Hello, lovely lessness. Hello, Georgia. Hello, David. We're just jumping in here to let you know about a podcast we have been listening to and enjoying at the moment, aren't we, Georgia?
We are, David. It's a new series from Nineham Media called Spectacle Unscripted History of Reality TV. Now, we don't usually like reality TV, do we, David?
We spend a lot of time on. But what I like about spectacle is it takes a more analytical look at the history of reality TV and how it's impacted in culture.
Ideal is a documentary series hosted by writer, comedian and producer Mariah Smith, who's joined by cast members like Queiroz, Bobby Buck or Sapphire from the Circle U.S.. They also have analysis from fans and experts like Vultures Brian Molen or scholar Ruckle that talking about everything.
So they go from like problematic producing to racist casting, messed up editing to give you a flavor.
Let's have a little listen to a snippet from an episode of Spectacled.
That's a jolly good idea. Georgia. In this episode, Mariah unpacks the history of The Bachelor.
Jen Sheft was on the third season of The Bachelor, given the final rose by Andrew Firestone shortly after they broke up. ABC chose her as the third bachelorette and from the start she felt a give and take relationship with her producers. She remembers bartering with them for some time with Andrew in the fantasy suite alone, time off camera.
It was sort of like if you maybe kiss each other for a little bit and give us the, you know, the the shot that we want, then we'll get out of your hair. I was like, all right, let's let's get you guys out of here, because I just want to be with him. Not everybody.
You would think being The Bachelorette was better than being a contestant instead of competing against 25 other women for a prize. You are the prize. But that's not how James saw it when I did The Bachelorette.
All the pressure is on me to make a good show and to fall in love dating multiple people at once.
Did it come naturally? It felt weird.
So for me it was hard to pretend that I was like interested in all these people when, you know, I didn't necessarily feel that Jane did develop feelings for a couple of the guys. One in particular stood out, Jerri. She was a 29 year old art gallery director from Los Angeles. During their whirlwind romance, they went to Cape Cod in Bermuda. They danced to a private band under the stars. Jamie felt a spark with Jerry, but she wasn't gunning to marry him.
And the producers did not like that.
They tried to convince her that she was making a big mistake.
They were like, people are invested in you. They want you to find someone. If you know, maybe you need to be less shallow. Maybe, you know, I mean, they definitely they didn't tell me what to do, but they tried to beat me down and try to make me feel like I was just going to be looked at as like the worst person out there and very cold and unfeeling and bitchy.
So if you don't use someone, that's what's going to come across. And I don't think that's what you want. Right, Jen?
Keep in mind, The Bachelorette is made and the clergy is not allowed to talk to friends or family, people. You normally bounce big decisions off of, you know, like marriage. She was around producers all day. She confided in them, talk to them like friends. But they were not her friends.
They were making a show, a competition show that is orchestrated to end in two people getting engaged. By not wanting to choose anyone, Jane was blowing it all up, but I really feel like they thought I was going to end the show because the show is about finding a love connection and I didn't find it.
So that was really bad, really bad for the show.
So she gave in.
I didn't want to be with anybody on that final show, but I was like, OK, I'll pick Jerry.
Jen chose Jerry, but they didn't get engaged in the final rose ceremony. It was more of a commitment to continuing their love story outside of the show.
But after the finale, ABC aired its after the final Rose special where Chris Harrison brought the couple back to dish on the season and Jerry got down on one knee and proposed to Jen. And Jim said, no, I was called like Old Maid of the Week or in people like Elisabeth Hasselbeck on The View saying that I was going to be a bachelorette for the rest of my life.
It all sounds pretty sexist, but to be fair, the tabloids weren't nice to bachelor Arenberg either.
He was the Bachelor all the way back in season two and 2002. They accused Aaron of being a serial fiancee. He remembers being accosted by a mother and daughter at the doctor's office. They were angry that he broke up with his final pick.
Colleen and I just threw a hand and said, Hi, I'm Aaron. I don't think we've ever actually met. Just doing that was enough for them to be like, oh, my gosh, we are so sorry. We don't even know you.
That's what you get when you sign up to be the bachelor strangers calling you out, questioning your choices. But what about questioning the show, like how it puts marriage on a pedestal or why it allowed a white supremacist to be cast as the contender for the franchise's first black bachelorette? And why does it perpetuate this idea that one teen sex makes you a slut?
If we're being honest, the patriarchy is as much a part of the Bachelor as the rose ceremony. The show has long promoted that marriage is the ultimate prize for any woman. Women wait nervously for those roses.
And he said this, I feel like Hannah Brown season from twenty nineteen was a watershed moment for the show, she was a woman of faith but she'd call out B.S. when she saw it, she exposed the shame the show had around sex.
So like I have had sex. So, yeah. And I still think it promotes this idea that sex should be saved, that it's sacred, but for the majority of Americans, premarital sex is the norm. It's like the mansion is frozen in time for much of its run. The franchise has been pretty homogenous, white, conservative and for a while, evangelical. It's kind of a running joke that people of color on the show don't make it far.
Just like horror movies, they're killed off fast. Back in twenty sixteen, splinter news reported a black contestant never made it past five weeks on The Bachelor Bachelorette. It took 15 years before the franchise chose a black leader.
Yes, our new bachelorette is Rachel Lindsay, making her the first black bachelor or bachelorette in franchise history.
Rachel ticked every box. She was an attorney, came from a great family, and she's gorgeous. I think it's absolutely accurate to say that Rachel needed to clear so many hurdles in order to be considered perfect enough to be the first black woman cast as a lead on a bachelor show that's emigre.
She co-hosts Here to Make Friends a Huffington Post podcast about all things Bachelor Nation. Women of color on this show are certainly held to a higher standard than white women are. One hundred percent with that season, it was clear behind the scenes was not led by people of color, especially when a white supremacist made it on to the show.
And when you have a bunch of white people making a show and then they're like, yeah, diversity representations, great. We just like put this black woman in our show, cast a few more black men than we normally would. But we have to talk about race. So, hey, maybe we can talk about race by, like, traumatizing this woman and putting a racist in front of her to date her.
The lack of diversity on the production side is the show's Achilles heel. Subscribed to spectacle to get the unscripted history of reality TV on Apple podcasts wherever you listen.