ago they were pimping doctors. I repeat—standards dropped. 

Chances of finding love: I bet he’ll be popular in prison.

Ben Higgins, Season 20

Ben Higgins

Newly single and almost ready to mingle. He may still be reeling from his breakup with Lauren, but I bet he is already on the lookout for his future political wife. Democrats need not apply. 

Chances of finding love: About as good as the chances of him finding a personality.

Nick Viall, Season 21

Nick Vial

Not sure what’s more depressing—the first ever Bachelor being single, or the most recent Bachelor being single? His poor super hot mom—she’s been through so much.

Chances of finding love: Can’t wait to see him on Bachelor in Paradise, season 4!

Gird Your Loins, Ben Higgins Is Dating Again

As a living, breathing human being, I’m naturally fucking pissed Arie Lsdfgjsafdmn Jr. is going to be the next Bachelor and not someone qualified, like sexy man god Peter. So mad in fact, that I’m going to boycott the entire season. Does it help that Vanderpump Rules will be on at the same time on the same day? No, it most certainly does not. I probs wouldn’t watch anyway. But because of this excuse of a season, I’m being forced to stalk previous contestants/current Sugar Hair Bear spokespeople and revel in the has-been drama that is their lives. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it. So what’s the latest? Ben Higgins is ready for a girlfriend again. Wow. In the words of philosopher Justin Bieber, so blessed, so moved, so grateful.

In an interview with PEOPLE, our fave ex-Bach said “I’m ready to be in a relationship again.” Like, a fucking quote. I’m not summarizing. This is real journalism, people. In addition to the best news ever, he goes on and on about how much he sucks at dating, which is weird because he went on a DATING show not once, but twice. Who am I to judge, though? He also said he felt like he was cheating on Lauren by dating, which is even weirder because like, they aren’t together and she already has a new boyfriend, so…? Hey, no one said he was smart.

But this is good news! Not only does this mean Ben and I could finally have our chance at love, it also means that Mike Fleiss and Chris Harrison and whoever else The Bachelor powers at be are can make up for their heinous mistake by bringing back the hottest nice guy to ever live. Or Ben, if you want, you can check your DMs and just respond to my messages and save yourself the heartache of going on reality TV to find love for a third time. Just a thought.

Read: The Vanderpump Rules Season 6 Trailer Is Here
Ben Higgins Addresses If He’ll Do The Bachelor Again Even Though No One Was Asking

Ben Higgins was arguably one of the most lovable Bachelors in recent history. I mean, who do we have to compare him to? Pending felon Chris Soules and dryer lint with googly eyes Nick Viall? So yeah, I’d argue that Ben has been the cream of the crop as of late. Anyway, we all know Ben is single, once again. His ex, Lauren Bushnell, has moved on and backward at the same time by getting back with her ex and posting it all over socials.

Ben took his newly-found singleness and the end of this season of The Bachelorette as a reason to address the rumors he most likely made up in his head that he could be the Bachelor again.

Nobody Asked You Patrice

On his blog titled The Mahogany Workplace, which I only assume is titled after Ron Burgundy’s description of his office, Ben answers this question no one asked.

Ron Burgundy

He lists his reasons for not wanting to do the show again as:

1) Not being ready to start another relationship in public — Even though he already tried this twice, so I guess he’s convinced it’s not the best start to finding true love.

2) His breakup was super recent and he’s not the person he wants to be again, yet — This is fair. He just ended a relationship so maybe he’s not ready for a new gal to sweep him off his feet. Obvi, Lauren does not need more time to move on.

3) He wants to be there for the right reasons — Don’t we all Ben, don’t we all.

4) He’s over the scrutiny — Yes, there’s a lot of pressure on Bachelor and Bachelorette cast members, but at this point, you’ve already thrust yourself into the public sphere by appearing on the The Bachelorette, The Bachelor, having your own show on Freeform, co-hosting a weekly podcast and also having a public blog. It seems like you’re kind of an open book for scrutiny at this point, man.

5) He’s working on other projects right now — See above. Oh, and Ben also has a strong philanthropic presence and another real full-time job. He’s truly a gem. Like, really, he genuinely seems like a decent human and may actually be too good for this damn show. I mean, I love The Bachelor, but there are some garbage people who get famous from it (*cough* Juan Pablo).

Ben wraps up his post by saying he’ll never say never to another run at love on TV, he’s just saying not right now. You do you, baby boy. We’ll still be here when you’re ready. 

Lauren Bushnell Is Dating A New Guy & They’re Already IG Official

It’s legit been just three months since one of the better Bachelor couples, Lauren Bushnell and Ben Higgins, broke up. A lot of Bachelor Nation was legitimately #devastated at that news. The couple had just wrapped a series on the network formerly known as ABC Family (Is it Freeform or some shit now? IDK, whatever Pretty Little Liars aired on) called Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? I guess the question mark was necessary and a pretty bad omen for a couple who intended to stay together for life.

So, yeah, they broke up back in May. Which, now that I think about it, seems like a really long time ago, but every week seems like 1,000 years with all of the crazy shit that happens on the daily in Trump’s America. But I digress.

Is three months enough time to get over your fiancé and move on to someone new? Apparently Lauren thinks so. She’s been posting Snaps of her and this rando for a few weeks. Over the weekend, she posted an IG story of the two sharing a kiss. Nothing says “Hey, fuck you Ben” like a public internet makeout sesh with a new guy. 

The dude’s name is Devin Antin and he honestly looks like a poor man’s version of Ben. If Ben is the boy next door, Devin is the boy next door’s hungover cousin that has a scraggly beard and keeps asking if he can have some of your weed. In other words, I guess he’s fine, but we all would pick Ben if we were offered the choice.

Lauren Bushnell Devin Antin

Also, Devin’s Insta account is private so that makes it really hard to do background research make fun of him for his previous posts. Darn.

So what has Ben been up to? Well, he has a podcast where he discusses The Bachelorette that he cohosts with America’s favorite cryer, Ashley I., and, um, he’s been legit helping orphans in South America or something.

Ben Higgins

I’m going to say Ben wins the break up. I’m sorry, but posting Snaps and Instas of your new boo when you know it’s going to get back to the ex is kind of thirsty. C’mon Lauren, you’re hot AF and we all know you could probs get any guy you wanted. No need for that pettiness in your feed. America watched how Ben got cold feet over planning a wedding and a family and kids and all that shit, so we’re not going to fault you for going after what you want if your relationship isn’t doing it for you. We will fault you for being weird about it after the fact and posting IG stories that make it look like you’re definitely trying too hard.

Hey, too bad JoJo is actually (amazingly) still with Aaron Rodger’s little brother, or I would say she should hit Ben with a “U Up?” text. 

Ben Higgins Is Hanging Out With Ashley Iaconetti

Less than a week after breaking off his engagement with Lauren B., it seems Ben Higgins may have already moved on to a new Bachelor alum: Ashley Iaconetti. The two were spotted at a Bryan Adams concert in LA over the weekend, and may have been the only people under the age of 45 in attendance. 

Eyewitnesses told TMZ that Ben and Ashley definitely went to the concert together and “were chatting it up,” as one does when one attends a concert or social gathering in the company of another person. So scandalous. However, before you get too excited or start tweeting “HOW COULD YOU??” at Ben, apparently sources say they weren’t “chatting” exclusively and there was no PDA between the two.

Corinne Olympios

SNORE. Where’s the drama? Oh right, I forgot that Ben was one of the most boring Bachelors in history and his most scandalous moment was telling two women he loved them. I know that’s like, a cardinal sin in the Bachelor-verse, but really when you think about it, a guy displaying the emotional intelligence of a goldfish is not exactly new or controversial. Anyway, Ben and Ashley are apparently launching a podcast together called “Almost Famous,” so this whole thing was basically just a publicity stunt that we all fell for. I will not be listening to their podcast out of protest of this fake news (and not because I never would have listened to it in the first place and didn’t even know it existed). 

Ashley I. herself told UsWeekly that she and Ben are “Totally just friends!” which is suspiciously what every couple who is decidedly not just friends says. So could romance be on the horizon for these two? I mean, I could see it. They both cry a lot. And are brunettes. And if that’s not the foundation for a rock-solid relationship, I don’t know what is.

Ben Higgins

We still don’t know who’s going to be on Bachelor in Paradise yet (*looks angrily at Mike Fleiss*), but an Ashley I./Ben H. mashup isn’t totally out of the question. Will Ashley ever find a guy to love her? Will Ben become the new Jared? Will they cry a literal river of tears and then float off together into the sunset? Anything is technically possible when we have literally zero details and all we can do is wildly speculate!

I don’t know, guys. It’s a slow news day. Namaste.

There Have Now Been Two ‘Bachelor’ Breakups In One Week

It’s been a hard week for Bachelor Nation. First we learned that Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell broke up, despite having declared their love before Chris Harrison, ABC, and God. Now we find out that Becca Tilley and Robert Graham, two Bachelor contestants who actually met off-air (insane), are also calling it quits, according to reports by US Weekly.

For those of you who have a hard time keeping your Bachelor contestants straight (understandable), Tilley was the runner-up on runner-over Chris Soules’ season of The Bachelor, and her “claim to fame” was being a virgin who can’t drive.

Yep, before there was No-Orgasms-Raven, there was No-Sex-Becca. Actually, sorry about that, the PC term is hymenally challenged. My bad.

Anyway, The Virgin Becky also appeared on Ben Higgins’ season, which I think means she was like, the OG (non-creepy) Nick Viall. But anyway, so I guess she and Ben are both single now. Maybe they’ll give it another shot in Paradise? Just a thought. 

Robert Graham competed on Desiree Hartsock’s season of The Bachelorette and appeared on season 1 of the greatest show of all time aka Bachelor in Paradise. No word yet on his virginity, but I think it is safe to say that’s been taken care of.

The two started dating in 2016 after “knowing each other for years,” which is crazy because I was fairly certain all Bachelor participants were legally obligated to only fall in love on camera for the rest of their lives. After getting together, the two immediately began a campaign of nauseating lovey Instagram posts, which honestly was the first sign that none of this shit would last.

Becca Tilley Robert Graham

Here they are looking happy at Coachella. Which honestly seems like a very intense place to be as a couple. Not Pictured: Robert coughing up dust and Becca screaming while trying to get an Uber.

Is Coachella taking Ikea’s place as the ultimate relationship testing ground? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Okay, so this might be an insane thought, but I’m starting to feel like dating 32 people on television and then being forced to propose to one of them might not work? And that the people who choose to do that are probably fucking crazy and hard to be in a relationship with for a variety of reasons most of which are that they are fame whores whose career goals include selling teeth whitening strips on Instagram?

Just a thought. 

Ben Higgins And Lauren Bushnell Broke Up

In a move nobody saw coming except all of us, Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell have broken up. It’s time to hit up the group chat and collect your wagers, Bachelor Nation. The couple got engaged on March 14, 2016 and has broken up a year and two months later—almost to the day—on May 15, 2017 (a day that will live on in infamy). It’s such an oddly specific date to break up, it’s almost like Ben and Lauren were waiting for something? Like, the stipulations put forth on a signed piece of paper to expire, perhaps? Hmmm…

The couple announced their split to People this afternoon, saying, “It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways,” adding, “We feel fortunate for the time we had together, and will remain friends with much love and respect for one another. We wish nothing but the best for each other, and ask for your support and understanding at this time.”

Translation: We’re just glad we can stop pretending to keep up this charade of a relationship. You will never know the real reason we broke up, so please don’t @ us. 

However, I don’t think it’s too hard to jump to conclusions make an educated guess about their breakup. If we learned anything from Ben And Lauren: Happily Ever After? it’s that Lauren was pushing way too hard for that MRS (I’m a pusher, Ben. I’m a pusher). Meanwhile, Ben was growing more and more uncomfortable at the thought of marriage by the day—an odd choice considering he willingly entered a reality show where the ultimate goal is to get engaged. Also if Ben and Lauren’s spin-off was accurate to real life, they spent more time hanging out with Grant, Lace, and the twins than they actually spent together. When you’re voluntarily spending most of your time with two people who think being a twin is a full-time job and cannot boil water on their own, that kind of says a lot about your relationship.

The Twins Bachelor

I’d also take a step further and add that Lauren was definitely still not over Ben telling Jojo he loved her on the Fantasy Suites date. I say this because she told People in October, “For a long time, I was really angry for being blindsided. And that resentment and anger affected our relationship much longer than it should have.” Like, girl, get over it. You went on a show where the whole premise is that you’re dating a guy who’s also dating 29 other women. Earth to Matilda! I can imagine every fight Ben and Lauren had ending like:

Lauren: Well at least I didn’t tell some other guy I loved him the night before proposing to you!

Ben: Oh my god, that was one time!

That Was One Time

Now that a second season of a shitty reality show spin-off that nobody watched is no longer in the cards for them, it’s tough to say what’s next for Ben and Lauren. Ben could resume his failed political career. Lauren will probably launch an online wedding magazine so she can vicariously live out her dreams of being a bride. But who really knows. I never thought I’d say this, but are Jojo and Jordan the best/most legit Bachelor couple left? Man, 2017 is weird.