On the fifth season of Happy Days, the show’s audience had begun to decline. The Happy Days Producers made efforts to revive interest in the show and decided to have the ultimate king of cool “Fonzie” waterski jump over a confined shark. It was this episode that inspired the Hollywood phrase “Jumping the shark”, an idiom meaning “the series has lost what made it attractive.”
The now defunct website jumptheshark.com explained the concept as follows: “It’s a moment. A defining moment when you know that your favorite television program has reached its peak. That instant that you know from now on…it’s all downhill. Some call it the climax. We call it ‘Jumping the Shark.’ From that moment on, the program will simply never be the same.”
With Bentley leaving the Bachelorette, the show has jumped the shark. The producers have been locked in to selecting Bachelors and Bachelorettes from previous series so audiences can connect better with the main contestant. Unfortunately, after making Ashley look insecure and ignorant and having Bentley and other contestants look like villains—no contestant worth watching wants to be on the show. ABC now is known for trashing contestants and lying to audiences to get ratings. The series is scraping the bottom of the barrel of people willing to be on the show (Brad Womack was on it twice?!). The show has now ended up with an emotional insecure girl that is every man’s worst nightmare. As the show continues to select from this low quality pool of single contestants willing to sign away their life the show is now on decline. Bentley was the shows pinnacle of drama and entertainment. We might have just witnessed a new idiom for reality tv similar to Jumping The Shark—Casting Bentley.
During episode 4 we see how attached to Bentley Ashley still is (5 weeks into the show and 2 group dates with Bentley). In a last ditch effort, Bachelorette producers edited NEW COMMENTS into prior footage. Without question the 5th episode of the Bachelorette was anything but reality. What are we talking about? The Apologists will walk you through it.
The producers convinced Bentley to fly to Hong Kong instead of calling because they wanted more live Bentley drama. Bentley came out and essentially said, “I kind of like you, but if I’m at home and you are here to find love, the fact that I am home should signal our relationship status.” (Keep in mind we are only privy to a few seconds of what was likely an hour-long conversation, which is the shortest the producers would need to be able to edit).
While there was clearly more to the conversation that we don’t see, we can probably assume that what we did see was the worst of it.Didn’t Ashley’s response seem a bit extreme given how much information SHE had (not what the viewers had) going into the reunion with Bentley? She has been pining for him from the moment he left, and now she’s telling him off and cussing at him? We agree with Reality Steve’s conclusion that the remainder of this monologue was shot long after Hong Kong and was not in the moment. This was the producers trying to save Ashley from further ridicule for being the worst bachelorette.
In his blog today, Chris Harrison tried to connect the dots and reduce viewer confusion. He did his best to “give Ashley the ammunition she needed for her encounter with Bentley.” We’re not buying this. If Ashley was so loaded up with ammo, why did she greet Bentley with a hug and a kiss when she saw him? It was definitely not an F***-you-I-know-that-you-played-me-because-Chris-Harrison-told-me kiss. Rather, it was an ‘I missed you’ hug and kiss.
Ashley’s tone also suddenly changes at the beginning with Bentley. “Why did you come all the way out here?” Ashley, you asked the producers to bring Bentley back—he is here because you asked for him. The producers got Bentley to fly out instead of calling because they wanted more drama. The interaction is a bit choppy at this point. The “I’m not fishing” dialog seems to be new video and audio footage as it includes no response or interaction with Bentley recognizing her comments directly and seems very unnatural. Sure Bentley could have been confounded by her, but keep in mind that this is Ashley we are talking about. We believe producers reshot the footage and edited Bentley into it to legitimize Ashley to viewers who can’t stand her as the Bachelorette.
All the comments that make her appear strong (which everyone knows she is not), they all have different lighting on her face. Her hair is also noticeably different between shots. Also notice that we don’t really get to see their goodbye. It probably would have been some seriously awkward footage of her leaving. Why don’t we see her confidently getting up from the couch and leaving after telling him off? That would have been great, except it did not happen.
Because the entire Bentley “tell-off” was staged AFTER THE SHOW ENDED. They got Ashley to wear the same clothes possibly even go to the same hotel and reshot her (supposedly) telling Bentley off. But they could not get it perfect, and if you watch the video and keep in mind the social context of the relationship—it’s clear as day that the “you should have called” dialog was put in.
Realizing that they made their heroine Ashley look like a fool, producers tried to salvage what they could. A weak indecisive bachelorette makes for a bad show. The producers realize that this is the most bizarre season in the history of the Bachelorette and are trying to edit their way to fixing it. When Chris Harrison says they almost shut down production, he may have been telling the truth.
Lots of people are aware that Bentley has completely taken over this season of the Bachelorette. Some viewers [including Chris Harrison] are exasperated by this turn of events and believe it could have been avoided. Other viewers are excited by it and have come to accept that Bentley’s charms are unavoidable [Apologists]. More than a few pundits have suggested that we start referring to the show as The Bentley-orette [ok, we’d be glad to].
On this week’s episode, Ashley finally spills the beans to the other guys about her feelings for Bentley. It doesn’t quite go as planned. While some of the guys take the news well, most are furious about having to play second fiddle to a guy that left the show several weeks prior [simply awesome]. The dentist and the chef are especially upset, and Glambert – always the drama queen – gets so pissed that he storms off the set and leaves the show. This is simply unbelievable. Bentley, a contestant that was on the show for only two weeks, manages to capture the heart of the Bachelorette, pushes one of the best looking guys to leave the show early, and completely shatters the confidence of the remaining contestants. Beautiful Bentley truly is a one-man show wrecker.
Well, well, well. It looks like the producers failed again to keep a lid on the truth about Bentley’s genuine decency. On this blog we’ve documented the nefarious practices of the producers at length: from egregiously editing footage to calling Bentley the “worst” contestent ever to preventing Bentley from speaking out in his own defense.
But so far, everyone that actually knows Bentley has nothing but great things to say about him. Big League Chew guy, also known as Ben Castoriano, said that Bentley
seemed like a decent guy. No one had any major issue, I don’t think, with Bentley. He didn’t really make any trouble with anybody.
He further added that he takes what he sees on the television “with a grain of salt.” (Sounds like he knows about the producers’ callous disregard of the truth just as we do.)
But that’s not all.
Nick Peterson also said:
But, I liked all the guys in the house I had no problems with the guys in the house including Bentley. As far as we knew he was a nice guy missed his daughter and wanted to leave.
Sounds like those who know Bentley best (and we’ve said this before), have nothing but the best to say of him.
Many of you will remember a couple of weeks ago when we had to come to Bentley’s defense agains threats of malicious violence. Jenna Kim Jones (possibly respected comic), intimated that she was traveling all the way from New York City to Salt Lake City to punch Bentley in the face. In fact, she even admitted that she is “a violent hater.” She was expressly unrepentant of her violent ways.
But now all of that has changed. In one of her latest tweets (apparently her chosen form of communication with the outside world, whatever this says about her), she writes:
The Bachelorette keeps getting dumped. Here’s hoping Bentley comes back for a 3rd round. I have to sleep now. Goodnight.
That sounds like a clear endorsement of Bentley to us. From unjustified violence to unabashed appreciation — Jenna Kim Jones, welcome to the side of enlightenment and truth. Welcome to Team Bentley.
Bentley’s impact on the Bachelor/Bachelorette series has never been seen before on a reality show. With what amounts to roughly 3 hours of courtship time (on group dates no less), he managed to capture the heart and mind of Ashley and America. He has been called “the most beguiling contestant to ever grace reality TV” and “the most important cultural icon of our generation.” As the main focus of the last 5 episodes, numerous gossip rags, and every water cooler conversation about the show, Bentley has led people to ask—how did this happen? How did Bentley gain the adoration of Ashley and, at the same time, attract the unmitigated hatred of viewers and pundits everywhere? While we don’t know the exact science, we do have an idea. There are four basic types of conversations we see Bentley have on the show.
1. Bentley talking off screen about his interest in Ashley. As discussed by the Apologists, the worst of which were clear hack jobs that should enrage ABC quality control editing group more than viewers and pundits.
3. Bentley comforting Ashley. The other contestants ignored her tears while Bentley came to her comfort.
4. Bentley talking about his daughter. From the first conversation they shared to the last, the focus was on his daughter. Through sloppy and unethical editing, Bentley was villainized, yet the other men in the house universally agreed that Bentley had a one track mind in every conversation. He simply could not stop talking about his love for his daughter.
In almost every interaction on the show, we see Bentley focused on someone else, which is refreshing for viewers. There never seems to be a shortage of self-absorbed single Bachelors and Bachelorettes with proud smirks as they fill their date conversations with relationship platitudes. “I just want to be with”… “My perfect relationship is”…”I have an important job.” This is what makes Bentley so irresistible to Ashley. Sure some men talked about hardships in their life, but it was a conversation that was still self-focused. Bentley’s conversations consisted of comforting Ashley and talking about his daughter. So what can we learn from the Bentley/Ashley scenario? How about this: Men of America, when it comes to women, forget about yourselves. It’s easy to be self-absorbed when you are a single adult (Brad Womack and Jason Mesnick), but if you can resist that urge, you become all the more attractive.
Clearly there are additional factors we are purposely setting aside (e.g., Bentley’s pheromones are currently being studied by Johns Hopkins and Axe Laboratories). But for our purpose, a loud and clear message emerges: For individuals eager to find love, forget yourself and focus on others! Thanks, Bentley. We owe you one.
Everyone has been counting down the days until Bentley’s return. Producers might have considered having Ashley call Bentley to resolve these concerns, but where’s the drama in that? No, we need to fly The King across the world so that Ashley can say her final goodbye to his amazing hair. In honor of this event we have issued commemorative “Return of the King” and “Team Bentley” shirts (all proceeds go to support Bentley’s post-Bachelorette dates).
Hold on to your remotes friends and fellow Apologists, here comes another Bachelorette episode all about Bentley Williams.