I am just now catching up with last night's "Bachelor" reunion between Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi, due to the three-day holiday and the simple fact that I needed a full 12 hours to carefully parse this amazing clash -- assuming all along that it would not be "amazing" but scripted and dull and phony.
Nothing of the sort!
It was real. Real reality TV. What a concept.
And if it wasn't real, if perhaps Vienna staged the whole thing -- scripted all the lines about Jake being the world's greatest liar, etc., stormed out in a blizzard of tears, regrets and recriminations --- then she has an Emmy coming her way.
Bravo, Vienna! Except I'm pretty certain it was real.
Of course, blame must be cast her way, too. Chris challenged her on why she took $90G for the tabloid interview. "It wasn't about the money . . ."
Whenever anyone says it wasn't about the money, it was about the money.
But there's no doubt Vienna won this battle on points. She scored one after the other -- the lies, the phoniness of Lover Boy.
An example: The return of the ring, twice. 'Cuz he said he'd change his ways.
Two breakups! Can you imagine -- this would have made the cover of Time Magazine had the world known.
"Dancing with the Stars?" He would "come home, do Twitter," she said.
She: "I do hate LA." But Chris asks, why not go home? Because she's been ostracized at home! (Jake sneered -- yeah, right.)
She: "You're the biggest fake liar I've ever met in my life. . ."
She: "How do you get sick of somebody in six months . . .how does everything go away?"
Jake: "What guy would ever want to be intimate with someone who emasculates him . . . the interruptions . . . She breaks me down, she's mean . . ."
He calls her "babe."
Bottom line: This was a fascinating encounter because it's the perfect distillation of what a forced phony for-the-cameras reality show relationship ultimately must become -- a wreck. Jake, of course, comes off horribly -- the vain spineless wimp with a sharp temper, and she comes off at moments as the spoiled harridan, nagging him over her dog, or the way he kisses or his general jerkiness.
But, she also has genuine feelings. She clearly cares about how the whole thing imploded. She's got emotions. He's got ice cubes coursing through his hard pinched veins. The mask came off. The reality show persona, as durable as plastic shrink wrap, was torn off and in its place was a snarky, weak creep.
If this was a real battle -- I think it was, in fact -- she won easily.