As much as I love watching the premiere of The Bachelor each season, something about the way Juan Pablo Galavis' journey for love kicked off on Sunday really rubbed me the wrong way -- mainly because of the "tribute" ABC offered to Gia Allemand at the end of the show.
It seemed to completely come out of nowhere ... which I briefly mentioned in the recap I wrote immediately after viewing the episode. And as it turns out, other people also thought the tribute to Gia was inappropriate and pretty much done in poor taste.
Writer Celeste Mora from Bustle hit the nail right on the head by saying, "They didn't make Gia's passing a special priority, they made it a spectacle, and teased it throughout the episode as a 'tribute to one of its brightest stars.'"
Yes. Yes, that's exactly what they did. But I think it even went beyond being a spectacle. In choosing to remember Gia and "celebrate her life" with a brief 15-minute (or so) segment at the end of a premiere that revolved around a dude running around with his shirt off, they pretty much made it seem like they paid tribute to her out of obligation ... not because they actually give a rat's ass. I mean, I know they care (at least I hope they do) ... but they sure have a funny way of showing it.
Gia's passing was incredibly heartbreaking and also came as such a huge shock to Bachelor fans who adored her. If ABC really wanted to honor her memory without worrying about a little thing called ratings -- they would've devoted an entire special solely to remembering her life instead of making her a Juan Pablo afterthought.
Here we'd just spent the better part of an hour oohing and aahing over what a sexy hunk of a single dad he is -- only to have things shift to, "Hey! We're glad you're hooked on Juan Pablo. Isn't he a hottie? Ok ... so now let's take a moment to talk about Gia's tragic death at the most inopportune time."
I'm sorry, but when it comes to something this horrible, there is definitely a right time and place to address it. And unfortunately ABC used Gia's passing as an opportunity instead of something that could have been incredibly touching and memorable.
Were you put off by Gia's tribute?
Image via ABC