Last year on Days of Our Lives, the quiet Midwestern town of Salem was plagued by serial murders. Ben Weston, a bartender from Florida, snapped when his girlfriend became pregnant with another man’s baby and began murdering people in town. His modus operandi was strangulation and his weapon of choice was neckties; he was dubbed the Necktie Killer. As ridiculous as that sounds, it’s at least slightly less ridiculous on a scale of parody as a group of adult men standing in line to be handed black ties as a means to signify whether or not they will remain in a reality dating competition show. But here we are with Finding Prince Charming, Logo’s gay take on the seminal reality dating show The Bachelor. [Note: MTV News and Logo are both owned by Viacom.] The show needed a masculine twist, and well, ABC has probably had “Will you take this rose …” copyrighted since 1979 when it was a throwaway line on The Love Boat or something. So Robert Sepúlveda Jr. asks the contestants, “Will you wear a tie …” and we’re not supposed to crack up laughing. One hour into this new reality dating show and it already requires more suspension of disbelief than The Bachelor, but let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
Robert is our Prince Charming. He’s an interior designer from Atlanta who at one point painted a rainbow crosswalk and called it an art project, so I’m not sure why he isn’t living in Brooklyn drinking pilsner and living off his parents’ money. He’s incredibly gorgeous and also, to get the tea out of the way, a former escort. I was going to ignore this for the most part, considering it was only populating the homosexual blogs, but he confirmed it in an interview with People. I only say that because if you have the privilege of being gay on social media, everyone knows your business, and I’ve had to wade through countless humblebrag posts about how someone is or isn’t connected to one of the contestants on this show. I don’t particularly find it enthralling that someone is connected to a contestant on a Logo dating show, but then again, most gay men on social media derive their personality on which degree of “bald” they’ve been “snatched” by the latest Lady Gaga single. Yes, Robert has a past as an escort. A lot of the gay porn stars that are pseudo celebrities in the gay community also work as escorts. This is because the gay community is supposed to be sex positive. We don’t shame people for being escorts, or acting in porn, because this isn’t a couch at a Real Housewives reunion. So we’re moving on from Robert being an escort until he talks about it on the show.
What we will talk about, however, is the fact that he meets host Lance Bass in some gay bar from the ’90s to talk about Robert looking for love. For reasons we may never know, a Jody Watley song does not immediately play during this scene. This is a missed opportunity, mostly because it could have potentially drowned out Lance wistfully wondering if the men in the house are just going to forget about Robert and start hooking up with each other. We’ve all seen Next, and that is what gays on reality shows do. Robert plans to solve this dilemma by pretending to be one of the contestants when they first arrive at the Los Angeles mansion where I’m sure the cast of Teen Wolf has a pool party each weekend.
The contestants all arrive in Ubers that, if they’re lucky, they were reimbursed for. Their introductions are done via slideshows of their Instagram photos. They are also introduced by the ridiculous job titles they’ve given themselves: project manager, manny, director of planned giving, Jessie J’s makeup artist. (I miss Big Brother, where the only jobs people have are schoolteacher, bartender, and administrator.) After everyone does some mingling, Lance shows up and makes everyone give themselves a hashtag, literally none of which are in any way inventive. I’m positive everyone opened their Instagram and looked at the last gym selfie they took for these hashtags, which range from #BeMyself to #DontLimitYourself to #HopefulRomantic and other movies Jennifer Aniston has starred in that will be released direct-to-VOD.
Here are the contestants:
Eric, 35, grew up in Texas where it was very hard being white, gay, and attractive. His hashtag is #BeMyself, because it was very hard for him to be himself at some point.
Paul, 34, hits us RIGHT OUT THE GATE with the fact that he has a dead fiancé. I’ve seen enough reality TV to know how much the producers were salivating over this development, and therefore I know that he’ll make it to the final two.
Dillon, 26, is black. He’s also a fashion publicist, but black is a full-time job on a white dating show, so may the odds be ever in his favor.
Brandon, 29, is something called a behavioral health care administrator, which I’m pretty sure means receptionist at a free clinic. He is a formerly homeless alcoholic, but that doesn’t trump dead fiancé, so he’s not guaranteed any place near the finals.
Jasen, 33, is a celeb makeup artist and the most disappointing thing about him is that his horrible tattoos aren’t makeup.
Justin, 29, is a “project manager” which is a job title that in no way signifies what anyone actually does for a living. Omarosa was a “project manager” while selling hot dogs on The Apprentice. Justin has blond hair like every exhausting gay man on your Facebook that went to Penn, but he wants to assure us that he is MASCULINE: “I’m a MAN who wants to be in love.” The clarification was much appreciated, Justin.
Chad, 32, is a real estate agent who moonlights as a thot, according to his hashtag, which is #flexible. He tries explaining that he meant “mentally flexible,” so he’s either a bad liar or just really that dumb. No one’s described themselves as “flexible” and not been referring to sex since Season 3 of Caroline in the City, Chad.
Brodney, 34, is a personal trainer who, yes, really has that name.
Robby, 26, is a beauty expert and is the greatest role Kristin Chenoweth has yet to play. He’s short, he’s loud, he calls the other gays “Mary,” and he struts into the mansion screaming, “Party’s started, bitches!” His hashtag is #WhyBeA9WhenYouCanBeA10, but he’s selling himself short (no pun intended) because he is a 10,454,452.
Charlie, 26, is a manny in Hermosa Beach which should scream homo, but he also is one of those “People are surprised that I’m gay!” assholes, so he’s probably lying about his job. His hashtag is #WhatTheFuckChuck which, honestly, what the fuck indeed. He also has a bushy mustache that makes him look like a vaudeville villain, so you’d think he would last long, but he won’t because we have not yet met our REAL villain of the show.
Sam, 31, is a professional reality show villain. He immediately starts a fight with the more feminine Robby and tells him, “Fix your dress.” Sam is obnoxious and self-involved and the perfect person you want as the villain on a reality dating show. Charlie is too obsessed with being liked to be a villain, which is why when he tells Rob that Sam is being mean to other people, it gets Charlie the boot. You can stir up drama in the house on a reality dating show, but you can never involve the suitor in the drama. Sam knows this. Sam will be in the final two.
Nick, 31, is a college event administrator and he’s dressed in a red suit like he’s a backup dancer from a community theater production of Guys and Dolls. His hashtag is #ImLivingForLoveButHaventFoundItYet because he bottoms to Madonna songs.
Danique, 30, is a business analyst and also black, but he’s not just the “black” contestant like Dillon. His hashtag is #DaniqueTheFreak and he spends his confessionals reading the rest of the houseguests. He is our comedic relief this season. He won’t last long, but he’ll be the best part of the show for sure.
Back to the show.
Naturally, producers waste no time getting everyone into bathing suits and providing them with liquor so they can flirt with Robert and make fools of themselves. Charlie does the aforementioned idiotic thing of telling Robert about drama in the house, Nick is self-conscious about his abs, Brodney whines about not being able to “open up” to Robert since they’re both from Atlanta and he feels like he’s probably made a poor impression before (i.e., he’s probably been blocked by Robert on Grindr), and Paul doesn’t know whether or not he wants to bring up the fact that he has a DEAD FIANCÉ. Don’t worry, he brings up the DEAD FIANCÉ, because you don’t get to have a DEAD FIANCÉ on a reality show and not bring up the DEAD FIANCÉ.
By the time the elimination has rolled around, only Paul has made an impression out of those four lackluster contestants (because of the DEAD FIANCÉ), so he of course gets to stay while Nick, Charlie, and Brodney get the boot. I need to know, however, if everyone explained to Robert in their one-on-one time whether or not they were a top or a bottom. Because Robert makes a point of saying “I’m into a guy that’s a guy,” which means he wants a guy who’s a top, right? Hashtag it out for us, girl. There’s more talk about lube and douching on RuPaul’s Drag Race than there’s been on Finding Prince Charming at this point. Robert can start hooking up with as many people in the house as he wants to, but if they’re not compatible when it comes to actual sex, what are we even doing here?