Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bachelor Recap Episode 4: Brad's in a Pickle

Wow. For those of you who have been in a wine-induced coma since last Monday, I’m happy to be the first to tell you about the latest buzz on our second time bachelor. Apparently, he’s a three time “criminal.” Well, sort of.

Various “journalists” reported this week that Brad was booked in the early 90’s for (allegedly) passing a hot check, (alleged) public intoxication, and (allegedly) “forging a government document.”

Alright, let me clear that up. I’m sure there are people across middle-America gasping in their rocking chairs at the fact that Brad is a “criminal.” Let’s be honest. He got drunk in public and tried to pass a hot check. Let those of you who have not sinned cast the first wine flight. Let’s be fair to Brad. I was drunk in public at least 350 days a year when I was that age. Ironically, I used to get that way at a couple of the bars that he now owns. In case you’re wondering, the other 15 days of the year I was drunk at a friend’s house.

Also, I was so broke in college that I literally could not afford to pay a parking meter in order to park near campus. I took the bus. I can’t tell you how many times I put my “Some John Hancock in Austin” on a check that I knew I could dribble down a basketball court. Look, I’m not saying that breaking the law isn’t a serious thing. I’m just pointing out that these (alleged) infractions hardly make Brad an un-marriable, hardened criminal.

Now let’s address the 800 pound gorilla in the room . . . no, I don’t mean Meghan. Of course, I’m referring to the forgery felony. It’s a darn good thing this guy owns his own business because any felony conviction—regardless of when it occurred—will forever haunt a person on every job application, loan request, or any government document he ever fills out. Well, except for an ABC application to be on a national television show.

“Forging a government document” sounds pretty serious, but all it means is that Brad attempted to alter the birth date on his own Driver’s License because he couldn’t find a buddy with a brother over 21 who looked enough like him to loan him his ID before Brad turned 21. Granted, that’s a lot more serious offense in post-9/11 America, but back then it was almost a sport.

In fact “my” name was “Stephen Wall.” I was 21, lived in a suburb of Houston, and I was a Sagittarius. My best friend was “Steven Stericker”—we called him “Steve.” He was a student from Minnesota who lived just off West Campus and was a Capricorn. I also hung out with “Dean Martin,” “Charles ‘Chachi’ Arcola,” and—yes, this is true—“Thomas M. Kruse.” We all thought the last one was particularly clever because the “M.” could either stand for “Mapother” which was Tom Cruise’s real last name or it could stand for “Maverick”—his call sign in Top Gun. You get the picture. We all did it.

Give the guy a break. It’s not like he’s fermenting orange peels, ketchup packets, and sugar cubes in his commode to make prison wine as he sharpens a toothbrush handle in his cell by the light of the moon in hopes that the guard who disrespected him on the yard will turn his back momentarily so Brad can stick him in the carotid artery before being beaten and subdued by the other guards and thrown into solitary where he’ll be forced to eat cold porridge and wallow in his own urine and feces until the warden decides to throw him back into GenPop where his prison “wife” will have been taken by some guy named after a city in Nevada.

Let’s address the bigger crime: Brad’s birth name. Steven Bradley Pickelsimer. Wow. How do you think the 25 ladies would have reacted in the pre-Bachelor casting interview if asked, “How’d you like to be the new Mrs. Steven Bradley Pickelsimer?” It doesn’t quite have the same appeal as “Womack” does it?

Also, I’m not really sure of the correct way to pronounce it. I don’t know if the second “i” is pronounced as in “symer” or “simmer.” For purposes of the blog, I’m going to go with the latter, as in “When I look at Emily it makes my pickle simmer.”

I immediately pictured Harrison on his veranda with his forlorn face illuminated by the soft light of the moon at the moment when he discovered Womack’s birth name.

Oh, Bradley, Bradley. Wherefore art thou Pickelsimer?
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Pickelsimer.
What's a Pickelsimer? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor inordinately large back tattoo, nor any other part
Belonging to a man?

O, be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a douche
By any other name would still smell as sweet as Axe Body Spray;
So Womack would, were he not be Womack called,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Pickelsimer, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

I just turned Chris Harrison into Juliet Capulet. Shakespeare and Zeffirelli probably just rolled over in their respective graves. Apparently, he’s gay too. Solid.

Annnyyyyhoooo. . .

The question becomes—as Harrison so eloquently put it in his soliloquy—“What’s in a name?” Apparently, a lot.

Triva. Adolf Hitler was almost not a Hitler. His father, Alois, was in his 50’s when Hitler was born, but had only recently changed his last name to Hitler. He was actually born illegitimately and named Alois Schicklgruber, his mother’s (Hitler’s grandmother) name. She married Johann Georg Hiedler years later. “Hiedler” eventually became “Hitler” and it’s the name that ole Adolf adopted. Crazy, right?

Genealogy lesson aside, I don’t think “Heil Schickelgruber” would have gone very far and I doubt legions of blond haired and blue eyed teens would have rushed out to join the Schickelgruber Youth Movement. I’m just sayin’.

Now I’m not suggesting that Womack is akin to Hitler. The point I’m trying to make—I suppose—is that the biggest favor his dead beat old man ever did him was leaving with that name. It’s almost like a reverse “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash scenario. Incidentally, I did a little research into the origin of Pickelsimer. It’s German and, oddly enough, it means “Pavelka.” Alright, my point is made. I’ll stop beating the dead German now. Like you, I’m glad he’s a Womack.

On another note, I believe that Some Guy’s boat has finally arrived. This week I was actually invited to be the “celebrity” appearing at the grand opening of the new Carl’s Jr. hamburger joint just off of Bee Caves Road here in Austin. I promise you I’m not making that up. I’m still mulling that one over, but don’t wait on me. Go and grab a free burger and fries on Tuesday and Wednesday from 11-3. If I show up, I’ll be the one standing next to the guy in the giant star mascot costume with a bored look on my face and a Sharpie in my left hand. Please ask me for an autograph.

All kidding aside, thanks to the PR person who researched Austin blogs long enough to find me. I wonder how far down on the list I ranked. “Let’s see, Lance Armstrong, Brad Womack, Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Jesse James, every player on the UT football team (including the kicker)—fast forward to the end of the list—Wes Hayden, aaaaannnd Some Guy in Austin.” Regardless, it’s great to feel wanted. Thanks, Carl’s Jr. I’ll swing by and enjoy a tasty burger.

I have to caution the readers that I’m feeling way under the weather this week. It’s cedar season here in Austin and I’ve been fighting horrible allergies for a couple of weeks now. No fear, though. Knowing that I had to write tonight, I did what I always do when I get sick: I drove straight to the “pharmacy” and bought a bottle of whiskey. Incidentally, the “Stupid Things Some Guy has Done after Drinking Whiskey” list would make a great off season (or two) series. That’s why I stick to Lone Star now. With that said, let’s get to it.

We begin this week's episode, of course, with a montage of what lies ahead in the next two hours. We learn that Ashley H. and her Fivehead along with Michelle (big surprise) are beginning to take a dive off Mount Looney under the crushing weight of all of the emotional pressure of the past week. The sun rises, the flowers bloom, and for some reason Michelle wakes up with a black eye. There is bound to be an explanation behind that yet for some reason the producers saw fit to keep it from us.

Harrison arrives looking all business in his gray cardigan, plaid shirt, and fancy jeans. I was yet again surprised to see him dialing it in for another episode. Perhaps the blow in his trailer isn’t as potent this year or the intern with the medical marijuana card got fired. Regardless, he looked bored and unfulfilled. Poor guy. Getting overpaid to do nothing can be lonely, I suppose.

Ever the consummate professional, Harrison lets us know that there are three dates this week. Two one-on-one dates and one group date will take place. Fulfilling his obligation, Harrison drops the date card and Lindsay rushes to read it knowing that it's the closest thing she's ever going to get to a date with Brad.

“How deep is your love,” it reads and we learn that Chantal O. gets the coveted first date. She celebrated in her gray hoodie and gray warm-ups. Michelle offers a fake clap letting us know that she's frustrated as Chantal retires to the community bedroom to pack her giant, red, plastic suitcase. Choosing a fitted, faded blue T-shirt and black jeans I have to admit Chantel looked pretty even though she's not my type. She’s going to win.

After a good wax and the proper application of a gallon of Axe Body Spray, Womack shows up dressed like Jason Statham in every movie he's ever been in, wearing black jeans, a black leather coat, and a gray, macho shirt. Meghan gets some screen time (ick) and Ashley S. lets us know in her sweet, Southern accent that she’d like to rip Michelle’s crazy head off of her crazy body. Ever the conversation maker, Brad sits there like a mannequin as the girls awkwardly eye him before the peanut butter thick uncomfortableness is broken by the sound of the red and yellow Baywatch helicopter arriving to pick up Brad and Chantal.

For some reason, the girls all pretend like they’ve never seen a helicopter on this damn show as Michelle stews in a huge pot of jealousy like Bugs Bunny after Elmer Fudd captures him. Frankly, there was nothing “amazing” or remarkable about the entire scenario. We’ve seen it every season since Ryan fell in love with Trista and they ended up getting married. Yes, I know they’re still married. Come on, ABC. Mix it up a little.

For what will become the first of 1000 times, Brad drops a “thank you” on Chantal as she begins to spill her guts about marrying her high school sweetheart before he divorced her undoubtedly because she outgrew her cheerleader uniform.

Time out. The following is my impression of Brad Womack at a gas station. Ahem . . .

Brad: Well hello, Gas Station Guy. Excuse me. Do you mind if I ask you a question? Do you have any Axe Body Spray behind the counter? I need it. I really do. Please, go ahead.

Gas Guy: Why yes, we certainly do. Would you like me to ring it up for you?

Brad: Absolutley. My pleasure. It’s an honor to have you ring up my Axe Body Spray. No doubt about it. Please do. I’m truly ready to open up my shirt and apply the Axe Body Spray liberally over my shaved chest. I really am and I think it’s important that you know that. I really do. Please. Thank you. Please allow me to say thank you to you. I really need to. I mean that. I really do. Truly.

Gas Guy: Uh, ok. Here you go.

Brad: Absolutely. Please thank yourself for opening up the register so that I could get my change. I really appreciate it. I really do. Truly. If you don’t mind, can I please say thank you to you again? I think it’s really important that you know that I am pleased with you and I need to thank you because of that. I really do. Thank you. Now if you’ll excuse me.

Gas Guy: Can I kiss you?

Brad: Well, come here to me. I really want you to. Truly. Please. Thank you.


In perhaps the most inexplicable editing faux paux since Jake’s giant orange watch changed arms three times, we get a shot of Brad and Chantal in what is now a blue and gray helicopter. What the hell happened to the Baywatch helicopter? Did Hasselhoff dial it in for an emergency? Nice f*cking editing. Even I was sober enough to notice. I truly was. Really. I think it’s important that you know that. I do. Please. Thank you.

After apparently changing helicopters somewhere above the ocean, Brad and Chantal arrive at Catalina Island. She looked relaxed and pretty. Why doesn’t that ever last on this show? Brad mispronounces Chantal’s name and lets us know that this date “will make us feel like we’re completely out of the real world.” As if living for free in a giant wo-mansion with unlimited access to alcohol in a community bedroom with 14 other women making out with the same man is part of the “real world.” Inane.

They board some boat despite the impending thunderstorm above and pretend that it’s a good day for a “dive.” Brad lets Chantal know that they are going to hit the ocean flora for some fauna-cation. Thank you. I’ll be here all week.

Annnnyyyyhooo . . .

Chantal convincingly pretends to be scared and tells us that she “just doesn’t get into the ocean.” Perhaps not, but I’d be willing to bet that she’ll beat a hungry cheetah to the bed in the Fantasy Suite in about three weeks. We’ll see. She should have been more terrified of the possibility of a lightening strike. Oblivious, they don stupid diving helmets connected to 12 feet of hoses and “descend” about 8 feet to the ocean floor where they pretend that they can see more than a foot in front of their faces. To be fair, I suppose it was safe to assume that the California weather would cooperate when “Brad” planned the date.

Note to women: Chantal was clearly uneasy with the task. She took a risk in spite of that and had a good time. She didn’t whine and throw a fit like we’d witness Michelle doing later. Men appreciate a woman who can do that sort of thing. Brad was able to feel useful and manly without having to wipe the snot from her nose, listen to her irrationally whine, and calm her down like a four year old with a skinned knee on the playground. Nice job, Chantal. Keep the wheels on the bus and you’re headed for the home stretch.

Chantal reads the cue cards and drops a metaphor for love reference to the “dive” saying that she can hear the sound of “Chantal Womack” echoing through the arches of an Austin church. Perhaps. How about Chantal Pickelsimer? I doubt it. I really do. Truly. But thank you for the opportunity to make that joke. I’m thankful. I truly am.

Meanwhile, back at the wo-mansion we get a shot of Michelle’s black eye. At first, I thought she was wearing a hoodie with butterflies on the front of it, but then I realized that those were more than likely the Death’s Head Moth that was found under the soft palate of Buffalo Bill Gum’s victims and also flying around his torture chamber in Silence of the Lambs. “It takes the meat tenderizer from the basket and puts it on her black eye or it gets the hose again.” Michelle should have been in that movie.

The doorbell rings and Michelle tenses up like the new guy’s sphincter in a prison shower. “Let’s put our love on the line,” the card reads and we learn that Ashley S., Stacey, Lindsay, Jackie, The Fivehead, Britt, Meghan, Alli, and Shawntel N. get the second date. Michelle bitches some more about it. I thought about giving her a fat lip to match her black eye (Insert sip of my hot tea and whiskey drink and a sigh).

Back on the date, Brad meets Chantal at Descanso, which is—say it with me—a rooftop restaurant. Amidst the soft lighting and Lawrence of Arabia tents they talk about trust. Of course, Brad “thanks” her (he truly does) and she admits after he asks her if she sees herself getting married again that she “totally” wants to get married again. He should have asked her if she sees herself getting divorced again. Better question, Brad, you dunce. The chit chat was uneventful and other than dropping 7 “amazings” in a three minute span, Chantal seemed together, level-headed, and un-whorish.

Back at the wo-mansion, we get a shot of Michelle and Ashley S.—who apparently drew the short straw between the rest of the ladies—talking about Michelle’s lack of sleep and frustration. You could literally see her beginning to melt like Frosty the Snowman when he gets stuck in the greenhouse. Frankly, her whining and obsessive behavior began to drive me into my own crazy fit early in the show. I was bored with her, but we all knew she’d be hanging around the house like a drunk uncle on Thanksgiving Day.

Chantal finally apologizes for her fake slap out of the limo and the stage is set for her advance. She got a Safety Rose. She truly did. Thank you. I mean that. I really do.

Alli and her fence picket teeth introduce the group date as the girls don their 30 foot silk scarves and hit the Hummer limo for a few mimosas before meeting Brad at some radio station for and episode of Loveline with Dr. Drew as Emily basks in her hotness making an appearance while talking to Michelle and her puffy, tear ridden face. To be fair, Michelle probably felt really unhot next to Emily; although I’ve said before that Michelle is a close second to Emily in the looks department. Granted, she’s also about as stable as nitro glycerin, but she’s hot.

The interview with Dr. Drew was uneventful save the fact that Stacey signed her release papers by admitting to cheating on a boyfriend when she was “drunk and stupid.” Realizing that she’s still drunk and stupid, Brad made a mental note to kick her Boston ass to the curb even though he pretended that her honesty was refreshing.

Brad reiterates that he wants to just “be himself” around his mate—doesn’t’ everyone? Ashley H.’s blood sugar falls to a dangerously low level (somewhere between sane and incapacitated to be exact) and her fuse, while slow, is clearly lit. You could see the steam come off of her gas tanks and anticipate the imminent glare of her engines. The countdown to crazy had begun.

Brad changes from his gray hoodie to his green hoodie and the chicks break out the bikinis. It’s rooftop pool time. For some reason, Lindsay kept her red scarf on while in the hot tub in her bikini. That’s the equivalent of a small child insisting on wearing the cape from his Halloween costume to the grocery store on November 1st. Odd. Brad opens with some typical canned garbage about opening up and says that he “can’t thank them enough” for being there. I think we all took a sip of our beverage and agreed that he’d thanked them enough.

Ashley H. begins to pound down the cabernet as the other girls take shots off of her giant forehead like those ice blocks you see in trendy bars and at shi shi weddings. For the record, I just made myself laugh out loud at the thought of the girls taking shots off of Ashley H.’s giant, unhealthy thought-clogged forehead.

Brad has some obligatory one-on-one time with Stacey, and Alli before Ashely H. stumbles down the rocky path of love (another metaphor perhaps?) in a cabernet-induced haze and ousts Alli and both of her huge cans in an attempt to undermine the three weeks of progress she’d made with Brad. Oh, and Michelle bitches some more back at the wo-mansion.

Ding Dong.

Emily floats from the confessional sectional by gently fluttering her wings and retrieves the date card that we all know belongs to Michelle. Basking in the soft light of her halo, Emily utters a musical “y’all ready?” as she opens the card. Simmer my pickle, she’s hot.

“Let’s hang out together,” it reads as Michelle celebrates like a Packer after a touchdown catch. Chantal—undoubtedly at the urging of the entire cast and crew— goes Ali-Frazier on Michelle as she gets inside Michelle’s head by pointing out that hers is the only date card without the word “love” in it. That was a brilliant move and Michelle took the bait like a catfish on a ball of Wonder Bread soaked in Big Red. I know, it’s a bit obscure, but try it. It works. Like Michelle, a catfish will put anything in its mouth.

With the Safety Rose lingering in the background like Harrison on the edge of a rose ceremony, the women all begin to feel the affects of binging on alcohol and starving themselves for the bikini scenes. You’d think the Producers would at least have the common courtesy to drop off a bowl of jelly beans. No such luck.

Jackie—who looked better last week--Hairdo?—lets us know that a drunken Ashley H. is a handful. I found that refreshing considering the fact that her breasts aren’t. Alright, that was a bit mean. Funny, but mean. Like a slutty, drunken Napoleon she returns yet a second time to the edge of the make out area in order to reconquer Brad. “Dude, you’re ruining it!” I yelled as I shook my head in disbelief. Brad does his best to reassure her basically telling her that she’s safe but her Blood Alcohol Content prevented her from understanding it. How annoying.

Brad drops a “hang in there” in an attempt to shut her up. To be fair to Ashley H. she strikes me as a student of the game and undoubtedly recognized that phrase to be the exact line Ali dropped on Chris L. before professing her love for Roberto and hightailing it out of his bungalow to go give Roberto a chance at some hightail. Ashley H., you had a good date. Brad likes you. Keep your foot on the base and wait for the ball to leave the bat before you run. Oh, and stop belting wine like a hobo at a bus station.

In an effort to further reassure her drunk ass, Brad tips his hand that he intends to give Ashley H. the rose. She takes her foot off the base before the ball has left the bat and gets tagged out at second. Brad, with his pickelsimer in a knot, opts to give the Safety Rose to Britt for her fabulous French kissing ability and her adorable heart shaped earrings. Too much wine, ruins it every time. Getting molared on a group date is an amateur move. Everyone knows that you don’t break out your naughty drunk self until the fantasy date.

Cut back to the kitchen the next morning and it is “Michelle’s Day.” She paints her nails Crazy Crimson or Desperate Red as the other girls bathe in last night’s Ashley H. drama. They all looked tired, hung over, and goaded into the conversation. The Bachelor formerly known as Pickelsimer arrives in his macho leather jacket and a blue hoodie and immediately takes Fivehead aside to—yet again—reassure her. Michelle was pissed. Frankly, she had a point.

As Michelle bitches, Chantal calls her out for her meltdown at the photo shoot and Michelle drops some nonsense about a “moral choice” as the other girls watch as steaming estrogen emanates from Michelle’s pores. Brad re-enters to the long faces of the bunch and Michelle yanks his arm out of the socket. Frankly, if I would have been in Brad’s shoes, I would have shut it down right there. It’s only a matter of time before the tip of the crazy sword is pointed squarely at his throat. Like accidentally walking into a gay bar on turn the straight guy night, it’s better to get out early than to linger around and see what happens.

Brad brings Michelle to “his” house and she bitches some more as the Baywatch helicopter makes another appearance. They arrive on the top of some building in Downtown L.A. and we clearly realize that Michelle included her fear of heights on her Bachelor application. Did that strike anyone as mean? First, they put poor Emily—who’s hot by the way—into a private jet and then they put Michelle at the top of a skyscraper and tell her she’s going over the side. Ratings are ratings and Michelle is a giant pain in the ass, but geez. I won’t even go into next week’s race car date.

Predictably, Michelle loses it over the possibility of “repelling” down the building. For the record, you “rappel” down the side of a building. “Repel” means to drive away or move back. “Rappel” refers the act of descending down an incline with the assistance of a rope. I won’t bore us with the details, but Michelle eventually made it down the building with Brad and they hugged a lot before jumping in the pool and arguing over who had less chest hair.

Michelle characterizes the rappel as the “most amazing experience of her life.” It’s a darn good thing that the power has probably been turned off in her house in Salt Lake City since Michelle split town and left her young daughter to fend for herself. How do you think she would feel about that line?

Brielle: “Mommy, what was better for you, rappelling down the side of a skyscraper for a reality show with some dude you barely know or basking in the wonderful glow of gestation as you nurtured and grew me deep in the feminine confines of your womb until enduring the agony of childbirth so you could hold your image in your arms and dream wonderful dreams about who I might become?”

Michelle: “Well, frankly, Brielle, I drank and smoked in an attempt to deny the majority of my pregnancy before accepting reality and having you. So, I’m going to have to go with the rappelling thing.”

Let’s hope that kid never sees the tape. I’ll give credit where credit is due, though. She made it down the building and got a big piece of Womack when she got to the bottom. Nice job, Michelle.

They have dinner and Michelle admits to introducing her daughter to all of her one night stands. She’s a mess. Chantal and Stacey agree that she’s crazy and that she’ll destruct on her own. Michelle eventually settles into her happy blood alcohol range and lays her charms on Womack. She’s an attractive woman and she’s confident enough to let Brad know what she wants. I’ll give her credit. She laid it on thick in the pool and Brad drank the punch. She got a rose. I say she sticks around for another two weeks.

I’ll drop another one of my fancy terms on you this week. When I was in college, we used to refer to a girl like Michelle as a “Suitcase Bi*ch.” That’s actually worse than Third Date Crazy. A “Suitcase Bi*ch” is a girl that you hook up with one night in a stupor of poor judgment and she shows up at your doorstep with her suitcase the next afternoon. You’re welcome. Feel free to use that little gem. We all know one or two of those girls. Hell, some of you are even related to one.

Brad has a mid-afternoon meeting with Dr. Jamie. Dr. Jamie looks at him like a pedophile on a playground before telling Brad to “take a risk.” Translation: “Dude, you’ve got a bunch of hot broads throwing themselves at you. Bang them all and then decide who you like.” Very bohemian advice, Dr. Jamie. Solid.

Finally, we get to the rose ceremony. I’ll gloss over all of it except to say that I pray that the Producers let these girls get some much needed sleep next week. Everyone looked tired, hungry, and emotionally drained. Well, every one but Emily. Brad took her out for a picnic in the driveway in her very short skirt as he fumbled around like a schoolboy for the right words to say. Hell, I’m still trying to recompose myself after her “you are soooo sweeeet to do that for meeee.” Poor girl is going to take a beating next week at the race track, but I loved the way she lit up when Brad asked about her daughter. I wanted to be her daughter.

In the meantime, the ever-sane and stable Chantal demonstrates just how bad the pressure is mounting in the house as she momentarily cracks and wipes away tears of anxiety with her men’s Rolex. She laments the fact that Brad has “special things” with other ladies as Brad sits with Emily and keeps an eye on her special things. Incidentally, would it kill ABC to get a tissue sponsor for this show? These poor women were walking around trying to keep mascara and mucous off their borrowed evening wear all night. They could at least let them used those 30 foot scarves for a nose blow or two.

Brad eventually does a good job of calming Chantal down and the only question remaining in the rose ceremony is if Ashley H. got drunk enough to kick herself out of the running. Harrison arrives with the ubiquitous champagne glass and knife and the stems get handed out.

Of course, Chantal, Michelle, and Britt cling tightly to their Safety Roses as the other women sweat like fat kids on the playground.

4. Ashley S. (she looked tired, but kept it together this week.)
5. Alli (I’m still confused by this one)
6. Emily (damn right)
7. Shawntel N. (she hung in there and grabbed some alone time)
8. Lisa (this is still a mystery to me—and probably to all of you)
9. Jackie (she’s cool but had a bad hair week)
10. Marissa (again, confusing)
11. Ashley H. (squeaked by but she now has a target on her giant fivehead)

Booted: Lindsay—she lost respectfully and added that her daddy would be proud. Translation: I didn’t make a drunken slut out of myself. Good for her. She was pretty. Mute, but pretty. She’ll find some guy in a steakhouse in Dallas to make her happy.

Stacey—Uneventful. We all saw that coming. She’ll go back to a cold Boston winter and drink herself into her next destructive relationship.

Meghan—What was up with her walk out of the house? She tried, but never had a chance.

Well, there we are. With the Amazing count at an unprecedented 50 and the Journey count at a meager 8, we head into Episode 5. Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting. I appreciate it. Truly. I really do. I mean that. Absolutely. Until next week, if you need me I’ll be at Carl’s Jr. simmering my pickle. DP

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bachelor Recap Episode 3: Fangs for the Mammaries

Hello everyone and welcome back for this week’s installment of my commentary on our favorite show. I’ve had an eventful week since I last posted. By “eventful” I mean that I went out on the town a lot. I frequented my usual quota of honky tonks and dive bars, downed more than my fair share of Lone Star beers, and even took the time to put a new set of heels and soles on my favorite pair of boots. As if any of you care about this.

This week’s shout out goes to my long lost high school friend, Mike. Mike tracked me down via email a while back after he discovered his wife and a few of her wine-riddled friends cackling madly in front of the computer in his home office as they read a funny Bachelor blog. Upon further exploration and a little bit of research Mike discovered that I was indeed Some Guy in Austin. Mike and I were the best of friends growing up and through no fault of our own we simply lost touch. Now Mike has taken to sending me threatening and harassing emails from work every Tuesday morning wondering why I have not posted a new entry and begging me to bring him relief from his impending job responsibilities. It’s nice to have you back in my life, Mike. I’ll be happy to let you buy me a beer soon. Thank your wife and her drunken posse for reading the blog. With that out of the way, let’s get to it.

We begin with the usual Harrison voice over, “Tonight, on the Bachelor. . .” as we see various explosions, action shots, and the rundown of the controversy ahead. We learn that the group date will involve the usual pseudo-acting gig which is nothing more than a thinly disguised effort to ferret out the criers and the crazies. We see Michelle continuing her nose dive into the depths of delusion as she attempts to mark her territory. I was surprised she didn’t pee on his hotel door for crying out loud. Of course, all of this leads up to the standard Girls Sipping Latte Sans Make Up Clad in Juicy Couture While Lounging Around the Living Room Sectional shot.

Harrison bursts in fresh off his visit to Ellen in his teal oxford and fancy jeans to tell the ladies that the emotional bar is being raised. “Use your time with Brad wisely,” he tells the women as he drops the date card sending the women into a frenzy like pigeons in a park competing for a freshly dropped saltine cracker.

“Let’s find our love song,” the card reads as we learn that the date belongs to cute, Southern Ashley S. In her best North Carolina diction she wonders aloud just what clothes she’s “gonna wayer” in light of the vague date card description. I picked her as a front runner early. She’s a top three finisher along with Emily and Chantal O. in my opinion. She’s nice and seems relatively normal; although I do see a hint of jealousy and desperation in group situations. If she can keep from melting down, she should go far. It remains to be seen how big that “IF” really is.

Of course, that pain in the ass Michelle is upset that she didn’t get the date. She’s a “strong, confident, and loving woman” she tells us. She’s also “overbearing, delusional, and f*cking crazy.” Someone needs to remind her that the latter three adjectives constitute the Royal Flush of Get the Hell Out of the House hands a girl can hold.

Allaying any doubt as to her Section 8 status, she ended her tirade with “I hate everyone.” That’s a little military humor for you in case you missed it. The bottom line is that, like Spanx over a set of chubby thighs, good looks can conceal Crazy but they can’t make it go away. We all sensed Michelle pushing that limit this week. Frankly, she annoyed me. I longed for last season’s Crazy Michelle. She was much more entertaining. Annnyyyyyhoooo . . .

Brad arrives as wooden as ever in “his” convertible Aston Martin and tells us that Ashley S. has a calming effect on him as he spirits her away down The 105 en route to the Capitol Records building. I’ll get to that debacle in a minute but let me address Brad’s first comment. “Calming effect?” If this guy was any more calm he’d need Shawntel to fill him full of embalming fluid, put rouge on his cheeks, and paint a smile on his face. Regardless, he escorts Ashley S. and his calmed nerves to Studio A for the most transparently contrived date in the history of the Bachelor (man, I sound like Harrison).

In what will be the first of many cry fests this week, Ashley S. begins to tear up at the possibility of singing with Brad. Actually, I began to cry after he sang but that’s neither here nor there. We learn that the purpose of the date is to set up this year’s outdated cheesy Bachelor-related song, “A Kiss from a Rose” by Seal. But wait, there’s a twist. YAWN. (Insert prolonged sip of Lone Star beer and simultaneous eye roll here).

Apparently, Ashley S. lost her father and this was his favorite song. Holy sh*t! What a coincidence. Right. I’m certain that Ashley S. forgot that she mentioned this little detail in her casting interview early last year. It was probably the stress of the situation and the fact that she was on a First Date Fart Hold that contributed to her inability to remember sharing the Seal story with the casting agent at the Charlotte Ramada.

I’ll give the Producers credit for making it happen, but we all know that’s about as coincidental as Michelle being “randomly” selected for the group date this week. In honor of her deceased father, Brad and Ashley S. proceed to slaughter his favorite song like drunken Asians at an after hours karaoke bar soaked in a gallon of sake until Seal mercifully shows up and sings his 17 year old song the way it should be sung. I missed Jeffrey Osborne.

Brad and Ashley S. tear up, cuddle, and bond as we listen to Ashley S. in her green rubber What Would Harrison Do bracelet opine that her father must have “orchestrated” this garbage from above. No Ashley S., actually a Producer from below made this up, but it’s nice to dream every now and then, isn’t it? The only thing your father was orchestrating was rolling over in his grave. I have to admit, it was a little sweet to see that she was touched.

Brad and Ashley S. head to the roof for some romantic time as she lays the “my dad had an aneurism” story on him and he pretends to care. To be fair to Brad, that’s a lot to have laid on you and I thought he was respectful to Ashley S. Still, I found the entire thing depressing, but hey, Brad asked to be challenged. We would soon see that he’d be begging for a date like this in light of the emotional daddy baggage soon to be dropped in his lap this week.

Predictably, Brad drops his standard, awkward “thank you” on Ashley S. as he presents her with a Safety Rose and makes his “thank you for opening up” speech saying “please” and “of course” repeatedly. He needs a new writer. He used “please” and “thank you” so many times I thought I was watching Mary Freaking Poppins.

Overall, the date went well considering the ridiculousness of it all. We fade out to “A Kiss from a Rose” as we all took a sip of our wine and reminded the person with us that we liked that song back in the day; all the while knowing the by the end of the season we’d never want to hear it ever again.

Back at the wo-mansion, the second date card gets dropped amongst the puffy-eyed and makeupless hoard and tears of insanity spill forth from Michelle’s unstable tear ducts as she grips hard wondering if she’ll have to settle for the group date or if she’s reached a level crazy enough to warrant a one-on-one with Brad.

“Love Hurts,” the card reads and we learn that Lindsay, Shawntel, Alli, Britt, Kimberly, Sarah, Chantel, Ashley H., Lisa, Stacey, Marissa, and (surprise) Michelle are headed for an action filled afternoon with a shirtless, body shaved Bachelor. Michelle, of course, cries some more. Whatever.

The next shot features all of the women bounding energetically across the foyer of the mansion clad in sports bras, tank tops, and yoga pants into the awaiting 15 passenger van. I felt like I was in Boob-celona watching the Running of the Sluts. Michelle pouts in the van and vows to “stand out” on the date. Like most of you, I was sick of her.

Brad awaits the ladies saying the he loves to get down and dirty as an explosion fires off in the background and a dozen Asian stereotypes run at Brad in an attempt to punch him in his shaved chest. Luckily, Brad is prepared. Some tiny guy named Stephen Ho introduces himself and lets the ladies know that they are about to film an action movie. I prayed that the Special Effects Department would give Brad a personality.

Michelle shows off her purple tank top and Alli lets us know that she prefers not to sweat because pit stains are not hot. Well, neither are you, Alli, so it doesn’t really matter now does it? Chantel throws herself into her role and the perpetually obscure Lisa M. distinguishes herself by squeaking instead of grunting as she beats up Asians. Who the hell is Lisa M.? Anyone?

Meanwhile, back at the wo-mansion the doorbell goes ding dong and Ashley S. feels the need to answer it in her bikini. I’d like to sincerely thank her for going that route and I’d like to thank her even more for reading the date card sans body covering towel. Madison pretends to be attracted to Brad by half-assing an “I need a one-on-one date” comment and the other girls buzz with anticipation as the aforementioned bikini clad Ashley S. wrapped in nothing but the security of her Safety Rose reads the card aloud.

“Love is Intoxicating,” it reads as we learn that Emily is next up for a one-on-one date with Brad. Ever the Southern lady, Emily downplays her hotness by worrying about Brad’s reaction when he finds out about the death of her fiancé, her discovery that she was pregnant, and her revelation that she has a five year old daughter. In her sweetest Southern accent Emily tells us that her biggest fear is “that Brad will run for the hills.” Based upon the context, I’m certain that Emily had a different set of hills in mind than I did. I began to long for a run through Emily’s hills.

Back at the movie set, the obscure girls rule the day as Kimberly finally gets a chance to talk. Unfortunately, she was oblivious to the fact that the only reason she was put on screen then was so we’d recognize her at the rose ceremony later when Brad would undoubtedly send her packing like Kane from Kung Fu to wander from place to place in search of someone else to marry her mute ass.

Shawntel proceeds to kick ass earning a make out scene with a bound and shirtless Brad. I don’t know what was stiffer, the ropes around his midsection or his demeanor. At any rate, steam shoots from Michelle’s crazy ear holes as she tells us that she doesn’t want her first kiss to “be like some scripted thing.” Clearly, she’s forgotten that she’s a contestant on a reality dating show. Irrational behavior, aggressiveness, disorientation. Oh my God, I thought. Michelle has rabies. She’s been talking about that damn kiss for three weeks now. I found myself begging whoever listens to me when I yell at my TV to make it happen.

We move on to the after party at Solair, which—SURPRISE—is a rooftop bar with a pool. I’m beginning to think that every place in L.A. is on a rooftop with a pool and soft lighting. These people spend more time on rooftops than a weather vane. If I recall, the O.J. trial was on a rooftop with a pool and soft lighting, wasn’t it?

Showing that he is indeed wild and uninhibited as a result of his intense therapy, Brad jumps into the pool with his clothes on and disrobes so we can see his ridiculous back tattoo that was undoubtedly inspired by Max Cady from Cape Fear. I waited for Brad to kill his lawyer’s dog and beat up Nick Nolte.

Somehow Chantal gets Brad alone for some shirtless one-on-one time to share her version of the Daddy Didn’t Love Me story. She cries too and I actually began to laugh out loud watching a shirtless Brad Womack stew in the regret of accepting another shot at being the Bachelor. Chantal’s dad left, then she sought him out, then she found out he was dead, then she cried some more, then her mom married a rich guy with car dealerships, then the rich guy gave her a job, now she’s tough on the outside but soft on the inside. Good Lord. I’ve never been happier to hear that soft guitar music as it eclipsed that conversation and we panned out in search of something less depressing. Tears aside, Chantal is cool and she seems to have her sh*t together. She’s going to win.

Back at the wo-mansion, the girls—still with no makeup anywhere in sight—assemble on the sectional for a confessional. Say that five times in a row. I wondered why the Aveda and MAC reps were absent this week. Perhaps they had a bad acid trip in Harrison’s trailer.

Emily glows as the center of attention as we see that she is indeed as pretty as she appears to be underneath what I will admit is usually an inordinate amount of make up. You can stop sending me the “I don’t know what you see in her she wears too much make up” emails now. She’s hot. Jackie fights through her underbite and makes a comment about Emily getting something off of her chest. I hoped that one day I would be given the opportunity to help Emily get something off her chest.

Emily bums everyone out by sharing her Buddy Holly story and everyone has a good cry. Hell, even the Vampire cried. However, Madison did look relieved to know that she found a way out of the mansion. Rather than admit that she thought Brad was a dial tone all she has to do is drop the “I don’t want to be selfish card,” on Brad or Harrison and hightail it back to NYC with most of her dignity in tact.

As tragic as Emily’s story is, I think I speak for all men and probably most women when I say that I would have preferred a pillow fight or a foot massage party. This entire episode was beginning to kill my buzz. I wanted to run for Emily’s hills.

Back at the rooftop we see great examples of adult behavior as Brad has pool races with some of the girls and chicken fights with the rest of them. Shawntel drops a solid “hyenas” reference to the rest of the ladies as Alli and her giant teeth tell us that she wants a rose before getting some alone time with Brad. Michelle drops in and puts an end to Alli’s “sexual chemistry” story and Alli sees fit to drop an “evil b*tch” on Michelle as she leaves Brad’s shirtless side and heads back to the pool to discuss Michelle’s impending self destruction with the other ladies. Chantal—who is quickly becoming the anti-Michelle—leads the charge.

Perhaps realizing that her claws are not yet in Brad’s back, Michelle takes a playful, softer approach but quickly dissolves into a jealous rant about a bunch of nothing. Because I am male, I am incapable of understanding these types of conversations. Perhaps y’all had a different take on it.

She cries, pretends to be a good parent, and eventually gives the most anticlimactic kiss in Bachelor history to Brad. Seriously, that kiss made the Weatherman’s pathetic attempt with Ali look like a love scene from Body Heat. Watching Brad and Michelle kiss was like watching a couple of wooden Indians make out. Clearly swimming in a big fat pool of denial, Michelle drops a “he’s mine” as Brad leaves to give the Safety Rose to someone who deserves it now that he’s satisfied the off camera orders to entertain Michelle long enough to make her say something crazy.

To be fair to Michelle, perhaps she just stressed because she’s been wondering if her 2 year old figured out how to work the sink at home in order to make up a batch of that delicious powdered milk that Mommy left for her in the pantry. Hopefully, that kid knows how to dial 911. I’m confident she’ll be rescued soon.

Thankfully, Brad takes this injured horse of an after party out behind the metaphorical barn and puts it out of its misery. He gives the Safety Rose to Shawntel who earned it and Michelle leaves the pool in order to log on to www.imgoingfreakingcrazy.com and book a train ticket to the nearest asylum. She actually calls the other girls “immature,” refers to Brad as “my territory,” and is confident that she and Brad will soon be in “Tahiti practicing making babies.” Hitler was less delusional than she is. The only thing she’s likely to practice after this season is making popsicle stick houses and playing checkers in a padded white room after she’s forced to down a plastic cup of pills and undergoes a cavity search for sharp objects. She gives a bad name to Teri Hatcher look alikes.

We finally get to what I’d been looking forward to since before Womack tried to sing: a one-on-one with Emily. Brad shows up understandably excited. Honestly, that’s a real testament to Emily’s level of hotness when you can work a stiff like Womack into a frenzy. Think about it. Emily enters in a sparkly Tina Turner looking outfit accented by a flowing silk scarf. Meghan—who looked TERRIBLE with a capital TERRIBLE without make up—tells us that Emily is an “itsy bitsy Barbie doll with Mother Teresa’s heart.” Well, I don’t think Mother Teresa got knocked up at 18 by a race car driver but I suppose we all knew what Meghan meant. I was just happy that she shaved her Adam’s apple before going on camera.

In what we soon realize is the cruelest set up in the history of this show, Brad unwittingly takes Emily to a runway for a ride on a private jet. You could literally see the terror in Emily’s eyes as Brad—oblivious to it all—tells her how excited he is to fly her to Santa Maria, California. Dude, that was just plain mean on the Producers’ part. Goading a crazy girl into being herself is one thing, but taking advantage of the worst tragedy in a person’s life is another. Emily handled herself very well and I was impressed that she didn’t melt down when she understandably could have. I’m not just saying that because she’s hot either. That must have been tough for her. Did I mention she’s hot?

In the surprise twist of the new year, Madison talks with Ashley S. about the fact that she’s would like to find love but some of the women, like Emily, need to find love. She considers removing herself from the competition while simultaneously regretting wearing fangs for the past three weeks. When a model who thinks she’s a vampire is the most level headed and rational person in the room, it’s time to leave the room. Fangs aside, I always liked Madison. She never did seem to fit though, did she?

Back on the date, Brad and Emily talk as she nervously dances around her hidden secrets like a gay guy at a Halloween party. After a giant glass of white wine (nice touch, Brad) Emily finally opens up and tells Brad her Buddy Holly story and cops to being a mother. She apologizes for not telling him sooner and Brad looked like he genuinely felt like a sh*thead for throwing her on a plane. He gets sentimental and touchy feely and Emily finally loosens up a bit. It was a nice moment. I was glad that Seal didn’t pop out and sing. Brad gives Emily a rose. Hell, I would have chopped down an entire rose bush.

Back in L.A. Brad broods some more near the hot tub where Reid got dumped by Jillian and awaits the arrival of “his therapist in L.A.” to discuss how to make himself vulnerable. Jaime Green, an English Dr. Phil, arrives and proceeds to talk a bunch of nonsense about “creating space” for the women and “opening his heart.” Whatever. If Jaime Green would have been worth his weight as a therapist he would have talked Brad out of choosing Emily and grabbed her phone number from him in the process. Amateur.

Pre-Cock Tail Party and the girls begin to stress. Jealousy hangs over the house like moss on a cypress tree as Ashley H. and her fivehead feel the anxiety. Everyone but Michelle is nervous as Chantel sets up next week’s showdown by laughing in her wine glass at Michelle’s false confidence as the other girls join in like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Brad enters in his gray suit undoubtedly doused in Axe Body Spray and drops his unoriginal “hello ladies” before giving a canned speech and “thank you-ing” and “pleasing” everyone again.

Alli, dressed like a Tiffany’s box, gets the first one-on-one and bores him to death with her “my dad cheated on my mom and had a kid out of wedlock” story. What. A. Freaking. Drag. Brad assures her that he’s never cheated and Michelle butts in still trying to see if that lame kiss ignited any fireworks.

Chantal sits down to tell Brad some bad jokes and they awkwardly psychobabble before Michelle butts in again. The look on Womack’s face was priceless. I thought he was going to gouge her eyes out with Madison’s fangs. Michelle makes a last ditch effort to manipulate Brad into hating everyone else but her and Brad actually laughs at her. Under strict instructions to keep the Crazy ones around for as long as possible, Brad pretends that Michelle’s possessive, over-the-top behavior is a turn on. We know she’s getting a rose.

Brad has various one-on-ones with girls whose names I’d never learned or quickly forgotten. Madison finally tells Brad that she’s not willing to bilk any of the Desperate Donnas out of their shot at a rose. Translation: Dude, you’re boring and I’m not into you. I’d rather go back to doing coke off of a make up mirror in the bathroom of my photographer’s Manhattan loft and purging for 24 hours before a runway show. Send me home. Brad and Madison agree that she won’t accept a rose if Brad offers it. She removes the fangs and we know her bags sit patiently in her room waiting for that fat guy in the leather hat who helped Roz pack her sh*t to come and put them in the limo. Props to Madison. That was a big girl move.

Fivehead and her smoky eyes get time alone with Brad and she tells him to send her home if he doesn’t feel anything for her. I loved watching Womack get a bit of his own medicine. He asked for it.

Rose Ceremony

Harrison arrives to kill the party with his ubiquitous champagne glass and butter knife in his understated yet elegant black suit and gray striped oxford and black tie. Brad looked so relieved to see him I thought he was going to jump off the couch and French kiss him. Instead, Brad gives out a few more “thank yous” and “pleases” and excuses himself to ponder his choices and argue with the Producers about sending Michelle packing.

Roses get handed out and Madison takes herself out of the game in the middle of the ceremony as the remaining girls fight back the urge to smile from ear to ear. Ashley S., Emily, and Shawntel revel at the presence of this week’s Safety Roses in their hands as Brad doles out the remaining shrubbery.

4. Michelle (clearly the Producers pick. She’ll stand off with Chantal then leave)
5. Chantal O. (Brad’s first voluntary rose. She’s going to win)
6. Lisa (who?)
7. Jackie (did a good job this week. She seems nice)
8. Ashley H. (fivehead)
9. Marissa (who?)
10. Britt (silent treatment worked again for her)
11. Alli (why?)
12. Lindsay (she’d better step it up or she’s a goner)
13. Meghan (why?)
14. Stacey (I have no idea who she is. It’s likely Brad doesn’t either)

Madison, Kimberly, and Sarah P. are sent packing. It just goes to show that unless you make an effort to stand out you’re just another flower in the wallpaper. Say what you want to about Michelle, Brad knows who the hell she is and so do the Producers. Madison remains cool and level-headed. She’ll be fine. Kimberly drops the humiliating “it’s his loss” as she cries herself back into obscurity—well, at least until she gets the Bachelor Pad 2 invite. Sarah P. makes the cardinal mistake of dumpees by getting bitter, crying too much, and saying she’s got “so much to offer.” Apparently, Brad didn’t think so. Go back to Denver and sell some real estate. This too shall pass.

Well, there it is. Week three. With the Amazing count at a steady 37 and the Journey count at a manageable 6, we head into week four. My guess is that something controversial happens next week. In the meantime, if you need me I’ll be talking to my Austin therapist about Emily’s hills. DP

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bachelor Recap Episode 2: It's Crazy Time Again

Hello, Readers, and welcome back. It is week two of our favorite show and it's time to break out all of our old familiar themes. Yes, with ten dress fillers sent home last week it's now time to sort out the crazy ones and figure out which of the seemingly sane ones are here for the “right reasons." It’s like auction day at the cattle ranch. As sick as I am of the "right reasons" talk and as much as I dreaded that conversation, I think, like the rest of you, I was just glad that I didn't have to hear about Brad’s "three years of intensive therapy."

I was thankful that we didn’t have to listen to some sort of Six Million Dollar Man lead in again. “He’s broken, but we can fix him. We have the therapy.” Incidentally, I found myself wishing they would bring back that show with Brad Womack as Steve Austin and Chris Harrison as Oscar Goldman. Now that I’d sit down and watch. Whoever wins this season could take the Jaime Sommers role and Wes Hayden could score each episode. Jake could be the bad guy and Brad could beat the hell out of him before throwing him off the Hyatt Austin balcony he cried over like a big fairy after ratting out Wes for a fake relationship. I love it. Someone get me the ABC Programming Department.

By the way, does anyone else find it odd that Lindsay Wagner, who played Jaime Sommers in the show, is now the pitch person for Sleepmatic Adjustable Beds? Why in the hell would she need one of those? She’s bionic for crying out loud. Someone get me the Sleepmatic Casting Department.

This Monday came quicker than a bachelorette post-dinner meal purge and I felt myself wondering where the time had gone. Before we begin, this week’s shout out goes to my friend Linnea who had the courtesy to send me a message that she attended a baby shower this weekend and was actually in the presence of a diaper cake. As sad as I am that my name is now inextricably associated with a diaper cake, I was happy and amused to receive the message. Perhaps we can start a tradition. From this day on, I would like to see a diaper cake and every one of my meet and greets. Top that off with a six pack of Lone Star beer and I'd be a happy man. With that out of the way, let's get to it.

The previews this week foretold of more doubt, more unnecessary ball busting, fancy tuxedos, evening gowns, and a couple of broads going nuts. We see Brad in his cargo pants and his black T-shirt and wonder if he's a Navy Seal getting ready to storm Iraqi stronghold in the middle of the night. I was relieved to see he was just strolling on a resort barefoot contemplating the results of his intense therapy.

Brad tells us that he never dreamed he'd be the bachelor again in "a million years." Obviously, it was three years. He also tells us that his second chance “starts today.” Actually, it started at the first ABC casting and production meeting last summer, but who's counting? Details. Yes, viewers, he doesn't mind being seen anywhere with a woman . . . well, except at the altar.

We next cut to the wo-mansion where Chris Harrison ends up after an all-night scotch binge in un-tucked aqua blue oxford shirt, some fancy jeans, and--inexplicably--white driving loafers. Hey, even Michael Jordan had a bad game every now and then. I’m sure Celine Dion misses a note every once in awhile too. White driving loafers?

Ever the professional, Harrison does his job by reiterating the rules and telling us that no rose on a one-on-one date equals a big, fat limousine ride to LAX. Well, after you're forced to drink several cosmos and answer intrusive, personal questions while being driven in circles around Hollywood until the editors are satisfied they can make you look like a fool. Again, details.

Oblivious to his fashion faux paux, the women sport tube tops and suck down mimosas as we get a shot of Madison, the vampire, and her wet hair. To be fair, perhaps she didn't hear the morning alarm through walls of her coffin. There was also a close-up of Emily. Did I mention she's hot? Then the women began to squeal like hogs in a slaughterhouse as Harrison reveals the first date card. On a side note, there was an inordinate amount of squealing this entire episode. I found that odd, yet strangely erotic. Annnyyyyhooooo . . .

Melissa, a poor man's Gwyneth Paltrow, tells us "it's very like imperative" that she gets the first date. If that didn't sound very like stupid enough, she goes on to tell us that she spent a fortune on clothes and she's also quit her lucrative waitress job in Fort Wherever, Florida to be on the show. She's like an anorexic Ali for God’s sake. Did I mention that Emily looked hot in her pink shirt?

The first date card is read. "The road to love is a wild ride." We learn that Ashley H. wins the first date. Eyes roll, jaws clench, and the unchosen women stopped doing their morning Kegels out of sheer disappointment. Ashley H. is “just amazed” that she was selected as her namesake, Ashley S., bemoans her long fall from atop the First Impression Rose totem pole to the chick on the bottom of the pile. I'll give her credit. She seemed genuinely disappointed rather than freaking crazy. That’s a hell of a lot more than I can say for some of the other girls. We soon find out that there will be plenty of Crazy to go around later in the show. I was thankful that Ashley S. didn’t break it out during the first ten minutes. For the record, I actually like both Ashleys.

Ashley H. leaves to put on her sparkly on the top and frilly on the bottom party dress featuring sparkly shoes and accessories. Anything to draw attention away from that drive in screen of a forehead, I suppose. As Brad arrives in “his” convertible Bentley, Ashley H. finishes covering her fivehead in flesh-toned spackle before making her way downstairs to be greeted by Brad and the wicked, jealous stares of the rest of the harem.

Pleasantries faked, they leave for a drive—at least I think it was a drive. It was so damn dark they might as well have been spelunking for all I knew. Eventually, Brad turns the Bentley off the highway on to a dirt road and Ashley H. pretends to freak out. “Don’t worry, honey,” I said to myself as I took a pull off a fresh Lone Star. “There’s an entire production crew at the end of that road and if there’s not, well, you won’t remember it anyway.”

Ashley’s fivehead wrinkles with doubt as Brad stops the car and heads to the trunk to retrieve his chloroform, favorite shovel, tarp, and his lucky stabbin’ knife. I suppose he also looked for his personality back there. Unfortunately, that’s been M.I.A. for a while. Ashley H. tells us that her dates don’t usually start off at the end of a deserted dirt road with the lights off. “No, but I’ll bet they all end that way,” I thought.

The two walk hand-in-hand through the dark as Ashley H. wonders aloud where they could be going. Fortuitously, she and Brad encounter a giant switch in the middle of the woods and when it's flipped we see a full-sized carnival with rides, clowns, and carnies with no teeth obviously in violation of their parole waiting to run the rides for them. I took comfort in knowing that Ashley H. would be relieved when she discovered that her forehead would easily meet the 42 inch height limit to ride the Ferris wheel.

While Brad and Ashley H. skip around the park like a couple of gay guys on holiday, we cut back to the wo-mansion in the middle of a bathing suit, no makeup powwow and are treated to some more squealing as the group date card arrives. With all that squealing, I expected Burt Reynolds to jump out of the woods with a bow and arrow and shoot a hillbilly in the heart. You’re welcome. You have just been treated to the first Deliverance reference of 2011.

"Let's share something from the heart," the date card reads and all the girls swell with anticipation as the names are read. Keltie, Melissa, Chantal O., Madison, Kimberly, Raichel, Meghan, Emily, Stacey, Alli, Shawntel N., Michelle, Lisa, Marissa, and Britt are selected. Of course, everything until now has been window dressing and we’re about to find out why. Cut to Michelle.

In perhaps the most prophetic statement in Bachelor history (Man, I sound like Harrison), Michelle--after telling us for the first of what will be 300 times that it's her birthday--tells us that the group date is "going to drive me crazy . . . guaranteed." Right, it's the date that drove her crazy. In other news, the chicken came before the egg.

I immediately pictured her ex-husband twenty pounds heavier than when he met Michelle sitting alone on a secondhand couch watching the show on an undersized, non-HD ready television in his torn undershirt and boxer shorts in the 700 square foot apartment he now calls home sipping cheap beer from a plastic Big Gulp cup with his feet atop a fold out card table covered in unpaid bills and eviction notices all due to the bath he took during the divorce because Michelle was sleeping with his lawyer and he was ordered to pay a crippling amount of child support for a child that she can’t prove is his. I pictured him laughing a bold, guttural, unabashedly joyful laugh because Brad is the guy who now has to deal with her. Eviction schmiction. Child support, schmild support. He has it made. Good luck, Mr. Bachelor. You think you needed therapy then? Pick her and see if you’re not bashing down that gay therapist’s door inside of a month. Happy Birthday, my ass.

Back to the Carnival.

With the Michelle meltdown simmering in the background like a giant pot of rabbit stew, we cut back to the circus where Brad and Ashley H. enter the photo booth for some playful whimsy as they take pictures of each other in various silly poses. That whole scene looked about as natural as a pair of socks on a rooster but Ashley H. did her best to play along. Fivehead aside, she looked very pretty and she seemed fun.

After the tomfoolery in the photo booth, Brad and Ashley H. sit down to dine on one of those big things that elephants dance on when they are stolen from their natural habitat, thrown on a train, and forced to do inane tricks that will eventually compromise their anatomy and lead to an early death. Brad wins Ashley H. a giant teddy bear, which is ironic because I found the entire scene hard to “bear.”

Appearing to squeeze the bunny, Ashley H. starts in with the “I'm an independent woman” talk. She let's Brad know that her dad left at an early age. Showing that all the "intense therapy" was not huge load of garbage, Brad actually opens up about his father as Ashley tries not to grin at accidentally striking gold. Good for you, Ashley H. Good for being honest. Good for not busting his balls. And good for listening to the cues the producers gave you.

Brad presents Ashley H. with the Rose as we all took a sip of our favorite beverage and agreed that she had clearly earned it. Memo to aspiring bachelorettes: THAT’S how it's done on a first date. Memo to all women in general: that's a good way to make most men open up. Sitting back patiently and listening will get you a lot further than sitting forward impatiently and bitching. Nice job, Ashley H. Nice job indeed.

Open the Crazy Flood Gates.

Like the massive wave in the flood scene in The Ten Commandments, the Craziness begins to rage ahead, destroying everything in its path. We see the Captain of the S.S. Whackjob, Michelle, sitting poolside with Raichel—who has obviously had plastic surgery . . . to remove her tusks. They apply the day’s make up while staring meaningfully into their promotional Conair mirrors. Michelle tells us that today is her 30th birthday and we realize, like Clooney and Wahlberg aboard the Andrea Gail, there is indeed a perfect storm ahead.

Could the Producers have planned this any better? Neurotic, controlling, divorced mother of a small child leaves that child and the comfort of her surroundings for 30 days to be thrown in with 20 younger beautiful women that she can’t stand in order to compete for a man she can’t have while she drinks constantly, shares a bathroom with the aforementioned women, and has tons of down time to think about nothing but the end of her 20’s. Bravo, ABC. It really doesn’t get better than that, does it?

Not to be out-crazied, Melissa (the poor man’s Gwyneth Paltrow) tells us that she’s going to “bring it” on her quest for love. She’s not holding back. She repeats; she’s going to “bring it.” Unfortunately, “IT” was crazy, irrational behavior. As we’ll soon find out, putting Melissa and Michelle in the same limo is like putting two of those fighting beta fish in the same bowl. I actually choked on my Lone Star I was so excited. Oh, and Emily looked hot.

All the broads arrive via Hummer limo at the Red Cross as Brad—who is undoubtedly covered in more body oils than an Egyptian mummy—tells us via his “I’m sensitive and I really care” pink shirt that the women will be filming PSA’s for the Red Cross promoting blood donation. I could smell his Axe Body Spray. Michelle and Melissa pictured drawing each other’s blood and Madison sadly had to admit to herself that she was not really a vampire.

Stephanie from the Red Cross, still bitter that her application for the Bachelor made it no further than the nearest ABC trash can, gives us some stats on blood donation as the girls pretend to care and the guy who helped Roz pack her sh*t last season sits in the background. Chantal O. (she’s going to win) gets the “it’s important to give blood line.” Stacey is SO excited. Shawntal hopes someone dies so she can embalm her and Alli is excited with her role as “kind of a virgin” in the upcoming PSA with Brad. Virgin? Where’s Tenley when you need her? Oh yea, she’s in San Diego not having sex with Kiptyn.

The girls get their scripts and not unlike the end of cheerleader tryouts in junior high, some of them begin to cry. Lisa is pregnant, Madison gets an S&M outfit, Keltie is a butch lesbian, Britt is stressed, Melissa has bad skin, and . . . hold the phone and plant a big, sloppy kiss on the guy who decided to put Emily in a French Maid outfit. I felt like Lincee Ray (www.ihategreenbeans.com) as I hit the pause button and admired the beauty of it all. It was like the first time I heard the Beatles or saw the Rockies. If that’s the same guy who decided to cast Michelle, he needs a fat raise.

Speaking of Michelle, she continues to implode like grapes in a wine press because she doesn’t “feel special” as she runs off in her squaw outfit to sulk. Upping the ante, Melissa tips the hand she’s been dealt as she literally runs into a scene to kiss Brad. That kiss might as well have been the kiss that Michael laid on Fredo in the Godfather II. We all knew she’d soon be invited to go fishing alone in a rowboat with one of Harrison’s henchmen. Bad form Melissa and Michelle. Say it with me readers—“Desperate and alone equals Limo ride home.”

I won’t belabor the PSA shoot other than to say it was the standard “let’s fawn over Brad and make the other women jealous” photo shoot we’ve seen in the past. The object was to light the fuses on Michelle and Melissa and it worked. Back at the wo-mansion, Sarah P., Ashley S., and Lindsay opine accurately that Michelle is a six pack short of a case.

Brad is eventually forced by the Producers to go and deal with Michelle’s tantrum as she and her stringy 80’s shirt do an excellent job of reeling in the insanity and saving herself from elimination by default. What was up with that outfit? She looked like Olivia Newton John in Xanadu except without the soft lighting and smoke. Remember, she’s really hot and that along with a plausible “I’m stressing because I’m 30 today” explanation are enough to smooth things over, especially when more drama is about to explode. Did I mention that Emily was still wearing that French Maid outfit?

On a side note, Michelle is the textbook picture of Third Date Crazy. For those of you who are new to the blog, that’s the girl who seems normal the first two times you take her out and then the Crazy explodes like a pus-filled abscess on the third date. Disaster averted, Michelle tells us that when she kisses Brad all else will pale in comparison. “Fireworks will go off,” she claims. Let’s just hope the fireworks go off before you hear the sirens on the padded ambulance they send for you. She’s a hairdresser. That makes me wonder what chemicals are in that blue water they used to sterilize the combs. What a psycho. Incidentally, for those of you who read my “Worst Date Ever” off season post, Bree was also a hairdresser. If it looks like a duck . . .

After Party at the Roosevelt Hotel.

The women wash off the sleeze of the photo shoot and Brad unquestionably takes a cologne bath before they arrive at the rooftop of the Roosevelt hotel for the “after party.” Smart move on the location scout’s part. It’s better to keep the chaos that would ensue far away from the public.

Shawntal wants a rose, but that’s irrelevant. As Brad begins his scripted, insincere toast (would it kill this guy to loosen up a bit?) Michelle immediately grabs him for some alone time to show him her enormous turquoise necklace and fuchsia skirt. It looked like she’d been fishing for perch and had her catch around her neck. Melissa waits patiently in her black sequined top and size negative two white pants.

Michelle drops a “my man” and busts Brad’s balls for having walls in place as the tires begin to come off the bus. We realize that each one of those turquoise rocks on that necklace was a medal for exceptional valor earned by her in the Crazy Navy where she did several tours of duty. “What’s your biggest fear?” she asks Brad. I suppose she meant besides being stabbed in the back by her with a kitchen knife.

In the meantime, Raichel begins to go at it with Melissa and the word “fake” gets bandied about. To be fair to Raichel, I assume the incisions from her tusk removal operation were incredibly sore and in need of Vitamin E. Melissa’s blow out protector was clearly malfunctioning as well.

Back at the wo-mansion the next date card arrives and Sarah P. stresses like a benched all-star waiting to get into the game. “Let’s get our love on track,” the card reads and we learn that Jackie and her underbite earn the last date of the week. Lindsay is discouraged and Sarah P. is upset. They seem nice enough. Someone should have told them what was unfolding at the Roosevelt hotel and they would have realized they were safe.

We return to the Roosevelt Hotel for the obligatory pool scene. We get several shots of Emily in her bikini in order to ease the annoyance of the drama unfolding before our eyes. I’d like to personally thank the camera guy for those shots. Brad eventually caves in to the pressure and slaps a birthday rose into Michelle’s crazy hand in order to shut her up for another week. She proceeds to rub it in the face of the other women. Whatever.

The Final Date

Brad arrives to pick up Jackie in “his” Bentley in a plaid flannel shirt and black jeans. Clearly, it was an outfit Jake had left in wardrobe after last year’s camping trip in the vineyard. She’s not that attractive to me, but I thought she looked very pretty in her red blouse and black pants. She seemed genuinely excited and, as we’d later discover, she really seemed to appreciate the extravagance of the date. I found that refreshing considering that most women will tolerate any man who doesn't fit the bill . . . as long as he picks it up on the way out of the restaurant. She may be a lot of things, but she’s not spoiled.

They head down to Rodeo Drive for a Pretty Woman spa day and shopping spree. The entire date was rather uneventful, but again, Jackie really seemed to enjoy herself; although I’m not sure there was much of a connection with our wooden Bachelor. He did a good job of trying though and as the booze flowed both of them looked more comfortable. To be fair, I suppose it’s not easy to relax with ten people behind the scenes swarming around like flies on watermelon.

Back at the wo-mansion, Emily and her hotness take a small break from the Pre-menstrual Festival in order to don a denim mini skirt and a pink top featuring butterflies and canaries and call her daughter at back home in the magical kingdom she came from. There is no greater pain for a parent than separation from her young child. I have to admit, that moment was very touching . . . and hot. I was immediately stricken by the contrast between Emily and the only other mother in the house, Michelle, who probably left her daughter locked in the laundry room with a video game and a cooler full of lunch meat. Enough about that.

Back on the date, Jackie and Brad arrive at The Peninsula 9882. I found that ironic considering the fact that 9882 is also how crazy Michelle and Melissa are on a scale from 1-10. Brad is in a tux and Jackie looks lovely in her evening gown and updo. She completes her look with an effective early product placement necklace by Neil Lane; proving that Neil won the game of Gin Rummy that he and Harrison played in Tahiti last season.

Brad lets her know that he has “one more surprise” as I took a sip from Lone Star number (Who are we kidding? I lost count before the pool scene). “I hope it’s an orthodontist,” I thought. No such luck. Brad takes her to the Hollywood Bowl for some dinner, psychobabble, and ultimately, the presentation of a well-earned rose. Jackie lets Brad know that she didn’t date in college and he gets a bit judgey.

Memo to Brad: I know you didn’t go to college so you have no frame of reference. Let me share with you what that means. “I didn’t date in college” can mean two things: 1.) I slept with the entire men’s athletic department as well as making the rounds down fraternity row . . .and back; or 2.) I experimented for a few years by batting for the other team. Either way, it’s probably out of her system. Let it go.

Brad and Jackie “dance” to Train and the evening is complete. I’ll give Brad a small amount of credit for his slow dance. At least we didn’t have to endure the box step again. Overall, Jackie handled herself well, looked very pretty all evening, and I was glad that she got the date instead of someone selfish and ungrateful. I don’t think she’ll last through the end, but at least she’s got a memory to take home and she didn’t make a fool of herself making it. Nice job, Jackie.

Cocktail Party . . . or is it the Cock Tail Party?

True to form, Michelle grabs Brad in the middle of his half-assed toast and proceeds to quiz him on his coffee and food proclivities. In contrast, Brad has a one-on-one with Emily and her hot, Southern accent and self-deprecating charm. She knows how hot she is and handles it well. Michelle, on the other hand, is like a grease fire. Oh, and she reminds us for the 300th time that it’s her birthday. She acted like it was her birthday, alright . . . her third birthday. She demonstrated another maxim in my treasure trove of maxims: Just Because I’m Super Hot, Crazy does not mean I’m Not.

Raichel and Melissa begin to go at it some more as Ashley S. throws the “worry about yourself” and “Brad won’t find that attractive” advice upon the deaf ears of Melissa. Michelle actually confides in Madison. How freaking crazy are you when you seek relationship advice from a chick who actually believes so greatly in the fact that she’s a vampire that she had fangs installed in her mouth?

In the meantime, the Producers distract Brad for a one-on-one interview in the production trailer as they monitor the goings on at the party. As soon as the argument reaches a crying, tantrum-throwing fever pitch they cut Brad loose to deal with the carnage. Brilliant. Brad looked so annoyed when he was forced to go comfort a crying, irate, and perhaps coked up Melissa. Now HE’S a therapist? I thought.

More advice to women: Men HATE this sort of thing. Let me illustrate how much. If Emily was one of the girls in this little cat fight, I would cut her loose and send her packing. Men expect women to be emotional at times. We don’t expect a tsunami of unmanageable craziness and we certainly don’t want to get sucked into cleaning up the mess.

Brad dutifully listens to both Raichel and Melissa and we all knew that the call to the limo driver to load their bags had been made. I’m sure Harrison was giggling hysterically in his trailer as he traded bong hits with the intern who heads east of the 105 to buy his weed for him. Damage done, Harrison dons his host suit and heads to the party to set up this week’s “surprise.”

Sans the ubiquitous champagne glass and knife, Harrison brings in Ali and Roberto in order to “help” Brad determine who is there for the “right reasons.” Ali looked terrible. Her hair looked terrible. Her dress looked terrible. When he asked who she was wearing she answered, “clearance.” Roberto looked like Ali made a special exception and let him borrow his testicles for the taping. She didn’t give him the combination to the safe in the walk in closet where they are kept, however.

“Tears are the silent language of grief,” said Oscar Wilde. He should have noted that they are the blatant language of Crazy women as well. Ali and Roberto “interview” the women and—SURPRISE—let Brad know that Emily is Money and Melissa and Raichel are nuts. Chantal O. begrudgingly throws both of them into the crock pot and Brad fumbles around as he presents Emily with the “Roberto thinks your hot but can’t say it directly to me without pissing off Ali” rose. The women “awwwwww” with approval as Emily does her best to hide her angel’s wings beneath her dress. Did I mention that she wore a French Maid outfit earlier in the show?

Harrison dusts off the ubiquitous champagne glass and butter knife and the rose ceremony commences.

1. Emily (she’s hot)
2. Michelle (she’s crazy and it was her birthday)
3. Jackie (Underbite and all, I liked her this week)
4. Ashley H. (Fivehead aside, she put in a solid performance on the date)
5. Chantal O. (First Rose is Brad’s way of saying she’s going to win)
6. Sarah P. (That’s me! Who’s she?)
7. Alli (no comment)
8. Kimberly (huh?)
9. Shawntel N. (below the radar this week)
10. Stacey (still have no idea who she is)
11. Ashley S. (sporting her green What Would Harrison Do? Bracelet)
12. Madison (I’m starting to like vampires)
13. Lisa (she looked very pretty)
14. Marissa (no comment)
15. Meghan (her Spanx made her dress fit nicely)
16. Lindsay (under the radar)
17. Britt (she hung in there)

In the end, Brad booted Raichel and Melissa sending a clear message that he has no room for that kind of bulls*it. If he wanted that kind of drama he would have picked up someone in his therapy support group. Melissa is in denial even after Brad gives her a cursory hug and a “it was nice to meet you” on her way out the door. He might as well have said, “get the f*ck out of the mansion, you whacko.” Raichel points out that rejection sucks and loses with a bit more class than Melissa. Then again, she’s not going to be alone with those two giant boobs to keep her company. To be fair, I think that Melissa sucked her into her crazy wake and Raichel had no time to come up for air.

Finally, Keltie gets booted and proceeds to say she’d be better off alone after trying every kind of dating. I actually felt sorry for her. Keltie, you’re attractive, fun, and interesting. Relax, keep kicking, and you’ll find someone. Stop trying so hard. You’ll be fine.

Well, there it is. With the Amazing count at an amazing 27 and the Journey count at an anemic 5, we head into next week. Have a solid, drama free week. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be at the Hollywood Bowl covered in Axe Body spray being serenaded by Train. DP

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bachelor Recap Episode 1: Ball Busting 101

Howdy and Welcome Back, Readers! It’s time for our favorite show to launch its big premier. As always, we all paid attention to last month’s carefully leaked teasers in order to get a glimpse at what to expect. Frankly, we should always expect exactly what we got last season, but with a slightly different twist. After a productive series of off season posts (13 of them to be exact), I’m ready to get back into the show. Like some sort of literary squirrel I’ve been hoarding my jokes for months now hoping I have enough to get me through the season. It’s been so cold here in Austin lately I actually saw a squirrel in a tree warming up his nuts. Thank you, I’ll be here all week.

Now that I’ve broken the ice with my first anatomy joke of the season, let’s get some housekeeping out of the way before I go into my take on our new (or renewed as the case may be) Bachelor, Brad Womack. I’ll caution you that because of the record number of women on the show and my comments on Brad’s “issues” this post, like a Tolstoy novel and certain parts of my anatomy, is unusually long. You might want to read it in parts. I’ve done my best to break it up for you. However, if you’re a first time reader please understand that this first episode post is my Illiad, my Odyssey, my Ten Commandments, my Cleopatra, my Ben Hur, my Lonesome Dove, my Thornbirds. You get the picture. It’s long.

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season. Thank you to those of you who continued to read and comment after last season. I’m glad to know I could spread some holiday cheer from Washington to Florida and Maine to California. It’s a special gift to know that you enjoyed it—well aside from the person who called me a misogynist. Frankly, I was impressed that a woman could understand such a big word. Alright, that’s a joke. I suppose that person is entitled to her opinion, but for the record, I don’t hate women. I believe a careful study of the blog will support the fact that I equally offend the men on the show. Taking anything I have to say on this site literally is a mistake. With that said, let’s get to it.


We begin with what will apparently be this season’s mantra: Brad was broken and needed to be fixed. After a while he sounded like a Buick in need of a transmission rather than some guy who dumped a couple of broads in a rose garden. Yes, he’s NOW ready to find love and get married. The fact that he couldn’t commit to Deanna or What’s Her Face on the big day last time means that he was an awful, damaged person.

America was mad. All 30 ladies were mad—but apparently not mad enough to refrain from submitting an application to be on the show. Harrison was mad. ABC was mad. Hell, Dr. Phil and Oprah were probably mad too. I think we all saw this coming down the freeway, but I don’t think we expected what we were about to endure.

I hated this spin on Brad’s double dump and here’s why. I’ve said before that the problem with the show is that it presupposes a result—love and marriage. However, for the entirety of the season we hear Harrison say things like, “will Brad find love” and “will he find the woman of his dreams.” My take on Brad’s first season was that—ironically—he went through the entire exercise of “searching for his soul mate” and “taking a journey for love” and all of that other garbage we hear about, yet failed to find a woman among the 25 who he thought he could marry. Why is that so controversial? Brad actually did the show said it wanted him to do and now he's a bad person for doing it? He wasn’t ready to get married, admitted it, and didn’t pretend. Commitment issues aside, to be fair I do see the problem with going on a dating show where a proposal is expected if a person is not ready to get married. However, I don’t think Brad knew that he wasn’t ready going into the first show.

What irks me the most about this “he’s fixed now” spin is that Brad was—if nothing else—brutally honest with both women and with the network in the face of tremendous pressure to pick someone. We will get to this later, but the person who ultimately earned the first impression rose was a person who actually pointed that out. Isn’t that type of honesty what women want from a man? Apparently not considering the beating he took all night.

The entire notion that Brad was somehow broken because he went through the process and did not fall in love is man-sogynistic (it’s a word now) to me. It’s a freaking dating show. Frankly, I’d rather see a guy pull a Womack than throw out a token ring in order to extend his 15 minutes and ink a deal on Dancing with the Stars all the while misrepresenting his love of aviation. Sound familiar? That’s the guy “America” should be mad at.

I’m not certain how Brad was “picked” to be The Bachelor again. I’ve heard that he called the network and begged them for another chance. I’ve also heard it the other way around. The point is that he’s back. I’ve run into him twice (Austin is a small town) in the past couple of weeks and he claims he’s “very happy.” I’m approaching this season with an open mind. We’ll see how it all pans out. I have a few predictions that we will get to later. In the meantime, here's the play-by-play.

We begin, as always, with Chris Harrison (who needed a haircut) introducing the “most shocking, controversial season of the Bachelor ever”---well, at least until next season. Harrison, dressed for business in his black suit and muted gray tie, let's us know that a nation was "infuriated" over Brad's failure to pick a wife three years ago. Infuriated? I was mildly amused, but whatever. We then see our new bachelor playing his part and saying his lines claiming that when he failed to pick Deanna or What's Her Face it hit him like "a ton of bricks." Harrison lies to us saying that Deanna and What's Her Face have "moved on with their lives."

Jimmy Buffet once said that “indecision may or may not be a problem.” We quickly learned from Harrison that indecision is going to be a big f*cking problem this season. After the obligatory shots of Brad strolling aimlessly through various parks around Austin landmarks and talking about how it sucks to be hot and alone we get a shot of him in his bachelor loft where he tries to convince us that he watched his own season finale and "felt like a jerk.” Aside from the fact that the finale was clearly superimposed on his giant HD television, I had trouble believing that Brad felt anything other than relieved after making that decision three years ago.

In spite of that, the producers again ask us to suspend reality and believe that Brad was convinced that something was "wrong with him" and that he suffered panic attacks as a result of dumping two women he had known for 28 days and didn’t want to marry in the first place. Brad moves the boat down the river by telling us that he's convinced that he has a phobia stemming from commitment and trust issues and-GASP-Daddy issues. Go figure. He’s like a male Ali. We go along with it, though, and fail to recognize the fact that marriage is a lot like a Martin Lawrence movie: there are plenty of people desperate to get in but twice as many desperate to get out.

Phobias in place, set up done, and this season's theme thoroughly on its way to being established, it's time to see Brad shirtless. Through a voiceover of Brad again whining about his issues we see him shirtless on various footbridges and landmarks in Austin, Texas. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, he's through with the "tough guy stuff" and he's ready to fall in love. He's opening his heart and he's got the giant cross tattoo on his back to prove it. Is he serious about that thing? He’s spent three grueling years in therapy figuring it out. In other news, the Pope is converting to Judaism.

In an early twist of irony, we see his brother named Wes who informs us that Brad is indeed a changed person. His mother, Pamela, also sees a change in her commitment-phobic son. Frankly, I respected her for not piling on Brad's father for ruining him at such an early age. As an aside, I found myself wondering why a person has to be shirtless to engage in self reflection. Perhaps it's a biblical thing. I also found myself wondering if all Brad needed was some personality therapy. Let's face it, he's not exactly a dial tone but then again he's not exactly a roller coaster ride. Nice pecs will get you only so far in life.

To complete this season's Brad is broken theme we get a shot of Dr. Parker, Brad's latently homosexual therapist, discussing in generalities Brad’s progress. I wondered if he recommended that Brad attend therapy sessions shirtless. You know, so Brad could bare himself physically and emotionally. Dr. Parker continues to beat the Brad is broken dead horse as we see Brad working out in various stages of sweaty exertion across the city. Apparently he's not capable of shaving his face but is perfectly comfortable shaving his chest and under arms. Perhaps that was part of his therapy. I was already bored.

Brad completes the set up by spitting out what will undoubtedly be this year’s new "journey" by saying that he's done a lot of "soul-searching.” Brad works out some more and apparently searches for his soul by doing push-ups and jogging. He then jogs down the trail—presumably in search of his soul. Whatever.


We then cut to what I will now refer to as the ball busting montage. Good Lord, he should've watched this tape instead of the finale tape where he dumped Deanna and What's Her Name. Thankfully, we cut to our first commercial break and in a moment of rare weakness Some Guy walked to the refrigerator, opened the door, and took out his first icy cold bottle of Lone Star Beer. I usually wait until at least the second commercial break to begin drinking, but this was like a hot stick in the eye. I felt like I was at the doctor getting a physical and I was at the point where I watched the doctor walk across the exam room and grab a rubber glove and some KY Jelly. What would follow would be uncomfortable, but I was obligated to do it.

Just in case we missed it during the first 15 min. of the show, when we return from commercial break, Brad again tells us that he's had three years of intensive therapy while shaving shirtless and showering. The rape scenes in Quest for Fire were less gratuitous for crying out loud. And for those of you who watched in HD, what was up with the various glitter lotions and body sprays that he showered in after his shower? I half expected him to walk into the bedroom and put on a fake fireman’s uniform and head over to Mary from Accounting’s bachelorette party. Does this guy own bars or male strip clubs? I’m sure he smelled fabulous.

Mercifully, we cut to Chris Harrison at the mansion and further sets up the "new and hopefully improved" Brad Womack talk. New and improved? I felt like I was watching QVC. Finally! It's time to meet the women. Because I'm not a biased person, I've listed them below for your convenience in order of appearance.

Ashley H., 26, Dentist, Madawaska, ME. We see Ashley hard at work in Philadelphia as a dentist. "Dentistry is an art form" she tells us and we see her delicately cleaning a patient's teeth right before she dons boy shorts and a tank top and jumps around like a tramp "shaking her groove thing." Later, when she emerged from the limo we witnessed perhaps the most receded hairline in the history of women's hair. That thing didn't look like a forehead, it looked more like a fivehead. I have one word for Ashley H., "bangs." Regardless, she got a rose.

Shawntel, 25, Funeral Director, Chino, CA. We get a glimpse of Shawntel working at her profession of choice, funeral director. Frankly, I would've eliminated her solely based on her profession. That's way too creepy for me. She even has the audacity to make mausoleum and funeral jokes. Stay in Chino, Shawntel. She got one of the producers’ pick roses.

Ashley S., 26, Nanny, Ellerbe, NC. In my early prediction for someone to make the final cut, Ashley S. starts off strong. She's from the South, North Carolina to be exact. However, she lives in New York City and works with children as a nanny. She also has an excellent southern accent, is charming, and to top it off, has a "my father died two years ago" story. Hell, it worked for Chris L. all the way to Tahiti during Ali’s pouty lipped, canary yellow season. It should work for her too. Because she established herself as the only woman in the house who wasn't going to bust Brad’s balls about dumping Deanna and What's Her Name, she rightfully earned the First Impression Rose. Nice job, Ashley S. She should go far.

Chantal O., 28, Executive Assistant, Mercer Island, WA. Proving that there's more than one way to spell that ridiculous name, Chantal O. lets us know that she works for daddy as his Executive Assistant. Apparently, daddy owns a bunch of car dealerships and enjoys dressing in Howdy Doody style picnic table shirts. She has one dog and two cats, has been divorced for less than a year, and was married for five years. Run like hell, Brad. Run like hell. In my world, those are what we call "big, freaking, giant, red flags." Proving he still needs more therapy, Brad still gave her a rose. She’s my dark horse pick. More about that later.

Michelle, 30, Hair Stylist, Salt Lake City, UT. She is a hairstylist who "needs to find a husband." We see her playing with her young daughter and realize that she's a front runner for the Crazy Like Michelle from Jake's Season Award. She's also in close contention for the Women Hate You Like Vienna Award. This is a tough one for Brad. She's gorgeous, in fact, she looks a lot like Teri Hatcher. Well, a really tan Teri Hatcher. But trust me on this one, she'll melt down like the reactor core at Three Mile Island. Predictably, she got a rose. It was tough to determine who made that decision: Brad or the Producers. I’m on the fence about her but my Crazy Radar is twitching.

Raichel, 29, Manscaper, Fullerton, CA. Our first look at her was a brief one; however, it was clear to me that she would be around for a while. It was also clear to me that it wasn't Brad who wanted her around. In her purple thing with frilly shoulders, Raichel tells us that she makes her living waxing men's bodies. However, she fails to explain why her name is misspelled. I found myself wondering if she waxed her own back and Adam's apple or if she recruited a coworker to do it for her. She got a rose.

Meghan, 30, Fashion Marketer, Princeton, NJ. Vague title aside, we learn immediately that Megan "loves shopping,” wears turquoise, and loves to collect expensive shoes. Please see my red flag comments earlier. She has high maintenance written all over her and she's one of the older women in the bunch. Granted, 30 is not old; however, 30, marginally attractive, and high maintenance is an elimination trifecta. She won’t win, place, or show. Regardless, she got a rose.

Madison, 25, Model, Vail, CO. She liberally selects two words that describe her. Oddly enough, she went with "mysterious" and "adventurous." Funny, I would have gone with "cheap" and "vapid.” But what the hell do I know? Surprisingly, Madison also lets us know that she has a vampire fetish and, in fact, has a set of the veneer fangs in her pretty little mouth. I can almost see Chris Harrison and the casting director doubling over with laughter when they received her video and application to be on the show. Fangs? To be fair, I suppose the fact that she likes to suck on things, sleeps all day, and disappears all night until dawn would be a huge up side for Brad. If she ever starts nagging him, all Brad has to do is carry some garlic in his pocket. Now I see why she got a rose.

Emily, 24, Hospital Event Planner, Morgantown, WV. By far the prettiest woman in the bunch. We see Emily is not only a mother, but she's endured the tragedy of the death of her fiancé in a plane crash. She's like that one broad from Alabama on Jake's season but hotter, younger, and sweeter with far less make up. She also has an instant made family ready for Brad to step into and the reason she does is not her fault.

Yes, I figured out that she is the emotionally unavailable one we saw in the final previews. However, my prediction is that she will get past that and make the final two. She was sweet, genuine, and has real life experience. She's young enough to not seem desperate and sweet enough to charm the pants off our Bachelor. In addition, her profile aired immediately before the commercial break and immediately after that nut job Madison with the freaking fangs. Experience tells us that she's in it for the long haul. Did I mention she’s hot? She got a rose. Hands down.

As an aside, and before we get to the remaining women, let me say that I believe that the vast majority of the finalists will be from south of the Mason Dixon line or out West. That's not a knock against Northern women it's a simple observation from a guy who's lived south of the Line his entire life. Brad simply won't select somebody from the East Coast or the Midwest. Trust me on that. Place your bets accordingly.

Marissa, 26, Sports Publicist, Mesa, AZ. She's one with a career in sports that did sit ups in her hotel room and tried too hard when she got out of the limo. Faux paux aside, she and her frosty lipstick got a sympathy rose.

Britnee, 25, Paralegal, Holland, PA. The unattractive paralegal who opened with the cardinal sin of all openers by saying that the other women shouldn't "mess with her.” She clearly didn't watch the tapes from any of the preceding seasons. Leading with an antagonistic remark toward all of the women in the house will get you hosed faster than a three alarm fire in the middle of town. She didn't get a rose; however, was clearly profiled pre-limo because she would be one of the bitter, crying girls to leave the house in denial.


As we headed into the next break we seasoned Bachelor fans realized that we now knew at least 10 of the 20 remaining girls. I found myself longing for the blissful ignorance that I had while watching the first few seasons of the show. Sigh. I felt like Tom Brady reading a defense or Einstein figuring out an equation. And although I can't throw football 70 yards on a frozen rope or even begin to comprehend the Theory of Relativity, I realized that I was indeed a Bachelor professional. I felt like Ralph emerging from the woods in Lord of the Flies. My innocence had been stripped away, and I would be forced to see the show for what it really was: formulaic and predictable. I continued to drink.

Breaking the monotony, Harrison showed up and reset the odds. Unfortunately, he reset the Brad is damaged talk as well. Like Ricardo Montalbon awaiting the arrival of The Plane, Harrison waits patiently on the wet driveway of the mansion grounds for Brad to arrive. Exiting the limo covered in Axe Body spray and surpisingly wearing a shirt, Brad looked just as nervous as when he kicked Deanna and What's Her Face to the curb three years ago. It was difficult to determine in the soft lighting if he was indeed new and improved, however. Harrison quickly spirits him away to the Lair of Seclusion in order to set up the ball busting that we will be forced to endure over the next hour.

Showing that both he and Harrison have read this season’s playbook, Brad drops some psychobabble and predictably sets up the overriding theme of self-analysis and self-improvement. I don't think there was one viewer in the entire audience who didn't think he over did it. He reiterated his commitment and trust issues, reminded us that he's had three years of “intense” therapy, and threw his absent father into the grease. Bored, yet contractually obligated, Harrison sits there with his best sympathy face on thinking of spending his giant paycheck at the local Hooters.

Through it all, however, we learned that Brad considers himself "the luckiest guy on the planet.” We watched Brad and Harrison exchange pleasantries and uncomfortable guy talk as we rolled our eyes and took a big fat sip of our adult beverages. As only Harrison can do, he subtly drops a "what would you say to Deanna and What's Her Face if they were here?" Incredibly, Brad says that he wants to apologize.

As far as I'm concerned, this is the most ridiculous thing he could have said. What is there to apologize about? He cut two women loose that he didn't love before making a forced commitment that admittedly would have been doomed to failure. "Bulls*it!” I yelled at the screen before popping the cap on another Lone Star. Bulls*it indeed.

After the big set up, Harrison delivers this season’s first kick to the balls by letting Brad know that Deanna and What's Her Face are waiting for him in a nether region of the mansion—perhaps in the Rejection Wing? So much for "moving on with their lives." Deanna and What's Her Face appear sporting tight dresses with matching eye shadow and giant engagement rings. Deanna, as always, looked bitter and bitchy. Three years later, are you kidding me? What's Her Face looked pleasant and seemed happy to collect whatever check ABC offered her to appear on the show.

Horrified, Brad immediately apologized, mischaracterized his behavior, and over explained the fact that he didn't love either one of them. He should have asked for thank you rather than offered an apology. Proving that she has indeed moved on, What's Her Face let's Brad know that she's supportive and hopeful that he will find love this time around. Oblivious to The High Road, Deanna continues to prove that Brad made the right decision by telling him that she's "skeptical" and then proceeds to rub her and What's Her Face’s engagement rings in Brad's face. I never liked her. Frankly, I'm glad she got dumped.

With that garbage over, Deanna and What's Her Face give Brad cursory hugs and disappear into what we can only hope is permanent obscurity. Good luck, ladies. Just stay away from the TV cameras. Frankly, Brad secretly had to be thrilled that he had dodged the Deanna grenade. Who says there's no up side to having commitment and trust issues?


Harrison escorts Brad back to the front of the mansion and we prepare for the ever important arrival of the limousines. It was nice to see that Brad was actually taller than Harrison. For the first time in three years we have a bachelor that is taller than five foot five. Harrison wishes Brad well and leaves for the wet bar in his room with a "don't screw this up."

Chantal O. She emerges from the limousine and in an incredibly contrived moment issues Brad a slap in the face from every woman in America. Give me a break. Playing his part, Brad acts like it wasn't set up. I would love to see Deanna return as the next bachelorette when her engagement inevitably fails and have the first dude out of the limo give her a right hook for being such a pain in the ass. Why perpetuate a double standard? For the record, if I was the Bachelor I would have suggested that Chantal enjoy her one glass of champagne because her ass was headed home for slapping me. However, I think Brad will have a lot in common with her rich daddy. She’s a final three candidate.

Kimberly, 27, Marketing Coordinator, Orlando, FL. Purple, sequined, short cocktail dress. Her greeting was as dry as Jake Pavelka’s current acting career. Nondescript, she engaged in some ball busting but not enough to talk herself out of a rose. I wouldn't expect her to be around long. There is nothing special about her.

Alli, 24, Apparel Merchant , Columbus, OH. She had on a green evening gown with tiny, thin straps. Frankly, there was nothing incredible about the gown other than the fact that those tiny straps were able to hold her giant cans in place. She clearly had them on display. In fact, for a moment I thought there were actually 32 women in the mix. To be fair, she had a nice dimple and probably looked as pretty as she could look. She and her man hands ended up with a rose.

Ashley S. She earned the First Impression Rose by being sincere, southern, and respectful of Brad's past. Granted, she was probably hand-picked by the producers to be the person that did this, but she did it well. She looked lovely in her yellow and gold off the shoulder dress thing. In the interest of full disclosure, I found her hotter because of her accent. I think she'll go to the top three.

Meghan. She demonstrated the irony of being in the fashion business by stepping out of the limo in some giant, red, Kiss boots and a short, black Tina Turner dress. She looked ridiculous. Regardless, she and her poor wardrobe choices got a rose.

As the next limousine was pulling up we were treated to the obligatory women already in the mansion shot as we saw Alli meeting the other girls and sipping champagne while her boobs took a quick tour of the mansion.

Marissa. She looked lovely in pink but lacked confidence in her dress. She went big early with the sports talk and over did it by asking Brad if he could deal with someone who lived and breathed sports for a living. I pictured the last 3 guys she dated back in wherever she's from collectively taking a sip from their beers and rolling their eyes. Something tells me that wasn't the first time she led with that line. Regardless, she and her frosty lipstick got a rose.

Lindsay, 25, First Grade Teacher, Plano, TX. First grade teacher from Texas. She looked pretty in a simple, red dress. Other than that, she was not memorable. She did just enough to get a rose, but will have to step it up and get noticed if she's going to stick around.

Ashley H. Remember, she's the dentist we talked about earlier? She and her fivehead exited the limo in red sequins and continued busting Brad’s balls. It was at this point that he looked really sick of this year's theme. I have to admit, I felt sorry for him for a brief moment until I realized that he volunteered for this again. By the way, if you look at the tape you clearly see Brad check out her rear end on her way into the mansion.

Raichel. Arrives in blue sequins. Unfortunately, she looked very masculine in the dress and her makeup looked like she'd been painted with whatever that funeral director uses to add color to her clients’ faces. The manscaping thing is incredibly annoying too. Unfortunately, she got a rose.

Madison. As Paula Abdul used to say on American Idol, Madison’s entire demeanor looked “affected.” From the fangs to the weird looks the whole thing came across as fake. Brad stayed on script and ignored the fangs simply referring to her "mysterious demeanor." She's a whack job, which means that she'll stick around for a while. Fangs?

Melissa, 32, Waitress, Westport, CT. She exited the limo and ran at Brad assuming that he could free her from working for tips in Fort Worth honky-tonk. She seemed nice enough, but honestly didn't do her work in the cocktail party. She didn't get a rose.

Renee, 28, Nanny, Burbank, IL. Exited the limo with a nice smile dressed in the royal blue gown featuring replicas of the Hope diamond earrings. She shared her Midwestern accent with Brad and left no clue that she was desperate. She later proved that she was desperate in the cocktail party thereby working herself out of what should have been an easy rose. You should have watched the tape, Renee. Remember, desperate and alone equals limo ride home. She got no rose.

Cristy, 30, Attorney, Davie, FL. She looked perky and purple and had a good opening. Frankly, I didn't find her as attractive as some of the other women but I liked her. Apparently, she failed to be pushy enough in the cocktail party to make a lasting impression on Brad. No rose, counselor.

Jackie, 27, Artist, Warwick, RI. Jackie exited the limousine in her canary yellow dress. Not only did she have an underbite that would make Bruce Springsteen wince, she went with the pinky swear line making Brad promise not to break her heart. Unless she has the capacity to write another Darkness on the Edge of Town, I don't see her staying around more than a couple of shows. There was also a tinge of insanity in her eyes and she came across as more desperate than the Joad family on a trip toward California. She annoyed me. However, because she’s crazy, she got a rose. She’ll be one of the first to melt down.

Sarah P., 27, Real Estate Broker, Denver, CO. She was marginally attractive and appeared to be attempting the Shirley Temple haircut. However the cute little girly curls that she had in her hair when she left the hotel fell by the time she got to Brad. Add to that her gimmicky, fake on the knee proposal and you have in unimpressed Some Guy in Austin. In spite of that, she didn't hesitate to blurt out, "that's me!" when Brad offered her a rose. Congratulations on recognizing your own name, Sarah.

Believe it or not, that's only the first half of the women on the show. We cut to commercial. Not believing in our capacity to retain an hour worth of information Harrison emerges to do some more ball busting and elicit yet even more self-loathing responses from Brad. YAWN . . . . The limo arrivals continue. I felt like I was watching that scene in Gone with the Wind when they keep stacking the bodies of dead and injured Confederate soldiers in the streets of Atlanta. Fiddle dee dee. . . .

Lacey, 27, Insurance Agent, Tampa, FL. An insurance agent in Tampa? I wonder if she knows Roberto? Other than that little tidbit and her continuation of the ball busting, she wasn't very memorable. Brad again repeats his "second chance" mantra and we became just as sick of the grief he was getting from the women as he was. She got no rose.

Lauren, 26, High School Teacher, Culpeper, VA. Sporting the first updo of the evening, Lauren shows off her gold lame cocktail dress. Yes, that word can also be read without the accent. It was both “lame” and “lame.” She got nothing. In fact, she ended up being the standard bitter girl exclaiming that it was Brad's loss when he eliminated her. Lauren, is sour grapes really a valuable lesson to teach high school kids? Don’t fret. You’re still young enough to return home and enter into an improper sexual relationship with one of your male students.

Lisa P., 27, Sales Consultant, Dix Hills, NY. Looking like Christina Applegate's effeminate brother in drag, Lisa exits the limo looking like she's already had a few glasses of champagne. Frankly, that's all I remember about her. No rose

Shawntel N. She also selected a canary yellow dress but apparently selected shoes that she could not walk across the patio in without fear of falling. For a moment, I thought she might be on roller skates. She too wore her hair up displaying an Asian symbol tattoo on the back of her neck. I can only imagine it was the symbol for desperation. In the end, she maintained her balance and enough of her dignity in order to get a rose.

Britnee. She's the paralegal we discussed earlier. Her gimmick was to make Brad come to the window of the limousine before she exited it. Like her personality, that too proved ineffective. She got no rose and bitched and cried about it on her way out of the mansion.

Stacey, 26, Bartender, Quincy, MA. She’s the Bah-ten-da from Bah-ston. She looked uncomfortable in her black, short cocktail dress. I suppose that's a long shot from her normal black denim jeans and flannel shirt. To her credit, she's the first one to disclaim any knowledge of Brad Womack and his awful dumping of Deanna and What's Her Name three years earlier. She earned some points in Brad's eyes and I was confident that she would get a rose. She did and I'll bet she'll be around for a while. She seemed nice enough.

Jill, 28, Sales Director, Houston, TX. Because she was a Texan, I had hopes that she would make it past the first round. However, upon exiting the limousine and walking up to Brad she actually led with, "I'm ready to get married." Jill, I'm sure that line has failed on every guy you used it on in the past five years. You're in the big leagues here. You should've stepped up your game. No rose.

Lisa M., 24, Marketing Coordinator, Ottawa, KS. She showed up in ruby slippers and an aqua blue dress. She's from Kansas. Get it? She looked more like a Pez dispenser then Judy Garland. After looking at her, I expected her to click her heels together and say, "there's no place like my tanning bed. There's no place like my tanning bed." Ultimately, she proved the theory that less is more when it comes to the cocktail party. She got in early, got out, and watched the carnage unfold. Nice job, Lisa. She got a rose.

Rebecca, 30, Esthetician, Mission Viejo, CA. She’s an esthetician—whatever the hell that is. Poor Rebecca was not attractive. It didn't help that she dropped the “I need to kiss a lot of frogs” line on Brad. Frog indeed. I think I saw her grab cricket with her tongue on the way into the mansion. Predictably, she got no rose.

J., 26, Operations Manager, Seattle, WA. Please. She got no rose. We assume she returned to Seattle to manage some operations. Whatever.

Keltie, 28, Radio City Rockette, Hollywood, CA. She out Tenlied Tenley. Everyone will remember Keltie for two reasons. First, she exited the limousine and proceeded to pull her leg over her head undoubtedly showing whoever was off camera her unmentionables and probably what was contained inside them. She made Tenley look like Ali when she pouts and bitches. Second, her ridiculous name is unforgettable. Despite her annoying bubbly nature, she seemed genuine and nice. Remember, that got Tenley very far and I suspect if it doesn't get an ice pick stabbed into her bubbly head as she sleeps in the mansion should go pretty far this season with Brad. She got a rose. By the way, what was up with those feather earrings? Who is she, Pork-a-hontis?

Sarah L., 25, Musical Theater Performer, Saginaw, MI. She's from Michigan and can’t snap her fingers. That's no "what do you put on your hot dog," but I'll give her credit for coming up with a memorable tagline. However, she failed to follow up and didn't get a rose. Tough sh*t.

Emily. We've already discussed Emily. Sweet, hot, southern, and nice. She's my pick for top two. Let's just hope she can get past her emotional baggage in time for the finale.

Britt, 25, Food Writer, Woodinville, WA. Sporting a Daryl Hannah in Splash haircut, Britt did her best to impress Brad as she got out of the limo. I'm sure she will excel at the trips to exotic Caribbean locations when she jumps in the water and becomes a mermaid. Perhaps she can consult with Michelle the hairdresser and see if she can do something with that hair.

Michelle. Although we saw Michelle earlier, we now get to see her in the dress that the Von Trapp nanny made from curtains she found hanging in the mansion. I'll give her credit for being different but what in the world was up with that dress? Michelle does her best Teri Hatcher impression; however, if I'm not mistaken I believe I could see some crazy hiding just beneath the surface. It remains to be seen if that crazy will emerge. But as we all know, there are at least two nut jobs in every season. It should be a fight between Michelle, Madison, and Jackie. Frankly, Michelle is the most attractive of the three and if she can keep it together shall stick around for quite a while.

With the 30 women now in play we return to—what else—more talk about Brad’s intensive therapy and more self-loathing as he apologizes for everything. I swear if they let the cameras keep rolling Brad would have eventually apologized for cancer, the break up of the Beatles, and the Kennedy assassination.


Meghan is “skeptical.” Kimberly is “nervous.” The Rockette reuses her “he’ll have to live in a cave,” line. And all of the women await the appearance of the First Impression Rose like lionesses waiting in the bush for a baby gazelle to wander from the herd. After more complaining and some annoying “here for the right reasons” banter, Womack enters and calls all the magpies on their bulls*it. I loved it.

After complaining for what must have been hours about Brad’s inability to commit, his fear of marriage, shunning of Deanna and What’s Her Face, and generally hemming and hawing about his repeat Bachelor appearance, guess how many women stood up indignantly and chose to leave the mansion upon being given the chance to do so? That’s right, zero. Smiling, I took a pull off my Lone Star and said out loud, “that’s what I thought.” Props to Brad for shutting that down. Being a contestant on the Bachelor is like the Army—everyone complains about it but there’s no shortage of people who enlist and even fewer with the stones to go AWOL.

Jill thought his “super sexy speech was sincere.” Alliteration aside, she’s still not getting a rose. Jackie begins her ascent to the top of Mount Insanity by doing some more complaining about Brad’s intentions. The good news for her is that the third season of Jersey Shore can probably use her if this gig doesn’t pan out. After all, Snooki has clearly become too big for the show.

I found the entire thing painful to watch. I also found the bitching rather presumptuous. Most of the women should have kept their mouths shut until after getting a rose. Never mind three long years of therapy, this show felt like it went on for three long years. Regardless, Brad continues to whip himself on cue. He might as well have worn a hairshirt to that party. That’s a little humor for you hardcore Catholics out there. You Protestants just play along, alright?

In the show and tell portion of the party, Raichel brings her manscaping equipment and waxes Brad’s wrist. How in the hell did she get that stuff through LAX security? Jackie the “artist” proves that her art is neither singing nor writing as the Everclear in the slut punch catches up with her. Alli tells us that she wants to “get her face in front of Brad,” and then proceeds to show him her ass before turning around and showing him her giant rack. She and Renee play ping pong with Brad and Renee—frustrated by her inability to keep Brad’s attention—drops the first classic line of the season saying that she’s “better than all these b*tches here.” Perhaps, but she also came across as more desperate. Bad form, Renee. You blew it.

The First Impression Rose is revealed by Harrison and the tension begins to mount as it sits anticipatorily on the coffee table burning the retinas of all who dare to glance in its direction. It was like Excaliber. Emily pretends that it’s prettier than she is and lets us believe that she’s nervous about getting a rose. Bless her hot little heart. That’s like Santa Claus telling us he’s afraid that children won’t like him. Emily gets some alone time with Brad and he loves her Coalminer’s Daughter story. Props to her for not leading with the dead fiancé story. It’s always important to keep that hammer in your purse until you need it. Did I mention she’s hot?

Brad eventually confronts Madison and her fangs fighting the urge to tell her to get the f*ck out of the mansion. She’s batty. Get it? Alright, go ahead and boo. I deserve it. Brad handled the fang issue and that mess as best as anyone in his position could have. Frankly, I would have kept her around too just to get to the bottom of the vampire thing. The Producers will toy with her like a tiger with a bunny for a few weeks then give Brad the go ahead to cut her loose so she can go back to Transylvania or wherever Robert Pattison and Kristin Stewart hang out.

Michelle teeters on sanity and gets some good alone time with Brad. She’s hot and that’s about all you need to get past the first cocktail party. Hot girls simply have to avoid squeezing the bunny like Lenny in Of Mice and Men during the first cocktail party in order to obtain a rose. The odds are 2-1 in their favor and there’s no need to tip them in the opposite direction. I do think Brad appreciated the fact that Michelle broke out the I have a daughter card early. Provided she can keep the tires on the road, she’ll stick around. I’m hopeful, but I wouldn’t bet a dime that she stays below the radar.

Jackie rounds out the crazy talk before the rose ceremony and Harrison and his ubiquitous champagne glass and knife enter to kill of the hard earned buzz. Womack looked so relieved he couldn’t stand it. I didn’t blame him. After the brow beating he took from all 30 women I was surprised he didn’t just ask the vampire chick to puncture his jugular and put him out of his misery.

Brad retires to the Lair of Seclusion with Harrison, gathers his thoughts, and hands out the remaining 19 roses.

1. Ashely S. (First Impression Rose. She earned it fair and square.)
2. Michelle (She and her tan got dirty looks from the rest of the bunch. It’s on.)
3. Kimberly (Dress filler)
4. Madison (Vampire. How could he resist?)
5. Emily (Did I mention she’s hot?)
6. Raichel (She’s a guy. . .or once was)
7. Keltie (Insert enthusiastic high kick)
8. Ashley (fivehead)
9. Meghan (underbite and overrated)
10. Lisa M. (Less is more. She got lucky.)
11. Lindsey (Under the radar)
12. Alli (giant boobs and giant man hands to wrestle with her bra)
13. Sara P. (That’s Me!)
14. Marissa (lose the frosty lipstick, honey)
15. Britt (the Mermaid)
16. Stacey (I have no idea who she is)
17. Shawntel N. (Again, no idea)
18. Jackie (Kah-ray-zee train coming down the tracks)
19. Melissa (Dress filler)
20. Chantel O. (Daddy’s girl and my dark horse)

Well, there it is. My litany on Episode 1. We’re off to exotic locations in search of finding our soul and it’s mate. With the Amazing count at an impressive 17 and the Journey count at a meager 2, we’ll have to wait until next week to see what happens. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be getting a giant cross tattoo between my shoulder blades while sitting in my therapist’s office searching for my soul. DP