If this new portrait of Ben Flajnik is any indication, we're in for one bland, awkward season.
In the new ABC publicity photo, Ben's all smiles, which is a good thing. He seems like a decent guy, but come on -- it looks like he stepped right on to the stage of a Sears portrait studio.
Check out the full photo and an impromptu instant message critique session below.
Maggie Furlong: um
Maggie Furlong: Shades of Gray on Next Season's 'The Bachelor'
Chris Harnick: haha
Maggie Furlong: i count 5 in one outfit
Chris Harnick: it's like ... i just
Maggie Furlong: he is the definition of blah
Chris Harnick: the weird marbled background
Chris Harnick: the grapes
Maggie Furlong: prediction: there will be at least one date with him feeding a girl grapes. and it won't end well.
Maggie Furlong: i am craving some wine now though
Maggie Furlong: is it too early to get pre-drunk for this season?
Chris Harnick: it's never too early to drink because of the bachelor!
Chris Harnick: i mean the way he's holding out the rose, i feel like his mom is off to the side saying "come on ben ... just a little further ..."
Maggie Furlong: there's a cheesy photographer with a squeaky toy somewhere, smiling with approval
Chris Harnick: you never fail to make me actually LOL
Maggie Furlong: HAHA
Maggie Furlong: ok analyzing this more just took a dark turn
Chris Harnick: like his outfit
Maggie Furlong: yes - it's very ominous
Maggie Furlong: how many potential bachelorettes could he stuff into those barrels?
Maggie Furlong: the rose says i'm friendly (if not a little desperate) but the barrels scream 'don't mess with me!'
Chris Harnick: i'm just worried ... well actually kind of hoping that the winery angle means more drunken regrets caught on camera
Maggie Furlong: i admire your hopefulness
Maggie Furlong: serious question: since ben's season was the season of so many josh groban look-alikes (him included), what beautifully coiffed popstar wannabes will they bring in for him?
Chris Harnick: taylor swift?
Chris Harnick: but i secretly hope nicki minaj
Maggie Furlong: we can dream, chris. we can dream.
'The Bachelor' returns to ABC in January 2012.