Bachelor, Chris Harrison humiliate Casey to squeeze some life out of Ben’s season

The Bachelor can be consistently entertaining, despite its failure as a show to live up to its promise, and even despite the obviously contrived set-ups and contexts (“we’re deserted on an island with producers and cameras!”). But sometimes its producers’ and network’s desperation–for ratings or attention or just to use their power to humiliate and destroy–leads it to cross a line. That happened last night as the show paused on permanently paused Ben Flajnik’s getting-what’s-coming-to-him quest for love to humiliate a contestant. Chris Harrison was tasked with that job, and as always, performed marvelously, because he’s a soulless asshat.

Remember last summer when Chris said that it would have “completely affect[ed] her journey” if he or the producers said something about Bentley lying to Ashley, so they just couldn’t do intervene, despite all the footage they had of Bentley making it clear he wasn’t there for love?

Well they changed their mind. How surprising, considering it offers a new chance for drama. And of course this disturbingly sexist show would choose to expose a woman and not a man, not that their behavior is even close to equivalent. Chris told People, “I felt like I didn’t go far enough in talking to [Ashley] about Bentley. Yeah, I warned her and I took some steps. But I don’t think I went far enough.”

So what did Chris have to rush in and warn Ben about, to protect his fragile heart? It was not, sadly, to tell him what the little bottles marked “shampoo” are for in Ben’s hotel room showers. No, he had to warn Ben that a woman who was courting him might have have lingering feelings for an ex-boyfriend. Because as well all know, once you break up with someone, your feelings for them evaporate forever and never resurface, ever.

So Chris Harrison interrupted the women to pull Casey S. out for her public hanging, giving the producers awkward crying and tears to use for this episode (and relentless teasers for this episode) while adding some drama to an otherwise flat season.

“It was brought to my attention by three different people back in the United States that you’re in love with somebody else, and not in love with Ben,” Chris told Casey, mentioning her boyfriend, who she insisted was her ex. “We talked to Michael … and from Michael’s perspective, he said you guys are still in a relationship,” Chris said, as if this warranted an undercover investigation. “That’s not true,” Casey said repeatedly, eventually explaining that her ex didn’t want to get married but she does, and “I still have hope that he’ll change.”

So, Chris frogmarched her up to see Ben, who made a pouty face. “I think that I’m not completely over him,” Casey told Ben, but added, “I don’t really think he’s holding me that much back.” It sounded like something pretty reasonable and maybe complicated, and nothing at all like Bentley’s horrific deception. Ben told her, basically, to get the hell out so he’d have one less person to possibly stand in the way as he stared at Courtney’s breasts.

Casey was upset and cried, and in the hallway–get this!–Chris hugged her and said, “I’m sorry.” I cannot believe the balls on that disingenuous prick. “You didn’t come on here to deceive anybody. You want to find love. Everybody wants that,” he said.

I hope they got the ratings and attention they wanted out of that humiliation, which was entirely unnecessary, since she barely registered before last night’s episode anyway. And now they can continue featuring Courtney’s baby talk and her successful emotional manipulation of clueless Ben, with the only redeeming part being that he deserves someone as empty as her. If only The Bachelor‘s producers and host could be similarly punished.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.