Former Bachelor wakes up. Sort of
Lust for fame beats quest for truth.
I know you have bigger concerns, but the dude from Season 23 of “The Bachelor” is gay.
The news broke on Wednesday. That’s when Colton Underwood went on “Good Morning America” to tell Robin Roberts that during his run on the romance show he was secretly playing for the other team.
“I’ve ran from myself for a long time,” Underwood said, speaking slowly and looking nervous. “I’ve hated myself for a long time. And I’m gay. And I came to terms with that earlier this year and I’ve been processing it. And, um, the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know.”
Hang on. I think we need to back up a few steps.
First, a refresher for those who may not know a Colton Underwood from a Colton Orr. Underwood, who ironically often had the charisma of a typewriter, was the Bachelor in 2019. He was known as the “Virgin Bachelor” who once jumped a fence to escape filming, both of which now make more sense.
His final rose went to Cassie Randolph. As he told Roberts: “I loved everything about her.”
Well, not everything. I’m assuming her plumbing was a problem.
Anyhow, they split in May, just a few months before Randolph filed a restraining order as rumours swirled of stalking, menacing texts and a tracking device Underwood allegedly hid on her car. She withdrew the order a few weeks later.
Perhaps it was this period he described to Roberts as “dark and bad.”
As he confided: “I would’ve rather died than say that I was gay.”
That’s heartbreaking. And it led Roberts to ask if he ever considered harming himself.
“There was a moment in L.A. that I woke up and I didn’t think I was gonna wake up,” Underwood replied. “I didn’t have intentions of waking up. And I did. And I think, for me, that was my wake-up call.”
OK. The literal-to-figurative phrasing is weird. Woke up, wake up, waking up, wake-up call — he sounds like a Gay Riddler right before lobbying a smoke bomb.
But I think we can agree it’s fantastic Underwood is finally awake. Everyone should be free to just be themselves.
And now that he’s liberated, Underwood should stay out of the spotlight.
Some media outlets on Wednesday described the GMA interview as a “bombshell.” That’s debatable. While it’s certainly odd that a former Bachelor is gay — that’s like learning one of the guys from “Queer Eye” is both hetero and a closeted slob — there’s a reason many suspected Underwood was not into the ladies.
In his memoir last year, “The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV,” there were some browraising passages, including when Underwood recalled being in a car with his mother at a red light and she suddenly blurted out, “You know, Colt, we’d still love you and support you if you were gay.”
Moms know everything. Or the time in Grade 9 he rang up a big cable charge ordering porn he described as “straight and gay.” Or the following year when his father called him into his office, pointed at the computer and asked for clarification as to why recent Google searches included queries such as, “Am I gay?” “How do you know if you’re gay?” and “Why don’t I like having sex with my girlfriend?”
Spoiler alert: You’re gay!
I love red meat. That’s why you will never find “Brussels sprout” in my browser history. I’m not cauliflower curious. You know?
But beyond his sexuality, the bigger question Colton Underwood should now ask is: Why am I so attracted to fame?
If you suspected you were “different” by the age of 6, to use his word, and knew you were gay in high school, why would you apply to be on a reality show that is literally all about straight love? It wasn’t just “The Bachelor.” He also signed up for “The Bachelorette” and, while living through this personal hell, “Bachelor in Paradise.”
His lust for celebrity was stronger than his quest for personal truth.
And that’s exactly why he needs to vanish from the cultural radar.
Even coming out on “Good Morning America” strikes me as a lunge for publicity more than anything else. Why not just send out a tweet, meet a nice guy and settle into a charming new life in the suburbs? Why not liberate yourself by breaking free from the shackles of celebrity that ultimately drove you to deceive yourself and the nubile hotties in those Fantasy Suites as you were probably fantasizing about the cameraman?
“I’m emotional, but I’m emotional in such a good, happy, positive way,” Underwood told Roberts, looking as confused as a tourist in front of a mall directory. “It’s been a journey for sure.”
For sure. But to be on television, that was the GPS. Does anyone really believe that if a network offered him $100 million to star in a reality show called “I Said I Was Gay, But Now I Think I’m Straight Again,” he’d take a hard pass? Come on. He lied to himself and others because he was obsessed with courting the spotlight.
I’m not judging. Again, I am happy for him. But if Colton Underwood truly hopes to arrive at a happy destination, he should wake up and see how his desire to be famous created nothing but roadblocks in his personal journey.