Fans of Sean Lowe are happy he’s been spoiled as the Season 17 Bachelor — but they should also be worried. This gig is a double-edged sword. No one emerges unscathed from the Bachelor “process.” It’s something we brought up last season to try to make Ben Flajnik feel less alone, because even the nice guys end up finishing last when they get sucked into the Bachelor machine.
Yes, Ben was — and is — a nice guy. He was very well liked after Ashley Hebert ’s season of The Bachelorette. The worst people said about him was that he was “boring,” which is what some people are now saying about Sean.
Even a super-sweet guy like Jason Mesnick — remember how aww-dorable the single dad was on DeAnna Pappas’s season of The Bachelorette? — he ended up being the most hated Bachelor since Brad Womack 1.0. You might be thinking “Sean would never do anything hurtful like reject everyone or dump his Chosen One for the runner-up!” You’re probably right. But Ben never did any of that, neither did Jake Pavelka. The problem is that it's rarely about the Bachelors — it’s usually about their bachelorettes!
Jake and Ben were both well-liked after their respective Bachelorette seasons — although maybe not salivated over like Sean. Keep in mind that he’s about to be descended upon by 25 women who didn’t know he would be the Bachelor. The 2013 ladies applied just knowing they’d be dating someone on TV. Maybe they figured the Bachelor would be Bachelorette 6 “winner” Roberto Martinez, since he was rumored early on to have the spot. Maybe they applied last year and were told to try again for the next guy. Sure, they’ll probably want to find love (the ones who don’t have boyfriends back home, anyway), but let’s not be naive — a lot of aspiring model/actress/TV stars go on this show to get exposure and launch a career. Others just go on to have a fun adventure, join the Bachelor Nation circuit, and maybe get a chance to go on Bachelor Pad (where they will have a much better shot at finding love).
Either way, every season of The Bachelor has drama girls, every season someone seems like they’re just there to “win,” and just about every season the Bachelor ends up liking a girl no one else likes, because she shows him one side of herself and we see another. This is not a new phenomenon. Rarely is anyone really ready to get engaged, after watching their fiancé date 24 other women. Then they have to hit the media circuit — where they will be asked just about every day about their relationship status, wedding plans, tabloid rumors, etc.
Maybe Sean will be the absolute best at navigating these waters. But if Sean ever rejects a “good girl” over a “bad girl,” fans may carry over their anger at her and end up blaming him. (This is what happened to Ben with Courtney Robertson, despite their ongoing love story.) Boys with be boys, and a pretty girl is hard to pass up — especially when she’s a pretty girl who isn’t afraid to show her emotions, even at the expense of the other girls in the house. Sean seems like a relatively reserved guy, but when’s the last time a shy, sweet, reserved girl won The Bachelor? (It was Emily Maynard! And look how that turned out for her and Brad...)
And what if Sean does pick only the sweet girls? We get a show about a really nice, mellow guy dating a whole host of really nice, mellow girls, and we’ll get the best sleep of our lives — during the show. We want him to find love, but we also want to watch an interesting TV show! Bless his beautiful, genetically gifted heart, but 10 weeks of Sean saying Hallmark card platitudes while he closed-mouth kisses America’s Sweethearts will not be exciting. It will get old fast. It’s hard to really find a happy medium between sweetness and drama, but at some point a TV show has to be produced.
Usually, seasons have happy endings and we quickly forgive/forget any grievances (is anyone still mad at Ashley for liking Bad News Bentley?). But there’s so much ratings-bait drama in the meantime that we can’t help but worry that Sean will not be able to make it out of his season with saint-like reputation intact. Maybe we’ll be wrong — but don’t be too disappointed if we’re not.