'The Bachelorette's Marquel Martin Should Be The First Black 'Bachelor' & Not Just For Diversity
It's no secret that ABC's inextinguishable reality competition The Bachelor and its counterpart The Bachelorette have a diversity issue. Time and again, we look through the romantic candidates for each of ABC's lovelorn guinea pigs, and they're just about as typically one-note as possible. There have been 18 Bachelors and 10 Bachelorettes and not one of them has been a person of color. How is it possible that we've made it all the way to the year 2014 without a single person breaking that pattern on a major network reality competition? It almost doesn't seem possible, especially when someone as magnetic as Marquel Martin pops up on Season 10 of The Bachelorette. Hello, ABC: Make Marquel the first black Bachelor , ASAP.
But beyond the notion that making Marquel the Bachelor would finally start ABC's journey to making these shows slightly, marginally more inclusive, the dude is also primed to follow in the footsteps of ABC finalist format for choosing Bachelors. Last season, ABC pulled Juan Pablo out of the mediocre middle to make him the star of the next cycle rather than waiting to pick one of the Fantasy Suite finalists. And after Juan Pablo's disaster of a season, fans were hoping the Bachelorette would either be Andi (great choice) or Sharleen (the better choice, albeit a total pipe dream). While Andi's magnetism was undeniable after she told off JP at the end of his season, is it so out of the question that in future cycles, ABC looks beyond the three finalists each season to choose their next Bachelor? There can't possibly be two Juan Pablos out there — and if there are, and Marquel is somehow the other one, it'd probably still be pretty great for ABC's ratings. It's clear Marquel is not the frontrunner for Andi's heart, why not start talks about having him lead The Bachelor?
Plus there's the part where Marquel's personality comes in handy: Unlike Juan Pablo, Marquel's personality clearly goes beyond having a sexy accent, a pretty face, and a talent for making out. Marquel is simply a cool dude — remember his cookie move during the initial Bachelorette mixer (above)? That was practically a Bachelor campaign video right there. Hell, he could replace all of The Bachelor's tired talk of "journey" towards love with some pastry-based metaphors. "Our love is like a soufflé, if you don't cook it just right, it implodes," however cheesy, would be about 1000 times better than one more "taking the plunge (off the side of a building)" trust exercises that manage to sneak their way into every Bachelor or Bachelorette cycle.
And while giving Marquel the job (opportunity, I guess) would certainly help the series start on its own journey into 21st Century, diversity is not the only reason to bring this guy back. (Neither are the pastry games.) Marquel is lively and interesting and fun — have we been able to say that about any of the past Bachelors? Sean Lowe was a normal, nice, dude. Ben Flajnik was a boring dude. Brad Womack was a living Ken Doll with an accent. And while most of them have seemed like perfectly nice people (even if Flajnik was easily swayed by a certain skinny-dipping model), their personalities have all been a little muted. Hell, not everyone is meant for national television.
Juan Pablo, for better or worse, was a step in the right direction for The Bachelor because at least there was something to grasp onto with him: he came off as something of an accidental (or cavalier, jury is still out) douche bag. Marquel has already shown so much personality in his few instances of being on camera, imagine what he could do with a whole season of screen time. Bachelor producers have this prime opportunity to breathe a little life back into this show. Andi was a great start, but the ratings are showing that Miss The Right Reasons isn't working ratings wonders. Perhaps, Mr. Guy With a Full Personality could take them back in the right direction.
Besides, Twitter is already on board:
Your journey is clear, ABC.