Last night in the US, ABC aired their 23rd season of The Bachelor, but there's something different about this year's single suitor, and according to the internet, the show's producers are going to make damn sure we don't forget it.
A quick refresher, in case you're not familiar with the premise of the American show; the series revolves around a single bachelor (usually v. handsome), who starts with a pool of romantic interests (27, to be exact) from whom he is expected to select a wife. Over the course of the season, the Bachelor eliminates candidates at the end of every episode, by presenting a rose to each woman he wishes to remain on the show. Eliminations are based upon the Bachelor's personal feelings about each contestant, guided by the impression made by each woman during dates or other events of the week. Those who do not receive a rose are eliminated. Bye Felicia!
Got it? So, with the logistics clear, now we'll get to the good stuff. This season's eligible singleton is Colton Underwood, an all-American dreamboat, with buff shoulders, blonde hair and perfect teeth. He's a former professional football player and loves dogs. In fact, if you were to squeeze a white picket fence into a suit, you'd get Colton.
What's he got to loose?
Colton is also a 26-year-old virgin. And it seems that, for the show's producers at least, it's a huge deal! In The Bachelor's 20-second trailer, the words 'virgin' or 'virginity' are mentioned 4 times and the show's tagline 'What's he got to lose?' isn't exactly subtle either.
But Americans aren't renowned for their subtlety and to be fair, this is reality tv we're talking about – sensationalism is essential. So, what's our issue?
The V word
For us, it's the implications that come with the term. While virgins have appeared on the US The Bachelor before, it's never been the case for the lead, and all of those other contestants have typically been women.
The female virgins, both on the show and in everyday life, are often idealized as virtuous and beautiful, while male virgins, however, can come with an air of Steve Carell's desperation in that 2005 comedy.
In Colton's case though, the audience has very little to fault appearance-wise, so are we supposed to be trying to work out 'what's wrong with him?'. Or are producers implying that his 10/10 body is supposed to circumvent any whiffs of desperation? Or should we even care?
What we are certain of is that, come hell or high water, they're making his current sexual status everyone's business this season.