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Diablo Cody: Riding 'Rock of Love Bus'!

Diablo Cody falls for the unlikely charms of Bret Michaels; why she can’t get enough of his reality dating show

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Rock of Love, Bret Michaels

Diablo Cody: Riding ‘Rock of Love Bus’!

The first time I watched Poison’s episode of Behind the Music — the first, I might add, of what would prove to be many, many viewings — I was struck by something. No, it wasn’t C.C. DeVille’s aureole of peroxide-white hair, which made him resemble a snow monkey from the mountains of Honshu. Actually, I was surprised by Poison’s affable, articulate frontman, Bret Michaels. He came off like a friendly Pennsylvania boy, chatting candidly about everything from his sex tape with Pamela Anderson to his battle with the disease he charmingly pronounced ”diabeetus.” By the time the credits rolled, I found myself wanting to hang out with Bret Michaels. Little did I know that a decade later, the man would be holding televised auditions for the privilege.

You see, that memorable episode of Behind the Music aired in the late ’90s, back when John Mayer was still pissed about high school and Posh and Becks were newlyweds. Flash forward to present day — Bret Michaels remains on VH1, only now he’s embroiled in the third season of Rock of Love, the sleaziest, cheesiest, herpeeziest competitive reality show since, uh, Flavor of Love. And I, predictably, am capital-O Obsessed.

Some of my regular blog readers and Twitter followers are dismayed by my love for this show. I can understand that. Rock of Love is an oft-tragic parade of single moms, not-so-single moms, clownishly overendowed strippers, pathological showbiz wannabes, and the occasional Good Girl who seems perpetually startled by this thing she’s stumbled into. All these women are vying shamelessly for the attention of a stranger who expects fidelity from them, but appears to make no such demands on himself. As a feminist (you know, one of those people Lady GaGa thinks are so angry), I shouldn’t watch Rock of Love. But as a fallible human being who craves amazing entertainment, I can’t not watch it.

NEXT PAGE: Could it be possible that this season, the nice guy from Behind the Music will actually find the blushing rose to his rugged thorn?

For those of you who have been spared thus far, Bret failed to find love in the first two seasons of RoL. Jes, season 1’s winner, seemed to recoil visibly whenever Bret moved in for one of his patented open-mouth kisses. Season 2’s winner, the amusingly named Ambre Lake (I guess Goldynn Showre was taken), dated Bret for a few months before they broke up. In the April 19 season finale of the slightly modified series Rock of Love Bus, Bret will crown a new babe-of-choice. The contestants have been following him around the country in a pair of deluxe tour buses painted like PAAS Easter eggs. According to Bret, this is the only way for him to find a mate who can ”hang,” i.e., survive on the club circuit.

The ladies are expected to get rowdy on the road, but not too rowdy. For instance, the girls who really like their Jose Cuervo are often dismissed as ”just here for the party,” and summarily eliminated. But the more reserved contestants are accused of harshing Bret’s buzz. These women are walking a mighty fine line in their Lucite heels, and the stress of maintaining this balance has triggered a brawl or two. Just last week, Brittanya — a woman who pierced her dimples as if violently rejecting her own undeniable cuteness — tried to punch a former contestant who had been brought back to judge a competition. Then Brittanya spat at her. This wasn’t girly spit; this was a man-size, pearlescent globule expectorated with practiced ease. You won’t see that on The Bachelor!

Surprisingly, all the blondes have already been eliminated from the contestant pool. (Bret usually prefers blondes, not just as girlfriends, but as hair donors — witness his glorious golden weave.) Maybe there are more surprises in store. Could it be possible that this season, the nice guy from Behind the Music will actually find the blushing rose to his rugged thorn? Or can we look forward to Rock of Love 4: Rock Bottom, in which the producers scour the country for the few remaining ”feature dancers” who haven’t already appeared on the show? I, for one, am rooting for Bret despite his transgressions. There’s something endearing about the way he kindly deems all the girls ”superhot,” even the ones with stretch marks and weird eyebrows. And once, Bret generously, begrudgingly kissed a contestant who had just vomited. He’s a giver. A guy like that deserves to find his rock of love.