So Roberto proposed to Ali, and now the two can't stop gushing about each other on talk shows as they excitedly plan their wedding.
Congrats you two! Now let's get back to the also-rans.
After more than 15 combined seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, producers have finally figured out how to keep the franchise pumping "and the fans buzzing" during the hiatus: Turn the show into a rosy version of Big Brother!
It's called The Bachelor Pad (the title: so simple yet so genius). And, yep, it's exactly what you think it is and want it to be. Namely, a potpourri of sex, drama, sex, crying, lying, sex, game-playing, sex and Chris Harrison.
WARNING: MILD SPOILERS BELOW. STOP READING NOW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW ANYTHING ELSE ABOUT THE PREMIERE.
Here's how it works: Nineteen memorable alums have been rescued from semi-obscurity to live together and compete for $250,000. They range from the naughty (Craig M. from Bachelorette: Ali; Wes from Bachelorette: Jillian and Krisily from Bachelor: Charlie) to the nice (Tenley and Gia from Bachelor: Jake; Jonathan from Bachelorette: Ali). A majority of them hail from recent seasons, except for Gwen, who dates all the way back from the Aaron Buerge era. Aaron had dirty blonde hair. That's all I remember.
Per Bachelor/Bachelorette rules and regulations, each contestant arrives separately via limousine to greet Chris. They don't know who else is on the show, so as they enter the house and see their competition, excited screams ensue. (Fine, most of these screams come by way of Tenley. The girl is just that perky!) It also takes exactly 10 minutes for the sniping to start. The OMG! drah-mah scorecard:
– Weatherman Jonathan still can't stand the sight of his nemesis Craig M.
– Nikki and Juan dated. It didn't end well.
– Elizabeth (Bachelor: Jake), now a blond, is crazy in love with Jesse K. (Bachelorette: Jillian.) Alas, the feeling isn't mutual.
– Michelle (Bachelor: Jake) looks at Wes and says she wants to "cut his thing off."
Instead of a drawn-out cocktail party, the contestants get to shmooze by the pool. Soon, it's game time. The winner of each competition gets a rose and he/she gets to pick three people to go on a date with. During this date, the winner will hand out one more safe-from-the-vote rose. In other words, rose = immunity. One guy and one girl will be ousted each week. (The guys way outnumber the girls for now, but eventually, Chris promises the numbers will even out.) Got that?
No obstacle-running-blindfolded-in-the-mud here; the competition is but a game of Twister. Of course. Nothing like the sight of hard-bodied men and women trying to get their foot to the red dot to get the hormones raging. Superfluous co-host Melissa Rycroft Strickland calls the action using all the cheerleading spirit she can muster. From the sidelines, Elizabeth freely admits that she's rooting for Craig to lose so the ladies can send him home. It's payback for his nasty treatment toward the weatherman. Savvy reality TV fans will immediately know that this premature announcement only means one thing: Craig will not lose.
And now, the juicy stuff. This is Bachelor Pad, which means that viewers don't have to wait until those fantasy-suite dates to get to the R-rated action. And these contestants don't just live in the same house, you see; they reside in bunk-beds in the same room! Just like overnight camp, only no mosquitoes and lots of cameras. Indeed, on night No. 1, slurping kissing sounds can be heard from one of the bunks. The next morning, Tenley suggests that Michelle and Craig were the kissing bandits. Michelle is shocked "shocked!" by the allegations. She eventually confronts Tenley in the bathroom and lashes out at her for starting a false rumor. Tenley is left distraught and weeping. Who to believe? The jury's out, as those fancy infrared cameras inexplicably caught nothing. (DVD cut, anyone?). However, Tenley is a former Disney princess. Just saying.
It's no secret how Natalie (Bachelor: Jason) and Jesse B. (Bachelorette: Ali) feel about each other. The two make out like sex-starved teenagers all over the house, including the living room couch and on the bunk bed. This is an elementary-school-level competition faux pas. Have these people never watched a single episode of Survivor?! A kissy-kissy alliance is also the kiss of death!!!! Now everybody is going to try to find a way to split them up and send one home. It's far smarter to stay neutral and simply employ some skilled flirty-ness with an assortment of players along the way. These contestants are playing for $250,000. Unlike 95 percent of all Bachelor romances, that's a payoff you can literally take to the bank.
Apparently, Jesse K. is the only one who understands this concept. In a deliciously awkward scene, he tells Elizabeth that the two of them should bury their affection and stay romantically independent for the sake of the game. (Granted, this is actually code for "I'm just not that into you and please stop treating me like I'm your Mr. Big.") But, sigh, Elizabeth wants none of this. "But I'm in love with you!" she wails. She then lays out one of the most pathetic threats in reality TV history: With tears in her eyes, she tells Jesse that if he breaks up with her, she'll convince her supportive girlfriends in the house to axe him. She is even more forceful about this during their next chat, pronouncing that it's in his "best interest" to play the supportive boyfriend card. Tail firmly tucked between his legs, a baffled Jesse gives in to Elizabeth's demands. Oh dear, where's Boston Rob when you need him?
Alright, so who does Craig M. choose to accompany him on his date? To whom does he give the second immunity rose? Which C-list singer serenades the pair on the date? (Hint: It's Alex Band.) And who goes home in what will surely be the most dramatic rose ceremony is Bachelor Pad history? Tune in to the premiere on ABC at 8 P.M./ET and find out. You know Ali and Roberto will!
By Mara Reinstein for UsMagazine.com
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