Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bachelor Episode 8: Women Tell All

Well, it’s Episode 8 and the women are ready to tell all. Assuming that “tell all” means “talk sh*t about each other,” I agree. Let’s get to it.

We begin as always with gentle sunsets on the beach and romantic background music leading into a montage of the season’s most memorable moments. Yes, Jake is a pilot and he’s searching for love. He’s narrowed the field from 25 “beautiful women” down to two, but first, the grievances have to be aired, the curtain drawn back, and the turd must be purged from the punch bowl. Yes, before love can truly blossom, the women must tell all.

Harrison shows up in his usual tailored yet understated hosting suit with an off white shirt and no tie. The collar on that thing looked like a weapon. Elvis would have thought it was big. That thing was as stiff as Jake’s demeanor. Nonetheless, Harrison looks Money. He’s ready to earn his paycheck. He sets up the evening as only Chris Harrison can. He’s come a long way from HGTV and damn it, he wants us to know he means business. He’s affable, approachable, and he’s ready to dish.

Harrison enters to the deafening cheers of an all female audience—all of whom are undoubtedly disappointed that the online application they filled out for ABC in order to get on the Bachelor was not accepted. But hey, there’s always next season, right? Maybe they’ll get discovered on the show? Perhaps Harrison will notice them? Maybe there’s another horny producer with marital trouble waiting in the wings. Fat chance. Harrison is all business. He has two items on his Swarmy Host To Do List: Kick Ass and Take Names.

Harrison pulls Jake aside to a top secret location. He sets up the biggest controversy in Bachelor history (at least until next season) and tells us that Roz will be confronted for her “affair” with their “staffer.” And to think, I thought she just made out with a Producer. We cut to a shot of Roz being scolded by Harrison and we see Harrison and Jake in a zen-like peacefulness among the scented candles and carefully placed roses trying to make sense of it all. Harrison has his muted orange shirt beneath his tailored yet understated host suit now and Jake tells us that the news of Rozlyn’s harlotry “knocked him off his high horse.” What the hell does that mean? For God’s sake, is Jake that much of a dud or is he just a bad actor? I assume it’s a bit of both. Oh, and why was he wearing French blue? That is so Andrew Firestone Season Three. Yes, purple is the new black but it’s also the new French blue. I was annoyed already.

In a brilliant display of his chameleon-like ability to relate to his guests, Harrison borrows from the Jake Pavelka Aw Shucks Expressions Manual and asks Jake if he was “nervous as heck” when he found out about Rozlyn’s less than savory behavior. Jake wonders if there were any other women involved. Frankly, so did I, but not in the same way Jake did I’m betting. Rozlyn’s alleged whoring around the mansion served only to strengthen Jake’s resolve he tells us. It wasn’t bad for ratings either. At this point, I was begging for Harrison to ask the “how does it feel to be cheated on because you’re too boring to keep a beautiful woman’s attention” question. Put that in your pipe on your high horse and smoke it, Jake. Some fat guy with a wife and a propensity to sneak around rented mansions in the middle of the night just took you to school. It’s a good thing they fired that guy. He might have made a run through the entire cast—including Jake.

Sick of Jake’s lack of imagination, Harrison moves next to this season’s “game player,” Elizabeth. Jake lets us know how “bold” she was to pretend to kiss him and put her face so close to his after swearing off kissing. She’s “too caught up in her own game” and she “exceeded a boundary.” For a moment, I thought I was watching the Olympics. I believe men with testicles refer to that behavior as flirting. Those gestures are what salesmen call “buying signals.” Look, I have to admit that she was a bit forward but I’ll give her credit for planning her work and working her plan. In the end, it just didn’t work for her. Jake should have stuck with that instead of making it more than it was. In the end, Elizabeth defended her strategy but admitted she looked stupid doing it. If only Roz would have been allowed out of her soundproof sequestration booth of shame to see Liz diffuse the bomb that is Bachelor gossip. If only, indeed. Elizabeth looked a little nuts, but followed some good PR advice. Own the behavior, relate to the audience, and move on. Nice job, Liz.

Next, we cut to the “when did you fall for Tenley/Vienna” scenes. We are forced to relive Jake’s crying on the bridge in fear of bungee jumping incident. I was more embarrassed for him than I was the first time. Lord, I hope his children never see that video. We move from that scene to Jake’s dinner with Tenley above the Coit Tower in San Francisco. Even more pathetic than the crying in fear on the bridge is Jake’s skin tight Euro turtle neck. I found myself wondering if he was going to put on white face paint and a beret and pretend to be trapped in a box. We see Jake’s glib, senseless grin in a picture in picture shot. I wonder if he realized what a cheesebag he is?

After some fake giggling and scrunchy forehead shots of Jake on the field of battle in various states of pre-coitus with the women, we cut to Ali’s “surprise” departure from the show and her drive of regret in the limo. Considering she’s going to be our next Bachelorette, there were some extremely unflattering shots of Ali and her split ends in the limo. Not even her Bubba Gump-ish pouty lower lip could hide the atrocity that was her hair.

Note to Ali: Avoid vent brushes with plastic bristles as they can cause significant damage by ripping through your hair. For dry hair, use a wide brush with a foam pad that allows more give. The Warren-Tricomi Nylon/Boar Bristle Cushion Brush is an excellent and affordable choice. Also, since wet hair is more susceptible to tearing, comb it gently with a wide-tooth comb shortly after exiting the shower while your hair is still moist and pliable. Finally, apply a leave-in conditioner. The botanical-based Aveda Elixir Daily Leave-On Conditioner is a good bet. And for crying out loud, keep the blow-dryer at least 4 inches from your hair and use a deep conditioner twice a week to help prevent damage. Finally, if all else fails, don’t agree to back lighting. You’re welcome.

Insert Commercial Break for Effect

We cut back to the studio where Harrison awaits among dim lighting and a bevy of candles. I really think Harrison should wear some kind of flashy jacket for these shows; either that or a cape. At any rate, Harrison sets up the “where are they now” segment and the screen erupts with former contestants from the Bachelor and Bachelorette in what appeared to be a Greek orgy. Everyone had too much to drink and not enough clothes. We see all of the dumpees swimming in alcohol and engaging in debauchery. Jake was thanking his lucky pilot’s shirt that he didn’t have to resort to such pedestrian, immoral behavior. Red Bull and vodka flows more freely than tears at a rose ceremony and the ever-present red plastic cups runneth over with bacchanalia. We are left to wonder why Roz was not invited to THAT party.

Frankly, I was annoyed at this point. The entire segment was boring and predictable. Wes made a brief appearance and owned his villain status, everyone wore a bikini, and I wondered why no one offers me free trips to Vegas or Mexico to make an ass of myself. Such is life, I suppose. Such is life.

After another “most controversial character of 2010” teaser and a well-timed commercial break we go back to the studio. In a shameless effort to justify the show, we next move to “the Bachelor gives back” segment. Even Harrison couldn’t fake this introduction. Apparently, drinking for 28 days at a rented mansion on the outskirts of Los Angeles and attempting to fool someone into loving you in hopes of gaining national notoriety in order to cash in elevates a person into having a “greater obligation” to “give back.” Come on. We cut to the former losers—the same losers we just saw in various stages of undress sucking down energy drinks and free booze—“giving back” by participating in the “Portraits of Hope” project. Their “charity” consists of forcing chubby, indifferent Hispanic children to paint murals on lifeguard stands to be placed on L.A. beaches so thin, athletic white children can enjoy them after the Hispanic kids are bussed back to East L.A. Having Mexican kids spray paint things. Is there really a shortage of that in L.A.? Regardless, everyone powers through their multi-day hangover from the Vegas bender and feels good about making lifeguard stands a more colorful place to work. The children are placed on a bus back to the barrio and Harrison recants his threats of deportation to the parents. People helping people. My heart was smiling.

We cut to a shot of Harrison in a Jeff Probst-esque blue safari shirt handing out leftover promotional crap with Jake at some school in St. Lucia followed by various female contestants sporting the ubiquitous 30 foot scarf and handing out food to more chubby Hispanic people. Man, those scarves are so versatile. The next shot is of the ever-feminine Juan from Jillian’s season pretending to hand out food at some food bank in L.A. I was shocked he was still in the closet. He drops a “Man Code” reference and we are reminded of how stupid it was the first time we heard it. He does his best Mangelina Jolie impression with the poor kids and we move to some more exploitative pictures of poor, hungry minorities before cutting back to the studio for some more teasers about what a tramp Roz was this season.

Harrison introduces us to “the most memorable women” of the season—in other words, all of them except Tenley and Vienna and that fallen strumpet Roz. Gia looks stunning in her purple sequined short dressy thing and shows up equipped with her trademark hair in the face. Apparently, they don’t sell purple sequined hair clips in L.A. Aside from the hair in the face, Gia’s PR machine should be commended for her appearance and demeanor over the past couple of weeks. It’s tough to lose with class and keep it all together. She did. Next, Jessie—who looked a lot more unattractive than she did on the show--speaks in her black cocktail dress accented with a Carmen Miranda rose in the hair thing. Ashley shows up sans stewardess costume and the other Ashleigh shocks us by admitting that her “fall” into Jake’s arms was, in fact, staged. Man, these women are telling all. I was giddy.

Harrison pretends to like the meaningless banter and introduces the next segment with an unbelievable misstatement of fact by referring to the panel as “well-adjusted women.” Right. Well-adjusted. The only things well-adjusted on that stage were the soft lighting and Gia’s nose. Harrison FINALLY uses the word “crazy” to describe the women in the house and we cut to a montage of the women making catty comments about one another while their tantrums and psycho behavior plays out in front of us. We see Tenley interpretive dancing again, Gia telling us that Michelle scares everyone, Roz hussying around the mansion in her bikini, Liz being a black widow(whatever that means), and some of the in-fighting over our dull pilot from somewhere North of Dallas. We end by hearing Ashleigh refer to the future Mrs. Pavelka as a “white trash trailer whore.” It’s officially on.

Harrison slowly but deliberately begins to stir the pot about Vienna and the women take the bait like hungry pigeons to a pile of crackers. Gia jumps in to defend Vienna admitting that she’s immature but “not a bad person.” You know what that means? Vienna is a pain in the a*s but I feel bad for her. Again, Gia showed some restraint and class. Perhaps Jake should have noticed that instead of jumping at Vienna’s boorish behavior. I’m just sayin’.

Harrison puts on his serious host face and again brings up Roz’s Corinthian woman status. I suppose Tenley’s divorce was on vacation this week. Like Joe Friday, Harrison wants the “facts.” Gia does her best Jim Brady impression and leans in front of the gun for Roz, but Asleigh in an obvious quest for attention and Jessie in an obvious attempt to know it all pile on Roz faster than that producer did. Even sweet country girl Ella recounts an incident when Roz got on all fours in her boy shorts when the girls were fixin’ to go to bed and begged for that producer to “put her to bed.” Oh my. I’m certain that guy’s soon-to-be-ex-wife’s lawyer hit rewind on his DVR before refilling his single malt scotch and giggling to himself.

Next up is Gia’s interview. I will say this again. She looked fantastic in her purple sequined dress and looked very nervous in light of the fact that she had to relive the humiliation of getting dumped again. She drops a “Jake and I’s” relationship, but I’ll give her a pass considering the stress. Oscar Wilde once wrote that “crying is the refuge of plain women, but the ruin of pretty ones.” I’m not sure that was the case here. Gia looked vulnerable and sincere. Harrison masters the art of uncomfortable silence and turns the dagger just enough to get Gia to talk but not enough to kick sand in her reconstructed face. Gia takes a playful shot at Michelle—who made a mental note to include Gia on her People I Will Eventually Kill list—and Harrison and his scruffy face have a good laugh before wishing her well and sending her back to the panel. Contractual obligations fulfilled, Gia looks more relaxed and takes comfort in knowing that she’s got a future in television.

We next get to re-experience the erratic, often desperate behavior of Michelle in her quest for a man—any man. Harrison calls her out like only he can do. Michelle does her best to own the behavior but, how far can you run from the intersection of Crazy and Desperate? Liz and Ashleigh pile on unnecessarily and the crowd mocks Michelle with giggles and laughter at her assertions that she’s “stable.” I felt bad for her, but hey, she signed up for the show. Advice to Michelle: if after the second episode you haven’t really put your finger on who the crazy girl is this season, it’s probably you. Just be quiet and cut your losses. Oh, and use an eyelash curler before applying mascara. Twirl, but don't pump, the mascara wand inside the tube to fill it with mascara. You have pretty eyes. There’s no reason to ruin them. You’re welcome.

I found myself wondering why none of her ex-boyfriends came forward with stories about her. Then I realized those guys are probably all buried in her backyard somewhere. Harrison even seemed afraid of her. I wish her well and I hope the next guy she dates does not own a bunny.

Ali is up next. We relive her canary yellow phase, wet suede boots, and make out sessions in the park. We see her in various stages of Gia-esque upsetness, and look at her split ends before Harrison drops the hammer about her leaving Jake for her job. Ali looked great too in her brown dress and minimalist accessories. Harrison tightens the vice a bit about the whole job thing. Ali regrets not taking a chance, and we scratch the surface of her abandonment issues from her absent father. Harrison does his best Dr. Phil impression, Ali distances herself from the Vienna Haters Club, and makes an obligatory apology to Vienna in an attempt to clear the slate before her soon-to-be the next Bachelorette status kicks in next week. She was likeable, but not perky or appealing to me. We can only hope that the 25 guys who pine over her next season will be more interesting than she is. Doubtful.

Finally, we get to Roz and the “cloud of controversy” (another aviation reference, perhaps?) surrounding her this season. To be fair, it was a cloud manufactured and fed by the show, but the audience is ready to pounce and we get backstage shots of Roz being escorted to the stage like Sean Penn to the execution chamber in Dead Man Walking. I wonder if Roz confessed her sins to Susan Sarandon before leaving the Green Room? Roz attempts humor both backstage and when she first arrives. Harrison clearly isn’t amused and neither are the ladies. The tension is thicker than Vienna’s eye shadow and Harrison takes off the gloves. He obviously has an axe to grind on behalf of himself and ABC. Man, the guy is Money. I felt myself wanting to go on an amazing journey in search of a connection with him.

All of the women pile on, Harrison recants fairy tales of unicorns and magicians and poses the question, “isn’t the simplest story the truth?” Applause erupts from the crowd and Roz knows she’s lost. At this point, Roz should have done what Elizabeth and Gia did. Own the behavior, apologize for the misunderstanding, wish everyone well, and move on. Even Tiger Woods played that game last week. Apparently oblivious to that advice, Roz morphs into Bitter Betty, denies everything, and actually accuses Harrison of hitting on the guy she banged in the mansion’s wife in New Zealand. Dude. Attacking Harrison is like spitting in the Holy Grail. No good can come from it.

Harrison pauses momentarily, goes to his safe place, and refuses to take the bait. He wishes Roz well, gives her another chance to fess up, and after it’s clear she won’t play ball; he slams the door in her face with references to the “mountain of evidence” against her. Harrison should run for President. Granted, taking on Roz is like a tiger taking on a mouse, but he did a brilliant job of defending himself, the network, and the show. Maybe that other guy’s wife should have shacked up with him in New Zealand. Roz came across as angry (understandable), bitter, and untruthful. She leaves expecting a call from Playboy and we move to a commercial break so Harrison can take a few hits off the stuff he smuggled stateside from St. Lucia in an effort to lower his heart rate.

When we return, Harrison has regained all of his cool and his make up has been retouched. Finally, we get to bring out Jake in his royal blue 80% rayon 20% polyester skin tight t-shirt and sport coat in order to do his Tom Cruise impression. It “was an honor for him” to have the opportunity. “His heart was crying” when Gia left. He proceeds to use the “F” word on Ali saying that she’ll always have a friend. Overall, the entire segment was dull. Harrison can’t wait until this season is over. We know it, he knows it, and Jake probably knows it too.

For some reason, we cut to Catherine doing her best Roz impression. She’s clearly bitter. I mean the kind of bitter that will make her next boyfriend mis-er-a-bull. Jake makes some corny references to her heart and his heart and then tells us that he regrets not getting to know Christina. What was that Oscar Wilde quote from earlier? I believe it applies now. Oh, and speaking of closeted homosexuals, Jake proceeds to ramble on about his heart and his attraction, blah, blah, blah. Just pick Vienna and get it over with, would you, Jake?

In a move that would make Lady Macbeth envious, Harrison, having purged the show of its spots, moves to the remaining two “incredible women.” He almost choked on that one. His magnanamousness only goes so far. We get a rundown of Vienna’s “journey” and “Tenley’s “journey.” Tenley’s divorce returns from hiatus and Vienna’s crossed eyes and powdered wig make an appearance. I loved her work on the one dollar bill. Fabulous. Incidentally, I believe I read somewhere that Pope Benedict XVI was seriously considering granting Tenley an annulment. Apparently, he’s sick of hearing about her divorce too. Of course he has to run that by God and certain members of the Kennedy family, but I’d be willing to bet it happens.

So there it is, with the Amazing count at 108, Absolutely at 24, and at Journey 31, we are all set to conclude our “amazing journey” on March 1 when Jake will cry on multiple balconies, inevitably use the word “amazing,” discuss what is in his heart, and visit the jewelry sponsor in order to select an engagement ring. In the meantime, I’ll be trying to get a job as a producer.


  1. Chris IS money and Roz got the stink eye from everyone in the room at that moment.

    I did notice though in previews from next week that Vienna finally got rid of her bikini with the "hiding the junk in your trunk ruffles" It's about time!

  2. I Don't think Ali should be the next Bachlorette-Gia should be...she's beautiful and not boring...and being from new york I think she'll have more appeal.

  3. Your commentary is far more entertaining than the show itself!

  4. Alright, so next week I'll comment on the THREE HOUR finale but I'm also kicking around doing a "this man tells all" blog entry that would allow the readers (mostly women) to ask me guy questions concerning the girls in order to get a male perspective. Anyone have any thoughts? As always, thank you so much for reading! DP Guy in Austin

  5. Yes yes yes. Your bit on Vienna's powdered wig had me laughing out loud.

    Thanks for another great post.

  6. Informative content, In bachelor party you can drink all night but between the beer and the strippers, wouldn't it be fun to have a few bachelor party games such as Despedida Soltero.