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How Real is Reality Television?

 

        ABC’S famous reality television dating show, The Bachelorette has dominated the media and many television screens for the past several years. Famous Bachelorette contestants such as Ashely Hebert and Trista Sutter have married the man they met on the show. The show is admired for its sexy contestants, beautiful dates and entertaining drama. However, as a fan of the show, I always wonder if the love portrayed on television is real. Do the contestants truly connect with one another or are they simply acting? Reality Television shows such as The Bachelorette, have become largely successful in the United States. Shows including The Bachelor and Bachelor Pad, which are also dating game shows, continue to succeed today. One year ago, Ashley Hebert was The Bachelorette for Season 7 of the reality show. She previously appeared on season 11of The Bachelor, hoping to find love with previous Bachelor, Brad Womack. ABC decided to give Ashley another chance to find love and she excitedly reappeared on the show as a single lady, desperately wanting to meet the man of her dreams. After three short months of beautiful dates and romantic travels, she fell in love with contestant J.P. Rosenbaum. J.P. proposed to Ashley on the final episode of the season, and she gladly accepted his proposal. The couple continued to date and recently married  on December 1, 2012, one year after meeting on the show. 

 

        Ashley, as well as Emily Maynard, Trista Sutter, and other young women who were The Bachelorettes have constantly expressed their love for different male contestants. They travel together, meet each other’s families and claim that they have met their true love. Through their close interactions and intimate connections, the viewers, just like myself, believe that they found love on a reality show. We trust that they will continue to develop their relationship after the show and eventually marry the man they chose. Some Bachelorettes, like Ashley and Trista, do continue their relationships after the show. However, their have been 8 other women on 8 different seasons that ended their relationship with the man they once chose to marry. Viewers have noticed this repetitive behavior from numerous contestants and it has caused suspicion, confusion and disappointment. Some viewers think that the Bachelorette’s only appear on the show for money or publicity. While others think that the Bachelorette’s are pretending to fall in love to attract more viewers and higher the show’s ratings. Since many viewers devote weekly hours watching the show and following the contestant’s journey, they feel disappointed to learn that these relationships quickly end. Although most couples end their relationships after the show, some contestants do find love and eventually marry. Therefore, we as viewers might never understand or discover the intentions of the Bachelorettes. Instead, we will continue to watch different men and women appear on television, hoping to find love on a dating game show. 

 
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Leen Hajjar

Mt Holyoke

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