Is Bachelor Nation Responsible For Grocery Store Joe’s Dancing With the Stars Success?
Since he first showed up on season 14 of The Bachelorette, Joe Amabile — known as Grocery Store Joe to his fans — has somehow managed to stretch his 15 minutes of fame into a solid six months. First name, Grocery, last name, Store Joe captured the hearts of reality television fans when Bachelorette Becca Kufrin sent him home on night one. Bachelor Nation wasn't happy with the decision, and he showed up on Bachelor in Paradise. From the second he stepped foot on that beach, fans of the franchise rooted for Amabile to find love. Viewers melted into his “just a normal guy” demeanor — as you may have guessed from his nickname, homeboy owns a grocery store. How pure is that?
The Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise franchise wasn't enough for the good grocer, either. Now, Amabile is on season 27 of Dancing With the Stars. When I read the announcement that he would be part of the cast, I assumed that Amabile had some sort of dance experience or hidden talent that would make him a sensible option for the competition.
Sadly, the guy seems to be rhythmically challenged.
By far, Amabile is the worst performer of the season, yet he’s still in the running. Moreover, Amabile has never been in the red light of doom, which signifies a couple in jeopardy of leaving the competition. The question we have to ask ourselves is, “Who’s voting for this dude?”
I have three theories. First, Bachelor Nation is responsible for his success. They are a mighty group of people, of which I am a proud member, and we let Amabile wiggle his way into our lives. We feel responsible for his well-being and it’s our job to make sure he makes money because he’s clearly not in Chicago running his business right now. With that said, it’s unlikely that Bachelor Nation is the only source for Amabile’s ability to out-vote contenders like DeMarcus Ware and Mary Lou Retton. There has to be another, or additional answer.
This brings me to my second theory. Amabile’s partner, Jenna Johnson, must have some major pull from the pro end of the equation. She won the mini “all athlete” season and is an incredibly talented choreographer. It also doesn’t hurt that her fiancé is ballroom royalty Val Chmerkovskiy. And let’s not forget the pity factor. Some voters may think that Johnson deserves all the props (and votes) for having to teach Amabile how to count to eight and walk without stomping his feet week after week after week.
And finally, there’s some sort of “vote for the worst” secret website run by Internet trolls with the sole purpose of giving me heartburn each week.
One thing that is crystal clear is the cast’s adoration for Grocery Store Joe. He’s a lovable underdog who everyone believes in enough to make him a group dance team captain. He’s Mr. Congeniality. And if he wins, we’ll know that hell has officially frozen over.