How 'Bachelorette' Contestant Chad Expertly Gamed All Of Us
While watching The Bachelor or Bachelorette, you have to constantly reevaluate contestants (if not the Bachelor or Bachelorette themselves) by asking one all important question: Are they there for the right reasons? Put simply, the right reason is love and the wrong reason is fame. That said, there is a spectrum when it comes to the right and wrong reasons, and while it is often fairly easy to place suitors on it, sometimes you're thrown a curveball. On JoJo’s season of The Bachelorette, that curveball is named Chad.
In the second episode, which aired Monday night, Chad absolutely took over. It started with normal Bachelorette villain activities like dissing the other guys and alienating himself from the group (the group that was being embarrassing AF with their JoJo song, to be fair), but soon escalated to a Rose Ceremony and cocktail party that was narrated by Chad. He effectively stole JoJo's job and I'm pretty sure he did it on purpose, thanks to a mind blowing Gladiator tweet he posted after the show ended (see below).
But before we got to that point a lot went down: Chad did pull-ups with his suitcase attached to his waist. Chad bonded with Damn Daniel. Chad went on a group date during which he called JoJo "naggy" and called all of the other guys fake right in front of them and her. Chad interrupted pretty much everyone's time at the cocktail party. Chad made ample use of the craft services table.
I was surprised to find myself at times intrigued by Chad's honesty. He questioned why the guys were already so obsessed with JoJo if they hadn't even gotten to know her yet. Plus, he clearly wasn't there to make friends and I always respect that. Was he... there for the right reasons?
But even with his enlightened words about the process, there's no justification for how rude he was to the other suitors and to JoJo herself. Calling the woman you are attempting to date "naggy" is inexcusable. As is claiming that JoJo "hates short guys" (as a dig at fellow suitor Alex) when you yourself spent the entire episode saying that you don't "know" her yet. Also inexcusable is how violent he seems to become in the next episode. It's unclear if he physically fights someone, but he does punch a door and shove Evan. (Chad wrote on Instagram after Monday night's episode: "...I'm not violent, but I will stand up for myself, being as I, like everyone else, do not like being harassed and bullied.")
Chad pulled us in with his refreshing honesty about the show's process, used that same honesty but took it to a much harsher place to position himself as the villain, and employed a number of gimmicks to keep himself front and center during the episode, eventually landing himself the job of narrating the entire cocktail party.
Chad is not eating deli meats because he’s comfortable with his true self; Chad is eating deli meats because people who eat deli meats get screen time.
If you ask me, the guy knew what he was doing. Hell, people even got pulled in by watching him eat. "Hey! He's relatable. He's just being himself and I'd be taking advantage of that buffet, too" was a sentiment I saw many fans tweet during the episode. But beware, people who are relating to Chad over his love of deli meats. Chad is not eating deli meats because he’s comfortable with his true self; Chad is eating deli meats because people who eat deli meats get screen time. I wish I could say that this was a display of self-confidence as shown through the unabashed ingestion of shaved turkey, but it was not.
And I'm sure the guys on the show knew it. I don't believe for one second that they were just making fun of him for eating for the heck of it. They knew that he was using it as yet another way to take over the show and that he would do everything he could to distract from the whole process and from their time with JoJo.
When Chad asked via meme "Is this not why you are here" I was overcome with a strange feeling. Was this why I was here? I always felt like I knew exactly why I watched the show: I enjoyed the ridiculousness of it all and also was sucked in by watching someone (maybe) find love. I've justified watching it many times before; I was confident. But then Chad just rolled up and was like, "Nope. You're here to watch a guy milk his 15 seconds of fame and it doesn't even matter how obvious he's being about it." And for a second I actually believed him.
Chad may have come up with a formula to get screen time and attention, but he is not the reason fans watch. We are not viewing the show ironically or to simply laugh at people. Sure, it can be downright insane sometimes, but the draw, at its basis, is seeing how people interact with each other in such an odd situation.
Although it may have seemed like Chad ran things during this particular episode, the show isn't his. He was able to draw in the producers with his blunt honesty and his nibbling of beef satay during the Rose Ceremony, but the producers still run things. And so, this Bachelorette season, like many before it, will end in a proposal — not with Chad talking about protein shakes or making digs at other suitors — and he won't be the one on bended knee. Chad's downfall is coming, and he can't do anything about that.
Image: ABC/Rick Rowell