If you're a fan of "The Bachelor" franchise, chances are your jaw dropped when you saw that former NFL player and Denver resident Colton Underwood was announced as the next Bachelor. You probably thought you were being punked.
Don't get me wrong, Colton isn't a villain, in fact he seems like a good guy. He comes across as kind-hearted and appears to take his philanthropic work seriously. But for many reasons, he's a less-than-obvious choice.
My thought process as I was catching up on the announcement after I just woke up went something like this:
Wait, what? Am I having a nightmare? Didn’t I just see Colton leave “Bachelor in Paradise” last night because he has no idea what he wants? Was Flop Sweat Blake or Human Vanilla Ice Cream Jason unavailable? How about Nick Viall? Doesn’t he deserve a 57th chance at finding love for all the right (staying relevant) reasons. I’m sure adult Boy Scout Ben Higgins would like another go. How about Jordan? At least he’d be unintentionally funny. ANYBODY BUT COLTON!!!
I went online to see if I was overreacting. Maybe ABC has its finger on the pulse. Maybe they know what America wants and I, at 47 and married, am just out of touch.
Nope, the vitriol runs deep online. On ABC’s Bachelor Twitter feed there were cries of ABC being tone deaf, fans not wanting to watch Colton for three straight seasons and people saying they’ll skip next season (they won’t). There were even a few fans questioning Colton’s sexual orientation.
After giving this some thought, picking Colton as the Bachelor is actually a smart move. In fact, it’s a downright devious move by ABC. Here’s five reasons why.
1) Colton brings buzz - Sure ABC could have gone with Blake, Jason or even Ben (my preference) but those guys are safe picks. You know what you’re getting with them, so they’re not really exciting. The Colton pick gets fans talking and ABC doesn’t care that most of that talk is negative, they just want you talking about the show. Sure, some people will say they won’t be watching but they will. They’ll be hate watching.
2) We might finally have an interesting lead - Let’s be honest, no one actually watches “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” for the leads. People watch for the contestants. We want to see men and women turn to mush or get aggro in the pressure cooker that is the Bach world. While Colton was a snooze on Becca’s season and a flip flopper on Paradise, when faced with 20-25 choices his indecisiveness will make for interesting TV.
3) Colton is emotionally unprepared - Here’s where ABC gets devious. There’s no way, after watching him struggle for two straight seasons, that anyone at the network could possibly think Colton is ready for marriage. He’s 26 years old, and by all accounts a YOUNG 26. He fell for Becca and fell (sort of) for Tia. Those two couldn’t be more different yet he “caught feelings” for both.
Colton completely misread his relationship with Becca. He was in love (like) yet she clearly wasn’t. Meanwhile in Tia he was partnered with someone who couldn’t be more ready for marriage, she practically had a veil on when he met her in Paradise, yet he runs. Putting Colton in the Bachelor driver's seat is devious because he’s so ill prepared. But it’ll make for good TV.
4) Colton is controversial - Even before Becca’s season of “The Bachelorette” Colton was making waves. He dated Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, asking her out publicly via social media. He dated Tia before Becca’s season, again, by reaching out to her on social media. Seems like that’s his go-to move. Will someone show up on his season whom he met on social media? It wouldn’t surprise me.
Colton also is a virgin, a first for a lead of this series. While some people may see this as no big deal, many others may think it adds fuel to the “Colton isn’t ready” argument.
5) Colton’s good looking - To me he looks like a Ken doll come to life but some people will watch just because Colton is attractive. There’s no accounting for taste, of course.
Don’t get discouraged Bachelor Nation, there’s reason for hope! Colton’s season may just be a good one. Just as long as Tia doesn’t show up.
Gazette media columnist Terry Terrones is a member of the Television Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. You can follow him on Twitter at @terryterrones.