Warhol’s 15 Minutes: Long Before ‘The Bachelor’ Hot Mess

By W.T. FUCHS

My man Andy Warhol once said that “in the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.”  And after watching the season premier of ABC’s The Bachelor last night, I have to think he was a damned prophet.

Reality TV has only one or two finer moments than the meltdowns of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

Last night was golden: Tears and paranoid schizophrenia within 15 minutes of arriving. Meet: Jenna Burke, 27. The NYC blogger and basket case even prompted Jersey Shore’s favorite meatball, Snooki, to comment:

“Watching the bachelor! Talk about crazy pants!!”

But then, what would Snooki know about pants?  She clubbed without any on in Italy, mere miles from the Vatican. So you get the idea here.

Andy Warhol: Artist, trendsetter, prophet...Warhol died before reality TV took hold, though he would have relished the brash, iconoclastic insta-fame itproduces.

VH1’s The Surreal Life and the penultimate Sober House probably take the cake, with BravoTV’s Real Housewives series taking up the rear.

(Oh, trust me, that’ll be next).

Yeah, yeah, “editing” is to blame, say cast mates who cry foul on all these shows in the hours of whiskey and regret that showcase them at the epicenter of some unstable circus act.

After all, you tell me when spending your time crying hysterically in the bathroom on national television, because a stranger looked at you crooked from across the room, was ever considered normal?

My neighbor’s 16-year-old Hellgate sophomore daughter is a skosh more mature.

I figure it must be all about averages: If unsavory headline thieves like Bernie Madoff and Jerry Sandusky get a little bit more than their share of 15 minutes, then by Warhol’s estimation, the proportional five minutes given to these delusional, hot mess twits of ABC’s The Bachelor are sloppy seconds.

Gales of tears, unabashed backstabbing, dagger-driven glances all cement one sad truth: Fame and infamy are now synonymous, and any Tom, Dick, or Britney can feel free to let it all hang out for a few minutes in the spotlight – whether that spotlight captures the best side of a chiseled cheekbone, or a doozy of a meltdown.

The drunks of VH1, the lipstick-smudged pageant babies of TLC, the unaware-but-expectant 1,800 pound mommies-to-be….

They’re all about as implausible as some vile, fat, foul-mouthed, wig-wearing floozy crooning off-key to create two chart-topping gay club tracks, making millions from it, then getting knocked up by a 2007 UM Grizzly defensive end and popping out a kid in a 15-million dollar mansion.

Oh wait. That really happened. Never mind.

Club-goers can now risk tinnitus on drively songs like “Tardy for the Party” or “Money Can’t Buy You Class” all they want. Let them have it, I say. But why must I suffer The Bachelor every Monday on primetime?

Hey ladies, you can ride in on a horse, bring your ancient great-grandmother to a cocktail party for Bachelor brownie points, or boil a bunny in the bathroom sink for all I care… It’s still a sh*t-show by any other name!

And frankly, dammit, it makes me miss Chris Hanson all the more.

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