Trouble in Bachelor Town?

Every season, the day after the airing of the Final Rose ceremony and After the Final Rose show, the happy couple from the Bachelor/Bachelorette do a teleconference call with the media and answer questions. When they are done, the rejected Final 2 contestant comes on the call to answer questions.

Another staple every season: The happy couple begins their media tour right after the final show. Usually, they go on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and then a morning show. Then they hit the talk show circuit. Within a few weeks, they fade into obscurity as attention focuses on the next season.

The first sign of trouble in paradise came earlier this week when ABC posted its press release of the post-show teleconference. Brad Womack and the woman he chose, whom everyone says is Emily Maynard, will not be on the call. Instead, host Chris Harrison will be on the call to talk about them (translation: dto do damage control.) After that, Brad’s rejected F2 (Chantal O’Brien) will answer questions. The second sign of trouble was learning that the couple won’t be on Jimmy Kimmel Live after the final show airs. Instead, he’ll be announcing the next Bachelorette.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that interest in Brad and Emily will be greatest — and ratings highest –in the hours and days immediately following the final show’s airing. ABC and The Bachelor aren’t in this for a love story, they are in it for money. The contestants are bound by contract to appear on media shows as requested. There’s no way the Bachelor would give the couple a pass. It’s contrary to their financial interest. So, the question is: Did Brad and Emily break up? And, are they together now, or not?

Reality Steve, whose initial information this season was wrong, today says he has a new scoop. As much as I’d like not to believe him, what he writes is exactly what I’ve been thinking all week and makes too much sense not to be true. Bottom line: Brad and Emily got engaged, and then broke up. Right now they are back together, but it’s anyone’s guess what will happen. There’s trouble in paradise.

That may explain why the After the Final Rose Show will feature three past couples, with only a short segment with Brad and Emily. One, the show needed filler. And two, as Steve suggests:

The ATFR almost seemed like an intervention from the shows successful couples to tell them how to make it. Almost like a pep talk….

I have never thought Emily Maynard would uproot herself and her child from Charlotte, NC, and move to Austin, TX, after dating a guy a handful of times over three months. She’s only 25 years old, and for her entire adult life she’s been known as a “Hendricks.” She’s been very connected to them, financially and otherwise. I can’t imagine the Hendricks want their grandaughter moving to Austin, TX. They may not have a direct say in the matter, but I suspect they’ve made their feelings known and raised concerns.

Also, Emily and Brad come from very different economic backgrounds. Emily comes from money — her father is a wealthy businessman , and the Hendricks are very wealthy. She and her late fiance, Ricky Hendricks IV, met in Key West where both sets of parents were building multi-million dollar second homes. Brad Womack owns four bars in Austin, with his brothers and another business partner, but he is not a wealthy man, not by the Maynard-Hendricks standard. Nor does he live the lifestyle she’s accustomed to.

Brad is 38. Emily is 25 with a 5 year old daughter. Neither have ever been married or raised a child with a partner. (Emily’s fiancee died before she learned she was pregnant.) They have no friends in common and don’t share a common lifestyle. For Brad, leaving Austin is not an option. Emily has to be wondering whether it’s too soon to be making such huge changes in her and her daughter’s lives and losing the only support system she’s ever had as an adult.

There’s no question Brad believes he’s head over heels in love with Emily. Emily seems enamored of Brad. But she doesn’t seem head over heels in love with him. She may just be in love with how much he professes to love her.

When Brad and Emily broke up, I’m sure the show and network pulled out all its stops to get them back together, from offering therapy to getaways. They’ve even enlisted couples from past seasons to give them encouragement. And they may be together now, but even if it’s real as opposed to for show, I doubt it will be for long. There’s trouble in paradise, and this is not a couple who is going to make it to the altar.

Chris Harrison told Extra last month that Brad made the right choice “for him.” He stressed “for him.” Apparently, it may not have been the right choice for Emily. And clearly, their current relationship, if they even have one for real, is far too fragile to withstand media interviews.

I have to say, I don’t blame Brad Womack. He fell in love and proposed. He didn’t wimp out. Unfortunately, as the show has alluded to in previews all season long, the question was always, would the woman he chose be able to love him back? Emily may want to love Brad, but she can’t make the leap. She’s too young and still too much a part of the Hendricks’ family, brand and lifestyle, to be able to make the break. And the more Brad pleads, the weaker he will seem to her, until she breaks it off completely.

To add to this sorry state of affairs, the show has picked a completely uninteresting woman to be the next Bachelorette. Ashley Hebert has as much appeal as going to the dentist (a profession she’s aspiring to, but willing to delay while she takes a second shot at reality tv stardom.) She’s hyperactive, she alternates between shrieks and giggles and clamming up emotionally, she’s not alluring or sexy, her head is too big for her body and she’s as bland as they come. Who wants to turn on their TV only to see the white bread girl next door?

Will I watch? Yes, to see the guys. But if they’re as bland as they were during Ali’s season, not for long.