We here at PopWatch — and by that I mean me and Slezak, who’ll once again be writing his weekly mini TV Watches — are gearing up for tonight’s 11th season premiere of The Bachelor (ABC, 9:30 p.m.) After chatting with bluntly outspoken executive producer Mike Fleiss, I give you five reasons you should be, too.
1. You won’t have to hear “Up Where We Belong” again… We had a love/hate relationship with last season’s theme song for Bachelor Lt. Andy Baldwin, officer and gentleman. “I paid an extra 20 grand for that song,” Fleiss says. “I dug down deep because I’m like, ‘That’s the key to the whole f—in’ thing, man. Gotta have the song. Gotta have the song.'” Fleiss isn’t expecting to have a theme for the new Bachelor, Brad Womack (pictured) — a successful, 34-year-old bar owner from Austin, Texas, whom he refers to as a “prism of hunkiness.”
2. But you will get to see another ambulance. “Second day of shooting — ambulance. Taking care of business, baby,” Fleiss says. “The first ambulance was in season 1. Who will ever forget Rhonda Rittenhouse and the panic attack? We were so relieved. We were like, ‘Ah, thank God, she’s having a panic attack. That’s gonna make for great TV.’ There hadn’t been an ambulance on a reality show like that in prime time. But now it seems it happens every f—ing show. Now, I’m like, ‘F—, an ambulance.’ But no, it’s good. A girl fell down the stairs and dinged herself pretty good.”
3. The women are “Hot. Hot. Hot.” Fleiss attributes the”influx of high-quality girls” to the success of last season. “Andy wasso popular that it gave us credibility among the hottest women in thecountry that we could deliver a great bachelor,” he says. “Andy justseemed like a good guy. He didn’t seem arrogant or cocky. He didn’tseem like he was there to sell records or get a movie role. He was asincere, salt-of-the-earth dude. We took that philosophy into castingthis time. We found a solid guy.”
4. We may actually get to see how they “connect” with Womack, instead of just hearing them say that they do.You can thank PopWatch for this one. We asked Fleiss if the subject offavorite movies and TV shows ever comes up on dates. (That’s how weconnect.) “I’m gonna add some of that in there this year,” he says. “Idon’t know why we don’t put a lot of that in. People talk about that…I guess we’re so worried about moving the format forward and makingsure people know they’re playing for a rose that’s sitting at a tableover there. But that’s a good idea, ’cause I would like to know whatsome of these chicks think their favorite movie is.”
5. Womack has an identical twin brother, Chad. “We played areally good trick on the girls when there was 12 left,” Fleiss says.”We brought Chad in instead of Brad, and half the girls didn’t get it.That was an awesome moment.”
Will you be watching? Have any tips of your own for Fleiss?