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Love lost is Bachelorette's gain: Jake and Vienna brawl 'n' bawl in close encounter of the lurid kind

Dallas-bred Jake Pavelka looked vexed for much of his reunion with Vienna Girardi on Monday's festive The Bachelorette. ABC photos

Stunningly ill-suited for a wicker love seat, Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi sat side by side Monday night while further distancing themselves from each other.

Their made-for-TV engagement turned estrangement no doubt sent ratings for The Bachelorette into a summertime stratosphere. ABC cannily saved their 40-minute loathe-fest for the end of another two-hour edition. There were ample post-Fourth fireworks before Girardi turned on the waterworks.

She called the Dallas pilot by trade a "liar" and a "fame whore." He repeatedly accused her of "undermining" him at every turn and said he is "disgusted" with his ex-fiancee for trashing him in the tabloids in return for payment.

Girardi threw perhaps five times as many verbal punches as Pavelka, interjecting whenever he managed to get in a sentence or two.

Pavelka, who seemed tightly wound all night, finally blared, "Please stop interrupting me!" This reduced Girardi to a sobbing mess before she exited stage right on home screens while cameras followed her.

"Don't go away," host Chris Harrison then advised. "The Jake and Vienna interview continues momentarily."

But it didn't. Instead, the final few minutes afforded Pavelka a chance to tell Harrison, "Unfortunately that is what one of our arguments looks like." He termed it "embarrassing" before Harrison fake-wished both of them "the best."

Harrison earlier wondered, "Will this crap continue of 'He said, she said.' "

As long as there's a suitable pay day involved, of course it will. Pavelka and Girardi have been far more marketable apart than together. So while she angles for a Playboy cover, he'll be guesting on ABC's upcoming Bachelor/Bachelorette aggregation. The name of that game is Bachelor Pad, which will start soiling prime-time on Aug. 9th.

Girardi, who now supposedly has a marketing job in the Hollywood she professes to hate, had the night's biggest laugh line when she declared, "I'm done talking about it. I said my side of the story."

"You're done talking . . ." Harrison said before Pavela snidely interjected, "That's a first."

Pavelka, who was treated like a Nobel Prize winner during two recent guest host appearance on WFAA8's Good Morning Texas, came off as a smug and condescending cad during the first half of his icy cold return engagement with Girardi. But her constant yapping and closing histrionics may have sent a few sympathy points his way. Pavelka's clearly a preener. But Girardi's hardly a virgin in the ever-grandiose game of self-aggrandizement.

True love never runs smooth, of course. But from the very start, this "love" story was about as believable as a new Elvis Presley sighting. Still, that won't stop Monday's Bachelorette from being the week's most-watched program.

As guilty pleasures go, Pavelka and Girardi slinging mud from a love seat sinks somewhere beneath the weekly muck on display in ABC's Wipeout. Needless to say perhaps, ABC couldn't be happier.