If you've ever watched a dating reality show, especially the
high profile, marriage-goal-oriented ones--think multiple singles competing for
the love of one seemingly perfect mate, like Joe Millionaire
, Farmer Wants a
, and (of course) The Bachelor/The Bachelorette
--the phrase has likely
become a familiar, though still ambiguous, part of your vocabulary: "(s)he's
not there for the right reasons." It's the all-encompassing term for any
specious behavior on behalf of a contestant
who appears to harbor ulterior motives, however slight, other than falling
head-over-heels, puppies-and-picket-fences, babies-and-bathtowels in love with
the star of the show.
And if the phrase gets spoken aloud about you--if another
contestant accuses you of not "being there for the right reasons," especially
to the person whose love for which you're competing... have your bags packed, buddy,
because it's also the kiss of death for the next elimination ceremony, or at
least soon after.
Which brings me to the reality dating show at hand: The
, with our spunky little maple leaf, Jillian Harris. On and off the
been lots of talk of which
of the 13 remaining men are (and are not) "there for the right reasons"...but
very little of it seems to have been brought to Jillian's attention... yet. So,
at least for now, everyone in question remains in the game.
The "there for the right reasons" debate started early in
Episode 1 with country crooner Wes, whom the other guys accused of being on
the show to promote his music career. Then, last night, hothead David also accused
Juan of being a phony with a long list of "wrong reasons" for being on the
show. And the teasers for Episode 4 and beyond promise more blow-ups over the
issue of at-home girlfriends, which implies that some of these men are just
full-fledged liars (maybe even actors) looking for exposure wherever they can
Now, after Episode 3, the question is still a hot topic
among the men: now that it's clear Wes is bent on busting out that guitar at
every possible opportunity, is he using the power of his music solely for
romance, or just for publicity? Does his (what would be a very natural desire)
to sell a few extra albums negate what could be legitimate feelings for
Jillian? Does he need to retire the tunes to prove his devotion to the
integrity of their relationship?
Wait... did I just say "integrity of their relationship"?
Because sorry, that doesn't exist. This is a reality show.
A reality show that happens over the course
of weeks, and is supposed to end in a rest-of-our-lives proposal. A proposal
from one of thirty men, who each get, max, a few hours per week of alone time
Wait... did I just say "alone time"? Because it's not. The cameras
are always there. And, who knows, maybe ten or twenty, minimum, production assistants
are always there. And we're always there, in a way.
That is the point. A certain level of realism
has to be thrown out the window in order to successfully produce a reality show--a
paradox we're all seemingly comfortable with until that abandoned level of
realism seems to correspond exactly to the chance that someone could want to be
on this show for purely amorous reasons.
If you're looking for everlasting love, all you've got to do
is look at the track record of the Bachelor/Bachelorette to know that it's
about a lot more (or less?) than love. If all you're looking for is "that
person," save yourself the public embarrassment and get on eHarmony. To knowingly
sign up for a reality dating show for any other reason than love--for fun, for
adventure (as Jillian herself has repeatedly claimed to have done), for
publicity, or for the chance to become the next Bachelor/Bachelorette (as
promos for this season suggest one of the men has done)--isn't really "being
there for the wrong reasons." It's being there for realistic ones. And it doesn't
mean you're not also there for the "right" reason: to possibly find a partner
while you're at it, despite the massive longshot.
I'm not trying to say anyone who signs up just looking for love is a complete fool, but they
do have the odds stacked highly against them, and have very little chance of
getting much out of the experience, if that's all they want. So it is possible--and
just plain smarter--that some of these guys are on The Bachelorette looking for
both romance and exposure, and would jump at the chance to continue a fame ride
as the next Bachelor, if given the shot.
I think it's about time we all give the "for the right reasons" thing a rest. After all, thrill-seeking Jillain hasn't been on either The Bachelor
or The Bachelorette
just "for the right reasons," if the "right reasons" are just
love and marriage. So why should she expect her suitors to be?
More of The Bachelorette:
Read the latest recap: The Bachelorette Episode 3 (Page 1/3)
'Bachelorette' Jillian on 'Regis and Kelly': "I Kind of Dug My Own Grave in Front of These Guys"Play BuddyTV Bachelorette Fantasy TV, Win $150 to Sephora.com!
The Bachelorette Episode 2 Recap (Page 1/3)
The Bachelorette: This Girl Just Wants to Have Fun
The Bachelorette: Does Wes Hayden Have a Girlfriend?
The Bachelorette: Rivals, Drama, and Nudity
The Bachelorette: Is Wes Hayden Really Looking for Love?
-Meghan Carlson, BuddyTV Staff WriterImage courtesy of ABC