Photo Credit: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images; ABC
Barbara Walters watched The Bachelor for the first time on Monday -- and she wasn't exactly swept away by Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson's romance. On The View, Waters, 82, railed against the popular dating show, saying that she was "deeply offended" by the season finale.
"I lost an hour of the rest of my life watching the last hour of The Bachelor... I think this show is such a degradation to women," said Walters, whose comment was met with unexpected applause from the studio audience.
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Walters explained that she couldn't understand why women would want to watch a group of ladies tear each other to pieces over "an ordinary guy with bad hair." She wasn't too taken with Flajnik's personality, either, recalling the moment where Courtney told him that she was in love with him and wanted to have his children... and his response was, "Really nice." And on top of that, Barbara was disillusioned by the show's dismal success rate. (Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter, the network's one happy marriage, met on The Bachelorette. And while Bachelor Jason Mesnick did marry a contestant, it was actually runner-up Molly Malaney, whom he reunited with after dumping winner Melissa Rycroft!)
"The Bachelor has been on for 10 years. Not a single Bachelor has married the woman he chose in the finale. It's a crock!" said the exasperated TV host.
The other ladies of The View had a more appreciative take on the show. Super fan Elisabeth Hasselbeck bragged that, between The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, she had watched for a total of 529 hours. ("That's 22 days!") Joy Behar said that she enjoyed watching the show because it makes her feel superior, joking, "but then, I feel superior all the time." And Sherri Shepherd posed an insightful theory about the show's appeal, saying that it fulfills a modern woman's desire for a traditional fairy-tale romance.
But in truth, it's neither traditional nor a fairy tale -- it's all just a (very entertaining) illusion. During Monday's After the Rose special, Ben and Courtney admitted that they'd already broken up once and were now "re-engaged," which doesn't bode well for their chances as a real-life couple.
True as it may be, Barbara Walters was really going out on a ledge by criticizing The Bachelor -- which is on ABC, the same network as The View and her former show, 20/20. But since she's been working at ABC for over 30 years, we're guessing Barbara has the unique perk of being able to speak her mind!