Desiree Hartsock, a 26-year-old “bridal stylist” from California. On social media, fans responded with a resounding "Zzzzzzzzz" over the show's choice.On Monday night at the end of the three-hour marathon finale of The Bachelor when Sean Lowe finally “found love” with Catherine Guidici, the next Bachelorette was announced:
Hartsock, or “Des,” was kicked off The Bachelor after the Hometown visits, much to the surprise of fans (and to Des herself) that saw her as a frontrunner for Sean’s heart. The rejection occurred after Des’s brother expressed his skepticism for the show, calling Sean a “playboy” to his face.
At Crushable, Alexis Rhiannon wrote that Des had been gunning for the title of Bachelorette since the day she was kicked off the show. "If you’re not sad and you’re just trying to put on a show for the camera, you have time to apply an extra layer of lipgloss right before your big scene, and you have to keep turning away from the camera to fake wipe your eyes. I see you, Desiree, and you producers, too!”
Though host Chris Harrison categorized Des as "a true Cinderella story," (and yuck, Chris, why do we need our Bachelorette to be a 'Cinderella story,' anyway?) fans expressed their wish for someone more compelling. Kristen Zimm on Twitter wrote, "why can't there be a crazy Bachelorette? noooo to Desiree, yesss to Tierra!" Kayla Kuefler tweeted, "Whoever cast Desiree as the new Bachelorette needs to rethink their life choices right now. #teamlindsey #nobodylikesyou #heinous choice."
On The Bachelorette Facebook page, comments on the announcement ranged from: “GAG,” “She is so boring come on ABC beginning to not like the Bachelor,” “Booooo,” “don’t like her much, probably won’t watch,” “Nooooooo she was super annoying,” and many fans thought Lindsey, the runner-up, or AshLee, second-runner up, would have been better choices.
To be fair, it seems more difficult to cast a Bachelorette than a Bachelor. The choice is a double-whammy in terms of its largely female audience. Not only do women want the producers to choose someone they like, the candidate also needs to be entertaining enough to carry the show on her shoulders. These two attributes rarely exist in one person . . . that said, Justin Bieber's mom was interested in the job. Should we give her a shot?
Perhaps the response to Des is less about the woman herself and more about Bachelor fatigue as a whole. In 17 seasons, and 11 years on the air, there has never been anything but a white Bachelor and Bachelorette. Last year, ABC faced a class action lawsuit filed by two African-American men accusing the show of “racial discrimination.” The lawsuit was eventually dismissed.
In fact, Bachelor ratings had taken a nose dive until Jason Mesnick's season in 2009. Not only did Mesnick have an interesting back story as a divorced father, he made Bachelor history when he picked one woman in the final episode, only to dump her and marry the runner-up, Molly Malaney. (The two are still married and expecting their first child together.)
Despite the criticism, the Bachelor wheel keeps on turning. Here's hoping Desiree, or at least the producers, have something interesting up their sleeve for the next season which premieres on May 20.