Jimmy Kimmel Recreates ‘American Gothic’ on ‘The Bachelor’

The Bachelor, starring real-life Iowa farmer Chris Soules, spoofs Grant Wood's American Gothic with Jimmy Kimmel.
The Bachelor, starring real-life Iowa farmer Chris Soules, spoofs Grant Wood's American Gothic with Jimmy Kimmel.

Riffing on the occupation of Iowa farmer Chris Soules, the producers of The Bachelor have staged a recreation of Grant Wood’s American Gothic. Soules is the star of the show’s 19th season, which had late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel as its guest host last night.

The artsy photo shoot was part of a date arranged by Kimmel that saw this year’s cast of bachelorettes compete in a farm-themed relay race that included shucking corn, milking goats, frying eggs gathered from a chicken coop, and catching a squealing pig. After a spirited competition, the winner, cruise ship singer Carly Waddell, was presented with a blue ribbon for her efforts and told to change into costume for the photograph.

Kimmel, who was a bit of a third wheel this week, crashing Soules’s dinner date with another bachelorette and joining the pair in the hot tub while the couple enjoyed a steamy makeout session, also got in on the fun, borrowing Waddell’s costume to stand in as the farmer’s wife.

<em>The Simple Life</em> (2003).

The Simple Life (2003).

The iconic 1930 painting, recently the subject of a celebrity selfie (see Katy Perry Takes Selfie with American Gothic), has been parodied by reality TV producers before, notably in the ad campaign for the first season of The Simple Life, which saw Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie experience life on an Arkansas farm. In the promo photos, Hilton, clad in a demi mini skirt and corset, held her pet teacup chihuahua, while Richie, wielding the pitchfork, wore a pair of overalls, one strap undone to reveal a pink bra.

It was a stark contrast to the stern-looking paragons of American virtue and the pioneer spirit Wood depicted. Of course, a real-life photo of the pair standing in front of their painted likeness reveals that the woman, Wood’s sister Nan, was younger and less stern-looking than her portrait counterpart (Wood’s dentist, Byron McKeeby).

The models for Grant Wood's <em>American Gothic</em> stand in front of the iconic painting.

The models for Grant Wood’s American Gothic stand in front of the iconic painting.

Soules, who has been described as a “fourth-generation land baron” by the press, expects the recipient of his final rose to move to his tiny hometown of Arlington, Iowa, to enjoy life on the farm, and American Gothic features a real cottage in Eldon, Iowa. While the photo shoot seemed goofy, it should make Waddell and the other ladies think long and hard about whether they’re ready to commit to Soules’s lifestyle.

The Bachelor isn’t the only reality series to feature a famous artwork in recent months. Last summer, the Kardashians experienced a brush with even more extravagant wealth when Kourtney’s boyfriend, Scott Disick, briefly thought he had inherited an artwork by Amedeo Modigliani (see Kardashian’s Dreams Dashed by Fake Modigliani).

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