It doesn’t take much to be a sort-of celeb these days

Call me Old Fashioned

By Debbie Reynolds

When it comes to lifestyle news events, it’s been a frantic few weeks, darlings.

As the world bid fond farewells to fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, South Africa gave a warm welcome to Lee Ray Thompson.

Yes, as supermodels, actresses and fashion legends lined up to say an emotional goodbye to the man who gave us his inimitable style and je ne sais quois, 24 aspiring brides huddled at a cocktail party to say hello – and whatever else they could squeeze in – to a former rugby player and international model revealed as South’s Africa’s very first eminently eligible TV bachelor.

Lee Ray Thompson.

After being inundated with The Bachelor SA promos on M-Net for months, I couldn’t resist the temptation to at least see what all the fuss was about. A number of episodes later, I’m still not sure.

There’s no doubt Lee is a good-looking and charming fellow who wears nice suits. He’s also quite handy at thinking up romantic dates, but when you’ve got a whole production crew and a massive budget behind you, it’s not exactly rocket science.

Desperate singles

The “girls”, on the other hand, leave a lot to be desired. I obviously can’t speak from actual experience, but from what we see, they all just come across as desperate singles, fake, bitchy and impossibly gorgeous, clawing their way to some semblance of love.

The show comes across as more about the contestants beating each other than actually landing the guy. So when it comes to the cringe-worthy “rose ceremony”, rather than sweetly accepting the flower, I’m sure they’d rather be sticking it where the sun don’t shine of that girl who always gets the first rose.

Snog a herd

What’s the point, really? In 21 seasons of The Bachelor US, it seems only two couples remain together and surely they would have found that “true love” anyway without having the whole world watching?

Karl Lagerfeld.

Would you trust a man who tried to chat up and snog a herd of other women at the same time he was wooing you? Not in a million years, thank you very much.

I suppose, however, unlike the real stars who feature on TV because they’re actually talented, landing a spot on shows like this puts you into the limelight and makes you a sort-of, kind-of celebrity, Kim Kardashian-style (pictured, top).

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For example, I hear one of the girls, who literally had three minutes with the lovely Lee before being booted from the mansion (the fancy house where they all live together waiting in idle anticipation for a word from their Bachelor), is writing a book.

I’m told it has nothing to do with the show, although the show gave her a “huge confidence boost”. Really? Who would have thought standing around in high heels and an evening gown waiting for a man to pick you – or not – in front of thousands of people would challenge you and give you a sense of confidence?

Modelling for Karl Lagerfeld, however, is a completely different story. Just ask Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista, Vanessa Paradis, Alex Wek and Kendell Jenner.

Debbie Reynolds is a writer, a former journalist and newspaper editor. The column “Call Me Old Fashioned” appears regularly in print in The Meander Chronicle.