‘The Bachelor’ season finale ratings drop; is it Ben Flajnik’s fault?

Was Ben the right guy?

Are you people getting tired of “The Bachelor” as a show … or are they just tired of this “Bachelor” in particular? While we don’t know the official answer to this just yet, it’s likely that we will be talking about the decline in popularity for Ben Flajnik’s season up until Emily Maynard takes over the reigns of the franchise on May 14.

If you want to see how hard the show has fallen, here is all the evidence you need. Monday night’s two-hour finale scored just a 2.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic, which is what networks really look at when it comes to deciding whether or not to keep a show around. This is a drop of 36% from the finale last year featuring Brad Womack — as for the “After the Final Rose” special, it was down 30% versus last year to a 3.3 demo rating.

Really, we see the reason for the drop this season as a combination of four factors:

1. The star – We’re not saying that Ben is a bad guy, but he never really achieved the “hunk” status that many other leading men on the show have received in the past — including (yes, controversial as they were) Brad Womack and Jake Pavelka. When the girl who was in second place is spending part of her exit press talking about how you need a haircut, there’s a problem. The only other leading man to have this issue was Jason Mesnick, and at least he had a story that tugged on the heartstrings a little.

2. The ladies – Lindzi was actually rather likable on the season, but the problem was that she spent most of the time getting completely and totally overshadowed by Courtney. As a matter of fact, Courtney was such a vacuum of everything that was good and fun this season that it was hard to really find anyone to cheer for.

As a matter of fact, we understand why none of these ladies were chosen to be “The Bachelorette” over Emily Maynard. As nice as Lindzi, Kacie B., and Nikki were, none of them were really present enough since we were too busy watching Courtney quote Charlie Sheen and doing “kill shot” poses.

3. Daylight Savings Time – Is it a lame excuse? Yes, especially when you remember that the time change usually doesn’t effect event television. However, it is still worth noting that the time change does usually cause shows to drop slightly as people spend more time outdoors or forget to turn forward the clocks.

4. Viewer fatigue – Let’s face it: this show has been on since some of these contestants were teenagers. At some point in time, people are going to get tired of your product — especcially when you are not delivering on the premise. “Survivor” is smart in that it does not promise anything after the show, while “The Bachelor” leads you to want to believe in a Happily Ever After. you have Trista & Ryan, and to a lesser extent Jason & Molly. After that, where’s the happy ending? (Yes, it’s still possible that Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum could get there — but they’re not there yet.)

Why do you think the ratings for this season were down to such an extent?

Photo: ABC

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!