Cutting It Close

The world is a truly remarkable place filled with phenomena that may never be explained: the construction of Stonehenge, the Lost Colony of Roanoke, people arguing that Kobe Bryant was better than Michael Jordan, and how an episode of The Bachelorette that said goodbye to a third of the contestants could be so utterly forgettable.

There were of course the minor gems: the ritualistic spreading of protein powder like so many ashes, the obvious fact that a PA had to teach JoJo and the guys how to pronounce Uruguay, but mostly it was a lot of pouting over the fact that Jordan received (and will clearly continue to receive) the same preferential treatment he’s enjoyed all season. I don’t need that blabbermouth Reality Steve to tell me what I can plainly see with my own baby blues: this show belongs to Jordan and Jordan alone.

Sure, Robby will hang around now that Chad’s gone and he’s assumed The Pride of Tulsa’s role as The Man JoJo Most Wants to See Naked, but the poor man’s Ryan Lochte Sex Idiot doesn’t have much else to offer. You can almost see the smoke coming out of his ears every time he’s about to open his mouth. Even when it was just him and Jordan left in the latest off-season resort spot, he seemed genuinely surprised when the date card arrived bearing his name. There’s no fine line between idiocy and humility; those two traits are fairly well demarcated.

Which is why, on the first iteration of this year’s Bach Board, Robby’s got about the same mediocre odds to win the season as he does to be the next Bachelor. But he is, in the opinion of this bookie, a virtual lock to be on Paradise this upcoming season where the only requirement is looking good with a shirt off. Kudos, Sex Idiot – you’ve finally found a showcase for your fairly common skillset.

Normally I’d wait a couple weeks before opening the odds on the next Bachelor, but with Jordan seemingly such a sure thing (currently standing at 2/7 to win right now), there’s got to be some other action to keep me from essentially handing out cash for free. Without taking too much of a deep dive, I have to admit that Chase piques my interest; there’s something about him that makes me think we’ll see more of him in seasons to come. He’s a good blend of Ben Higgins’ candor and Chris Soules’ stature, while unfortunately lacking the respective charisma and charm of either. But if personality is the mitigating factor, he should be able to hold off Luke the War Robot who, although incapable of displaying emotion, does an excellent job of saying what an actual human would in most situations. On the opposite end of the spectrum is James Taylor, who’s the nicest normal person this show’s ever seen and the guy you’d most want to hang out with in real life, but that makes for lousy television.

That being said, there’s still plenty of show left. As a courtesy I called the main man to bounce the numbers off him. He was his usual helpful self:

“Took you long enough to finally hit the boards, Clint.”

“I’m still waiting for your crew to make it interesting. I’ve seen stop signs that are less clear than this season’s outcome.”

“Oh, you might be surprised,” he said enigmatically.

“Yeah, and I might get a date with Blake Lively, but I prefer to live in reality.”

“Don’t we all?” he said, pausing for a courtesy laugh. I didn’t oblige. Instead I made my way over to the liquor shelf and poured myself a healthy belt; I wasn’t about to continue the conversation without it.

“Speaking of subtlety,” I segued, “don’t think that I missed you having Vinny dole out free haircuts. Laying it on a little thick, aren’t we, Harrison?”

“What can I say? This year really is about…cutting costs.

I sighed and knocked back my drink. “Does that include laying off some of the writing staff?”

“Actually, I have been writing my own material lately.”

“Gee, I hadn’t noticed.”

“That’s great to hear, Clint. Let me bounce some other ideas off you before we get to your Paradise picks.”

Christ. What a morning to run out of scotch.

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