The 15th star of The Bachelor is Brad Womack, the star of the show’s 11th season and the first bachelor to reject all of the options presented to him by the producers, leading to scorn and seething anger from some fans that lingers today because he shattered the illusion that it was possible to find true love on TV. It’s also an extreme continuation of the show’s recycling of its previous contestants, which turns it into a multi-season soap opera, in addition to its role of finding Chris Harrison more bros.
Hilariously and disturbingly, ABC’s press release acknowledges Brad’s unforgivable transgression (he was “once considered by many to be the ‘most hated Bachelor’” because he “did the unthinkable”) but tries to prove to fans that he’s reformed and okay, as if what he did before was actually because he was mentally and physically ill. ABC literally says that Brad
“has spent the better part of the last three years going through a radical personal transformation after the shocking finale night that changed his life forever. Now he is really ready — healthier both in body and mind — to make a genuine commitment to a relationship. … Unaware at the time that he really wasn’t ready to commit to a relationship and not knowing the reasons why, his fears and worries were validated when a media firestorm and viewers from across the country let him know what they were thinking. With that, he started therapy to learn what problems were confronting him. He desperately wanted to fix whatever it was that wasn’t allowing him to let people into his life. For the last three years he has undergone intensive therapy, looking at who he was in a quite painful journey of self-awareness. … Get ready to see a changed, revitalized man who is still optimistic and confident about finding love on ‘The Bachelor.’ He is more ready than ever to find a wife and start a family.”
For fuck’s sake. The only thing wrong with him I can tell is that he’s willing to subject himself to this again, because all of this reads like ABC is insisting he will pick someone this time so everyone can get their fairy tale ending. I’m all for the benefits of therapy, but the way the network says he underwent “intensive therapy” sounds like he’s been to reeducation camp. Disturbing.
Reports that Brad was returning were tonight on Dancing with the Stars Monday when he and Chris Harrison appeared in the show’s audience, but were not granted microphones or much time, so they basically just nodded, and Chris slapped Brad’s shoulder. Reality Steve correctly identified Brad Womack’s return, even as tabloids were pushing Ty Brown and Chris Lambton, who rejected the offer.