‘The Valley’ Brings Another Bisexual to Bravo — and She’s a Former ‘Bachelor’ Contestant

The Bravoverse has been expanding in ways prompting most viewers to ask: do we really need this? And yet, we still watch, like the dutiful clowns we are. I didn’t intentionally seek out The Valley, the new spinoff of Vanderpump Rules that mixes formerly fired VPR cast members with new faces. It’s more like it happened to me, Peacock casually playing the first episode at the end of VPR and surely leaving me no choice but to tune in for the rest of the season. I do find The Valley, so far at three episodes in, to be Bravo’s most damning indictment of heteronormative life and marriage, even if it doesn’t know that’s what it’s doing. It’s about ousted Vanderpump Rules longtimers Kristen Doute, Jax Taylor, and his wife (though they’ve separated off-screen) Brittany Cartwright and their new lives in, you guessed it, the valley, where they’ve built a new friend group of parents of young children who seem reluctant to be adults, even though they’re well into their thirties. The most recent episode surpasses cringe into inane territory, centering largely on Doute crying because, according to her, being called a racist is pretty much the worst thing that could happen to a person — never mind, you know, experiencing racism. I’ll come back to this though, because for now I want to focus on the good news: The Valley has a bisexual cast member! And she used to be on The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise! Introducing: Jasmine Goode!

Who Is Jasmine Goode?

Former NFL cheerleader Jasmine Goode competed in the 21st season of The Bachelor and was eliminated in the sixth week. She has technically been of the Pump Rules stratosphere for a bit, working at SUR and alluding to the possibility of joining the VPR cast in 2020 on Scheana Shay’s podcast. That never happened, which is unfortunate, because Jasmine already seems like a great reality personality — and plus, she’s queer!

She is only in a Friend role on The Valley, which is Bravospeak for supporting cast.

Who Is Jasmine Goode’s Girlfriend?

In last night’s episode, Jasmine introduced viewers to her girlfriend Melissa Marie. Like Jasmine, Melissa isn’t new to reality television. She competed in Squid Game: The Challenge. Their love story is an adorable queer romance! They both grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey and reconnected later in life.

“She graduated with my brother,” Jasmine explains in the show. “So it’s like when she moved out here, it was kind of like a comfort, like a piece of home.”

In the episode, Jasmine describes her sexuality as “fluid” and identifies as bisexual.

Melissa and Jasmine have a TikTok together where they post cute sapphic content.

@melissa.jasmine

First time asking Melissa to be my Valentine ❤️… yes 1st time…We both lost important people in our lives on Vday. Isn’t always fun but we try and make each other feel special 🤍#valentinesday #valentine #love

♬ My Love Mine All Mine – Mitski

Should I Watch The Valley Though?

Great question! Unless you’re already in too deep with the Bravoverse, probably not! Definitely don’t watch it expecting a bunch of queer content; Jasmine and Melissa have only really had one scene together so far, and with Jasmine just at Friend status, it’s unlikely they’ll be given enough screentime. When they do, I’ll be sure to cover it, so you can seek out those scenes and episodes if you want.

am fascinated by it due to the aforementioned accidental but striking critique of a particular kind of heterosexual life. These married couples are miserable. They have what they’ve been told they should aspire to: big houses with big yards and pools, high-paying jobs, spouses (never mind that they aren’t having sex…), and a kid or two. And yet, they’re miserable! Like many of my reality television viewing motivations, my interests are anthropological.

But my god, even I — someone with a pretty high threshold for reality cringe — reached my limit with Kristen Doute crying about being called a racist. To many of these cast members, being called a racist is an affront on par with actual racism! It’s like when Dorit threw a fit for being called a Karen in the most recent season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills after speaking to Garcelle in clear microaggressions! Maddening!

The central conflict of this episode, which will apparently ripple effect through the rest of the season, revolves around Kristen telling the group that Janet said Michelle was a Republican and therefore probably a racist. Janet is not present for this, and she later clarifies that what she actually said was that Michelle rather worryingly said at a dinner that Don’t Say Gay laws protect children, and Janet had stepped in to shut it down. Janet says she shared with Jasmine that it could be a teachable moment if it came up again from Michelle, who is perhaps just misinformed (a generous read on Janet’s part). Janet implied Michelle might be susceptible to conspiracy theories and other manipulative messaging, saying, “I thought she maybe got swept into an algorithm that is maybe teaching her some things that aren’t true.”

If Michelle’s incorrect and dangerous views on Don’t Say Gay end up coming up on the show, then based on how these things usually go down elsewhere on Bravo, I fear Jasmine will be forced to step in as the resident queer person and indeed make this a teachable moment. Maybe Bravo should just stop platforming people with harmful politics! (JK, never gonna happen, since wealth is often a requirement for Bravolebrity status.) Also, let’s not forget about the time Brittany cried because she had to fire the homophobic priest who was going to do the wedding ceremony for her and Jax.

It’s a weird choice for Kristen to spin this into Michelle being racist, obscuring the possibility that Michelle could actually be homophobic and transphobic! But of course, she’s just deflecting from her own wrongdoings — and poorly at that!

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 814 articles for us.

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