Alright, here we are, the Men Tell All Episode on the eve of finding out who, if anyone, Ali will choose to be her potential future possible husband maybe one day. These episodes are hard to blog about because they contain so much canned footage and inane banter. I’ll do my best. Two things first.
I’m still taking late submissions for the DP Tells All Special Blog Entry. I have a bunch of questions from the comments and via email, but I’ll still entertain any suggestions you may have. I’ll post my answers on Thursday afternoon. Second, I was privileged enough to meet the great Lincee Ray of www.ihategreenbeans.com fame this weekend. Despite some poor planning and some semi-chach-ness on my part, we had a great time. I’ll include details at the end of this entry. Suffice it to say that she couldn’t have been any more lovely, more gracious, or more fun. She’s the real deal. I realize that many of you read her blog as well and are interested in the outcome. It was no SALT I or Yalta Conference, but it was interesting. In the meantime, let’s get to it.
We begin at the Top Secret Bachelorette Studio undoubtedly tucked safely away from the glaring lights of Los Angeles and nestled like the Bat Cave in a place that only Harrison knows about. The soft blue and red lighting and abundance of candles highlight the empty chairs which sit innocuously on the stage awaiting His Eminence Chris Harrison’s arrival in order for everyone to tell all. The party doesn’t start until Harrison says it does and we can’t wait for him to say it does.
The audience, fresh off three complimentary glasses of wine and light hors d’oeuvres in the Hospitality Tent, sits anxiously. Yes, they all know they’re privileged to be there and they’ve all taken the time to get their nails done and their hair did and gussy it up just in case Harrison decides to score. We can hear the wheels turning inside their heads.
“Who knows? Maybe the producers and Chris Harrison will notice me and skip the entire interview process in order to make ME the next Bachelorette. After all, people like me get discovered every day and I would make a perfect Bachelorette because I’m totally funny, pretty, outgoing, and I know a girl who was on the show once but didn’t get picked at the first cocktail party because she didn’t say enough to the Bachelor and wouldn’t sleep with one of the key grips or stage hands or whatever, so I know really well how to handle that situation and make it past that first night. I’m not saying I’d sleep with someone or anything but I might give out my phone number. I’m also really interesting and fun, you know, like Jillian, and even though I really like Ali and she’s really sweet and all, I am a much better dresser than she is and I don’t say “like” all of the time. I know it’s important to have a signature color like Ali, and I’d be open to any suggestions. I mean I’ve been told I look good in purple but I’m not sure. Anyway, I totally know what I’d wear to the cocktail party, the rose ceremonies, and the one-on-one dates already so ABC could save a ton of money if they chose me because I totally would not need a wardrobe consultant but I would be open to one—you know, for accessories and stuff that looks really cute on camera because it goes with my skin tone or makes my eyes pop—if ABC really wanted me to have one. I also don’t have hair extensions or problems with food even though I totally like Ali and want to see her do well, I’m just saying that I don’t have those problems and my ass also looks really cute in skinny jeans and after five dresses. I also look really cute and sympathetic when I cry and I would totally not be afraid to wear a bikini in front of the camera. This woman who works at my mom’s office told my mom once after seeing just ONE picture of me in my mom’s cubicle that I should totally be the next Bachelorette which is really weird because that picture was taken before my highlights and after I’d been accidentally sunburned at my tanning salon because all of the upgraded beds were full and I had to use one of the bad beds because I had a date that night and I didn’t have time to wait so just think of how my headshots would look now….NOTICE ME, CHRIS HARRISON! NOTICE ME!”
Harrison emerges to an earth shaking round of applause as the pimps, prostitutes, and drug addicts outside of the otherwise abandoned warehouse on the East side of L.A. wonder what’s going on inside the building. He’s decked out in his tailored black host suit accented with a soft violet (or was it mauve?) oxford shirt and dark tie. He’s grinning from ear to ear as he envisions the extra zeros in front of the decimal on his bi-weekly paycheck. The kids are getting a new playscape this year and Daddy is gonna take big fat vacation when this one is over. He’s Money and he knows it. Good for him.
Romance, love, betrayal, and heartbreak are this season’s talking points and we begin to realize that Frank and Justin are in for a bashing. Harrison tees up the evening with “journey” references and the women squeal with joy when he mentions Roberto and Chris L. We cut to the big video screen as the lights are dimmed and Harrison heads back stage for a make up touch up and a stiff cocktail.
We see Ali sitting down in the Lair of Seclusion with Harrison. She looks lovely in her black sequined cocktail dress, matching headband, and costume jewelry. She appears well rested after her trip from Tahiti and we assume that she’s shaken off the jetlag from the long flight and the yeast infection from the Fantasy Suite dates (that’s just as funny as the cranberry juice joke and you know it). Harrison begins with some “journey” references and Ali gives a shout out to the fine people at McNeil Pharmaceuticals for the complimentary supply of Monistat as she assists Harrison in setting up the rest of the show.
Incidentally, I was unsure about the spelling of Monistat and in a rare departure from my regular practice of stream of consciousness writing, I Googled it just to be sure. The website I went on referenced “drinking curds on a daily basis” as an effective, non-medical way to ward off chronic yeast infections. I found it comforting to know that Little Miss Muffet was yeast free. She had enough problems with that damn spider that sat down beside her. Imagine trying to deal with that on top of a yeast infection. I failed to find, “don’t sleep with multiple men on back-to-back nights in a humid, unairconditioned, fantasy suite in Tahiti” but, to be fair, I only skimmed the text on the site.
Annnnyyyyhooooo. . .
Ali and Harrison rehash Justin’s bad deeds and we see a much thinner than Tahiti Ali busting Justin’s balls for trying to be famous rather than searching for love. She’s there for “all women and girls hurt by a man before.” After all, men are dirtbags—well, not the two men she slept with on back-to-back nights in Tahiti, but pretty much all of the rest of them. For a second there, it sounded like her heart needed to be guarded and protected. Speaking of that, they rehash Krasey’s whack job behavior as we are forced to relive the “guard and protect” nonsense and that ridiculous tattoo he got. Harrison and Ali literally fight back laughter and Ali is relieved to be safe in the confines of the studio rather than alone in an ice cavern with Krasey. We are reminded of Kirk’s scrapbook—a lot of good that did—and relive Ali getting dumped on her ass in Tahiti by Frank. She had on high heels and high expectations. Sadly, Frank just had high blood pressure.
Ali tells us that she had “distinct instincts” about what to do and she’s confident she’s made the right decision. By the way, I have all of the Distinct Instincts’ albums. Fascinating, inventive stuff, especially the earlier work.
We then cut to unseen scenes—another potential band name—as we see adorable outtakes of Roberto almost take Ali’s eye out with a champagne cork, Frank’s weird family play a rambling toast joke on Ali in their no curtained house, and we relive one of Ali’s silly little alcoholic black outs as she literally has to be shown footage of her drunk ass putting on an astronaut helmet on her museum date with Krasey. She giggles uncontrollably as we all ignore the big, drunk, 300 pound alcoholic gorilla in the room.
We see Roberto and Ali harangued by peacocks and get a shot of the Weatherman wishing he was being harangued by peacocks. We see Chris N.’s disappearing act and learn why he earned the nickname “The Phantom.” After the break, Harrison introduces Jesse and his white power haircut, Hunter and his ears, Kyle and his giant choker necklace thing, Tyler V., Craig R., John C., Derrick, Jason, Steve, Chris N., Kirk, Weatherman, Krasey, and Ty. We’re reminded that Frank couldn’t cover his Assistant to the Assistant Manager shift at Abercrombie this week, but are assured that he’s signed the vacation book well in advance and should be able to attend next week’s show in order to be jeered at and judged by everyone. Proving that he’s not a complete idiot, we learn that Justin decided not to show up. He must have talked to Roz Papa.
Of course, Craig R. opens his fat mouth first. He had no idea what he was getting into he tells us, but he’s happy to whine about it. Krasey tells us that the first night was “intense” and the Weatherman refers to Ali as “mystical.” The jacket he was wearing was mystical too---mystically gay. Chris N. finally emerges from his shell and we’re happy to know that he found the wet bar in the green room. Looking more tan than George Hamilton, Chris N. displays his “Phantom” t-shirt as Harrison gleefully looks on.
The next five minutes of this show were unwatchable for me. It essentially involved all of the alpha male jockeying going on in the house. We saw McCheesy Craig trying to out macho everyone in the house, the poor gay Weatherman being picked on, and we had to endure the kind of chest beating and mating season behavior that makes men look like fools. Granted, everyone probably had a blood alcohol content higher than the show’s ratings, but it was still ridiculous to watch. Back in the studio, John C. and his magician’s vest call out the Weatherman, Jesse confirms that he wanted to punch McCheesey in the kitchen, we learn that Krasey is indeed crazy. Kyle takes time away from Outdoorsmaning and tries to out choker necklace Ty, and Chris N. continues to perpetuate the redundant expressions spawned by Roberto’s “reciprocated back” line last week as he tells us that Justin was only on the show to “self promote himself.” What a stupid idiot. I figured I’d continue the redundancy trend.
We next cut to the first pariah of the show, Frank. We relive his Mad Men suits, wooing of Ali, and his eventually reconciliation with Nicole before dumping Ali like yesterday’s trash on the beaches of Tahiti. Harrison fights back a smile and manages a “Man, that’s tough to watch.” Craig R., who is apparently an authority on just about everything, sticks up for Frank, as do Ty and Hunter proving that Frank has a mesmerizing effect on guys with big ears. Krasey isn’t buying it, though, as he shakes his head in disbelief before joining Harrison in the hot seat in an attempt to soften his image and shake off some of the crazy.
Krasey hits the hot seat as we see him being left on the glacier like Dennis Quaid in that subpar what if the world froze movie. We see him singing again and realize for a second time how bizarre he is. Harrison rubs gallons of salt in his wounds and Krasey proves that his PR folks know what they’re doing as he simply owns the behavior and declares that even though Ali wasn’t into it, there are girls out there who would dig it. Sadly, Krasey doesn’t realize that the girls out there who would dig it are all wards of their respective states where they sit quietly in wreck rooms across the country sipping apple juice from a plastic cup with a thin paper straw while coloring and listening to subtle classical background music during “creative time.” Illustrating that that denial is tougher to shake than a fantasy suite yeast infection, Krasey actually says he respects Ali for being honest with him and letting him go. Dude, she was terrified of you. I actually thought he did a good job saving some face considering the cards he played all season. The guys seemed to back him up as well. Regardless, he’s still nuts.
We next cut to the heartbroken Kirk. Insert collective “awww” here. We rehash his courtship with Ali, his struggle with mold sickness, and his battle with matching sweaters. In addition to his party on the left Livestrong bracelet and his all business on the right gold bracelet, Kirk gives a secret shout out to Frank by sporting a silver thumb ring. Odd. Kirk scores points with all of the desperate women who finally realize that Harrison is not going to notice them in the audience as he fights back tears to tell Harrison that Ali has indeed broken his poor post-mold infested heart. Sounding crazier than Krasey—if that’s possible—Kirk tells us that one of the side effects of mold sickness is an acute inability to exist in a committed relationship. What? Realizing that we’re all sick of the mold thing, Harrison abruptly thanks Kirk for “inspiring us” and kicks him out of the hot seat. We’ve got some Justin to bash and this mold made me sick crap isn’t as interesting. The only thing Kirk inspired me to do was hit pause and grab another beer.
After a commercial break we return to Harrison who—with the help of an entire network—is ready to put Justin in his place once and for all. We begin with Craig R. watching himself whine on the big screen about what a douche Justin is for being a wrestler for the wrong reasons. We see Harrison making the phone call to his inside source and Ali pretending like she cares. We see Justin fleeing through the landscaping as his voice mails are played as evidence of his misdeeds. Dude, don’t mess with ABC. The crowd grumbles as—surprise—Craig R. characterizes Justin as “evil.” Evil? Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Pol Pot, and Tim McVeigh were evil. Justin is just a putz. “A clever man commits no minor blunders,” said Goethe. Unfortunately, for Justin, he proved to be not so clever. Luckily for Justin, Goethe also said, “all things are only transitory.” He did himself a favor by not showing up for the lambasting. All he needs to do is start over away from the camera. Lesson learned. Oh, and speaking of Goethe, perhaps Justin should have read Faust before coming on the show. Selling your soul to the devil in exchange for anything always ends badly. He did set himself up for a big fall off the top rope. Unfortunately for Justin, this fall is not fake.
Showing us he’s not afraid to beat a dead wrestler, Harrison eggs on Craig R. who is more than happy to open his pie hole again. He sucks up to Harrison, ABC, and the show’s producers and we envision him clicking on the “Careers” icon on the ABC website in order to apply for a job in the Legal Department. Could he have been more complimentary of the show? He made Harrison look like Wes Hayden for God’s sake. We cut to a shot of the Weatherman wishing Craig R. would suck up to him. In a delusional rant, Craig R. addresses “everything that’s been written about him” concerning Justin. Whatever, dude. Go back to Philadelphia and stuff a cheese steak in your mouth. I’m tired of hearing from you. You were a losing contestant on a game show. Period. Your former high school newspaper doesn’t count as press.
As if the prior segments weren’t enough, Harrison follows the lessons the show learned by not burying Wes Hayden and Roz Papa in solid proof by calling “special guest” Jessie—some broad that Jake dumped early on—to speak to the unspeakable acts of Justin. We pictured Justin and his remaining friend sitting on a cooch somewhere in Canada downing some Molson Golden beers and wondering aboot how he could have let this situation get so oot of control.
A camera-seeking Jessie emerges and anxiously tells the story of how she burst the Justin story wide open after getting an email from a “fan” of hers aboot Justin’s stepping oot on Ali and having two girlfriends. Oh, the humanity. Yes, she tells us, she felt compelled to come forward and seek the truth because “it was important” for Ali to know the truth. Oh, and it would ensure her a spot on The Bachelor Pad and an extension of her 15 minutes of second class fame, but that’s neither here nor there. Harrison manages a “poor thing” and then steps into the audience so a couple people can pile on. Some lady gets in a jab or two and some other chick propositions Craig R. proving that there’s someone out there for everyone. Craig R. challenges Justin to an olive oil match. I rolled my eyes and regretted opting for a six pack of Lone Star rather than a 12 pack.
FINALLY, Ali enters the studio. Wearing a silver sparkly Tina Turner dress with carefully planned accessories and her extensions messily stapled to the back of her head, she actually looked like she’d taken off some of the wooing weight. She giggles, “great guys” the guys, and endures a painful to watch “song” from Krasey. We learn that Roberto’s junk hurt in his harness, Chris L. is funnier than he’s been edited to be, and Harrison fell for the old replace the ubiquitous champagne glass with a plastic glass trick. Finally, we get a quick preview of The Bachelor Pad. I’ll save comments until I blog about it.
In other news, I met Lincee Ray, who happened to be in Austin to see some friends. Lincee emerged from her friend’s house looking stunning in a green cotton dress and boots. We were, after all, going dancing at my favorite honky tonk, and boots were required attire. I, of course, sported a pearl snap. We had dinner at Hill’s Café and Lincee carefully inspected the stage where Wes Hayden wooed Jillian with that stupid song. I downloaded it prior to Lincee’s visit and annoyed her with it in the car on the way to dinner. We next moved to my favorite honky tonk where we met some friends and danced. Unfortunately, the place was packed because it was a summertime Saturday and we shared only one dance—it was a waltz. Poor planning on my part. I take full responsibility. We next went to a local blues bar to see my brother-in-law’s band play. I set up two celebrity introductions for Lincee. The first was of a well-known actor, writer, director, producer, Hollywood type who resides in Austin and happens to hang out where I do. My sister knows him too and she invited him to the show. The second was the drummer for Wes Hayden’s band. The look on Lincee’s face when I introduced him was priceless. They shared some words, but I kept my distance. All in all, I have to admit that I disappointed Lincee Ray. I made the cardinal mistake of trying to fit too much into one night. If it wasn’t for playing The Thong Song in the car on the way to the bar and my sister’s friend, Really Gay Phil, taking Lincee to the dance floor, the night might have been a bust. All in all, it was wonderful to finally meet her face-to-face after corresponding with her all of this time. I’ll leave you—the readers—and her with the promise that I’ll do a better job of planning the next time she makes it to town. I was a fan of her blog and now I’m a fan of hers. Like I said, she’s the real deal.
Well, there it is. With the Amazing Count at 164, we head into the final episode where only Chris L. and Roberto remain standing in the quest for Ali’s heart. Next week looks interesting as we get to meet Ali’s family in Tahiti and see her introduce both dudes to her family. Dad looked none too pleased with either one of them, but we’ll see what happens. Look for my DP Tells All post this Thursday. Until then, if you need me, I’ll be practicing my fake wrestling moves. DP