Okay, call me gullible. I’ll admit I’m a naive idealist when it comes to relationships. Why can’t we all just fall in love? I’ve also never understood the term “I could do better.” I see a lot of folks who could do worse–a lot worse.
And when I watch relationship reality TV shows I think that there’s actually an inkling of reality in them. At least occasionally.
At least when it comes to maybe half the principles involved.
My friend, whom I will call “Elaine,” insists that all reality shows are fake. She says 100% A to Z fakery. She says all reality show contestants are actors or want careers in the industry. Really? What loser seriously believes being on a reality TV show will turn him/her into Brad Pitt? Or even Kelly Ripa? Yet with some shows, I can certainly see what she’s talking about. I see would-be porn stars on The Bachelor, sure.
It came out on the first bachelor that one of the contestants had used the 34k she got from the show to get a new pair of boobs. And she didn’t even make it that far! Imagine how much the final contestants earn? But is 100k really worth having people see your character shredded in some reality house, and then watch you get dumped before millions of viewers? I guess I’m not very motivated by money–I have a hard time believing money can be the only motivator for alllllllllll the contestants.
So for some reason, I thought READY FOR LOVE would be different. They seemed to go to great lengths to avoid the reality cheese factor. The matchmakers seemed to be giving sincere and intelligent advice. The contestants seemed to have some values (Ernesto), to be sincere about past hurts (Tim) and ready to throw hearts on the line (Ben).
Was this show was a total sham from one end to the other? I’m not convinced all the contestants were insincere, but at the end of the show, I feel like I’m the one left heartbroken.
I gave up on Tim of the band Plain White T’s early. He ended up with the youngest contestant–someone whom Matt the matchmaker hinted was very cute, but shallow. I can just imagine Tim saying, “Wait a minute. You’re saying you’ll pay me to promote my band and throw in a band groupie as a bonus? Where do I sign!”
Meanwhile, Ben didn’t even make it in his relationship with the virgin hottie to the beginning of the show airing. In explaining the demise of their relationship the virgin said they could barely see each other in person while waiting for the show to air. Has she heard of skype? The telephone? The internet? Guess not.
Ernesto seemed to have such a high opinion of himself — and it turns out he doesn’t even go by the name Ernesto. His family outted him as “Ernie” about half way through the season.
Even before the show had been on a few weeks, the rumors came that Ernesto was living in Eva Longoria’s house, who’s an executive producer for the show. Explanations were given — but really the excuse was pretty lame. “Oh, Eva invites lots of people to come live with her.”
Really? That’s the best you can do? I mean, if he’s hanging around L.A. to promote the show, put him up in a hotel. Even if they were together–common, just admit it. Meanwhile, he prided himself on not kissing just anyone on the show, and up to that point having never said “I love you.”
But already knowing he didn’t wind up with anyone just made me watch the show with a different gaze. As he wandered through Shandi’s small Southern home town, which was basically a shrine to her glory, he sparkled like her Miss USA tiara. For all that he seems to have a high opinion of himself, he seems even happier being around a woman who’s even more successful. Folks, is Ernesto is a bit of a star f*****?
Once we knew about the Eva Longoria factor, his neat trick of avoiding a proposal or committing himself by the big romantic gesture of sending home two contestants at once and then climbing up to Shandi’s podium area seemed, well, just too slick.
In the end I’m convinced Ernesto doesn’t have a problem saying “I love you”–if the money’s right.
I’m usually sucked into reality shows because I think they give us a glimpse of humanity we don’t usually get to see on “unreality” television. Sometimes yeah, a show is total shallow dreck–but sometimes there’s really excellent perversity or lower class values and culture–which I find interesting.
Is it all just acting? How could untrained people be that good? I mean, actors spend years studying how to seem sincere and be “in the moment” and most of them suck at it.
Meanwhile, does Eva even really like this guy? Is she just trying to spin gossip to benefit her own career? Did they knock boots a few times and then it was over, but NOW they’re sucked into this PR charade?
There’s probably a whole twisted complicated story about what really happened that we’ll never really know. But look at these pictures. Matt Hussey looks more in love with Eva than Ernesto does.
If you can learn from reality TV, then what I’ve learned from READY FOR LOVE is that you can’t tell a fame whore based on looks. Arg.
Meanwhile, what do you think? Are reality shows all fake? Any thoughts on Ernesto and the bunch? Are romance writers the only career folk who are almost always happily married and have been for decades? ;>