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.
THE SET UP
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.
LET THE BALL BUSTING BEGIN
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.
1/3 OF THE WAY DONE
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?
BACK TO THE LADIES.
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.
THE COCKTAIL PARTY—OR IS IS THE COCK TAIL PARTY?
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