As I have shamefully admitted in the past, I watch The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise. This season has been very lame, but the episode airing last Monday evening (July 7th), really took it over the top.
As anyone who has watched this season knows that one of the contestants, Eric Hill, was tragically killed in a paragliding accident. Hill was eliminated from the show early in the season after having some choice words with Andi. He called her a “television actress” and indicated that she was fake. She wasn’t happy about that and eliminated him on the spot. I found Eric’s demeanor to be pretty classy (why was he on this show again?), and in my view, he was extremely accurate in his assessment of Andi.
The July 7th episode chronicled the hometown dates of the remaining four contestants. Then, the four suitors and Andi were called over to Chris Harrison’s home. Chris then passed along the news of Eric’s death to the five of them. Obviously, everybody was very upset. The loss of life is always tragic, especially in someone so young. Unfortunately, the show’s handling of Eric’s death was nothing short of exploitative.
The thing that made me upset was that is wasn’t about Eric; it was about Andi and the rest of the show’s cast and crew. I feel like Eric’s passing had already been addressed in a previous episode (and it was kind of obnoxious there, too). I realize they need drama on for a show that’s been pretty unremarkable this season, but to capitalize on a young man’s death? Does anybody on that show care about making his family have to relive the worst news of their lives on national TV?
Doing “nothing” would have been better than the way it was handled. If they felt like they needed to address it in “real-time,” I feel like a tribute montage with some information about the Live Like Eric Foundation would have been more appropriate.