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Ashley Hebert gets a second opportunity to find love when she stars in the seventh edition of "The Bachelorette." (Craig Sjodin/ABC)
Ashley Hebert gets a second opportunity to find love when she stars in the seventh edition of "The Bachelorette." (Craig Sjodin/ABC)

John Doyle: Television

The boys of 'The Bachelorette' are laid bare Add to ...

Big news, boys and girls: Details of the new season of The Bachelorette have been revealed.

Oh, come on. It's time to put the politics behind us. At least until some rookie NDP MP gets a tad too frisky or brings down the House with a wacky wisecrack. Or until the TV attack ads start up again.

Which reminds me. While watching election night coverage on Monday, I saw a guy representing the campaign of Conservative candidate Parm Gill, who defeated Liberal Ruby Dhalla in Brampton-Springdale. Asked about his candidate, the guy barked, "He's a real man, with a real plan." As soon as those attack ads against Justin Trudeau start, expect this: "Not a real man with a real plan." Dollars to doughnuts, people.

Anyway, and not entirely unrelated, there is the blissful escapism of nonsensical TV. The Bachelorette returns on May 23 (ABC, CITY-TV) and the luscious details have been announced. Dental-school student Ashley Hebert is the Bachelorette, the young lady who will have 25 guys trying to win her heart, or whatever. Best draw a veil over that.

What's really interesting, as usual, is the list of suitors. Real men with a real plan to woo wee Ashley. The inclinations and assertions of reality-TV contestants make fascinating reading. Especially when it's guys trying to impress a lady.

Among them on The Bachelorette are a hairstylist and a butcher. That reminds me. (Yes, again.) Once, years ago, when I was waiting in a Dublin bar for a friend of mine, I watched the unfolding drama of a young woman, name of Rose, try to find out a little more about the chap chatting her up. Rose, a slight figure, asked the chap, who was a strapping lad, what he did for a living. He gazed down at her and said, "I'm a butcher!" Rose fair swayed backward on her high heels and gasped, "Ooooh Jayzus!"

Anyway, the butcher in this case is Anthony, aged 28, from Upper Saddle River, N.J. Asked, for the ABC profile, "What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done?" Anthony answers, "I flew a glider last year. That is a plane with no engine." Thanks, we needed a definition of "glider."

Also competing for Ashley's affections is a dude named Ames. He's a banker, age 30, from New York. Asked, "What is your most embarrassing moment?" Ames drolly answers, "I had a teacher walk in on me while I was hooking up in boarding school." Right. Boarding school. Hooking up. Is that hot, or is it creepy? A real man thing or not? Avid viewers and Ashley will decide. Asked, "Do you consider yourself athletic?" Ames asserts, "Yes. I work out with a trainer six times every week." Mother of God. Six times a week. And on the seventh day he reminisced about boarding school, perhaps.

Sports and athleticism play a role in this fandango of maleness. You have to wonder, though, about Blake, a dentist. To the question, "If you could be someone else for just one day, who would it be and why?" Blake answers, "Tiger Woods. I'd like to be the best at something, and have unlimited funds for a day." Oh dude, wrong choice. Lover-rat Tiger? Really?

A lawyer from Los Angeles, Ben C., is asked "What is your favourite sport?" Answer: "Soccer. I'm obsessed with playing and watching." You're out, fella. In the U.S., soccer is a metrosexual thing. Same goes for Ben F., whose occupation is, well, wussy: "winemaker/Internet advertising." Ben F. announces that he won a state championship in soccer. He also has floppy, soccer-player hair. Go home now, mister.

But, wait, there is a Canadian suitor aiming to impress Ashley. That's Chris M., a 27-year-old construction company owner from Gibbons, Alta. Question: "Whom do you admire most?" Answer: "My mom. She had to raise two kids in a grain elevator with no money. She made it and has done well." A grain elevator, no less. And then when asked, "What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done?" Chris says, "Booked a one-way ticket to Asia seven days prior to departure with no planning."

You gotta admit that's a teensy bit more interesting than the suitor who, when asked the same question, answers that he once went to Europe for two weeks. Yep, outrageous.

Real men with real plans. Let the politics of wooing begin, guys.

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