Archive for the ‘The Reality of Reality TV’ Category


August 5, 2011 10 comments

National Enquirer reported today that  “THE BACHELORETTE WAS FIXED!” While they don’t get the entire story 100% accurate it’s a step in the right direction.  The author (Michael Glynn) could make an even more compelling story if he had read our first and second obvious edits posts from The Bachelorette.

Enquirer, we are glad you ran the story.  Better late than never.


Why The Bachelorette is like a Hot Dog Eating Contest

Over the weekend we noticed another nationally televised competition that is quite similar to The Bachelorette.  The 96th Annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest held on July 4th at Coney Island. The contest pits professional eaters against one another to consume as many hot dogs as they can in 10 minutes. The winner (who typically eats more than 60 hot dogs during the period) gets a mustard colored champion belt and $20,000.

While downing 60 greasy hot dogs and courting Ashley Herbert evoke similar feelings (both are likely to make you nauseous), we actually wanted to point out another similarity between the eating contest and the Bachelorette. This year Joey “Jaws” Chestnut won the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest after consuming 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes. The event played on ESPN and on televisions around the nation. But a much lesser publicized event was happening in the same city at the same time. Seven-time Champion and world record holder for eating hot dogs (among other things) Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi held an event on a roof top where he consumed 69 hotdogs in 10 minutes smashing Chestnut’s record. Consuming 7 more hotdogs is the eating contest equivalent of Kobayashi lapping Joey. Kobayashi was banned from the competition because he wouldn’t sign an exclusive contract with Major League Eating (yes, seriously, there is an organization trying to make eating a professional sport that wants to charge “athletes”). So Chestnut was crowned the wiener on national television by MLE president George Shea who would later call Kobayashi’s record a farce.

So what does this have to do with The Bachelorette? Just as the Nathan’s eating contest wants to find the greatest hot dog eater, The Bachelorette purports to find the best love match for Ashley. But both contests also want to make as much money as possible. So they end of squeezing more money out of the show and their contestants at the expense of “REALITY.” When Bentley was cast, Bachelorette producers were ecstatic about the ratings that would come from Bentley’s brutal honesty just as the Nathan’s contest organizers were ecstatic to have the iconic Kobyashi as their original hot dog eating champion. Yet Kobayashi and Bentley refused to play the game their handlers wanted them to play, and both of them walked. Now their respective contests are stuck trying to be the premier event while the champions sit on the sidelines. So who is the Joey Chestnut to the Bentley Kobayashi?

SPOILER ALERT (We think it’s a spoiler, but we don’t know for sure. Bentley fans believe it’s obvious given the Bentley rebound Ashley is on. Also, does it really matter to alert you when Bentley is gone?).

From what we understand, it’s the same guy who caught Ashley first off of the Bentley rebound (which she is still experiencing) – J.P. After seeing how hard Ashley fell for Bentley, it’s obvious that the love she feels for J.P. is a direct result of the Bentley rebound. At the end of the day, Joey and J.P. might get the coveted yellow belt and be crowned wieners on national television, those familiar with reality know who the real champions are: Bentley Williams and Takeru Kobayashi.

Before you make comments on this page, we want to identify that there are graphic analogies that could easily be made with a contest of consuming multiple wieners and the set up to The Bachelorette show—but we want to keep this site family friendly.

Bentley Apologists Hits 100,000 Mark on July 4th As Viewers Search for Bentley Conversations

July 5, 2011 1 comment

Originally we were inspired to start this site because, as Bentley fans, we didn’t think it was right that such an awesome Bachelorette contestant was getting villainized.We wanted to celebrate the man and defend his words and actions. We figured that no one would care since viewers are usually content to drink the Kool-Aid and accept everything Bachelorette producers foist upon them. But just over a month later, we are happy to report that we’re “All Grown Up.” Our site hit 100,000 views today as Bacholrette viewers were searching for any thing they could find on Bentley.   While it may not seem like much for one day, we have significantly altered the Bentley conversation as now more people are starting to question the reality of the show and notice the douchebaggery of Chris Harrison.  Moreover, given the timing of this event and demand for conversations about Bentley, we believe this shows how truly American being a Bentley fan is.

So where do the Apologists go from here? Bentley was our horse in the Bachelorette race, and even although he’s gone for good, we don’t plan to pick another one. Especially if we have that many fans of the site.  Instead, we are going to act exactly like Ashley. For the rest of the season, we’re going to keep tabs on all the second fiddles [contestants still in the race who are clear second choices to Bentley], while still pining for Bentley and continuing to talk incessantly about him. Hope you’ll join us.

Was Bentley Good for Ratings?

July 2, 2011 2 comments

Say what you will about Bentley, the man knows how to attract an audience. With his swagger, charisma, and no-nonsense banter, Bentley has made this season of the Bachelorette one of the most interesting of all time. Perhaps the most remarkable thing is the extent of his impact on the show in such a short amount of time. The focus on Bentley has angered many and drawn viewers’ ire against producers. It has been implied that Bentley must be so good for Bachelorette ratings as to be well worth “messing with Ashley’s [and viewers’] head” while exploiting poor Bentley. Why else would the producers have spent so much effort editing his commentary, showing statements he made out of context, and demonizing him to viewers? But what is Bentley’s actual impact on the show.

To find out, we gathered TV ratings from Zap2It for the show and compiled them into a graph. The graph covers the last four weeks of the show including Bentley’s departure (episode 3), The Bentley Hangover where Ashley talked about him incessantly (episode 4), Bentley’s full absence from the show (episode 5), and King Bentley’s triumphant return (episode 6). As you can plainly see, Bentley’s full absence constituted the show’s nadir during the period [despite the shameless attempt to attract viewers with shirtless Bachelorette contestants engaged in Muay Thai fighting for Ashley’s affection]. Moreover, we see a massive spike in viewers when he returns to the show. That’s right; Bentley’s 5 minutes back on camera led to an increase of roughly half a million viewers. That’s an extra 100,000 viewers for every minute on the show. Are you listening ABC and Chris Harrison? Do you really think nice guys JP or Ben F. can generate that kind of viewer interest? It’s an understatement to say that “Bentley is good for ratings.” Bentley is ratings!

So Bentley said some things

July 1, 2011 2 comments

People have criticized Bentley relentlessly for his “wreckless and meanspirited” comments about Ashley. We at the Apologists have argued that while entertaining, these comments are mostly overblown, taken out of context, or are simply examples of Bentley’s forthrightness. Let’s face it folks, Bentley calls them as he sees them. So, we found it amusing that some enterprising soul managed to pull together “every a**hole-ish thing The Bachelorette’s Bentley has said about Ashley.” While it may seen counterproductive for an apologist site to post something that could further damage our man’s reputation, we think it important enough to risk it for several reasons. First, it shows you what we are up against. Someone spent an awful lot of time splicing these clips together to convince viewers that Bentley really is a bad guy. Could producers be behind this? Second, Bentley’s entire affront to humanity comprises a grand total of 4 minutes and 34 seconds. That’s right, several weeks in a house with every move and statement being videotaped and recorded, and the most they could dig up was 4 minutes and 34 seconds. For all we know, he was an absolute model contestant who spent every other minute gushing about how great Ashley was. We have lots of evidence that everyone in the house seemed to like him. So Bentley said some things. So what. If anything, this video actually exonerates him, and reminds us why we were so blessed to have Bentley for those wonderful 2.5 episodes this season.

Jumping The Shark—Life After Bentley

June 30, 2011 Leave a comment

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 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.

Ashley Finally Gets Her Period

June 29, 2011 5 comments

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.

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