Reality League Scorecard: J.P. Wins The Bachelorette, But Scores 70 Points, At LeastABC
This was a particularly newsy week in reality TV that included a threatened lawsuit, leaked legal documents, and a sensitive Situation. We also saw Ashley the Insanely Insecure Dancing Dentist’s reign as this season’s Bachelorette come to a surprisingly entertaining end, and welcomed a new season of Jersey Shore, the show that we all watch but desperately hope is never discovered in a time capsule by aliens when our species is extinct.
We all assumed reality stars probably signed away basic human rights in exchange for the opportunity to make fools of themselves on TV, but thanks to the Village Voice — which this week published the contract that all Real World cast members sign — we now have details. To be fair, a lot of this is necessary legalese that is being blown out of proportion. You need some drastic-sounding language in a contract like this to have the freedom to edit together a decent sound bite. Have a look and judge for yourself. But this part caught my attention:
“The Real World/Road Rules Challenge Option:
Producer shall pay me the amount of Four Thousand Dollars ($4000.00), as full and complete consideration for my participation in connection with the Challenge Program.”
Only four grand to risk being eaten alive by an enraged C.T.? No wonder Johnny Bananas is threatening to sue HBO over Entourage’s use of the name “Johnny Bananas.” He needs the money.
J.P. (The Bachelorette, Kang): 70 points While frolicking on the beach with Ashley, J.P. initiated a kiss (5 points) and did a David Blaine-esque sleight-of-hand thing, suavely removing the towel from around her waist to leave only a bikini. He was in a zone. For that one brief moment he was Fonzie and Jessica Rabbit’s lovechild who could undress a woman by playing a bongo drum. You could tell he was going to put up numbers. Minutes after denying Rafa Nadal’s marriage proposal — one Ben F. was 100 percent positive Ashley would accept — Ashley gave the final rose to J.P. (50 points) and accepted his proposal with a kiss (5 points). The two of them are going to “spend the rest of their lives together” while jotting down their experiences in the journal J.P. gave Ashley (10 gift points), a present that will no doubt soon be referred to as “Exhibit 4B” by a divorce lawyer.
Cara Maria (The Challenge, Connor): 39 points. Out at a nightclub, word got back to Jenn With Two N’s that a drunken Cara Maria (9 intoxication points) had said Jenn slept with Adam King when she had not. Mind you, Jenn With Two N’s will slice your Achilles tendon with a razor for getting out of an elevator before her, let alone slandering her. Cara Maria soon found herself the target of Jenn’s patented “aggressively yell in your face” move (5 points), then her “clap in your face, get held back, try halfheartedly to break out of it, kind of slap you but not really, and then get held back and don’t fight it this time” combination. She has been doing this for years. C.T., feeling his position as alpha male in the house was being threatened by Jenn, did some yelling of his own at Cara Maria, to which she fired right back (5 verbal-fighting points). These exchanges lead to two cries (5 points each), one of which happened while Cara Maria was explaining to her boyfriend on the phone that C.T. had made her cry. They must have edited out the part when he responded, “C.T.? You know I can’t do anything about that, right? Will you tell him I am sorry that this ever happened and that I told you not to bother him?” She finished her 39-point week by tacking on a challenge victory (10 points).
Ben F. (The Bachelorette, Simmons): 35 points. If the sun sets at 8 p.m. and your proposal to Ashley is on the production schedule for 6 p.m., you might want to think twice before getting down on one knee. Those cameramen know what they’re doing, and they’re not going to shoot a successful marriage proposal in broad daylight. Rafa didn’t pick up on the clue, so he proposed and was denied. But who could blame him? Just days before, he was making out with Ashley (5 points), concealing erections that she’d inspired (15 points), and giving teary interviews (20 male-crying points) about how his family had recently lost one member (his father) but would soon gain another (Ashley). It would be so easy to feel bad for poor Rafa Nadal — but don’t. Having his heart broken on national television was the best possible thing that could have happened for his love life. Millions of women saw him get emotionally castrated while at his most romantic and vulnerable. He’ll get sympathy sex for decades. Right now, ladies of all ages and nationalities are Googling “Ben Flajnik Facebook” in hopes of giving him an erection to conceal. Not only that — he’ll get to play the “I can’t get into a relationship after what happened with Ashley” card and stay single. In three years, J.P. will be selling bedroom videos of Ashley to pay for his divorce, while Rafa will be sneaking out the backs of bars to avoid all the women he slept with near the front. Big sneaky win for Rafa.
The Situation (Jersey Shore, Kang): 20 points. In a confidential bro-to-bro sit-down, the Situation confided to Ronnie that he and house mascot Snooki had “hooked up two or three months ago” when she was with her current boyfriend. Cuckolding other men is par for the Situation course, but then he revealed that he “is starting to like her.” What? Real feelings? For Snooki? And as if that weren’t shocking enough, he held the entire conversation without any hair gel. I expected Ronnie to run to the Vatican and summon the Catholic Church’s most powerful exorcist to rid his bro of the demons that had obviously possessed him, but Ronnie went with Option B: apathy.
Once Sitch had his hair gel back and the feeling-demons were gone, he was back up to his old tricks again. Namely, primping in the mirror (5 points), peering over his sunglasses in a club (5 points), and drinking himself weird and sloppy (10 points). The veterans always know how to turn things around after a bad start.
Deena (Jersey Shore, Jacoby): 15 points. Out on the town, Pauly D and Deena engaged in what could only be described as the least romantic encounter in human history. A slammered Deena (10 points) approached Pauly D and asked for a kiss like she was asking for the time. Without a moment of thought, tongues were fully extended and attacking each other like two desert lizards battling over the only mate for miles (5 points). It made every sloppy 4 a.m. frat-party make-out session from your college days seem like a demure kiss on the cheek from Margaret Thatcher.
Jessica “Sugar” Kiper (Celebrity Rehab, Connor): 15 points. Sugar, stop crying. Just stop. She cried three times this episode (5 points per cry), the most entertaining of which was her breakdown when she was forced to pull out of a “USO Tour in Singapore” which she was “headlining.” Are there really “tours” that Sugar is the headliner of? What does she do on these tours? Cry? Also, is she going to call me a “douche” on Twitter for the third consecutive week?
Michael Lohan (Celebrity Rehab, Connor): 15 points. Lohan threatened to leave and didn’t follow through (15 points). Thank god he stuck around or we’d never have met his lady, Kate Major. Kate is a former tabloid reporter and current alcoholic and Klonopin addict. How she manages to mix alcohol with a prescription muscle relaxer and still muster the energy to emotionally abuse Michael Lohan is baffling. My scouts have their eyes on you for next season, Kate.
Jenn (The Challenge, Connor): 14 points. This week, Jenn With Two N’s scored only 14 points for her drunken, verbal evisceration of Cara Maria, but managed to terrify bad-dancing men everywhere. Former Raiderette Jenn With Two N’s is such a good dancer that she makes any man standing near her look like Mark Madsen. If you can keep up with Jenn With Two N’s on the dance floor, you’re probably doing the Macarena.
Pauly D (Jersey Shore, free agent): 10 points. As if Pauly D knew he’d gone undrafted, he proved his worth last night. He pushed the boundaries of the word “kiss” with Deena (5 points), and picked up more for consciously trying to create a catchphrase (5 points): He took his “The cabs are here” and translated it in an effort to reopen the closing window on one of his only lasting contributions to the show. If he hadn’t been stalked by that insane Israeli woman over the first three seasons, he would only be known as “the one with ‘Cadillac’ inexplicably tattooed on his torso.”
Ronnie (Jersey Shore, House): 10 points. Ronnie’s muscly hometown support system threw him a little party before he left for the “homeland.” They had one piece of advice: “No more crying.” Upon hearing this, his GRTFL owner Joe House yelled at the TV, “No, Ronnie. Don’t listen to them. You are who you are, and that is a frightening machine that will cry and punch me to the top of the standings. Please Ronnie, don’t listen to them.” Methinks Ron Ron won’t let Joe House down. Anyway, he scored last night for drinking alone in the house and slurring some words (10 intoxication points).
Samantha and Mike (Love in the Wild, Simmons): 10 points each.
Samantha and Mike won a challenge on this show (10 points each), which is so bad that I decided to create three better shows with the same title:
- 1. We follow Courtney Love as she searches for respect and inspiration while embedded with an Amazonian tribe untouched by civilization on
Love In the Wild.
2. Steve, a human raised by wolves, and Gloria, a human raised by Chimpanzees, reenter society, acclimate, fall in love, and eventually shun humanity to return to their natural habitats on Love In the Wild.
3. With the help of tiny, high-tech cameras, we follow the love lives of the millions of insects living on the corpse of Oscar Wilde on Love In The Wilde.
Royce Reed (Basketball Wives, House): 10 points. If Royce Reed doesn’t receive an Oscar for her work in Eric Williams’ movie, it will prove once and for all that the Academy doesn’t care about independent cinema. But which is worse? Being Williams and producing an action movie in which two of the main characters were written for Basketball Wives? Or being Royce and actively pursuing involvement in such a project (10 self-promotion points).
Evelyn Lozada (Basketball Wives, Connor): 10 points. It’s not really fair, but you just look at Chad OchoCinco differently now that he’s on the Patriots. If he were still a Bengal, his appearance on Basketball Wives — comforting and making out with bride-to-be Evelyn (5 crying points, 5 open-mouth kissing points for Evelyn) — might have seemed like just another twisted attempt to get in front of a camera. Chad OchoCinco the Patriot’s appearance, however, was a heroic move that taught us all an important lesson about family values.
Laurel (The Challenge, House): 10 points. The elimination challenge that Laurel and Cara Maria won (10 points) was so one-sided that it was like watching a dance-off between Jenn With Two N’s and Dan Rather.
Amy Fisher (The Challenge, Simmons): 5 points. Remember Hobie, that cute little kid from Baywatch? Well, the actor who played him, Jeremy Jackson, is on Celebrity Rehab for his steroid addiction and now he looks like a lost Canseco brother. Even David Hasseloff’s fictional children are a mess. During a visit from the cast’s families, in an odd attempt at humor, Hobie Canseco’s sister calls Amy Fisher “Buttafuoco face shooter.” Which makes Amy cry (5 points) and her husband scream, “I will kill you where you stand” three or four hundred times. No one has ever said, “I will kill you where you stand” and been so hilarious. Will Farrell in a hotdog costume, riding a mini-motorcycle, yelling “I will kill you where you stand” at the top of his lungs in Pig Latin would still be a distant second.
Sammi (Jersey Shore, free agent): 5 points. Sammi gave herself a quick primp in the mirror before hitting the club. While there, she continued to try to convince herself she was “really having fun” while clearly thinking about how she is going to make Ronnie cry this season.
JWoww (Jersey Shore, Connor): 7.5 points. JWoww was clearly training intensely during the offseason. Last year, she would have just primped in front of the mirror, which would have been worth only 5 points. Last night, she adjusted her boobs in the mirror (7.5 points). By the way, she has a new look. So new that I spent a third of the show debating which changes were the results of her offseason training and which were the results her “favorite doctor.”
Snooki (Jersey Shore, Lane): 7.5 points. Snooki also notched 7.5 points for boob adjustment in the mirror. I have a theory that you can never trust a woman who wears animal prints. Snooki has a theory that you can only wear animal prints.
Vinny (Jersey Shore, Simmons): 5 points. Vinny scored with the season’s first “motherland” reference (5 points), which will surely not be its last. Like the other cast members, he tried to switch up his look and added a beard. Bad idea. I can’t decide which I’d rather see return to its original state more, Vinny’s facial hair or Ronnie’s tear ducts.
C.T. (The Challenge, Jacoby): 5 points. We all saw C.T. briefly drop by the “yell at Cara Maria party” (5 points) at the nightclub, but did anyone see when he was talking to Laurel on the deck and he completely lost his Boston accent? For a second, I wondered if he was really a drama major from BC who auditioned for The Real World: Paris in character as a Boston tough guy, and has been playing the part for years. But then I quickly remembered that he is a superhuman who can read minds and would eat my face for even thinking such a thing.
Paula and Michael (The Challenge, Jacoby) 5 points each. Paula seized upon on Mike Mike this week and pity-kissed him (5 points each). For every guy you know who’s always bringing women home from bars and getting phone numbers from models without trying, there is one Mike Mike. It’s part of the unfathomable math that keeps the air pocket in the middle of our planet’s sexual bubble level.
Mandi and Wes (The Challenge, Lane and Jay): 5 points each. I am sure Mandi’s kissing Wes (5 points apiece) had nothing to do with C.T.’s lack of interest in her. Nothing at all.
Jasmine (The Challenge, Jacoby): 5 points. Jasmine cried after being eliminated (5 points). Hers is a rare brand of crazy. Manic highs followed by miserable lows, then outbursts of violence. Oh wait, that is not a rare brand of crazy. That’s everyone on this show.
Suzie Ketchum (Basketball Wives, House): 5 points. Suzie unintentionally exposed herself (5 points) while practicing yoga. I think that she was also practicing nudity, since Eric Williams made it clear that that was required for her role in his film.
Bill Simmons (The Right Reasons): The Bachelorette finished with the lowest ratings in the history of the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise, proving something we knew from Day 1: Nobody wants to spend two hours a week with Ashley, whether they’re dating her, watching her dance, watching her date or even getting a ride from her. But a breakout star emerged in the final episode: Ashley’s mean-spirited sister, Chrystie, a divorcee reject from Jesse James’ motorcycle shop who made her sister cry, preyed on her low self-esteem, and unleashed some of the most brutal opinions in reality history. She hated her sister’s eventual choice, J.P., for reasons that were never entirely clear. Was she biased against short guys? Was she an anti-Semite? Did she just secretly hate her sister? Whatever the case, she salvaged the final show and got me thinking Why couldn’t Chrystie be the next Bachelorette? Not only was she prettier and infinitely meaner than Ashley, she’s covered in tattoos — which would be a Bachelorette first and open the door for contestants with piercings, crazy tattoos, Prince Alberts, motorcycles and everything else that would undoubtedly horrify Chris Harrison. This franchise is in the toilet, anyway. Let’s take it to a dark place: Bentley as the next Bachelor, Chrystie as the next Bachelorette, and an off-the-wagon Tara Reid as Harrison’s new cohost. Let the carnage begin.
David Jacoby (Blanket Coverage): The Bachelorette finale was riveting only because this show has a baked-in flaw: It forces the protagonist to be a dishonest heartbreaker. When Ashley the Insanely Insecure Dancing Dentist finished crying and dancing her way around the world, winnowing the field of suitors to two, she had clearly made up her mind. But the producers were forced to make it look like she was conflicted, so as to maintain dramatic tension. Your lifelong partner is not an outfit. It is not a decision you wrestle with for a bit and make on your way out the door. The fact is, Ashley picked J.P. weeks ago, and probably told him her intentions in an off-camera whisper. The problem is, teases like “Tune in next week to see Ashley eliminate more guys she clearly has no interest in on her way to getting engaged to J.P.” do not enticing promos make.
The producers have to do something to make it look like she’s wavering. This season, they went so far as to have her overbearing sister question whether J.P. was “the right one for her.” I’m not even sure that was her real sister. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was some actress they found on the Sunset Strip who took the gig for a trip to Fiji and the SAG minimum. Ashley was encouraged to pretend to be interested, or even pretend to fall in love with, two men at the same time. Good for the audience. Bad for Rafa Nadal.
Rafa legitimately thought Ashley was in love with him. She gave him no reason to think otherwise. Her leading him on was the most interesting part of this show. The protagonist — the woman we were supposed to relate to, care about, and wish good things for — was forced to destroy a man minutes before her engagement to someone else. It was fun to watch: Rafa approached, refused to let her speak, and launched into a prepared proposal, fully expecting her to accept. When she didn’t, you could read his thoughts on his face: “Did I just propose and get denied? Wasn’t she just making out with me and telling she was falling for me two days ago? Why are those dudes pointing cameras at me? Whoa, am I being filmed? Is this whole thing a part of a reality TV show?”
This week, J.P. and Ashley will appear together on the covers of the tabloids we pretend not to look at in checkout lines, then appear there again when they sell pictures of their wedding, and then for a final time when they messily divorce. There are hardly any Bachelors or Bachelorettes still together with the person they selected to receive their final rose. Who would have thought making out with 25 other people on network TV in the weeks leading up your engagement wouldn’t work?
Also, can anyone think of a good reason Neil the Jeweler isn’t hosting The Bachelor next year? And more importantly, did anyone else notice how much better Cara Maria looks without makeup?
Lane Brown (The Blurcle Jerks): That Pauly-Deena kiss still has me too nauseous to type, so I’ll be brief. Last night’s Jersey Shore premiere was a disappointingly low-scoring one. I’m worried that we may have omitted some important things in our show-specific rules. We may want to consider amending them to reward the following: (1) Vehicular manslaughter (25 points); (2) starting a fire with an appliance powered at an incorrect voltage (15 points); (3) bidet abuse (10 points).
Jay Caspian Kang (Fradulent Coitus): If your girlfriend went on the Challenge and she was a wonderful, beautiful woman, who, for some reason she couldn’t quite explain, felt the need to humiliate herself on national TV, would stay with her? Like, what if she put $1,000,000 in escrow under the condition that if she hooked up on the show or even got blurcle-d, she would disappear from your life and bequeath you the money? Would that be worth it? I’ve been thinking about this for the past 20 minutes while watching The Challenge and haven’t come up with a good answer. I suppose there’s no such thing as a wonderful, beautiful woman who goes on one of these shows (Robin Hibbard excluded), but I don’t know if I could walk into a restaurant without really, really dreading the scenario in which somebody recognized her and started laughing. A friend of mine texted me once because he said he saw the Miz in the airport. This was before the Miz became a wrestling star. He said he started laughing out loud and that he felt kind of bad, but that the sight was just so funny that he couldn’t help himself. If you were dating, say Laurel, who is very pretty, wouldn’t you always be afraid to walk into a public space with her?
Previously from David Jacoby:
Grantland’s Reality TV Fantasy League: The Complete Rules and Draft Results
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Filed Under: Basketball Wives, Grantland Reality TV Fantasy Draft, Grantland Reality TV Fantasy League, Jersey Shore, Love In the Wild, Reality TV Fantasy League, The Bachelorette, The Challenge: Rivals, TV