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The Bachelor

The Bachelor USA vs. The Bachelor Ukraine: Similarities, Differences, and Things ABC Should Steal

Just like it’s always five o’clock somewhere, it’s always time for The Bachelor. And now is the time to watch the Ukraine version — starring Dancing With the Stars hot-attack Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

Credit: YouTube screen capture    

The series premiered on March 17, and dedicated Bachelor afficionado Codebear4 has been posting episodes on YouTube. The first episode is online in eight parts — it’s fun to watch, though we can't understand much besides things like “Mel B” and "Spice Girls.”

It’s not like you really need to know what people are saying to understand (and yet never understand) the now-worldwide phenomenon that is The Bachelor. From what we've seen so far, there are a lot of similarities between our beloved American version and this new version. There are some differences, too. In fact, our version could learn a lot from the Ukraine. (Pssst, ABC — get yourselves a nifty flat screen! If you can afford to fly the crew to South Africa, you can afford a TV.)

Let’s review:

Credit: YouTube screen capture    


They have the classic bio intros
We see flashes of Maks's past, including pictures of his fellow DWTS pro Karina Smirnoff. They were engaged for a short period of time, and we see her flash her engagement ring in the video montage. He makes a "what can you do" style shrug. We're dying to know what he said. Can anyone translate?

The chicks get drunk in the limo
They sit there drinking, shouting, and "woo-ing" — just like all the other crazy people who go on this show. Then they emerge one at a time to approach Maks, who stands there and greets them. However, there are some differences with the intros. See below.

There's a Chris Harrison
A young, dark-haired guy does all the Rosemaster duties, from sitting solemnly with Maks before the ladies arrive in their limos to talking with him in deliberation and letting the rejected women know when it's time to hit the road.

There's a gorgeous mansion
The snow-capped fairy tale chateau is like something out of Tolstoy. Wait, scratch the Tolstoy part; he was too depressing for this.

There's drama
During the Rose Ceremony, we see girls gritting their teeth and getting annoyed when other girls get roses. Then we hear the women presumably talking smack about those girls, like Sasha and Marina. Rejected girls cry and have their words bleeped out. There seem to be drama divas, sex kittens, and sweethearts, same as ever. We even think we spotted a single mom or two.

Personally, we're pulling for the sweet-looking flight attendant who seems thrilled to get a rose and the bachelorette with short-ish blonde hair who cried in her intro. No idea what that was about, but we're feeling for ya, girl.

Credit: YouTube screen capture    

It looks like there's a ring and a happy ending!
In a dramatic preview of the season, we see someone putting a ring on a girl's finger, and then we see the same woman exiting a Cinderella-style carriage in a beautiful white gown. The camera pulls back as Maks and this woman embrace. Is he engaged right now? Is that why he's so happy on DWTS?


We meet the ladies as Maks does
On the USA Bachelor, we usually get a sneak peek of the ladies ahead of time, before they get out of the limo. On the Ukraine version, when the ladies step out of the limo one by one, we cut to their personal stories. This is a good time-saving idea, but ABC has never been worried about repeating stories.

The wardrobe is more varied
Never mind stuffy suits and ties, Maks deliberates in his falling-apart white Yankees T and doles out roses in jeans and a hot black leather jacket. Some of the women at the Rose Ceremony are also dressed casually. Some are more formal and wear exotic wraps.

Credit: YouTube screen capture    

The deliberation is much cooler
In Part 8 of 8, we see Maks — in his Yankees T-shirt — using his hands to flip through a flat screen with photos of the ladies, instead of staring at framed photos like the American Bachelors. The Ukraine version is much more technologically advanced.

The women are slightly more varied
Not in a major way — there are no older or heavy-set women or anything. They're all pretty young and attractive, and some of his ladies are downright gorgeous. But some of them have short or curly (not just wavy) hair. One even has — gasp! — glasses. And he doesn’t kick her to the curb!

Intrigued? Start watching the journey now:

04.2.2011 / 02:06 AM EDT by Gina Carbone
Related: The Bachelor, Gossip, TV Stars

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