For several days last week, six adult men heroically neglected their jobs and families to create a stupidly complicated scoring system and draft the cast members of five bad reality shows onto teams for the first Grantland Reality TV Fantasy League. This week, league commissioner Katie Gorman carefully monitored episodes of The Bachelorette and Basketball Wives from the past two Mondays for any instances of fighting, coitus, and/or non-court-ordered volunteering, then she tallied up the points. Welcome to the first GRTFL scorecard.
With only The Bachelorette and Basketball Wives currently on the air, the league’s first two weeks had a preseason football feel. It’s hard to care much about whether Michael Olowokandi’s ex is back in the good graces of Chad Ochocinco’s fiancée when you know that in two weeks you’ll be watching Lenny Dykstra attempt to spring Doc Gooden from Celebrity Rehab.
The Bachelorette, in particular, is difficult to watch. The show has a casting problem. The group of men competing for Ashley the Dancing Dentist this season is like a school of fish — indistinguishable from one another in appearance and behavior. Each bro is as blandly handsome, respectably (but boringly) employed, and “I’ll be unhappy but at least my mom will like him” adequate as the next. With one exception: French Open champion Rafael Nadal. Seriously, Rafa Nadal is on this season of The Bachelorette. Until someone produces an undoctored photo of Nadal and Ben F. from The Bachelorette together, I will consider this a fact.
But there were still some standout performances these past two weeks. On to the scoring.
Royce Reed (Basketball Wives): 80 points
This former Orlando Magic dancer is a natural scorer. On Monday’s episode, a long-simmering feud between Royce and Jennifer Williams (something about Royce tweeting at Jennifer’s estranged husband) boiled over at an outdoor restaurant, somehow resulting in a violent brawl between Reed and Evelyn Lozada. But not merely content with the points she scored during the scrap — for verbal fighting (5 points), drink-throwing (5 points), physical fighting (25 points), and being restrained by production security (25 points) — Royce also put up big numbers Monday for unintentional blurcled nudity (her dress rode up for 5 points) and plugging an entrepreneurial venture (“Bitch, I have a book out” — 20 points). Her trade value couldn’t be higher.
Evelyn Lozada (Basketball Wives): 70 points
During the melee with Royce, the future Mrs. Ochocinco filled the stat sheet with an impressive five-part combo of her own — verbal fighting (5 points), drink-throwing (5 points), physical fighting (25 points), being restrained by security (25 points), and requesting to be assaulted (“Bring it with your 10-pound ass” — 10 points).
Bentley (The Bachelorette): 65 points
Bentley is to the Reality TV Fantasy League what Blake Griffin was to the 2009-10 NBA — a talented rookie with franchise-leading potential whose season ended before he had a chance to flourish. On last Monday’s Bachelorette, Bentley — who made clear weeks ago that he’d rather swim in pee than marry Ashley — scored 10 points for asking whether his fellow competitors were there “for the right reasons,” 25 points for intentionally making Ashley cry (“I am going to make her cry. I hope my hair looks okay”), and 30 points for threatening to leave the show and making good. But Connor Schell (owner of team Who We Thought They Were) would probably give up all of those 65 points to have his second-round draft pick back on The Bachelorette, vomiting, verbally fighting, and making fraudulent claims of coitus. Bentley, you will be missed.
William (The Bachelorette): 30 points
You know that coworker who is so poorly equipped for life outside the office that you worry about him when he leaves? That’s William from The Bachelorette. Last Monday night, at a roast for Ashley, the aspiring stand-up comedian made disparaging comments about her appearance and joked that everyone was disappointed that this season’s Bachelorette wasn’t Emily or Chantal. Ashley broke into tears, causing William to cry (20 points), make an empty threat to leave the show (15 points), and cry again (20 points). He was on a roll — until this Monday night when he volunteered at an orphanage, forfeiting 25 points.
Last week on Basketball Wives, Meeka Claxton said she “didn’t come here to make friends” (10 points). This week, Royce cried (5 points) and Jennifer argued with Royce (5 points). On last Monday’s Bachelorette, Ben C., Ryan C., and J.P. all open-mouth kissed (not together) (5 points each), and J.P gave Ashley flowers (10 points). This week, Ben F., J.P., Blake, Mickey, West, Ben C., Nick, William, and Ryan volunteered at an orphanage (minus 25 points each).
League Message Board
Bill Simmons (The Right Reasons): I’m afraid to trash-talk or make trade offers after my initial efforts to liven up our draft were met with disdain and revulsion and led me to feel the same way the Elephant Man did, or even how Dustin Zito felt after his roommates found out about Frat Pad. A quick recap: I offered to overpay Lane for the rights to Bai Ling, and he wouldn’t even consider the deal or make a counteroffer; he acted like the Clippers GM if someone called about Blake Griffin. (I hope Bai sobers up in Week 1, then spends the next 10 weeks playing canasta and developing a platonic friendship with Jeremy Jackson. Not even a counteroffer? Really?) Anyway, I’ll keep working on more trade offers so I can continue to be greeted with dead silence. That should be fun. Later in the draft, once Connor kept taking advantage of everyone else’s incompetence and landing top-10 value in the later rounds, I threw a tongue-in-cheek hissy fit that was met with dead silence. Jacoby later called it “dark” and “weird.” Sorry, I thought the whole point of this league was to bust each other’s balls. I didn’t realize we were launching Facebook. I hate my team. I hate everybody.
Lane Brown (The Blurcle Jerks): Sorry, Bill. There’s no way I’m trading Bai Ling. She can do the fighting, vomiting, and contraband-smuggling of five Steven Adlers. If she performs half as well on Celebrity Rehab as she does on most red carpets, I’ll win this league just on unintentional-nudity points — provided, of course, that Mickey from The Bachelorette can get his head back in the game and his do-gooderism out of orphanages.
Jay Caspian Kang (Fraudulent Coitus): House, I’ll take Royce Reed off your hands before she nosedives. There’s no way she’s going to get into another fight, and she has completely lost her right to call herself “classy.” She’s Chris Shelton 2006. Sell high on her. I’ll send you blurcle machine Aneesa, plus Heather Pond. Also, a complaint to the commish: There’s no way that Ben C. stood up from that open-mouth kiss without trying to conceal an erection. I saw at least two clumsy grabs and then a definitive leg-tuck move.
Joe House (The Fantashiques): With all due respect, NFW Jay Kang. My team is named “The Fantashiques” after her brilliant Florida-centric traveling burlesque show, for chrissakes. Plus, I love her.
David Jacoby is Grantland‘s Reality Tzar. Listen to him on the BS Report or follow him on Twitter at @jacoby_.