The Bachelorette and its companion series, The Bachelor, adhere to a basic premise. A group of attractive men (or women) vie for the affections of a woman (or man). Last year, Bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis caused controversy by saying there could never be a gay Bachelor. At that time, host Chris Harrison told The New York Times Magazine that he saw no reason to try out a gay version of The Bachelor, since the existing formula works just fine.
“Look, if you’ve been making pizzas for 12 years and you’ve made millions of dollars and everybody loves your pizzas and someone comes and says, ‘Hey, you should make hamburgers.’ Why? I have a great business model, and I don’t know if hamburgers are going to sell.”
Daniel D’Addario wrote in Salon that Harrison’s comments presume that gay and straight courtship are different, when in reality, the two are very similar, “leaving aside the not-so-small fact that competitors vying for the star’s heart could fall in love with one another.”
The teaser for Monday’s Bachelorette explores that very possibility. The promo implies that two men competing for Kaitlyn Bristowe’s heart have fallen for one another. There’s one problem, however. As TMZ reported Thursday, the two men involved — J.J. Lane and Clint Arlis — are not gay.
Sources told TMZ that J.J. and Clint simply find the story humorous and even fed one-liners to producers to build the plot.
As Us Weekly reported, Arlis took heat on social media for linking to the promo with the caption, “Whoops, Sorry Dad.” The quote implied to some that the issue was a joke, and something for which an apology was needed.
— Clint Arlis (@ClintonArlis) May 27, 2015
— Michelle Hinton (@MichelleLandry0) May 29, 2015
Sources later told TMZ that Clint and J.J., both ex-athletes, enjoyed drinking beer in the Bachelorette mansion’s communal shower, a traditional “locker room” atmosphere. This led producers to ask questions and drive the “Brokeback Bachelor” storyline.
In an interview last week, Harrison revealed that producers had a hand in structuring Brody Toops’ exit from the show after he privately told them he wanted to leave. Learning Toops’ heart was with Britt Nilsson, the booted Bachelorette, producers figured out “the best way for that to happen,” according to Harrison.
The Bachelorette airs Monday night on ABC, when viewers will learn more about Clint and J.J.’s “bromance,” and what happened after Kupah left the mansion.
[Clint Arlis photo: ABC; J.J. Lane photo: ABC]