Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/WireImage
When The Bachelor's Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi confirmed their break-up on Tuesday, their statement didn't offer a reason, but did indicate a desire for privacy. After such a public romance? What were they thinking? Lo and behold, hours later, Star debuted its new cover story, a tell-all interview with Girardi, full of tawdry accusations.
In it, the Bachelor winner reportedly calls Jake a "monster" who wouldn't have sex with her ("we haven't been intimate in months now"), made jokes about her dying dog and was only nice to her when cameras were rolling. This from the woman who, exactly one month ago, described her wedding plans in detail to the press. And yet... is anyone surprised that the pair broke up a few weeks after their final Dancing With the Stars appearance? Reality-TV couples are like that proverbial tree falling in the forest: without cameras rolling or paparazzi snapping, they might as well not exist. And after so many Bachelor couples hitting the skids, nobody was holding their breath for Jake and Vienna to actually set a wedding date.
But it wasn't always this way! Remember back in 2003, when The Bachelorette's Trista Rehn fell for contestant Ryan Sutter? Then married her? The parents of two are still happily together -- imagine that! The couple may be the greatest success story in the history of dating shows. And even though less than a decade has passed, that first season of The Bachelorette was a far more innocent time. In 2003, doing a reality show was more of an adventure, not a career path. It was much easier for us to believe that contestants on shows like The Bachelor were truly looking for love, not a ticket to fame, licensed merchandise and paid appearances. It's no coincidence that there were many more dating shows back then -- remember Blind Date, Change of Heart, ElimiDate, and Temptation Island? Years ago, we somehow believed in true (producer-orchestrated) love.
And although we're all less innocent now, we still want to believe. Why else would we bother tuning into The Bachelor after 14 seasons, when only one contestant (Molly Malaney, who didn't even technically win) has gone on to marry a Bachelor? We're all suckers for a happy ending. But if Vienna's allegations about Jake are true, then this controversial couple never had a shot at a happy ending to begin with. And that makes us wonder how much everyone involved was faking it. If we all lose faith in seeing real love on TV, is it still worth tuning in?
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