My Secret Shame: ‘Rock of Love' Maggie Jankuloska

We all have secret pleasures in the world of reality TV. For some, it may be Honey Boo Boo or the sickening The Bachelor, but for me it’s the equally horrid Rock of Love with Bret Michaels, which I own on DVD. Although the first season (yes, there were more than one) was filmed back in the distant 2007, the essence of the show is still cringe-worthy and priceless, no matter how many times I watch it. In case you were unfamiliar with the concept, aging ’80s rock star and lead singer of Poison Bret Michaels is on a quest to find true love, or his ‘rock of love.’

So naturally, he teams up with VH1 in an effort to learn how to date and is presented to the ’25 most beautiful women in the world.’  The wacky and wonderful contestants were just as memorable and wild as Bret Michaels’ wig hair.

The demonic Lacey had no qualm about stuffing raw chicken in the pillow-cases of her fellow contestants, just in case people were unsure about her mental instability. Vegas stripper Heather used every opportunity to expose her breasts and actually tattooed Bret’s name on her neck during the competition (she came second). In addition, the perpetually inebriated Tiffany showed fierce determination in her quest to get her man as she returned to the house after her initial eviction through her artful desperate pleading.

Memorable phrases such as ‘circus tits,’ ‘don’t threaten me with a good time,’ ‘her wall was up’ and Bret’s signature ‘it turned me on’ were coined as the girls partied and competed for their man in the leopard skin adorned Hollywood mansion. Among the numerous silicone breasts, girl fights, too many vomiting sequences, Bret’s blatant lying and his questionable outfits, how could you not be entertained?

On one episode, Bret treats three ladies to a tour of a recording studio, during which he decides to record himself drumming the butts of the three girls, as drummed butts produce the most ‘organic’ sound, which can’t be manufactured. You would not find this on The Bachelor! Nor would you see The Bachelor quizzed about the existence of real hair underneath his bandana by an overbearing father of one of the contestants.

So as a feminist and an educated person, why did I enjoy this travesty of a show so much? I suppose it was like a car crash – you can’t help but to stare. In my whole life, I have never encountered such fakery and rivalry among females. It made it both entertaining and frightening to watch. In addition, it’s just as frightening to watch what can be disguised as love and how the concept of ‘finding love can be exploited.’

Rock of Love is something I enjoy watching with my brother, if we are both in need of a laugh. We have our favorite competitors (mine is Heather, his is Tiffany) and we love nothing more than pausing the DVD on scenes where Bret’s hair resembles doll hair or rewinding classic one-liners. I guess you can say it’s one of the ways we bond.

Five years later, it is easy to figure out which contestant is still trying to milk their fifteen minutes of fame and who has tried to put the entire ordeal behind them. Three seasons later and Bret was no closer to finding real love (sad, ha) and ended up getting back together with his ex-wife. He must be laughing all the way to the bank, since he must have been paid handsomely to philander and hook up with swarms of deluded women under the pretense of looking for love. The hooking up footage is available if you are interested (watch at your own risk).

Image via TVGuide

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  1. Shame sisters.

  2. I share your shame. I watched all three seasons like a total addict. I wasn’t even a Poison fan in high school, but there was something about seeing how Brett’s career had brought him to this self-promotional, train wreck of a scripted skank fest, that I just couldn’t help but watch it unfold.

  3. I also am weirdly into Rock of Love (despite not being a big reality TV fan). There was just something so trashy about that show, I couldn’t resist!

    The worst part was that at the height of my infatuation (which I think was during the second season), I found out that my boss’ daughter went to elementary school with Bret Michaels!!! So, of course, in an effort to further my interests (and, occasionally, simply avoid filing Purchase Order forms), I would ask her all sorts of questions about Bret. The gist of our conversations went something like this, “He was such a sweet boy…I’m not sure what happened.”

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