Bachelor Nation

Shame on You, Bachelor in Paradise — Mike Deserves Better

And so do we

'The Bachelorette' contestant Mike sitting in a chair being interviewed.

Mike on The Bachelorette’s ‘The Men Tell All’ (Photo: ABC)

Well everyone, we are officially *cancelling* Bachelor in Paradise. Their crime: Not appreciating the complete prince that is Mike.

Fans of the Bach franchise were thrilled when the loveable veteran showed up on season 6 of Paradise — bounding down the stairs, megawatt smile intact and with all the chivalry he’d shown on Hannah B’s season of The Bachelorette (the guy literally refers to the women in his life as “queens”). He was a welcome change from the likes of Blake “I went to Stagecoach” Horstmann and a lot of the other flaky men on this season (*ahem* John Paul Jones *ahem*); but from the onset of his time in Paradise, Mike was seriously overlooked by both of the women and the show.

And, on the tenth episode of this season, he was cut from Paradise, sent home after Kristina chose BLAKE of all people.

And our reaction was appropriately:

But it’s not just Paradise that’s at fault. With rumours pretty much confirming that our fan favourite won’t be the next Bachelor — and despite tons of support from Bach nation fans — we have to acknowledge that the franchise has done Big Mike seriously dirty. He doesn’t deserve this treatment, and TBQH, neither do we.

He has consistently proven himself to be the best part of the franchise

What makes Mike’s treatment on the franchise so upsetting is the fact that he is honestly the best thing to happen to the show—and the people on it.

It’s one thing to be a hunky man (on the Bach franchise, those are a dime a dozen), but consistently since emerging onto our TV screens, Mike has exemplified several traits and characteristics that make someone a great partner and friend. Not only is he goofy and able to laugh at himself, but he’s thoughtful when necessary and totally open to clear communication; taking the time to ask his partners how they’re feeling about certain things, even if that means other relationships. For example, taking time out of his date with Angela to find out how she felt about her ex, Clay, and where she was at in their breakup. You know, instead of just assuming that she was hung up on her ex (*ahem* Nicole *ahem*).

And not only is he considerate of his potential romantic partners, but of his friends as well. After going on a date with Angela, Mike took the initiative to sit down with Clay, who is also his pal, to make sure he was OK with it and to ask Clay how he was feeling about Angela being in Paradise. He was there for a friend, regardless of the fact that they may be competing for the same woman.

Even up to the very end of his time on Paradise, Mike was smiling and looking genuinely happy for everyone who got a rose. You guys, he’s just such a nice guy!

And he’s a straight up gentleman. Let’s not forget how supportive he was of Hannah throughout their relationship and after he was sent home on season 15 of The Bachelorette, supporting her both on Twitter and IRL.

Also, he’s freakin’ adorable. Look at him doing handstands and tell me you’re not falling in love harder than he’s falling into that sand.

Mike is a precious, kind, unproblematic prince and needs to be protected at all costs.

But, he’s never rewarded

But unfortunately, everyone seems to overlook this fact and continuously overlook him. Chalk it up to the whole “good guys finish last” adage (but why?) or maybe something we’re not seeing behind the scenes (although I doubt it from how much his cast mates rave about him on social media), but time and time again, Mike isn’t rewarded or recognized for his emotional maturity in the way he wants to be—by finding love.

As he heartbreakingly said when leaving the show after his elimination: “It hurts so much… Everyone says, ‘We like you, we love you so much.’ But I have to watch everyone else play from the window.”

And, it doesn’t look like that’s really going to change. According to reports by Bachelor insider Steve Carbone, a.k.a. Reality Steve, Mike won’t get another shot at love as our next Bachelor. Y’all, it’s Windmill Peter.

Apart from Reality Steve’s *usually* spot-on spoilers, we’re also not betting on Mike as our next hunky Bachelor for the very scientific reason known as “the Bachelor edit.” Notice how Derek went into Paradise pretty much unknown but somehow took over our screens? We saw him fall in love, have mature conversations about love and relationships, lose it all for love  (twice) and then go home a heartbroken hero. Yeah, that wasn’t unintentional. The “Bachelor edit” means setting up an alum to be a fan favourite. And you need screen time for that. Aside from his seriously adorable handstand montage and offering free-of-charge therapy to the other couples on the show, we barely saw Mike while he was in Paradise…like at all. He might as well have been Paradise bartender Wells Adams (or Kevin Jonas) for the amount of screen-time he got.

And it’s unfair AF—for Mike and for us

Which is just disappointing. Watching Mike being continuously passed up for trash—by both the women and the producers with their edits—is seriously frustrating and unfair; not only to Mike but to Bachelor Nation fans who have to continuously put up with the ample amount of screen time given to fuck-boys like Blake, Clay and John Paul Jones. They’re pretty much just rewarding bad behaviour. Listen up Bachelor producers: WE DON’T WANT THIS!!!

Beyond bringing more much-needed representation and diversity into the franchise, making Mike the Bachelor would have been the perfect opportunity to reward a genuinely good guy, who’s there for the right reasons, with a shot at love. Not only that, it would have been a great opportunity to prove that the franchise is actually about finding true love, instead of just ratings and the chance to use a windmill pun.

But, we shouldn’t be surprised

As much as the franchise continues to espouse that it’s changed and is continuing to do so (“We have a queer queen! We had one Black Bachelorette! We have less blondes this season!”), the fact remains that the franchise doesn’t really care what viewers actually want. It’s what works best for the franchise—and that seems to be the status quo.

Yes, with the introduction of Rachel, Jojo, Juan Pablo and now Peter—who’s half Cuban—as leads, the franchise has made small steps towards diversity, but these leads stand out as the exception to the norm. Having a nearly all-white franchise sends a strong message about who is positioned as desirable in Bachelor Nation. And consistently, whether it’s through the treatment of contestants of colour (who, according to the Los Angeles Times, are “predictably” eliminated early on) or the decision to not make Mike a lead, Bachelor producers are making clear that the level of representation isn’t going to change anytime soon.

And that’s some serious BS.

In conclusion:

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