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Matty D Wraps: Revisiting ‘Rock of Love’

The 2000s were a defining time period in American history. The country experienced so much: the election of America’s first Black president, the invention of social media and of course, Rock of Love with Bret Michaels.

Rock of Love with Bret Michaels was a reality dating show hosted by none other than Bret Michaels, the lead singer of the band Poison. It aired from 2007 to 2009. The premise of the show was for the love-lorn star to find his soulmate by inviting 25 random women to his house to compete in a series of challenges. The challenges would range from creating a sexy album cover, racing across the dusty fields of California on dirt bikes or recording an original song in his studio. The winners received personal “VIP” dates with Bret himself.

When he was on group dates with his many lovers, Michaels would be found in his house groping and grinding on a number of women who were desperate for the attention of a balding middle-aged man with a blond mullet and pasty skin. It’s similar to The Bachelor, but with fewer roses and more uncomfortable silences. Michaels was assisted by his best friend and head of security, Big John. John’s main job was to protect Michaels from harassment, but honestly, what is a reality television show without mild violence and constant swearing? 

The girls were invited to stay in Michaels’ “tricked out Hollywood pad,” which was comprised of cramped rooms with bunk beds, a fully stocked bar and a jacuzzi. At the very beginning of the first episode, John removed five of the women that were invited to the competition, and welcomed the rest inside. In between footage of drunken cat fights and awkward confessionals, the program occasionally managed to show a heartwarming connection shared between Michaels and one of the women. Although, it was usually followed by a sexually charged comment ruining the mood. 

One aspect of the show that I found most interesting was how much effort it put toward portraying Michaels as a reasonable guy. In the show, he constantly complained about meeting women who were fake and only wanted him for his money. So obviously, he invited strangers into his home to vie for his attention, in order to find that true connection.

When one contestant, Cindy “Rodeo” Steedle, described how she became paralyzed after shattering her ankles at the 1988 Olympics, recovered from cancer and coped with the loss of her first child, Michaels spoke about his experience with juvenile diabetes, dismissing Steedle’s emotions.

Unknown to Michaels or the show's creators, Steedle had cancer symptoms during filming of the first season, but didn't tell anyone and refused to make it an issue during the show.

“I never said a word because it was (Bret’s) time to shine,” according to the Flavor of Love blogspot.

That is the definition of a devoted woman, one who avoided causing any problems to make the life of her potential future rocker easier.

However, devotion alone wasn’t enough for Bret, he needed someone to party with. Many of the dates included some sort of alcoholic beverage, and the biggest question to ask was who would become violently drunk first. Some dates included playing with Michaels' band, visiting Las Vegas and quiet, candlelit dinners, all of which quickly become rowdy once alcohol is introduced. While most girls failed to hold their booze, there were a select few that could manage the lifestyle. 

Although the objective of the show was for Michael to find the love of his life, the release of two more seasons implied that goal might have failed. As difficult as love can be to find, my recommendation is to avoid inviting 25 strangers into your house. Bret showed us that no matter how rockin’ you are, letting two dozen people stay in your house isn’t the most effective way to find love.

Matt Dragani is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnist do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Matt by tweeting him at @MatthewDragani.

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