The basic premise of “The Bachelorette” is that a group of bachelors compete over many weeks for the affections of one woman — the bachelorette. In the final episode, one of the two bachelors left standing is expected to propose.
Luke P., one of this season’s male contestants — and a self-avowed staunch Christian — was dismayed to learn on Monday night’s episode that Brown was not a virgin. For context, he’s not either. But like many hypocritical men who confuse obedience and fidelity, after hearing that she’d slept with other contestants, Luke P. protested: “I can understand a slip-up, but with all of them?”
Ignoring Brown’s assertions that she was free to do as she chose, he added: “I don’t even care about you saying that you have clarity on this. I still feel like… you don’t.”
Brown, undeterred, shot back: “I have had sex, and Jesus still loves me.”
“What I’m seeing is a very unstable man,” Armitage said to me. “He’s developed manipulative tactics to get his needs met. I don’t think he recognizes how manipulative he is.”
“I don’t think that it does,” Armitage said. “I think that in this situation, the way it’s been dealt with and edited makes it clear that his behavior has been identified as inappropriate. And Hannah handled it really well and stood her ground and got rid of him.”
As is so often the case on reality television, though some progressive ground was gained, the question remains as to whether the unpleasant experiences of a few people on screen are acceptable collateral damage for the “learning moments” of their audience.
Brown ended the last episode on an empowered high. But she still stands to be awarded as a prize to whichever of the remaining bachelors makes it to the last hurdle. Reality television is awash with contradictions. “The Bachelorette” boasts more than most.
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