Nick’s Neoliberalism

A Bachelor Prediction by Kristina Pedersen

February 14 2017 — Valentine’s Day

I feel as though I am not rewarded for my consumerism the same way that I am rewarded for my production, and I want to be rewarded. I want to feel like it matters, like all the stuff and experiences matter. I’m not necessarily looking for a cash back kind of situation, but what I seek is rooted more in the way you might pray to a god and hope to get some some kind of response, some kind of affirmation, that not only is your god a god that hears you, but that it is also a god with an answer. So that’s why I’m watching The Bachelor right now at 4PM on Valentine’s Day.


AS LAZY AND PIECE-OF-SHIT-Y OF A PERSON you have to be to tell your mom that watching The Bachelor and writing a Bachelor prediction is a ‘project’ that you’ve been ‘working on,’ you have to be an even lazier piece-of-shit-y-ier person to finish it 5 episodes after you wrote it. So now I am finishing it here tonight, the Tuesday after Episode 8 (the one where the host refers to the rose ceremony as “a necessarily evil, it has to happen.”).

We know Rachel is going home in next week’s episode because it was announced yesterday that she will be the first black Bachelorette in Bachelor Brands history (which is an entirely different conversation that I cannot wait to have). Which means Nick chooses Corrine over Rachel, which means he likes Corinne the best of everyone: because if he didn’t like the BEST normal person (Rachel) then he obviously doesn’t like the less good normal ones (Raven, Vanessa, Danielle, Kristina) better than the crazy one. Episode 8 leaves us with some foreshadowing that Liz comes back and tells Nick she’s pregnant or something equally melodramatic. If you run this situation through your head, fully play it out, and conclude that, at the bottom of your heart, you know only Corinne would stay by his side in this event, then we are on the same page.

For those in unfamiliar territory right now, let’s address the basics:

Nick is a paradoxical Bachelor Institution existing within the Bachelor Institution. Most of his young adult (emotional) life has been spent in steady orbit around the franchise: he was a runner-up contestant on The Bachelorette not once but twice and then went on to compete (?) as a contestant (?) on Bachelor in Paradise.

And now, as The Bachelor, competing partially against himself and partially against the devastatingly nebulous imbroglio that is a relationship with another human, he is losing again.

NICK’S NEOLIBERALISM.

Nick has taken an extremely laissez-faire approach to the whole thing (finding love), which of course is more and more obviously failing him. This approach (and its failure) leads to a scramble, a desperate attempt at control that manifests in a 3-woman-send-home in episode 7 and another two surprise send-homes in episode 8. Nick thinks it’s all gonna work itself out because this is TV and this is love! Don’t get me wrong: I think the idea of the show is spot on. I think if you are presented with 20 random hot people, and if you work hard enough, you can definitely be in love with at least one of them by the end of a few weeks. But Nick’s idea that you let the relationship form itself and you just keep going along with what, in a feel-y sort of way, feels right and at the end it’s going to be all good is not unlike our country’s most recent approach to politics.

WHAT’S TO COME.

First, I think we need to address that we are all failing to actually account for Nick’s Bachelor Franchise history as we watch him tell each girl each day how ‘stunning’ they look, which is a giant effing clue and key to my bachelor prediction, if not a predictably tired dead giveaway. The guy lives in a Reality TV ecosphere about finding love with hot strangers, he’s obviously a little kooky if not a full blown child-like egomaniac douche.

His family acts extremely normal despite this. But what about the family of his bride: what family would accept a son-in-law that is obsessively preoccupied with having millions of people watch him fall in love over and over? A family that has an equally insane and recalcitrant daughter.

Which brings me to Corrine. We give Corrine a lot of shit for being bat shit crazy but time and time again Nick has made it clear that she staying. And when you watch them together they are both so awkward and gross with each other that you know it’s real. Because ‘love’ is sort of nerdy at first, or at least juvenile and uncomfortable and lame and completely unattractive to all parties not involved in the feeling. Corinne and Nick are perfect for each other and the only way they could have possibly ever met was on a reality TV show.

Now, as we saw in Episode 8, Corinne is seriously nervous because now she knows that Nick really likes everyone left there. So now she has to bring it. Now maybe she’ll become more presidential. Now maybe she will stop saying crazy shit. Now maybe she will turn into someone that can lead a household, a nation under a Bachelor, by exhuming some person inside her of which she has shown zero proof exists. But Nick will tell himself that that person is also inside the person he loves, deep down, and when he elects her to be his wife it’ll all be okay.

And now, after episode 8, Corinne is the only one that seems sane or, at the very least, interesting. The other girls are so obviously different than Nick, so out of touch with who he is and what he wants, not because the women are unfit but because Nick is a crazy narcissist. Nick is the normalizer which puts Corinne right at the center of a comfortably insane Bachelor Nation homeostasis.