The Bachelorette: Will One Contender's Religion Be an Obstacle?

By , Contributor

Bachelorette Ashley Hebert is down to three contenders. The anticipation is high, eyes are glued to TV sets across the fruited plains, various Internet forums rumble with live threads, and the dramatic love of the summer begins its wind-down to an eventual wedding.

And who should insinuate his boring self right into the middle of this love story of the ages? President Obama!

All across the planet the groans of females ready for a chick drama rocked the world. To add to the chagrin, the President comes on right in the middle of Constantine throwing Ashley overboard, one of the greater moments of the season. Contenders seldom, if ever, do the walking away, much less have a President interrupt the whole thing with a speech.

Bachelorette constantine.jpgOkay, no more political talk. Point is, it’s not like there was some big announcement that America might really have wanted to know during prime time on a mid-summer night. Instead we get more of the same, which could have, even MSNBC would admit, waited till the next day. However, ABC did promise to continue The Bachelorette and will pick it up right where the President so rudely interrupted. Which ABC did and with the flick of fast forward we went by Obama.

So I did not know, before reading the fan forums on the ABC site, that one of Ashley’s final three is Jewish. Okay - why is this important? Well, religion is something people about to embark on a life together do discuss. Also,some Jewish people discourage mixed marriages though they do tolerate them. Interestingly, I’ve never known J.P. and Ashley to discuss their religious differences, at least not on camera.

I still think that Ashley’s going to pick J.P. and I thought she and Constantine were a no-go all along. I suppose she might pick Ben of vineyard fame; this show does a great job of keeping this sort of thing a secret. Dedicated viewers consider that figuring out the next great love couple is a large part of the fun. J.P. is almost ten years older than Ashley and there’s a possible religious issue. He is in construction, a job that allows better mobility to move to Ashley’s state of Maine. He lives in New York so a move for Ashley wouldn’t be too far. J.P. has a little bit of baggage in that he’d been married before.

Ben lives in California. While this would be a big move for Ashley at least there would be the reward of getting to live in California. He is closer to Ashley’s age. Ben comes from money and that gives him an advantage, if nothing else.

The bigger story this past week on The Bachelorette was the return of eliminated contender, Ryan.

ashley-jp.jpgIt seems that every season there is at least one contender who returns. Obviously the show’s producers consider this part of the scripting, an additional drama element. I don’t know how the returnee is picked; perhaps the producers confab with the Bachelorette, perhaps the most dramatic of the eliminated is chosen for more pathos. This year we also had the silly Bradley character return at Ashley’s request.

Ryan was a most interesting choice for the return because Ashley eliminated Ryan on the July 11 episode before that evening’s Rose Ceremony. She went to Chris Harrison and specifically said she knew of one contender who had not a chance and she’d just as soon have him leave without having to endure all the angst of a Rose Ceremony, the bother of a cocktail party beforehand.

Ryan was one of the top six but even so he was dismissed fairly abruptly. I can’t imagine why he chose to come back. To no one’s surprise, Ashley sent him packing yet again. Man, one public rejection seems a hard row to hoe. Yet the guy walks straight into another rejection, very public for the world to see. I don’t know if this takes guts or a total lack of brains.

Even with the continuation after the Obama speech, the show ended abruptly with J.P. and Ashley in the Fantasy Suite. It seems that the Presidential speech did some damage to this past week’s airing.

This coming Sunday night at 8 pm, ABC will air the "Men Tell All" Bachelorette special. This is a normal part of the formula. Right before the final two become the Final Choice, all the rejected contenders appear in a talk-show setting. That current season’s Bachelorette then sits in the hot seat at the right hand of Chris Harrison to take all their questions. By this time she will know who her final selection is but the truth does not slip. The final show is always set to air the following night so the "tell all" show raises the anticipation.

I think that Ashley will pick J.P. After the drama and joy of the finale the progress of the blessed couple can be followed in the tabloids.

Sometimes, folks, it isn’t pretty.

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Pat Fish has been a blogger for almost ten years. She has been published numerous times in the Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort book series and wrote for Blogcritics. She has written a few books and vows to write till death does part her from the keyboard. Pat loves to write about current…

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