This week in reality TV was a study in human nature, with each storyline like an experiment meticulously engineered to test beliefs that are woven into the fabric of our modern society. On Jersey Shore, Snooki proves that you cannot, in fact, teach an old dog new tricks. On The Bachelor, Ben The Bachelor Who I Have Never Seen In The Same Room At The Same Time As Tennis Star Rafa Nadal proves that men are so soothed by the song of beauty that they are deaf to the sound of their own innate, internal “this chick is so nuts she might kill me, drain my blood, and drink it” alarm. And Pauly D, well, he taught us not to leave diamond chains laying around on the smush room floor for floozies to sweep up into their underpants. That one was actually less scientific experiment and more inexperience. To the top scorers:
Pauly D.(Jersey Shore, Kang) 36 points: Ladies and gentlemen, I present courtship in Seaside Heights, New Jersey:
- Pauly D: “What is your name?”
Some woman that walked up to Pauly D: “Shantel.”
Pauly D: “Nice to meet you.”
Shantel: “I’m ready to leave.”
Pauly D: “All right, let’s go.”
Shantel [Upon arriving at the house]: “I am going to lay you on the bed and DO YOUUUUUUU ... ”
Our species is hardwired to survive and procreate. In modern times, most of us have the former pretty well covered and focus our energy on the latter. A shameful amount of our energy on the latter, really. In Pauly D’s case, those two instinctive goals are so easily achieved one wonders why he hasn’t reallocated his energy into pursuits that would help his common man and make the world a better place. Well, if one were wondering that, all they would have to do is watch the rest of the episode to come to the conclusion that perhaps Pauly D from Jersey Shore isn’t the right person to make the world a better place. Perhaps he is best suited doing exactly what he is doing right now, getting inslopsicated (11 points), coitusing strangers (25 points), and treating five-figure items of jewelry like disposable razors. Yes, you read that right.
Once Pauly D’s turn with Shantel had come to a close, his post-coitus “I have to get this woman as far away from me as soon as possible” conscience kicked in and he immediately went to the duck phone to call a cab for his latest conquest. It is fascinating how priorities fluctuate so wildly pre- and post-coitus. His new partner in coitus, Shantel, took this opportunity to grab Pauly D’s gaudy diamond necklace off of the smush room floor and shove it into her underwear. A savvy move that could have been motivated by greed, a desire to see Pauly D again, or ... wait ... that’s pretty much it. I imagine Shantel returned to her lair and realized she had just performed a felony. Whether it was grand larceny or prostitution was beside the point; she needed to make amends. So she returned the necklace early the next morning. I admire her chutzpah, her subtle seduction technique, and her ridiculous torso tattoo that only rivals that of her mate/victim Pauly D. I hope this is not the last we see of her.
Vinny (Jersey Shore, Jacoby), 30 points: Vinny is Jersey Shore’s placebo. He is the one sane, rational, capable, respectable human being forced to coexist with the monsters that are his roommates and now some of the most recognizable faces on the planet. This week was the week that Vinny couldn’t pretend anymore. Vinny fled the Jersey Shore house (30 points). He attributed his departure to anxiety, lack of rest, and depression, but the fact is that we all know the real reason was “get me away from these maniacs, these cameras, and these tequila shots so I can get back to my overbearing family in Staten Island who will shelter, coddle, and love me like I am a 12-year-old home from boarding school for winter break.” It was a wonder he made it this far. This segment of Jersey Shore reminded me of the scene in Rise of the Planet of the Apes when Caesar the chimp sees a dog on a leash and asks his “father,” James Franco, “Am I a pet?” In Vinny’s case, the question was, “Am I a guido?” In both cases the answer is, “Kinda. But waaaaay smarter.”
Situation (Jersey Shore, Lisanti), 22 points: This week The Situation got drunk (7 points), cooked a full meal at three in the morning (5 points), and made out with a young woman in the hot tub (5 + 5 bonus points). The fact that the hot tub hasn’t attempted to take its own life by jumping off the roof is a mystery. That hot tub has developed antibodies for the hundreds of viruses, bacteria, and bodily fluids it has been exposed to over summers of filming. If we donated that hot tub to science it would lead to the cure for cancer, the male birth control pill, and the first Jacuzzi to learn how to communicate with sign language.
Snooki (Jersey Shore, Simmons), 21 points: Snooki is our Dionysus. A mythical creature of lust, intoxication, and unadulterated id. Jionni, what in the world makes you think you have the right to be upset with our Dionysus because she gets drunk (11 points), falls down (10 points), and wants to enjoy the freedom of nudity among her fellow revelers? Don’t deny us our Snooki, Jionni. She stumbles through the minefield of etiquette, morals, and social grace with the finesse of Fred Astaire. Trying to turn Snooki into a square is like trying to turn day into night, water into wine, or Nate Robinson into a pass-first point guard. It can’t happen, it won’t happen, and you know what? No one wants it to.
Courtney (The Bachelor, Lisanti) 15 points: Courtney The Model Who Won’t Stop Talking About Being A Model is the most attractive woman on The Bachelor. [Ed.note: Jacoby is insane.] Naturally, all the other women hate her. She is just attractive enough that Ben’s subconscious will attribute personality traits to her that she does not possess. Men do this all the time.
You know when your buddy has a new lady in his life and he says something like, “She is super-hot, but she's so much more than that. She’s smart, funny, cool, and down to earth. Nothing like those girls I dated before.” You just smile, nod in agreement, and tell him how excited you are for him knowing deep down that she’s probably hot, but definitely a crazypants with the personality of a bowling pin. Then, a month later, after she calls him collect from jail asking for bail money because she was caught smuggling weed inside to her ex-fiancÚ during a visit, the two of you have a good laugh at the idea that he once thought she was “smart” and “down to earth.” It happens all the time. That is what Rafa is doing with Courtney The Model Who Won’t Stop Talking About Being A Model. After a couple of make outs (5 points), he actually said this to her: “You seem super-grounded. That is one of the things I like about you. Everyone seems to like you.” Hey Ben, guess what? Everyone actually hates her and when she saw that you had a dog she said to you, “You’re going to be a good dad,” and then later told the producer in an interview, “He's great. He has taught me that I do want children someday ... I think it is going to be amazing. I am looking forward to that chapter" (10 hinting-at-procreation points). Nothing screams “super-grounded” like meticulously planning the rest of your life together with some dude that you just met who is concurrently dating two dozen other women on a reality show.
Blakeley (The Bachelor, Lisanti), 10 points: This week, Blakeley scored ten points for the cry-and-kiss combo and left me totally bewildered. Ya see, Blakeley’s lower-third I.D. graphic that reads, “VIP Cocktail Waitress, Charlotte NC” posed more questions than it answered. Do they have VIP Waitresses in Charlotte? What exactly does a VIP waitress do that a waitress doesn’t do? Does she only serve cocktails? If you wanted a beer, would you have to go to another waitress? I wanted to learn more. So, since I am a journalist and all, I hit up Google to find her place of employment and get to the bottom of this. No dice. Then, I was feeling extra journalisty and Googled “Charlotte Nightclub” and started cold-calling some nightclubs to ask about Blakeley. (Yes, this is what I do in my spare time.) Anyway, after getting a bunch of voice mails and automated messages telling me drink specials and which night is ladies' night, I made contact with a human being:
- Human Being at Butter Nightclub: “Hello.”
Me (to myself): Whoa. Someone picked up. I should have planned for this.
Me: “Hello. I have a strange question. I write a thing about reality television for ESPN and I was wondering if a woman who is now on The Bachelor named Blakeley worked there?”
Human Being at Butter Nightclub: “Yes. She used to work here.”
Me (to myself): WHAT? You need to think fast here, Jacoby. Throw out an easy question while you think of another one.
Me: “Does she still work there?”
Human Being at Butter Nightclub: “No. And I cannot talk about former employees.”
Me (to myself): Let’s just make one wild attempt to get some dirt.
Me: “Was she any good at her job?”
Human Being at Butter Nightclub: “Sorry, man, I cannot talk about former employees and we are getting ready to open right now.”
Me: “Can you put me on the phone with someone that can talk about former employees?”
Human Being at Butter Nightclub: “No. They’re not here right now.”
Me (to myself): Ya know, people in Charlotte are super-nice, so you should stop pestering this poor fella.
Me: “Let me leave my name and number so they can give me a call when they get in.”
Shocking news alert: At press time, I still have not received a call back.
This little anecdote is a good demonstration of what a fascinating, depressing, revealing, mystifying, and weird place the Internet is. Three minutes and four phone calls was all it took to learn exactly which VIPs Blakeley was cocktail waitressing for. Also, ten seconds and putting her name in Google was all it took to find out exactly what Blakeley looks like in her skivvies (no I won’t link to it, creepster). Turns out Courtney isn’t the only “model” in The Bachelor cast. However, Blakeley’s body of work is a bit different from Courtney’s.
Which brings us to this week’s top five list: the top five “roles” that Blakeley portrayed in her modeling career and what I imagine the pervy photographer’s words of encouragement were during the shoot:
- 5. Role: Christmas present
Pervy Photographer: “You have not been nice, Blakeley. You have been naughty.”
4. Role: Hooters energy drink can model
Pervy Photographer: “You know how they say 'Red Bull gives you wings?' We have you here because we want Hooters energy drink to give you a shameful, guilty feeling.”
3. Role: Hood ornament
Pervy Photographer: “Both hands on the hood. Imagine you are being searched by the police.”
2. Role: Sword-wielding dark angel straddling a motorcycle
Pervy Photographer: “Okay, Blakeley, can you put your legs around the front tire of the motorcycle? Good. Now turn toward me so I can see those black angel wings. Perfect. Now for this one, hold the sword over your head like you are Odysseus leading your troops to battle against the Trojans. What? No, not the condoms.”
1. Role: Toilet ornament
Pervy Photographer: “Okay, Blakeley. Um. Yeah. So. Whose idea was it to have this woman sit on top of a toilet, anyway? This is irresponsible and troubling. Sorry, Blakeley, you can get down from there now.”
Jennifer (The Bachelor, Lisanti), 10 points: Jennifer scored ten points for a kiss-and-cry combo and is a redhead. If you’re a redhead you could be an Olympic champion, a Nobel Prize winner, and run a gigantic charitable organization that helps millions of children around the world and people will still describe you as “the redhead.” It isn’t fair, but it’s true.
Jenna (The Bachelor, Connor), 10 points: Jenna the Blogger is the complete loonball from last week who locked herself in the bathroom, cried her face off, and repeatedly yelled “This is not how you are supposed to feel!" I am positive that Rafa told the Producers that he was going to send her home on the first night and they forced him to keep her by being all, “Don’t you want this show to be a hit? We know she's a little crazy, but depression, self-doubt, potential suicide, and instability are the pillars that lay the foundation of our ratings mansion. You have to keep her.” He did. She spent the first half of the episode talking crazy, then she cried twice (10 points), and then had this to say when she had one final chance to rationalize her erratic behavior:
- “I might want to be honest a little bit, I feel like I am a guy in how I act and so like being around girls all the time this is very abnormal for me. And what people say. I don’t want to think that I am not. I might appear as if I am not. I mean it is hard it is like only you. So it’s like waiting around for you and it is like totally worth it but I just I am not like a girl if that makes any sense.”
No, Jenna the Loonball Blogger, that doesn’t make any sense. None whatsoever.
Kacie B (The Bachelor, Jacoby), 5 points: Kacie B is the pretty, nice, normal, total-package Southern girl to whom every female viewer can relate. She is exactly who would be a good match for Ben The Bachelor. Which is also exactly why all those female viewers are going to turn on poor Ben The Bachelor when he chooses Courtney The Model Who Won’t Stop Talking About Being A Model in the final episode. It is inevitable. Based on these two episodes of the Bachelor, I can map out Kacie B’s next ten years: She will be devastated after being rejected by Ben, emotionally bounce back when she is announced as The Bachelorette (TV Guide cover), she will then get engaged (Us Weekly cover), then she will get married (People cover), then she will have twins (In Touch cover), then she will get divorced (Star cover), and then she will have a mid-life crisis (Playboy cover). There is nothing she can do at this point to alter the course of her life; it is like the tides, taxes, or the outcome of Denver Bronco games — controlled by a higher power.
Deena (Jersey Shore, Connor), 5 points: Let’s bookend this week’s installment of the GRTFL by finishing with the same gimmick it started with, an example of courtship in Seaside Heights, New Jersey:
- Deena: “Can I kiss you?”
Some dude named Damian: “Yeah.”
Grantland: 5 points
The Grantland Reality Television Fantasy League: Season 2 Begins
The 2012 Grantland Reality Fantasy League Awards
Reality Scorecard: The 2012 Draft Prospectus
Reality Scorecard: Here Come the Baseball Wives