When Did Watching Someone’s Heart Break Become Entertainment?
They’ve done it again. Last night, on The Bachelorette Australia finale, we sat and watched a man’s heart break on national television. It was gut wrenching and truly awful to watch the moment that Georgia told Matty that she was in love with someone else. And it perfectly echoed the finale episode of The Bachelor Australia when Richie surprised viewers by dumping Nikki for Alex.
We all knew what was coming because of the Golden Rule of Arrival Order. The first one out of the car gets dumped. The second one out is always the winner, without fail. When we saw Matty exit the first car, we knew that the cheerful, enthusiastic and absolutely smitten young man was about to hear some very bad news.
“I genuinely adore being in your company,” Georgia told him before delivering her decision. “I came here to fall in love. And I have. But it’s with someone else.”
We actually saw the brutal moment his heart broke. He took a step back and bent over, hands on knees as if in genuine physical pain. Then he regained his composure and carefully worded his response.
“I guess it’s … I’m absolutely devastated,” he manages. “I wanted to meet someone here who I could spend the rest of my life with and I have but … it just sucks you don’t feel the same way. “But I’m so happy you found what you’re looking for. And I’m sure you’re gonna make Lee the happiest man in the world. And I wish you guys all the best.”
Everyone’s heartbroken at this point – Georgia is crying, Matty’s trying to hold it together in front of the cameras, I’m in tears, and people all over Twitter are flipping tables and sobbing for the poor guy.
That was brutal. I can see his heart breaking. #bacheloretteau
— Claudia Wood (@claudiaannewood) October 27, 2016
#BacheloretteAU this is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen ?
— Alexander Porter (@alexjamesporter) October 27, 2016
Seriously. Stop making us fall for the person you are kicking off. MAKE THE PAIN STAHP! #BacheloretteAU
— Tina Burke (@teeburke_) October 27, 2016
ITS LIKE KICKING A PUPPY #BacheloretteAU
— gooey pancake (@daniellelah) October 27, 2016
Push her in the pool!!! #BacheloretteAU
— Joel Creasey (@joelcreasey) October 27, 2016
So we all know how it ends. Georgia picks Lee, who, to be fair, is perfectly lovely and handsome. No one hates him, no one is begrudging him. He got the girl, well done. They each declare their love for each other, they kiss passionately, the music swells and the credits roll. Her decision is her decision. We don’t have to live with the guy, what’s it to us who she picks?
I think that’s the problem. In their desire to get us as heavily involved in the romance as possible, the producers of both versions of the series edit the show in such a way that we, the viewers, begin to fall in love with the contestants ourselves. Which is all well and good, everyone loves to love and hate their favourite TV characters, right?
The problem lies with the brutal rejection of the personalities – and the real life human beings attached to them. Perhaps if they (and us) weren’t led on so dramatically for effect, it wouldn’t be so hard to watch. And they do lead everyone on, so we can all be genuinely shocked when the “favourite” doesn’t win.
But hey, we’re all talking about it today so the producers did exactly what they were paid to do, right?
Nup. I’m out. I don’t think I’ll be able to watch another series of Australian Bachelors or Bachelorettes. It’s become a blood sport. A humiliating, traumatic spectacle made acceptable by another person finding happiness.
Images courtesy of Channel Ten