I'll be honest: I am no stranger to terrible, trashy reality TV shows. I watched Flavor of Love and Rock of Love, both seasons of Bad Girls Club, Stylista, and both seasons of Charm School, which resurrected skanks from FOL and ROL and attempted to teach them manners and pride.
And that's just for starters.
I do love quality TV programs, too, but truth be told, I have no pride about what I watch. Because of that, I was shocked -- no, make that floored -- that a reality show was still able to unnerve me.
But thanks to Bret Michaels and his Rock of Love Bus (9 p.m. Sundays, VH1), I've considered squeezing gallons of hand sanitizer into my eyes and ears every week. In the show, Bret takes his suitors on the road to try and find his knightess in shining lingerie.
First of all, was it really necessary to film a third installation of Bret Michaels' search for love? I'm sure there are tons of nasty groupies at his concerts, so finding a skank to take home to mother surely can't be that difficult. It's not like he's looking for love with a doctor, or a lawyer, or some other upstanding professional that just doesn't have time to date around.
Anyway, here are some things that have happened in the first four installations of the show:
1. In the opening episode, one contestant inserted a shot of liquor, served in a test tube, someplace that it didn't belong. It's a good thing alcohol kills bacteria because another woman drank the shot from its, um, holder.
2. A suitor performed for Bret a self-written rap song, which she penned on the back of genital disease information sheets about herpes and gonorrhea.
3. When Bret planned mock weddings in episode two, he asked the "ladies" to write vows and bring him a gift. One woman vowed: "I promise to cook you the best, rockin' food, and to never, ever wear panties." Another woman's gift: A piece of jewelry that she had removed from a body piercing; she invited him to replace it at a later date.
4. At one point, a contestant got so drunk that she threw up -- just moments before making out with Bret. His reaction: He said her kisses tasted like tequila, Doritos and "some other familiar taste ... It was the best Dorito I've ever tasted."
5. During a recent episode, Bret told the ladies to "dress to impress." On most shows, this would mean pulling out your finest nice evening gown, a little black dress, or perhaps a sundress. On ROL Bus, it means "put on your sluttiest lingerie and then stop getting dressed." They all showed up in public wearing pleather maid's uniforms, child-sized underwear and the like.
6. The irony of the above situation is that they were showing up to a challenge in which they'd have to act as roadies, breaking down all the band's equipment in a timed contest. When one lady took a really brutal fall backwards off the stage, she immediately got back up and kept working even though she was in obvious, excruciating pain. Her teammates, of course, were totally supportive and sympathetic: "Bret's a rock star, and if you want to date a rock star, you better get used to falling off the stage, bitch!"
And seriously, people, these are just a few highlights. All the stuff in between is just as hairball. Can you believe this is running on a regular cable station? I've seen less offensive stuff on pay-per-view -- and for this reason, I (sadly) keep tuning in.