Am I the only person who started watching The Bachelor this season because of Bri, who is putting on a fake Australian accent to stand out and became one of the show’s biggest memes ahead of the new season? Well anyway, now I watch The Bachelor and you all have to deal with it.
Another Bachelor fan? Billy Eichner, who appeared as a guest on the second episode of the new season on Monday. Eichner made a surprise appearance as a “camp counselor” to challenge the girls in a jamboree competition. Eichner had a few moments with the Bachelor himself, the 26-year-old virgin Colton Underwood, and joked that since Underwood has never had sex, “maybe you’re the first gay bachelor and we don’t even know!”
After the episode aired, Eichner doubled down on his joke on Twitter. “I actually do think it would be cool to do a gay season of The Bachelor… and hey @BachelorABC I’m single.”
On Wednesday, he made it clear he wasn’t joking. “It may sound silly — and I’m not a huge reality show guy honestly — but a gay man as The Bachelor would open up a lot of hearts and minds in this country. I’m just sayin’…”
While The Bachelor hasn’t ever had a queer suitor, there have been gay reality dating shows. Finding Prince Charming aired on Bravo in 2016 with host Lance Bass and endures as one of my favorite television experiences of all time, thanks mostly to contestant Robby LaRiviere. The show had a weird afterlife as it came out online that star Robert Sepúlveda Jr. had misrepresented his design work and had at one point been a sex worker, leading to some ugly homophobic and whorephobic dialogue, which is never cute. Someone on Twitter even suggested that Eichner star in follow-up to Finding Prince Charming, to which he replied that he would “only do THE BACHELOR. No knockoffs for Billy!”
Bravo also aired the intensely problematic Boy Meets Boy, on which half of the contestants were secretly straight — how funny to fool a gay man into falling in love with someone who isn’t actually attracted to him! And let’s not forget A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, on which the bisexual Myspace star had her pick of a co-ed group of prospective lovers, and Courtney Act's UK dating show The Bi Life. But isn't it time we have a major network dating show with a queer lead? Cast Billy Eichner on The Bachelor you cowards!