Picks and Pans Review: The Bachelor

updated 05/19/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/19/2003 01:00AM

ABC (Wednesdays, 9 p.m. ET)

Andrew Firestone, superrich great-grandson of tire-company founder Harvey Firestone, is the spouse-seeker on the third go-round of this reality series, which will have its season finale in a special Sunday time slot, May 18 at 9 p.m. But Firestone is so slick and glib that he could easily take over the host's duties from Chris Harrison. The eminently eligible bachelor sounds as if he's announcing a sports event in which he's the most valuable player.

"This date is huge!" Firestone says before visiting the Wisconsin home of one of the women vying for his favor. "This is getting down to crunch time!" he points out as the moment nears when they'll finally do some serious smooching.

First he says he's falling for one contestant, then he professes to feel the same way about another. Every minute Firestone seems fully aware that he's putting on a show. "Honestly, I can't fake it," the bachelor avers. He's the perfect embodiment of the idea that on reality television, what's real is beside the point.

BOTTOM LINE: Break up with it

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