New Criticals

There is also the case of Ashley I., a 27 year-old woman shown each episode simultaneously laughing and crying uncontrollably over her crush, Jared. Whether or not these contestants actually do suffer from undiagnosed personality disorders, the problem is that the show uses them for entertainment. Each week, Ashley I.’s emotional outbursts provided the show’s “money shot,” a term originating in the pornographic film industry referring to the moment a man ejaculates (Grindstaff, 2002; Dubrofsky, 2009). Thus the “money-shot,” as Dubrofsky (2009) explained in her analysis of The Bachelor, is likened to the moment when a woman is revealed as “frighteningly over-emotional” and a failure at love.

The men on BIP were generally portrayed as helplessly dumb when it came to beautiful women. For example, three men fell for femme fatale Samantha, despite two of them being aware of her capacity to manipulate emotions. The backstory on Samantha is that she came to paradise having already begun a relationship prior to the show with another cast-member, Joe. Once in paradise, Samantha pretended she was interested in continuing a relationship with him. She was really using him to get a rose so she could stay in paradise and meet Nick, who was scheduled to arrive the following week. Interestingly, Joe had pulled the same exact move on a woman the week before; manipulating this woman’s feelings so he could get her rose and wait for Samantha to get to paradise. Both Samantha and Joe were vilified, but because Samantha bested Joe at his own game, he was re-framed on the show as a victim to her wiles and cleared of any wrongdoing. Double standards like this characterize BIP.