Did producers of The Bachelor downplay the born-again virginity of this season’s eligible stud horse, Sean Lowe? (I would use the term “cover-up,” but c’mon, it’s The Bachelor.)
Instead of telling us what made him different than all the previous bachelors, the show edited Lowe to look like every other guy. But when he was finally allowed to speak freely on Monday’s live “After the Rose” interview, Lowe came across as more religious. He said that during his final deliberations, “I stayed in prayer constantly.” On why he finally picked Catherine, he told Lindsay: “God reveals things on His own time.” Host Chris Harrison asked simple questions—about an overhyped letter Catherine wrote to Sean. The couple announced they will get married on live TV at a later date.
Lowe told me he didn’t understand why the virginity story had gotten so much attention. “I’m shocked,” he said. “I don’t know why every tabloid feels the need to talk about it.” Of the born-again virgin label, he said, “I’ve never described myself that way,” though he later clarified, “it’s true.”
“It’s a decision that I’ve made,” he added. “But I don’t think it needs to be discussed on the show. That’s my personal opinion … for me, it’s a non-story.”
And apparently–and amazingly–that wasn’t the only religious angle to The Bachelor this season:
There were other notable omissions from the season. The women on The Bachelor were more conservative than the usual single ladies who party at the house. Many of them arrived with their Bibles in hand. (They were allowed to keep the Bibles, unlike their cellphones, which they had to forfeit.) A lot of their talk about Christianity didn’t make the broadcast.
“Every morning, there were six or seven of us that had Bible study and did our daily devotion,” said Leslie Hughes, who was eliminated after her Pretty Woman date. “That was recorded and we were really excited. It was different than previous seasons. Being a Christian too and being in the industry, I was kind of hoping they would [show it].”
“I don’t know if ABC is hiding it,” said Eric Andersson, a senior writer at Us Weekly who covers The Bachelor. “I don’t think they are playing it up as much as they could.”
If we were living in a world where public displays of Christianity were common–like, say, in the 1920’s, or in the fevered nightmares of Richard Dawkins–I’d say, “Of course, that’s clearly a non-story.”
But we’re in a world that’s starving for positive portrayals of Christians, and I personally am so starved that I’m even willing to see it on The Bachelor.
Now, later on we can talk about how The Bachelor is a travesty and utter desecration of everything that’s good about relationships between men and women. Baby steps.