Sean Lowe started cycle 17 of "The Bachelor" with 26 tanned, toned, buffed and puffed women literally lined up for his choosing.
After 13 episodes of group dates, one-on-one dates, hometown trips and "fantasy suites," Lowe ultimately got down on one knee to propose Monday night to 26-year-old graphic designer Catherine Giuduci.
What his new fiancé undoubtedly knows, as does the rest of America — but was oddly left out of the ABC show's story lines — is that the religious Lowe is a born-again virgin.
According to UrbanDictionary, a "Born Again Virgin" means " More than a year between sexual relations, with anyone else" or " Someone in denial. Usually too stupid to realize it's a moot point."
Wikipedia puts it more politely: "An individual can claim to be a born-again virgin, secondary virgin or renewed virgin if, after having engaged in sexual intercourse, s/he makes a commitment not to be sexually active until marriage (or some other point in the future, or indefinitely), whether for religious, moral or practical reasons."
While the show strayed away from discussing Lowe's born-again status and instead zoomed in on his lengthy make out sessions with various contestants, Us Weekly dubbed him "The Virgin Bachelor," reporting that Lowe swore off sex after college.
"Lowe is a born-again virgin, a development the 'Bachelor' cameras mostly ignored. It’s a mystery why a series built on sex wouldn’t explore its central character’s not having sex," writes The Daily Beast's Ramin Setoodeh. " Instead of telling us what made him different [from] all the previous bachelors, the show edited Lowe to look like every other guy."
While trying to answer the question "Why Did ‘The Bachelor’ Hide Sean Lowe’s Born-Again Virginity?" Setoodeh writes, " The women on ' The Bachelor' were more conservative than the usual single ladies who party at the house. Many of them arrived with their Bibles in hand. A lot of their talk about Christianity didn’t make the broadcast."
When The Beast reached out to "Bachelor" reps for comment, a publicist for the show said producers weren’t available.
But what ABC kept secret about Lowe's sexuality was made up for in tabloid reports, even if the man at the center of attention doesn't understand what all the hulabaloo is about.
“I’m shocked,” Lowe told The Beast. “I don’t know why every tabloid feels the need to talk about it.”
Of the born-again virgin label, he said, “I’ve never described myself that way,” though he later clarified, “it’s true. It’s a decision that I’ve made. But I don’t think it needs to be discussed on the show. For me, it’s a non-story.”
“Reality Steve” Carbone, who writes about " The Bachelor" on his blog, thinks ABC skirted the issue because “They don’t like to delve into deep issues on the show. It’s very superficial. It’s much more about the drama than about ‘Are these people spiritually connected and will they be married for the next 50 years?’ It’s very flimsy. Does it surprise me? No.”
“I don’t know if ABC is hiding it,” said Eric Andersson, a senior writer at Us Weekly who covers " The Bachelor ." “I don’t think they are playing it up as much as they could.”
The average audience for that group among ABC’s regularly scheduled shows is only 2.4 million viewers, reports The NY Times.
As for what's next for the former "Bachelor" and his bride, a televised wedding is in the works; but, he said today during a press call, "I doubt Chris Harrison ["Bachelor" host] will be officiating [our wedding] only because my dad and grandfather are ordained ministers."
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