At the end of The Bachelor premiere on January 5, Tara Eddings made an impression — on viewers and on this year’s man-with-the-rose, Chris Soules. Soules stopped the rose ceremony halfway to dash out of the room and have a heart-to-heart with the wise romantic adviser to all Bachelors and Bachelorettes, host Chris Harrison.
Eddings had more than a little to drink at the well-named “cocktail party” that evening and was struggling to remain upright. As Soules was seen saying to Harrison, “I was gonna pick her, but Tara’s, like, wasted drunk …” After taking Harrison’s somber nods of support, Soules returned to the room and eventually gave Tara a rose, keeping her in the mansion for at least another episode.
But Eddings was not to be the only super-drunk girl to provide sideline entertainment on The Bachelor this year. Jordan Branch, a fellow blonde spotlighted on the ABC program as she attempted to twerk upside down, was sent home in episode 2 after a night of alcoholic excess. Branch told TMZ that she actually blacked out during the taping and found the episode difficult to watch.
Branch also told TMZ it was The Bachelor producers who kept giving her drinks. She told the production team during casting that she was concerned about the amount of alcohol flowing in the Bachelor mansion, but while filming took place, producers kept refilling their glasses. Branch believes the producers used alcohol to “manipulate” contestants.
Other TMZ sources said contestants are free to refrain from alcohol during show tapings. The website also points out Branch did shots with Soules upon their first meeting after she emerged from the limo.
Cosmopolitan writer Patti Greco suggested that this year’s Bachelor series is playing up the drunk-girl storyline in order to make “boring” Chris Soules look like a good guy. Although tipsy women vying for the Bachelor’s heart is a regular part of every season, this year it is being used in service of the development of Soules’ television character, according to Greco.
“What purpose did Tara serve? And the answer is: To show what a stand-up man Chris is. He gave her a rose despite her bad behavior; he isn’t going to write a woman off just because she got a little wobbly. Couldn’t you just marry him on the spot?”
Tara was eliminated in episode 2 along with Branch. Eddings told ABC that her appearance on the show is not indicative of who she is off-camera.
“The main thing that I want him to know is that I don’t drink like that. The nerves definitely got the best of me.”
ABC reports that Eddings said on the show that her best friends are “Jameson, Johnny Walker and Jack Daniels.”
The Bachelor airs Mondays on ABC.