The Bachelor Franchise Has Entered Murky Territory With New Pageant Series

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
There's a new Bachelor show in town, and it's taking the form of a pageant. The show, produced by The Bachelor's Mike Fleiss and ABC's Robert Mills, is called The Proposal. It has the same-ish premise as its 15-year-old sibling, and it will even have a Bachelor veteran at its helm. Jesse Palmer, a former Bachelor, will host The Proposal, as per Us Weekly.
The show will center around one eligible person whose identity is not revealed until the end of the pageant. Oh, yes, and that. There's a pageant. Ten contestants will compete in four rounds of "pageantry." This will include, according to Us, a first impressions round, a 'beachwear' round, a romance round, and a meet-the-family round. In the final round, the contestants will compete to win the approval of family members of their bachelor. At each round, the bachelor will send contestants home. By the time there are only two left, the suitor will emerge, and, ostensibly, some sort of romance will occur.
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Mills told Us, "Viewers are going to love this show – it’s all part of the same DNA as The Bachelor franchise." It's like The Bachelor but with sudden death, and... a beachwear round.
The Bachelor loves a good swimsuit, so it's not as if a beachwear round is utterly off-tone. But it's hard to believe that a "beachwear round" will be anything but degrading and embarrassing for the contestants involved (and that includes all genders).
The Proposal is similar to the erstwhile dating show The Dating Game, which pitted a bachelor against three hidden suitors. After a line of questioning, the bachelor would pick one suitor and go on a date (presumably). The Dating Game, which first aired in the 1960s, got a reboot in the '90s, which lasted all of three seasons. The formula works, maybe, but it might not have the lasting effect of The Bachelor.
The Proposal airs this summer on ABC.
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