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ABC’s Bachelor Pad is like a laboratory for the observation of human nature at its most amusing. Unlike Survivor, in which the votes that send contestants home at least have some relationship to reality—the strength or weakness of an individual in a low-calorie environment—the votes on BP float around on a surface of nothingness, or, at best, refer back to the voting itself in a navel-gazing simulacrum worthy of the most banal poststructuralist theorizing (you’re welcome for the paper idea, cultural studies major #27,391!). But this irreality is also what makes BP the laboratory that it is: faced with a situation in which there is no real reason to vote one person off rather than another, America’s hot, young reality stars have to invent their reasons. And that provides no end of amusement. Almost all of the contestants (the most notable exception being the oddly posh Ames Brown) lie and deceive with regularity, pledging faithfulness to those whom they will blithely betray days, hours, or even minutes later. Yet, without fail, the ones who wind up with the short end of the stick complain of everyone else’s treachery—while the ones who come out on top boast that “it’s just the way you need to play the game.” What I personally enjoy most (really, to a shocking degree) is seeing this contrast in one and the same person. Inspired, I have decided that the real winner of Bachelor Pad 2 will not be the contestant left standing at the end, but the contestant who utters the most amazingly self-contradictory things over the course of the season. The loser so far is almost certainly Justin “Rated R” Rego, a Canadian who bemoaned in decidedly un-Canadian fashion that the only problem with Bachelor Pad 2 is that it’s just not as easy to deceive people on the show as it is in real life. I applaud him for his Nietzschean sentiments, but he leaves me without the Schadenfreude that the current frontrunner provides me in spades. Kasey Kahl. Kasey’s whining about his near-ejection from the house in the most recent episode was like music to my ears. Having earned, in his mind, a place among the greats of cinematic history for his successful scheming—Kasey has declared himself both “the Godfather” and a “Jedi master” (a “Jedi genius master,” in fact)—he resorted this past Monday night to playing the “friendship” card and accused archrival Jake Pavelka of being “a manipulative bastard” upon discovery that he of all people was, in the language of Bachelor Pad, “on the chopping block.” But Kasey did survive to see another episode, and to perhaps bless us with ever more elegant expressions of moral hypocrisy. He remains my frontrunner, but not entirely without competition. His muse, Vienna Girardi, has some real potential. Vienna, who psychotically informed Kasey that she wanted to have his babies on national television, seems to have just the right mixture of cutthroat competitiveness and liability to complete and utter meltdown needed to regain the lead in this particular race. No matter what, I will be watching—with the mouth-watering anticipation of the connoisseur.

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