When I started watching Tila Tequila's dating show I was intrigued by the fact that she was going to introduce a bisexual element. Sure, it is not exactly groundbreaking to put gay or bisexual themes into TV shows any more, I thought it might be something different though and so I made the mistake of wasting my time watching it.
I became more and more disillusioned as the show progressed. This upset was more with Tila than anything or anyone else. She says she has had a past filled with drugs and gang-banging and her only money-making talent so far is getting naked (her singing ability is less than star quality to my ear), but I can overlook that. It was her attitude toward her suitors, the degrading things she made them do, and her cue-card delivery that turned me off.
The contestants were pretty much what you would expect on such shows. They were eager to please, but I was not sure how many of them were really that interested in ending up with Tila and how many just wanted to get their 15 minutes of fame in whatever way they could.
I know that these shows milk a lot of humor out of making fools of the contestants and this one was no different. I do think that Tila broke new ground in just how low she made them crawl though. Okay, maybe it would be more realistic to say that she allowed them to make bigger asses out of themselves than most shows do. Is there a line somewhere that good taste will just not let you cross? If so, how do you know when you get to that line? When is the masochistic groveling of these contestants no longer interesting? For me that moment came with the penis-eating challenge. At least that was the defining event of many memorable moments on Tila's show.
In said challenge the contestants had to eat some cooked penises. As an aside, those penises were said to be beef but, having grown up on a farm, I kinda doubt it. I mean those weenies were only like eight-inches long and no bull I have ever seen was so meagerly endowed. Not that I ever did any close up inspections, but you can be standing on the other side of a pasture and see what Mr. Bull is packing and whatever those contestants were eating was not that. What they were eating looked more dog-sized to me.
Picture yourself as one of those contestants. For the rest of your life you can tell everyone that your one big chance at fame came from eating dog pecker on national television. It would be fun to lift some stills from that show, blow them up, and send to each contestant to hang on their wall.
What about Tila though? She was laughing her head off while the penis-eating was going on. Of course she was, why not? That contest reminded me of being in grade school when some older kids might get a gullible younger kid to do something gross. You remember that? It might be something like giving them a quarter to eat their own boogers and then laughing at their stupidity once they did it. That was what Tila reminded me of, a bully laughing at gullible fools. Would you make someone you professed to have feelings for degrade themselves like that? I don't remember her kissing any of the contestants immediately after that contest. I wouldn't either, at least not till after they had brushed and flossed.
Then she further humiliated her final few suitors by bringing their families onto the show. Most of them got off fairly easily, I suppose, but Bobby Banhart's mother will no doubt be trying to live down her turn on the old stripper pole for some time. Then again maybe dad will install a pole in the living room and mom can get all oiled up, put on a g-string, and entertain the family Saturday nights. The Banharts initially impressed me as a different sort of family than that. I guess it is true that fame changes people.
Once the show was over it occurred to me how similar all of the celebrity-dating shows are. None of the stars ever end up with the winner of the show. I watched the reunion show from Bret Michaels' Rock of Love and remember hearing Jes (the winning contestant) say that she hadn't even seen Bret since he dropped her off at her hotel after the show ended. He said that, according to the rules, he wasn't even supposed to do that, but it was the least he could do for her. She broke up with him on the reunion show because, according to Page Six, "she had taken up with a Chicago clothing designer upon returning home."
I heard rumors that Tila's winner, Bobby said essentially the same thing; that she would never return his calls after the show ended. Tila said that Bobby couldn't deal with her hectic schedule and so he had broken up with her. Two different viewpoints on the same event I suppose. The MTV bio on Bobby says that he "puts his girlfriends first and foremost, but he sometimes has issues trusting them because he's been cheated on more than once." I wonder if this seeming deception on national TV has helped him feel more secure with trusting girls?
So the little light bulb went off in my head and I realized that the producers of these shows had probably built a "cooling off" period into the contract. That way, during the intervening months between the end of taping and the reunion show, everyone's passions could cool down and people could move on with their lives and no one would end up together and there could be a third and fourth season of the show. That way it wouldn't be a deliberate "fix" of the show but the end results would be the same.
The contestants might be hurt when they realize that none of it was ever been real, or that it had only been real for them and not the stars. But oh well, live and learn. an old saying goes "there is a sucker born every minute" and that certainly seems to be the case with these shows. Even so, that same fact will ensure that there will be an endless pool of applicants eager for the abuse that these shows will heap on them.