The first season of Rock of Love with Bret Michaels premiered in 2007 and attracted a lot of attention — so much attention that the finale garnered over 5.4 million viewers. The wild dating show follows the band Poison's lead vocalist, Bret Michaels, as he meets 25 ladies in hopes of finding his one true love. However, the rock star reality show came with lots of awkward moments and frankly things that would not fly on any dating show in 2023.
Just to start...can we just appreciate the 2000s style? The pink hair, the haltered dresses, the height of the hair, etc.
Okay, now onto the problematic and weird:
1.During the first episode, Bret takes "sexy" photos of all the girls for their back stage passes. The photos are interesting, while the slut shaming is over-the-top.
2.When, in the second episode, the contestants were challenged to a phone sex challenge where they had to seduce Bret over the phone in front of the other girls. Also did I mention Bret is hooked up to a penile plethysmograph, a gadget that measures blood flow to the penis?
3.Also, in the same episode, when Erin commented on Brandi C.'s "meth-scratched face" during a verbal argument. The scratches were from a serious car wreck.
4.The entire challenge on motorbikes in the third episode. They were given death-defying bikes, put them in a race, and more than half had never been on a bike in their life!
5.When the contestants were asked to write and perform a song for Bret and it was...just all bad. Fast forward to the 10 minute mark to check them out:
6.The ruthlessness during the mud football challenge.
7.During the Tour Bus Challenge episode, when Sam danced on the pole in the house and was celebrated for doing that, but then was shamed for being emotional and honest about her jealousy and mistrust issues.
8.When everyone in the house kept calling Lacey "crazy" but, also on the flip side, where she was incredibly manipulative and cruel.
9.During the superfan challenge, when the "superfans" asked Heather and Brandi M. incredibly slut-shaming questions about being strippers. Also when they emotionally destroyed Sam on live television and then backtracked afterward to keep Sam from leaving.
10.In Vegas, when Brandi M. explained her conflicted feelings for Bret, and Heather and Lacey immediately made a plan to tell Bret about it to get her sent home.
11.Pretty much the entire Meet The Parents Episode but especially Heather and Lacey's huge fight in front of their parents, where Heather calls Lacey a liar and reveals she performed oral on Bret during the show. And then, when Lacey turned around and shamed Heather for being "fake" and "trashy" in front of her own parents.
12.In the season finale, when Bret first asks both of the final contestants to be his girlfriend. Jes says "no" to the offer, and then in the end, he chose Jes over Heather.
13.And finally, at the reunion when Jes revealed that Bret left her on a cold note during the show and confessed that he should have chosen Heather.
14.Honorable Mention: Heather's hair during the eliminations on the show. I loved it. Here are some highlights:
The show aired for three full seasons and had a handful of spinoffs. The amount of toxic masculinity, slut-shaming, controversial challenges and conversations...Rock of Love was a mess and would be a PR nightmare today, if aired. I'm a big fan of "Every Rose Has Its Thorns" but maybe this reality series is a thorn.
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