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Bored 'Bachelorette''

TV show's film editors distort Ryan and Jen's meeting in Medford with Ryan's parents

OK, so Barbara and Scott Sheaffer of Medford had a lot to say last Monday on ABC about their trip to Thailand.

Footage even showed that the family cat appeared as bored as The Bachelorette Jennifer Schefft when talk of the Sheaffers' recent trip abroad seemed more important than whether their son, Ryan Sheaffer, should marry reality TV's most eligible bombshell.

Nothing like a little creative editing by the show's producers of Schefft's trip to Medford and some dissing by the star ' Let's see, there's Thailand, and Thailand, and, oh, Thailand, she says on camera ' to show the Sheaffers in a less than dazzling light when film crews followed Ryan and Jen on their TV trip to Medford.

They chose to portray me in particular as just babbling on about Thailand, Barbara Sheaffer says of last week's episode. We hadn't been home from our trip for three days when they showed up. It was on our minds.

Of course we were nervous, she says. But we had a good conversation about a lot more than Thailand, but that's all they showed.

— Even in reality shows, things aren't the way they appear.

It was tough to sit there and watch it and I was pretty upset about it, Ryan Sheaffer says. That stuff about Thailand was only a small piece of the conversation. That's what was really unfair.

I don't think people really understand the power of editing, he says.

The creative editing continues tonight when Ryan, a 28-year-old Medford native and Manhattan Beach teacher, and the two other remaining bachelors take individual overnight trips with Schefft before one gets sent home in the latest episode of the find-Jen-a-husband hit.

The Bachelorette airs locally at 9 p.m. on KDRV Channel 12.

In tonight's episode, Schefft has to whittle one from the trio of the original 25 bachelors who went to New York City last fall to woo her. Sheaffer, known only as Ryan on the show, is up against Jerry, a 29-year-old art gallery director, and John Paul, a 25-year-old entrepreneur.

The episodes were taped between mid-October and Thanksgiving. Confidentiality agreements forbid anyone involved from revealing any details.

The buzz from national chat rooms to the halls of the Sheaffers' Montessori School in Medford has swirled around last week's episode, filmed in early November.

Ryan and Jen went ice skating at The RRRink, visited the Sheaffers' school, then went to the family's east Medford home for chit-chat and dinner ' with film crews capturing every moment. It ended with Schefft signing a wall in the kids' bathroom where visitors have scrawled their John Hancocks for years.

Viewers saw little more than the bored Jen, the bored cat, mom saying Thailand every few seconds and Jen's catty on-camera criticism.

Viewers didn't know the Sheaffers had just returned from their trip or that they talked about several other topics, ranging from Schefft's college life to birthdays, sports and families.

We actually had a good visit, Barbara Sheaffer says. She actually was pretty easy to get along with.

Instead, viewers saw the taunting.

You don't go on TV and diss somebody like that, Barbara Sheaffer says.

Her son agrees.

Jen could have showed a little more class, especially with a national TV audience, Ryan Sheaffer says.

He puts greater fault, though, with the show's producers.

My family are the kindest, most generous people you'd ever meet. To have them portrayed the way they were on TV was definitely disturbing.

On Tuesday, parents dropping their kids off at the Sheaffers' school either said nothing or joined in with an overwhelming TV chat-room chorus of how Jen doesn't deserve Ryan.

Every other Tuesday people were saying, 'Oh, he got another rose,' Barbara Sheaffer says. That didn't happen this time.

Those people may get their wish and see Ryan rose-less today and this whole Thailand thing dropped from the public eye like last year's reality-show has-beens.

Someday maybe she can take a trip like that, Barbara Sheaffer says. Maybe she can look back at this and feel a little embarrassed.

Barbara and Scott Sheaffer?s kids? bathroom, where people have been signing their names for years, now sports a signature by Jennifer Schefft of ?The Bachelorette? fame. The Sheaffers? son Ryan is one of the bachelors on the show. Mail Tribune / Jim Craven - Mail Tribune Jim Craven