Wes went on this current season of The Bachelorette not to win the love of Canada's sweetheart, spunky singleton Jillian, but apparently to win a record deal or a few thousand more subscribers to his MySpace page. He didn't hide this from the camera crew, his fellow Jillian-courting bachelors, or even Jillian herself. He also made little effort to conceal the fact that he had a long-term, not-exactly-ex-girlfriend, the now-(in)famous "Laurel." But Jillian proved once again that most otherwise intelligent women are willing to overlook a man's massive character flaws if that man knows how to wield a guitar and a tube of hairgel.
And so Jillian inexplicably kept giving Wes a rose--even after rejected contestant Jake returned to the show to warn her of Wes's ulterior motives and shady past--and in the process she kept unwittingly giving Wes opportunities to plug his music. (On his hometown date, Wes was more eager to introduce her to his band than to his actual family.) Eventually Wes made the final four and got to go on an overnight fantasy date with the starry-eyed Jillian in Spain. But even then, he seemed more excited about the fact that he'd once scored a number-one country hit in Mexico--which somehow made him feel a tenuous kinship to the Spanish population--than about the prospect of any caliente hot-tub amor with Jillian.
However, on last night's episode--after one of THE most uncomfortable and unromantic dinner dates in all Bachelor/Bachelorette seasons combined--Jillian wised up, elected not to bring Wes back to her fantasy suite, and finally sent him home during the subsequent rose ceremony.
While most rejects on these dating shows take their limo rides of shame in tears, wondering what went wrong and why their reality-TV love went unrequited, after Jillian dumped him Wes seemed a little less heartbroken, to say the least. Instead, he once again used his camera time to plug his upcoming album. Here's how he reacted to Jillian's brush-off:
So here's my issue...I KNOW that many, many contestants go on these shows with secret, or not-so-secret, agendas. Lacey went on Rock Of Love to get some attention for her crappy goth band. Various other rejected suitors from shows like Rock Of Love and Flavor Of Love have lost the objects of their televised affection but won their own spinoff shows like Daisy Of Love and I Love New York. Even Melissa Rycroft from The Bachelor quickly rebounded from her Mesnick-administered heartbreak with a stint on that same network's Dancing With The Stars. I get it.
But if Wes Hayden was trying to kickstart his country career by going on The Bachelorette, WHY did he go about it this way?
Really now, did Wes really think acting like a total cad and treating the much-beloved Jillian like a lowly truckstop groupie was going to win him any sort of diehard fanbase? What avid Bachelorette viewer--particularly of the female variety--would want to download Wes's music or see him in concert after such a callous display?
If Wes was smart and really wanted to shift some units after this show, he would have acted all smitten, aggressively pursued Jillian without a single mention of his music or mystery woman Laurel, and then--when he was ultimately dumped--played the sensitive victim, bawled in that limo all the way to the Barcelona airport, and rush-released a mushy, cry-in-yer-beer Jillian ballad about his busted cowboy heart. Wes missed a real marketing opportunity here.
Wes Hayden's signature song on The Bachelorette was "Love Don't Come Easy," but I think record sales ain't gonna come easy for Wes either, after this PR disaster.