Are they searching for love... or death?
Image by Callie Beusman
ABC just announced the lineup of men who will be competing for former Bachelor contestant Rachel Lindsay's heart on her season of The Bachelorette, which premieres on Monday. To give us a little teaser of what the show will be like, Rachel's 31 suitors fielded some questions about themselves and, as to be expected from the franchise that cast a man who allegedly shit in his own swim trunks, their answers are very revealing.
On The Bachelor, Rachel was known for being a smart, down-to-earth lawyer. At first blush, there are a few guys who appear to match her level of sanity: One contestant, Kenny, 35, lists his favorite book as The New Jim Crow and says his daughter is his world. But these gentle souls seem to be outnumbered by men who I can only describe as fucking weirdos. When asked his occupation Jonathan, 31, simply said "Tickle Monster." Lucas, a 30-year-old adult, said his perfect partner would resemble a cartoon character—ideally, "Belle (Beauty and The Beast), Cinderella, Little Mermaid... and the best, Jessica Rabbit!"
Personally, I'm worried for our sweet, kind Rachel, especially in light of what a Broadly investigation (we scrutinized every word of the contestant's incredible responses) has revealed: Save for a handful of exceptions, these men are obsessed with death.
Alex says his worst qualities are that he is "selfish, unemotional, unapologetic." Those are likely the qualities of a psychopath, and perhaps what led him to admit to the murder of a lizard in what is supposed to be a lighthearted Q&A:
What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done?
Ate a live salamander.
Anthony says that if he was stranded on a desert island, he would "probably" want it to be made out of "those flesh-eating plants from Life of Pi." Forget falling in love: He is ready to die.
Bryce describes himself as the type of guy who is a "laid back shot of gasoline when the fire starts to die." As a lover, he says he is a "fresh drink of water with a jolt of lightning." He describes his ideal mate as "tall, athletic, soft features, eyes you could drown in and a smile that insults the sun."
He is a firefighter, so he could possibly be forgiven for thinking only in terms of things that start fires and could kill you. But does seem to add up to something more troubling: When asked about the wildest thing he's ever done in the bedroom, he responded, "Caught a girl's hair on fire once while having sex."
Dean probably isn't going to stop thinking about death anytime soon. When he was asked where he would most like to go in the US, he admitted, as a non sequitur, that he never scattered his mom's ashes according to her wishes. This seems to haunt him, and come up in all manner of casual conversation. If he could have lunch with one person, who would it be? "My mom," he said. "It's been over 10 years since she passed. Lunch would be amazing."
When asked, Diggy neglected to reveal that one of his worst qualities is that he doesn't care if your brother has potentially been murdered. He did, however, let it slip when he was asked to tell a "fun" story about a one-night stand: "I spent all day with this girl and she ended up coming home with me and we had sex. She then received a text saying her brother was missing, so I played asleep so I didn't have to help!"
We'll definitely need to keep an eye on Jack, who surely looks death-obsessed and worryingly pleaded the fifth to the question "What's the wildest thing you've done in the bedroom?"
Jedidiah is just an everyday guy who loves his parents, dancing, and eating scrambled eggs for breakfast. He also loves travel and terminal illnesses. South Africa is incredible," he said when asked about the best trip he's been on. "Raw and beautiful; great coffee, tea, wine, fruit, food, beautiful animals and landscapes, amazing people and very real problems like HIV and violence."
Jonathan, a.k.a. the "Tickle Monster," isn't just disturbingly bad at gauging how much women dislike men who refer to themselves as the "Tickle Monster." He also doesn't seem to be over the death of his first marriage. I expect, on the show, he'll be talking a lot about his ex-wife, to whom he lost his virginity. The most romantic present he's ever given? "An engagement ring."
Poor Kyle. He seems to be vaguely frightened enough of his own mortality that he blindly chooses gluten-free options when they're available even though he has no idea what gluten is. But at the same time he seems unaware of the difference between life and death itself—when asked, simply, "Gluten?" he responded, "Not really sure what it is or what food it lives in, but I select gluten-free menu options when I can."
You know you're obsessed with death when... you bring up abduction after being asked to talk about something "fun" and relatable. "I woke up naked on the cold floor of a pitch-black room. Thought I had been abducted," Peter said, describing a cool, regular, and flirty one-night stand he had. "Then there was a knock and a woman's voice at the door. 'Are you OK?' she asked. I asked her to open the door. Turns out it was a girl I had known for a while in the bar scene. I was on the floor of her bathroom where I passed out after going home with her. I was 19 or 20."
Rob freely admits every waking moment of his life is dominated by thoughts of death. If he could have lunch with one person, it would be Buddha, "So I could discuss his philosophies on detachment, suffering and divinity." He also wishes desperately for release from the cruel prison of time—when he was asked what superpower he would want to have and why, he said, "Control time. It's the single most important thing that we are given and we can never get it back once lost."