When our friends at Inside Survivor posted a rumor (since retracted) that Michele from Kaoh Rong was attempting to be cast on The Bachelor, I reacted in much the same way I reacted to every Michele confessional in Kaoh Rong: “Oh. Ok.”
But which Survivors would warrant a different reaction from me? Which Survivors, if they were contestants on The Bachelor, would actually make me interested in the show?
First, some background and disclaimers: I’m not going to watch The Bachelor (or The Bachelorette). I never have, and I don’t really have any interest. I’m not judging the people that watch it; the show’s concept just doesn’t hold any appeal for me. I don’t want to watch people competing for roses and rings, I want to watch people competing for the only thing that really matters in life: money.
My perceptions of which Survivors would be ideal for The Bachelor is inherently flawed, because I’m only vaguely aware of how the show operates. I’ve picked a few things up from tweets I’ve seen: roses are given out to people that get to stay for another week, the phrase “the right reasons” is The Bachelor equivalent of “I’m not here to make friends”, and the contestants fuck.
On the other hand, when friend of the show (and 2-time podcast guest) Cory Barker suggested that I write about the Survivors I’d rather see on The Bachelor, I knew that this would be great #offseasoncontent. Or, at the very least, mediocre #offseasoncontent. More importantly, it lets me make fun of Survivors and a show I’ve never seen.
Bachelor #1: Randy Bailey
Is he the first name on this list because I just recently watched Gabon? Maybe. But he’s also a perfect candidate to intrigue me enough to watch. I’d watch Randy as the bachelor because I assume The Bachelor generally just casts a young, nice, blandly handsome white guy in the role. Imagine the horror of the bachelorettes when they see that they’re competing for the affections of old, misanthropic Randy.
What’s a successful date for Randy? Netflix and shut the fuck up? I’m guessing that Randy as the bachelor just turns into a weeks-long competition to determine which human annoys Randy the least. I’d watch just to find out how many women said, “Fuck it, I’m out” within the first few dates.
I assume they supply everyone on the show with ample amount of alcohol. But if they didn’t before, I’d insist that they start doing so with Randy’s season. In fact, make each episode contain a forced product placement segment where the product is a beer or liquor.
Bachelorette #2: Abi-Maria Gomes
Abi-Maria might be the absolute best choice for this list, because we could all witness the televised version of something almost all of us have experienced in real life: the slow realization that you’ve made a huge mistake. Let’s follow along as Josh, a hypothetical bachelor, shares his thoughts each week while competing for Abi-Maria’s love:
Episode 1: “Abi-Maria is definitely my type. She seems like she’ll be pretty fun, and I can’t wait to get to spend some more time with her.”
Episode 2: “I did think it was a little weird that Abi-Maria threatened to stab that guy in the neck when he said he was just here to make friends and have a good time. But I get how, from her perspective, that could be frustrating. Anyway, he didn’t get a rose, so that means I’ll get a little more time with Abi next week.”
Episode 3: “On our dinner date this week, Abi-Maria grabbed me by the shirt and whispered, ‘If you were a real man you’d poison all these other bachelors just to be with me.’ That was pretty intense, but that’s just the kind of woman she is. I appreciate her fiery spirit.”
Episode 4: “We had sex this week, and it was pretty wild. I think we’re definitely clicking.”
Episode 5: “I asked the server at dinner if she would put my dressing on the side of my salad, and Abi-Maria threw her drink at me and yelled, ‘Why are you looking at her like that?!’ I wasn’t trying to flirt with the server at all, but it must have seemed like I was.”
Episode 6: “This week, my friends and family got to meet Abi-Maria, which was great. Afterwards, my family and friends did this whole thing where they pretended to stage an intervention with me. It was really funny.”
Episode 7: “I deleted my Twitter account this week because Abi-Maria was getting upset that too many women were replying to my tweets. But we also got to spend a week in a penthouse suite courtesy of the show, so overall I’d call this week a win.”
Episode 8: “Abi-Maria said I wasn’t taking this relationship seriously enough, so this week she demanded that we go look at wedding rings. But while we were there, she got angry that the saleswoman was being a bit too friendly with me, so she didn’t speak to me for the next two days.”
Episode 9: “After I told the producers I was going to propose to Abi, they started requiring me to have daily check-ins with the show’s therapist. I guess that’s just standard procedure, but I feel like the therapist is really opening my eyes to some things.”
Episode 10: On-screen chyron- “Josh packed up and fled the bachelor house in the middle of the night. He left behind a note: ‘Please don’t ever contact me again.’ We are honoring his request.”
Bachelor #3: Richard Hatch
Has The Bachelor ever had a gay bachelor? I’m assuming the answer is no, because until very recently there wasn’t a realistic possibility that there could be a legal marriage proposal at the end of the show. And since the show’s ideal ending would be a marriage, a gay bachelor or bachelorette probably wouldn’t have had the stakes the network wanted. (Also, let’s be real: If they would have cast a gay bachelor, huge swaths of the American public would have taken to various comment sections to talk about the downfall of American television. More than they already do.)
We need a gay man that will take this show in a direction its creators never intended. Why not cast a man that has experience doing exactly that? Plus, his potential suitors could run the gamut of gay sub-communities: bears, otters, twinks, and jocks. Hatch could even give confessionals explaining the various sub-communities. He’d be educating and entertaining us!
I think Hatch might actually be married, which would theoretically eliminate him from competing on this show. But realistic thinking went out the window the moment I suggested that I’d ever watch The Bachelor. So let’s double down on the lack of realism and increase the crossover appeal: we can have various Survivors competing for Hatch. We’ll bring in Todd from China, Brice from Cagayan, JP and Brad from Cook Islands, and Papa Bear from South Pacific. Sure, some of them might be out of Richard’s league. But television has a rich history of an attractive spouse character having shockingly low standards (see Tobias and Lindsay on Arrested Development).
Bachelor #4: John Cochran
Why would I choose Cochran as the bachelor? Just look at that picture! Actually, that’s not a very flattering picture, is it? What else do we have?
Yikes. Do we have anything that could make him a little more appealing to the ladies?
There we go. That picture just oozes bachelor-ness, in that any self-respecting woman would see that outfit and immediately take a hard pass. But I’m not going to shit all over Cochran. I love that guy. He’s one of my favorite Survivors. I even got to meet Cochran at a Survivor afterparty, and he was wonderful and engaging.
Unlike some others on this list, I’d actually be rooting for Cochran to find an acceptable person to date. It would be hilarious to see a bachelor and a field of women so pale that it looks like the winter Olympics, though. They could easily integrate product placement segments for sunscreens, umbrellas, and rash guard clothing.
I’d look forward to Cochran tweeting funny things at various women he liked, then promptly deleting the tweets because they weren’t funny enough. And I’d enjoy watching Fishbach and Sophie tweet encouraging things to him throughout the season, while also subtweeting women who criticized Cochran.
Most importantly, it would be fun to judge whether the women competing for Cochran stacked up to the type of woman I think would be good for him. Because based on my ten minutes of interaction with him, I’ve already formulated an idea of what his ideal companion would be like.
Bachelorette #5: Cydney Gillon
Much like Cochran, I might have too much of a rooting interest on this one. I’ll judge every potential bachelor to be unworthy of Cydney’s greatness. I’ll watch like a protective father; a smaller, weaker, lower-melanin version of Cydney’s own massive dad.
I’ll delight in Cydney’s post-date confessionals where she judges the men that go too heavy on carbs or choose the wrong lean proteins. The men will join her poolside at the bachelorette mansion and be hesitant to take off their shirts because they’ll feel like she’s judging their bodies. Which she will. Harshly. And they’ll try to mansplain shit to her before she interrupts them with a “BRRRT!” and points at her Penn diploma on the wall.
Don’t check Cydney, boo.
There are others that I wouldn’t necessarily watch a whole season of, but their presence would prompt me to at least read a bit about the show or watch a few highlight clips.
Shane Powers (Panama)– Mostly because I’m just interested to learn who willingly signs up for a potential relationship with Shane.
Missy Payne (San Juan del Sur)– I’d mainly want to know who is enlisting to be the next person to divorce Missy.
Katie Collins (Blood vs. Water)– I’d actually only watch this one if all her dates were recruited and screened by Tina.
Stephen Fishbach (Tocantins, Cambodia)– I’d be rooting for him, but then the show would end with Stephen helping a friend find true love instead.
Rupert Boneham (lots of seasons)– I know he’s married, but much like he does with Survivor, he’d willingly buy into the theme of the show. If the producers told him the show was going polygamist, he’d propose to a new woman every week.
Crystal Cox (Gabon)– Her “Forget you, go home, goodbye!” sendoff would be even more appropriate on The Bachelorette, and she has experience being surrounded by a group of people who could use some love in their lives.
Favorite seasons: Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Pearl Islands, Tocantins, Cambodia