ABC’s newest reality show The Proposal is pageantry trash

ABC’s new show The Proposal was created by Mike Fleiss, the same guy who started the Bachelor franchise. Let’s just hope this one doesn’t catch on.

Basically, The Proposal is a condensed version of The Bachelor with a man proposing to one of ten women. For those who couldn’t handle the short ten-week courtships, just get ready… This happens in one night. ONE. NIGHT. And instead of dates or any type of interaction between the man and these women, this all happens in front of a live audience as the women strut around on stage like a pageant and the man is hidden from audience and female view until the proposal. What kind of trash is this???

So if that didn’t sound too bad so far, the show opens with the audience “meeting” this guy but apparently we don’t get to see him yet, either. Finding a mate shouldn’t be like The Voice. In the video introducing this guy he’s embodied by a weird shapeless cloud. Did someone Photoshop him out of those shots, or add a Photoshopped ghost from nothing? This guy lost his leg in a motorcycle accident, which helped shape him into the man he is today. At least Fleiss hasn’t forgotten the traumatic story element of the Bachelor franchise.

Then we come to the female introductions, which are honestly so embarrassing. Anyone remember that awful MTV dating show in the 00s, Next? It’s like that, but with a lot more social media shame now.

Thirty year-old Jessica loves to party but feels pressure since her parents married at 19. I think they’re regretting their talk of grandchildren, now. Morgan loves the beach but hates parades and thinks of herself as the Jennifer Aniston of Long Island. When one girl isn’t “writing or speaking, she’s tending to her massive collection of dolls“—if that’s not an uncomfortable descriptor, I don’t know what is. An Olympic weightlifter likes being blunt, a “totally hardcore” girl showed up in roller-skates (and walked downstairs in them!), Riona is proud of her calves and not scared of getting engaged in a day, a neuropsychologist likes twirling flaming batons, someone has a fear of bad grammar, and Monica bedazzles her clothes and learned to surf despite being horrified by the ocean. Horrified.

After those introductions, the ‘bachelor’ immediately has to narrow it down to 7. I honestly couldn’t even tell you who he picked, but he got rid of roller-skate girl, so I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get to see her fall over.

Remember how I said this was like a pageant? Well even though Miss America recently ditched the swimwear portion of their ‘competition’, this show picks up where they left off with a really objectifying portion in their “finest beachwear”. I appreciated that some of these bikinis were a little less revealing, including one pieces. You can tell that some of these girls are incredibly uncomfortable with their awkward laughs, but honestly I don’t understand how this was created. God, a girl wrote a ‘poem’ and I want to die.

From there, this guy knocks the girls down to 4 and we move on to a “dealbreaker question” period where they can be asked about anything, including sex and politics, and they have 30 seconds to answer. Questions included… How do you feel about dating an amputee? Are you able to live with the idea that a police officer husband might not come home after a shift? Tell me about your last relationship, how did it end, what did you learn? How physically adventurous are you in the bedroom?

After answering those questions, he knocks out the girl who answered the amputee question. At that point, the women meet this guy’s best friend Andrew who gets to ask more questions. Who is your best friend and what role do they play in your life? What is your idea of a perfect Sunday morning? How do you feel about kids and what type of mother would you be? Turns out, one of the girls doesn’t want kids because she likes to travel. So he immediately cuts out that lady from his life and finally shows himself.

This guy is literally ready to propose. Whaaaaat, I honestly don’t understand how this is a real show. The two women come out together and give their vows speeches before he picks one of them. They both get a little weepy and try to get parental approval (which… I mean, no). In the end, Monica gets a freaking proposal with a freaking Neil Lane ring. And apparently, they’re still together. HOW IS THIS REAL?!?

This show wasn’t even a guilty pleasure, it’s just guilty of being utter trash. I actually cannot believe I just spent an hour watching a pageant-turned-engagement show. This is completely destroying love and engagements and marriage… This is horrible. Can I get back to Love Connection or The Bachelorette… or other slightly less horrid reality shows, please? The rest of this season comes on after The Bachelorette each Monday.

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