Tia Booth emerged from a limousine and into our lives on this year’s season of the popular reality show “The Bachelor” to give wife-hunter Arie Luyendyk a little Wiener. You see, Tia’s from Weiner (Poinsett County). And she said to Arie, “I have a little gift. It’s right here. It’s actually a little Wiener. … Please tell me you don’t already have a little Wiener.” So, he laughed and said he didn’t have a little Wiener. They hugged. We laughed. Good times had by all.
If only it had lasted. Tia’s now been booted off of this season’s “The Bachelor.” She’d made it into the final four before falling without much explanation, garnering sympathy. Which means that, basically, she won.
As Amanda Hess wrote, recapping a long-ago episode of “The Bachelorette” from last season: “In many respects, the real winner is the contestant who manages to fail upward, getting tragically dumped on the show and then picked to serve as the series’ next eligible Bachelor.” (Or, in this case, Bachelorette.) “If you’re in it for self-promotion, you get to graduate from the supporting cast to star in your own season. And if you’re actually in it to fall in love, you get 30 potential partners to choose from instead of just one.” Congrats Tia, the Weiner! We mean, the winner!
She’s now the loser we love — the loser who should’ve won Arie’s love but has gained the world’s. This Observer thinks she’ll be the next Bachelorette. Proof is in, as they say, the P.U.D.D.I.N.G. (Posts Under Dumping Declaration Inside interNet Group). That was way too hard; just, ya know, go look at Twitter.
She posted a photo of herself there and said (making sure to tag Arie’s Twitter account and “The Bachelor’s” Twitter account): “What an experience. I’m forever grateful for @BachelorABC for this opportunity to learn so much about myself and grow as a person. I’m thankful for @ariejr for showing me it is ok to fall in love, even if it results in heartbreak. What a beautiful chapter of life.” The Observer can’t include it but, at the end, she put in a black heart emoji.
Responders told her they were sad, but she should be next Bachelorette.
Bingo. The Observer hopes dearly, to God above, that the next Bachelorette is Tia and, thus, Arkansas-focused. Why? Because then we could be the next Bachelorette winner. See there’s been much talk of late — or tweets — about our “reality show presidency” and our “reality show life.” And there’s been a bit of talk, mostly in polemical terms, of that erosion on our democracy, health, emotional state, love life, sex life, etc. It has sounded like this: “Reality television over the recent decade has shown a United States of people selling one another, in the form of a vast trade in junk, the last remains of our patrimony.” That’s Mark Greif in Harper’s. Or, from The New York Times: “[Trump’s] understanding of the presidency is more informed by the values and folkways of show business (specifically, reality-based entertainment, from ‘The Apprentice’ to professional wrestling) than by any larger sense of duty or dignity. And no show lasts forever.”
All of that’s almost certainly true. Except maybe the last part — “no show lasts forever.” “The Bachelor” has lasted, and will last, forever. And The Observer is pretty sure our current social media hellscape will also last forever. So, let’s just go for it and try, as an entire state, to win this sucker (by losing and then getting our own show). We can do it and already did it a bit. As a member of the concluding quartet, Tia got a hometown visit in her final episode. Arie came to little ol’ Weiner to visit the family. Tia’s dad, in a very meme-able and quotable and gif-able and tweet-able fashion, said to him: “If you hurt her, I can find you on Google.”
Next season, you can help us find a rural broadband plan that actually works. We’ll go on steamy dates with it. What about our school system? Oh yeah, we can see that charter schools — while looking good — are actually back-stabbing and manipulative when they do interviews with the camera. Oh, hello there, medical marijuana policies; a little rough around the edges but maybe Arkansas isn’t who we thought we were. We’re just these lovable losers — and we want you to help us.