The Bachelor 2012 is the cast off from The Bachelorette 2011. His name is Ben Flajnik and he is a wine maker from Sonoma, California. A little soft-spoken with a nasal toned voice and a disheveled appearance, he comes across to the general masses as a cross between a yuppie trust fund baby and a hippie. While we think the fact that he’s into sustainable agriculture and finding new ways to be eco-friendly when he’s working the farm and his vineyards, his lack of — for better word — machismo is leaving fans wondering… with all the catty ladies the producers cast, will Ben F be man enough to keep up ratings?
In spite of high hopes that he’ll finally find love on The Bachelor after being dumped by Ashley Hebert on last season’s Bachelorette, Ben Flajnik isn’t feeling much love from the television audience. ABC, the network broadcasting its 16th season of the series, noted a 17 percent drop in overall ratings, OK! Magazine reported last week.
While gentle Ben showed his tearful side to contestant Kasie B. on the show that aired January 9, 2011 — while she might have been impressed that he got all choked up watching home movies of himself with his father while he was a child and hearing his daddy’s voice, most men (and women) would consider him a bit wimpy. After how he handled Ashley Hebert rejecting his proposal last season (kissing, then getting angry and telling), there is also a big question about whether or not he is passive aggressive.
So what happened his season to the otherwise interesting show? Why couldn’t The Bachelor producers land a better bachelor for the 2012 season than the wine maker who comes across as so whiny? There is speculation that the show is suffering as a result of couples unable to stay together after the end of a season. Others note that football season may be putting a dent in the ratings. But we have to wonder if Ben F just doesn’t have what it takes to woo a lady… or the TV audience.
Proof positive was the skit where he played Prince Charming in a play directed by children and preformed before a live audience in Sonoma. Whoever thought putting him in a sheep costume then making him strip down to some baby diaper looking garment should have their publicity card revoked, too.
The laid-back California native, green celebrity Ben F may just not be controversial enough to keep the attention of viewers. The winemaker and entrepreneur really is a sweet guy, according to most people, but there’s the old adage: good guys finish last. In spite of being a businessman, a musician (his first love), and a sustainable agriculture enthusiast — an all around Renaissance man if ever there was one — Ben F could be suffering from an audience just tired with the show.
However, New York Mag serial, The Vulture, noted:
On the bright side for ABC, The Bachelor proved to be a solid lead-in for the launch of Celebrity Wife Swap. The B-list twist on the fighting family format averaged a 2.4 rating in the key demo and held on to all of its lead-in.
Now it’s starting to make a little more sense. People would rather watch failed relationships (a la star celeb splits like those of Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry and Russell Brand, and Sinead O’Connor) than watch love blossom. Heck, fans and critics alike continue get the rumor mills worked up over love birds like green celebrities Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, who have shown zero signs of relationship troubles. Maybe season 16 just needs a good Crazy Michelle twist.
Competing with new offerings from CBS and NBC, The Bachelor won a scant 7.7 million viewers for its season premier. Last year, Bachelor star celeb Brad Womack drew in 9 million viewers, but even that was down from previous years, noted The Improper. Then again, ratings for other networks were down as well. Maybe ABC shouldn’t have picked a former reject for its newest star. And, it is terrible they have been blasted for their triple x prime time television theme by the Parents Television Council (although why anybody would watch The Bachelor with their kiddies is beyond silly to think).
But that doesn’t seem to be stopping Ben F from trying to keep it up (or from the looks at The Bachelor 2012 teaser video clips to get it up, speaking strictly of the reality television show’s ratings score… seriously).
We wish him the best of luck for love this New Year… but what do other people who watch the show think? Do you love Ben F or hate him? Is he man enough to keep you watching?