Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bachelor Recap Episode 8: Get Down to the Home Town

Hello, Readers. Happy President’s Day and welcome to Episode 8 of our favorite show. We’re at that point in the season where redundancies rule the day and the Brad has really begun to wear on our nerves. Brad has literally “thank you’d” and “please, do’d” every person from Los Angeles to Anguilla and back again and now we’re ready for him to sweat profusely through his tailored suit in the middle of a rose garden in an exotic locale and pick the potential Mrs. Stephen Bradley Womack Pikelsimer. Yes, it’s time for Brad to visit the home towns of the four remaining women in order to eliminate the one he doesn’t feel like sleeping with in the Fantasy Suite next week.

Before we begin, this week’s shout out goes to Jenna in Denver who unknowingly brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my heart by sending me a message saying that she laughed hysterically at last week’s blog. That’s not unusual for Jenna who, like Big Ben or Old Faithful, religiously sends me a timely email with her favorite lines along with a nice message wishing me well. What is different about this week is that her father is extremely ill and she took the time to leave his bedside in order to read and email me. I doubt I have much pull with the Big Guy anymore, Jenna, but you and your family will be in my prayers. For those of you who believe in that sort of thing, please pray for Jenna and her family. For those of you who don’t, humor me and pray anyway. With that said, let’s get to it.


We begin, oddly enough, in New York City where we see Brad packing his suitcase and brooding about the possibility of visiting the home towns of “these women.” Of course, we’re expected to believe that this sequence was filmed prior to him leaving for the first of the four visits across country before subsequently returning to New York along with each of the remaining four in order to pow wow with Harrison in the Lair of Seclusion prior to the rose ceremony. Whatever.

Brad wanders aimlessly around his hotel balcony dressed like a character from a Guy Ritchie movie contemplatively reliving his initial meetings and zip line dates with each of the women. We see them all exit the limousine ready to embark on their quest to find one thing interesting about Brad besides his looks.

By the way, what was up with that hat? Did he borrow that from the limo driver? Was he planning on standing on a New York street corner and shouting “Extra! Extra!” at the top of his lungs as men in fedoras stoically passed by, grabbed a newspaper from one hand, and placed two bits in the other? Was he planning on playing tenor sax at a jazz bar later in the evening? Or was he going to deal blackjack in the back of the local speakeasy? Did he have a slapstick act on Vaudeville? Did he have a Mickey Rooney dress alike contest to attend? Was he headed to a Little Rascals Reunion Party? Alright, I’m out but feel free to think of your own stupid hat joke and comment on it.

Somewhere around mid-brood, we cut to shots of the four finalists as Brad gives us one pro and one con for each of them. Chantal appears from the limo 36 days and 12 pounds ago and we’re reminded of the contrived slap she delivered on cue. Brad tells us she’s “emotional” and he can’t deal with the roller coaster that is Chantal. He hopes that she’ll feel more at home in her parents’ modest little bungalow on the edge of town. He fails to realize that the reason their house sits on the edge of town is because their driveway takes up most of the town. More about that later.

Look, I’m not going to pick on Chantal’s obvious weight gain. I’m sure she’s a naturally curvier woman and as I’ve said before, I found her attractive all season. I don’t go for waifs or whatever the PC term for an undiagnosed bulimic is these days. There’s nothing wrong with a woman with a little meat on her bones provided that the aforementioned meat is in the right places.

However, I’m certain that, like Ali before her, Chantal starved herself about 6 weeks prior to going on the show in order to look her best. That plan ended up backfiring because she got too far below her natural weight. Throw in a month worth of free food and booze (remember, she drinks beer) along with several emotional breakdowns that undoubtedly lead to a frantic search for comfort food at the mansion and boom, she put on more than she lost. Chalk that up in the “What’s Wrong with Reality Shows” column.

We next see happy, energetic, outgoing, and Tenley-esque Ashley and her Fivehead. Brad essentially says the same thing about her that he does Chantal—a theme that, much to my chagrin, will manifest itself regularly over the next couple of hours. In fact, let me just wrap up the entire segment with the following:

“I like (insert name of giggly woman currently exiting limo on screen) a lot. I really do. I’m SO excited to go and visit (insert name of woman currently engaging in an adventure date on screen)’s home town. I really am. I mean that. No doubt about it. The first time I saw (insert name of woman currently making out with Brad on screen) I was blown (insert two second pause) away. I really was. I’m a little concerned though about (insert name of woman currently crying on screen)’s behavior. We started off so strong and we’ve had some challenges. We really have. I mean that. I really do. I cannot wait to meet these families. I really can’t. Please do. Thank you. I mean that. Do you mind? I don’t. Truly. I don’t. Thank you. Truly.”

Plus or minus a comment about Emily’s daughter, you get the picture. Set up complete, Brad checks the weather in Seattle in hopes that it will be cold enough there for him to wear his brand new oatmeal-colored, fingerless gloves. He fights through the disappointment of higher temperatures and settles for a vest and some safety layers before boarding the plane and heading to meet Chantal O’s family.


We head West to Seattle as we see Chantal O. clad in slimming black and a 30 foot ubiquitous scarf wandering aimlessly amongst the water in the shadow of that weird Jetsons-looking building. She characterizes herself as a “total relationship person.” Translation: I can’t be alone. She sets up another of the evening’s themes by telling us—ironically, I might add—that this week is “huge” and that she’s ready to get to the “next level.”

As Brad duck walks through the park (WOMACK!) searching for Chantal O and her scarf, Chantal tells us that her parents are “great judges of character.” Translation: they judge everyone and then tell me what to do. I’m crippled without them and I won’t go against what my rich, latently homosexual father and my trying to appear younger than me mother say.

Brad eventually recognizes Chantal O.’s scarf and they hug after closing the standard 200 yard Bachelor drop off distance across a field. It was at this point that I found myself greatly missing Jillian’s run, jump, and leg wrap greeting. I popped the cap off of my first Lone Star beer and settled in for the big visit.

By the way, why didn’t we drop in on Jason and Molly to see how they were doing? I’m sure Harrison sent over a smoked ham or a fruit cake or something festive while the crew was in town. At any rate, Chantal O. tells us about her two cats and one dog saying that they are part of the Chantal O. package.

Cats? Why do women like cats? They are self-centered, lazy, and untrainable. They stink up the house and ruin every piece of furniture they inhabit. They are indifferent to their surroundings unless they need something at which point they pounce on the person they know can get it for them. In other words, cats possess every quality that women go to wine bars with their friends and complain about in their men. Odd how that works, isn’t it? I need to grow some fur and get an attitude. I’d kill with chicks like Chantal O.

Brad and Chantal share the most awkward and scripted conversation of the season before heading to her place—4 blocks from the watchful eyes of mom and dad. We meet Bailey and Jinxy, the cats, and Boca, her dog who wears t-shirts. Good Lord. I would have high tailed it out of there the second I saw the t-shirt on the dog. Brad pretends to like cats and feigns amusement at her tiny dog as it does its best Womack impression by going shirtless and groping Chantal O. Apparently, Boca didn’t have time to shave his chest. His impression was appreciated, but I found him to be too animated.

After another round of agonizing fake conversation, we head to Chantal O.’s parents’ house. Apparently, her family is so rich they literally purchased Tuscany and had it flown over to Seattle after kicking out all of the Italians and building a house bigger than Dallas on top of it. For crying out loud that place was huge.

If Jake was still the Bachelor he could have stored his cargo plane in their living room while he pursued his acting and dancing career in L.A. after Chantal’s parents opened those hangar doors. It’s good to know that no matter how much weight she gains, Chantal will still be able to fit through those doors.

Chantal knocks on the door and she and Brad wait for Lurch to come and answer. They enter and we meet her mother, Billie Jo O. (who also sports a man’s Rolex); her father, Michael O.; and her brother, Conner O. Mr. O, who looks a good deal like Donny Osmond and dresses exactly like Brad, gives Brad a cursory tour of the first couple acres of interior space and we soon see that the only thing that’s had more work done on it than the living room is Billie Jo O’s face.

The family begins to suck down wine like a Dyson DC31. Dad drinks and mom tries not to pop a stitch as she laughs politely at the slap in the face story. Buzzing and uninhibited, Dad invites Brad for some alone time but firsts insists on taking him to every corner of the manor in order to extract the week’s taxes from the serfs toiling away on his land. It’s been said that a man's home is his wife's castle, but in this case I think Dad did all the decorating.

In an odd twist, Mr. O. takes Brad into some mysterious room in the mansion and shows him a homoerotic nude statue of a guy carving himself out of a rock. “He’s a self-made man, like us, Brad.” I was waiting for him to drop an “I’m miserable and in the closet, Brad. Please save me from this thankless life I live.” Instead, Brad bonds heavily with Mr. O. to the point where I thought Dad might attempt to cut out Chantal altogether and keep Brad for himself. At the very least, I expected him to ask Brad to disrobe so he could measure him for a statue. I half expected him to unlock a giant chest and bring out the Gimp. That whole exchange was strange.

Dad continues to suck down wine in anticipation of being asked by Brad to retire to the Fantasy Suite. Brad recognizes the “simularities” between himself and dad. Dad actually drops the “where do you see yourself at 45” question. I expected Brad to say something like,

“I want to own many purple shirts just like you. I really do. Truly. I see myself married to Chantal and inviting you and Mrs. O. to our place in Austin where I’d be able to share my own collection of overtly gay art with you after I—much like your plastic surgery loving wife—accepted your latent homosexuality as the cost of admission for enjoying the fruits of your labor, sir. Thank you for asking. I mean that. I really do. Truly.”

Brad departs after winning over the family and getting a feeling-concealing, macho handshake from Mr. O. Mission accomplished. They honestly seemed like nice people. Clearly, her father liked Brad. I picked her to win early because I figured on that connection with her father, but I’m not certain now that the money and the unspoken gay bond with dad will be enough to overcome the emotional wake she’s been leaving behind her for weeks now. Also, that hangar of a living room is a hell of a big space to fill. Brad will have a tough time replacing daddy’s money and if any of you don’t think that will cross his mind then you’re wrong. Spoiled girls are impossible to please and most men know that. I’m certain that even Brad has learned that lesson.


We head next to Madawaska, Maine, the most Northeast city in the United States. We see and excited Ashley wandering aimlessly within 200 yards of the drop off point as she proudly tells us about her small town of less than 4,500 people. Brad arrives in his black leather jacket and fingerless gloves and gives Ashley a big fat hug.

Fingerless gloves? First the hat and now the fingerless gloves? I was waiting for him to excuse himself so he could drink a few raw eggs before jogging to meet Burt Young in the freezer of a butcher shop to punch sides of beef before running to the steps of the capitol in preparation for his title bout with Apollo Creed. He looked like he was going to enforce a picket line for the stevedores union on the waterfront. He coulda been a contender. He coulda been somebody, instead of a douche, which is what he is. How’s that for a Stallone and Brando reference in the same paragraph?

Please enjoy my Haiku to Brad’s Gloves.

A Pair of New Gloves
Fingerless they are indeed
What a Freaking Douche

By the way, let’s make that a contest this week. Please post your favorite haiku about Brad in my comment section or on my Guy in Austin Facebook Fan Page. I’ll announce the winner and think of a prize next week.

Annnnyyyyhooooo . . .

As the wind accentuates her giant forehead Ashley brings Brad to the first place she became gainfully employed and proceeds to give a dim witted Brad a lesson on the country to the North of us. It’s a place called Canada and, apparently, they speak a bit of French up there. Brad deflects his ignorance by saying exactly what he said about Seattle. “I love it here. I could live here.” The waitress appears and mutters something in French and Brad answers in Spanish proving that he’s capable of being a fool in English and French. Hell, it worked for Jerry Lewis.

Fivehead continues to explain that there are French Acadians who speak, well, French. She orders “poutine,” or fries with gravy and cheese, and Brad pretends to enjoy it all the while pretending that the gravy mix is actually protein powder.

It was nice to see how proud Ashley was of her home town as she and Brad wander about gathering lobster and vegetables for dinner. I love small towns and there is something pleasantly and refreshingly unique about accompanying someone from one on a trip back home. As a visitor, a person soon realizes that understanding the town is essential to understanding the person. Brad seemed genuinely impressed as well.

Fivehead and Brad arrive at her parents’ modest home and everyone proceeds to scream and jump around like Bob Barker just called their name. Odd. Chrystie, her loud mouthed, attention seeking, tattoo covered sister—we know SHE didn’t go to dental school—immediately uses her loud mouth to seek attention. I’ve made no secret of my affinity for small town girls with tattoos; however, no amount of tattoos can cover up annoying. I popped another Lone Star in an attempt to dull the pain. After all, life is about coping mechanisms, isn’t it?

The family seemed warm and inviting, but man were they overbearing and annoying. There was forced laughter at all of Brad’s “jokes.” They eat lobstah and pataytahs and eventually Fivehead’s dad—who is the polar opposite of Chantal’s effeminate, Greek art having, purple silk shirt wearing, pinot noir coiffing, mani/pedi getting father—takes him to the Madawaska version of the chat room. That’s also known as the storage shed, by the way.

Amongst the bags of stacked insulation and exposed Hardee board, they discuss life’s conundrums and we learn that Ashley is not, in fact, a dentist but a dental student who “is going to finish” school. Frankly, I felt cheated. For 8 weeks now she’s been “a dentist.” I would have found the “I’m the first in my small town to go to graduate school” story line much more appealing. Shame on the Producers for pandering to the appearance of status.

After some cursory shots of the attention seeking sister and mom’s colored and shellacked hair, her flannel pearl snap wearing father gives Brad his blessing and everyone gives Ashley a kiss on her Fivehead. I liked her family dynamic. Although they were annoying they did seem the most receptive to the entire concept. Again, Brad loves it there and doesn’t want to leave. Alas, he leaves as Fivehead drops a “Brad and I’s” relationship before going inside and chastising her parents about telling Brad that she was not yet a dentist.


Fulfilling her father’s “if ABC is going to film in my house they are going to plug my family business” demand, we see the advertisement for the Newton-Bracewell Funeral Home. Before spewing more “next level” and “huge” talk Chantal wanders through the narrow confines of her mausoleum in her version of the ubiquitous 30 foot scarf waiting for Brad to arrive.

Brad duck walks (WOMACK!) through the parking lot into the crypt and has no idea if he should whisper, bless himself, or just hug Shawntel. To be fair, that was weird. Shawntel looked pretty in her short skirt thing and boots. It’s too bad she was forced to start the day at the morgue. In a show of solidarity with Ashley S. she drops a “Brad and I’s” relationship.

Of course, Brad “loves it” in Chico too. We assume he could see himself living there. Brad and Shawntel take a tour of the crypt house as every interred body in the place rolls over and the dozens of Chico families with relatives buried there took a deep breath in horror. The terror on Brad’s face was evident.

Shawntel gives Brad an embalming lesson in the Prep Room as she talks passionately about her job. I was actually impressed. Brad, however, complained that a future with Shawntel would entail many conversations about death and the embalming process. Whatever. I’m sure she’s delighted at the prospect of coming home every night after providing comfort and closure to grieving families and hearing about the bitchin’ cash he brought in on Ladies’ Night or the big success of the Tappa Tappa Keg Fraternity No Means Yes Date Rape Mixer Party 2011 thrown at one of his bars. Jackass.

We meet Shawntel’s family among more screaming and jumping around. Apparently, Bob Barker (or is it Drew Carey now?) made the trip from L.A. to Chico. We meet Dad Rick and his porn stash, Mom Coleen, and her two younger, hot sisters, Sodom and Gomorrah. Actually, I think it was Destiny and Vanessa, which are strippers’ names anyway, but I’m getting bogged down in details.

The family dines in a white room that frankly looked like the Prep Room if all of the surgical tools were replaced with fake flowers and nautical clocks. Brad chomps away on a 50 ounce steak grateful to replenish his waning protein reserves and the moving to Austin talk begins as Shawntel belts wine in preparation for having the “you’re not leaving Chico and the family business” talk that has undoubtedly gone on in that house countless times. Oh boy.

Brad drops some ridiculous metaphor about the family business and then says they are all “full of life.” Whoever wrote that for him should have been embalmed. Shawntel has to deal with her father’s selfish demands but stands her ground. Again, I was impressed with her. That was probably not easy for her to do. Dad eventually relents to the demands of the Producers and the promise of the free, primetime plug of his beloved funeral home and gives Brad his blessing all the while hoping it doesn’t work out so his daughter can remain perpetually trapped in Chico waiting for people to die.

Brad drops a “what a family” as he fights every urge to duck sprint (WOMACK!) for the waiting car. We all knew he would boot Shawntel, but I have to say that I really liked her. She and her family—minus the controlling, myopic father—seemed really nice. To be fair, I can understand Dad’s desire to pass on the family business and he seemed genuine. We’ll see how that entire scenario pans out when Shawntel decides to get the hell out of Chico on her own. Brad hits the road and boards a plane in order to reunite with his head and heart in Charlotte.


We cut to Charlotte, which for those of you who have never been there, is like Austin in the sense that it just about as close to the perfect balance a person can get between a small town and a big city. A close friend of mine did his residency there in medical school and I spent some time there over the years. It’s a beautiful place with a ton of hot broads with wonderful manners and accents like Emily. I get that not all of you dig the South, but Charlotte is charming. That’s all I’m saying. Oh, and a bit of trivia. “Angel” from my Worst Date Ever off season post is from Charlotte. The post can be found somewhere between September and December of 2010 on the blog. Annyyyhooo . . .

We get a shot of a tight jean and winter boot clad Emily running to reunite with her daughter. That was a nice moment but I’m always leery of putting kids on these shows. To be fair, the cameras seemed to maintain a safe distance, but still.

Emily preps the kiddo for meeting her “new friend” as Brad duck walks (WOMACK!), bribe in hand, across the park to meet Emily and Little Ricki. The entire scenario was awkward but I think we’ve all been there when a child that age just doesn’t want to deal with whatever situation is presented. Frankly, I was surprised that Brad—who has some nieces and nephews—was not better with her daughter, but I’m sure the cameras and all of the hoopla made it more difficult. Ricki eventually warmed up to Brad’s kite.

Back at Emily’s kickass house—thank you, Hendrick family—we get invited into the kid’s room which, frankly, was the equivalent of a Fantasy Suite for kids. Pink couches, bunk beds, make up areas, toy-filled shelves, and every amenity imaginable was at that kid’s finger tips. In short, Emily and that kid are WELL taken care of in Charlotte. Good luck getting any of that stuff on a moving truck labeled “Austin.”

Brad gets intellectually outmatched in a game of Candyland and pretends to be comfortable. After the kid is put to sleep with the camera man in her room, Brad and Emily retire to the sofa for some flakey pie and water from a mason jar. Brad acts flakey and makes it clear that he’s not in the mood for Emily’s pie. He hides behind that fact that her daughter is upstairs asleep but we all knew that he couldn’t shake the thought of looking knowingly into Chantal’s father’s eyes amidst the soft lighting and delicate shadow of that super gay statue.

Emily fights the urge to laugh in Brad’s face and gives him the “you’re sweet and respectful speech” before finally making him kiss her. ARE YOU CRAZY?! I screamed at my TV as I sat up angrily spilling precious drops of my Lone Star. The guy is in Emily’s house alone with her and he won’t kiss her. Dude, that statue must have done a number on him. I felt like Maverick riding behind Iceman in Top Gun as Iceman hesitated and hesitated behind the Russian Mig. “I could take a shot right here!” I yelled. Ridiculous. Brad leaves Emily disappointed. I believe I would have handled that opportunity a tad differently.


Harrison, fresh off a trip to Scores, showers up in order to remove the smell of jasmine and the residual glitter from his face and meets Brad in the Lair of Seclusion to discuss the home towns with Brad. He plugs the hotel sponsor and begins to turn the knife a bit. Man, I’ve missed Harrison. Dr. Jamie, my ass.

Brad “I really can’t’s” “I hope so’s” “I really do’s” and “I appreciate it’s” all over the place before Harrison’s buzz begins to wear off and he shuts down the circular interview to prep the ladies for the big ceremony. Brad remains in the Lair to brood amongst the candle light and framed 8X10’s.


Harrison sets up the obvious, wishes the ladies luck, and retires to the bar while Brad does the dirty work.

Emily looked stunning in royal blue, Ashley looked tired, Shawntel looked very pretty in black sequins, and Chantal looked TERRIBLE. Her Betty Rubble hairdo lacked only the bone through the bun and her dress was ill-fitting and looked uncomfortable. What the hell happened to her? I actually felt bad for her.

Brad makes a canned speech and proceeds to eliminate Shawntel. Frankly, I think the family issues, lack of chemistry, and her creepy job did it for him. I know I picked Chantal early, but I think he made a mistake. Shawntel is sufficiently upset but not crazy. I couldn’t figure out if she was more upset at the dumping or the fact that she’s stuck in Chico indefinitely. I’d be willing to bet that the “I didn’t get picked” phone call home was awkward as hell considering the fact that her dad probably threw a quiet celebration.

Shawntel won me over this season. I liked her, but it was clear that she and Brad didn’t click the way he does with the others. In that regard, it was a good decision for Brad. Shawntel laments saying that Brad “was perfect.” She’ll get over that feeling by the time the After the Final Rose show airs. Trust me. With any luck some out-of-towner will wander through a Chico cemetery in search of his dead birth parents or something and sweep Shawntel off her feet like Richard Gere did Deborah Winger in An Officer and a Gentlemen.

Well, there you have it. With the Amazing count 103 and the Journey count remaining at a stagnant 20 this week, we head to South Africa for Episode 9 and the Fantasy Suite dates. I can’t wait. Don't forget to post your haiku. In the meantime, if you need me I’ll be in Seattle posing for a nude statue. DP

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bachelor Recap Episode 7: Agony in Anguilla

Hello and Happy Day After Valentine’s Day, Readers. I trust you all found something constructive to do on the most over-hyped holiday of the year. For the record, I believe it was Chaucer who sort of invented Valentine’s Day as a holiday for love birds. Up until he wrote about it, it was the Catholic Church’s way of celebrating several martyrs of that name; most of whom had their heads chopped off for one reason or another. Apparently, there were all sorts of superstitions surrounding the date. Well, at least until Hallmark got a hold of it and turned it into the organized guilt and extortion it is today.

Cynicism aside, whether it was underneath the sheets or underneath the weight of a couple of dozen bon bons and a bottle of wine, I hope all of you found what you were looking for on February 14th. Robert Frost said that “love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” I hope you all felt a bit of that yesterday in some capacity. I hope you all got some sort of whatnot from that special someone inscribed with a clever message like “without you my life would be like a broken pencil . . . pointless” or something equally as amusing.

Me? I ate salami from the package and watched the Bachelor while pounding back a six pack of Lone Star. It was perfect and—dare I say—romantic. The best part was that I didn’t have to buy myself an expensive trinket that I didn’t need and I didn’t have to cuddle with myself after it was all over.

Do me a favor and post your definition of a good husband on my Facebook Fan Page this week at “Guy in Austin.” My definition of a husband? That’s someone who carries pictures of his wife where his money used to be.

With that said, let’s get to it.


We begin this week as we always do: by learning what we have in store for us this episode. Walks on the beach, Michelle melting down, Chantal melting down, Brad waking up the ladies, heartbreaking devastation, sexy bikini photo shoots, and, of course, crying. Frankly, I've seen less crying at a kids’ soccer game. I wondered if we’d see Michelle going rogue again and showing up at Brad’s room unannounced. To be fair, she probably misunderstood the concierge in the hotel lobby when he called the restaurant and let them know that Brad called down and wanted “room cervix.” Thank you, folks. Tip your wait staff.

We are quickly reminded that this week's destination is Anguilla, a British territory in the Caribbean. Apparently, it’s one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. Granted, that tells me absolutely nothing other than that it’s in the Caribbean somewhere, but it sounds fancy. Thank God we were treated to the super expensive ABC graphic showing us the giant plane traveling from Costa Rica all the way East to Anguilla.

Predictably, steel drum music plays in the background as we get canned shots taken by the Location Scouting Crew weeks before when they got to go to the island in order to confirm it was indeed a perfect place to fall in love. Convinced, they took some sweeping footage of the majestic cliffs and deep, blue ocean before phoning Harrison and giving him the thumbs up to reserve the ABC private jet.

We see all of the women arriving on a rented cigarette boat while bouncing up and down over the shallow coral reef just outside the island. They are convinced that Brad is already on the island. I’m certain that was either because he always arrives before they do or because the entire place smelled like salt water, marijuana, and Axe Body Spray.

None of the women looked like they were having any fun on the boat due to the fact that every time the boat bounced off the water they all got sprayed in the face. Well, except Michelle, who obviously has an incredible amount of experience getting sprayed in the face after bouncing up and down for a while.

The women thankfully arrive at the Cuisinart Resort and Spa. Isn't that a line of kitchenware and appliances? I had no idea they were into resorts as well. The women exit the boat in tight white shorts, white Capri pants, and various colorful versions of the skintight tank top with the built-in sports bra. They oooh and ahhhh the villa and speculate about the upcoming week’s events. Bored and almost through with my warm-up beer, I sighed and squirmed uncomfortably on my couch, and settled in like a hooker on dollar night preparing myself for an uncomfortable evening.

However, just when I was ready to give up, none other than Chris Harrison, our absent yet beloved host, appears draped in linen ready to actually perform his duties as more than honorary host this episode. Of course, it made sense that Harrison would jump on the first plane to a place like Anguilla in order to say his lines; however, I was so glad to have him back I instantly forgave him for his absence during the first six shows of the most dramatic season of the Bachelor ever.

Harrison addresses the ladies as we see a shot of Michelle's shirt which apparently has a picture of Emily's wings on it. It's a very important week he tells us. Three one-on-one dates and one group date will take place with only one rose being given out to a lucky girl. Britt finally talks saying that she wants the one-on-one date as all of the Bachelor professionals in the audience knew that she was headed out to sea to hit a metaphorical coral reef and sink like a damaged pirate ship in the waves. Hell, I was just happy that Britt would finally get a chance to do her Daryl Hannah from Splash impression. I looked forward to seeing her turn into a mermaid after all of this time.

Harrison flashes his fancy watch and his linen pants and drops the first date card. Shawntel reads, "three things I would bring to a deserted island." Of course, I immediately thought that I would bring Emily and both of her boobs. It appears that the producers agreed with me because Emily along with a picnic lunch and a bottle of champagne were selected for the date. I assumed that her two boobs were invited as well. The women bask in the shadow of Emily’s hotness as she drops a “See yawl een a leetle beet” before floating away to powder her halo and don some locationally appropriate attire.

Yes, I did read the “Emily’s plastic surgery” stuff in the “news” this week and no, I don’t care. Plastic surgery doesn’t bother me as long as it’s not excessive. If I’m being honest, I could live without the bleach blonde hair. However, that’s like saying I’d still drink Lone Star if they changed the color of the label. It would still be delicious and smooth and I’d still want 12 of them. For you non-Emily fans—or should I say ‘fan’?—don’t fret. I’ll deconstruct her eventually. For now, please let me have my moment.


Womack shows up with a stupid look on his face and actually refers to a hot tub full of unamused and bitchy women as a “bevy of beauties.” Please. What is it with these fun haters this season? I can’t recall a more miserable bunch of contestants. Hell, there’s not a lot anyone could do to me to make me pissed off if I got a month off of work, a per diem allowance, a free room at the nicest location in town, and unlimited access to alcohol and food. Journey my ass. I’d have a permanent smile plastered on my cheery freaking face even when I slept.

Brad and Emily depart as we get a shot of them walking. She sports a blue cover up with gold and silver trim on the collar and Brad sports his light blue V-neck T-shirt and blue shorts. I had visions of the Aflac duck saying “Womack!” as he walked down the path with his duck feet. I’m certain some of you noticed too. I know his father wasn’t there to buy him corrective shoes as a kid, but come on. Someone must have noticed that. Perhaps he had jock itch.

Brad and Emily settle in to a local bench in the middle of a field large enough to land a helicopter and share a champagne toast as Brad invents the pet name “Em” for Emily, adequately annoying us all. Surprisingly, a helicopter arrives and as Emily and Brad board on their way to their magical date. Brad dropped several flight metaphors relating to his relationship with Emily. “Predictable and boring,” I thought as I finished my second warm up Lone Star. At least I didn’t have to hear Michelle complain . . . for now anyway.

Emily and Brad arrive on the aptly but uncreatively named Sandy Island. Frankly, that thing should have been named Phallus Island or Penis Islet or something like that. Hermann Rorschach aside, that thing looked like a giant sex organ. I thought it was the perfect place to fall in love. I was relived to see that Emily and Brad had enough room for their picnic. I was a bit concerned at first when I saw the aerial shot of the island from the helicopter. I suppose if the island was too small, Emily could have just talked dirty to it and it would have gotten bigger.

At any rate, Brad and Emily exit the helicopter as we see more duck walking from Brad (WOMACK!—insert duck here) as he carries a white picnic basket desperately in search of some shade like a modern day Robinson Cru-Douche-oe. By the way, would it have killed the intern who put that basket together to include an umbrella? I was terrified that Emily’s wings would dry out.

I won’t belabor what was clearly later misrepresented as a perfect day. Emily and Brad talk a bit, swim, and he sets up the evening theme about meeting her daughter in Charlotte. I will say that I noticed a remarkable difference in his demeanor around her. For the men reading this, we’ve all been there. For guys like Brad—good looking guys that is—who are used to having women be receptive to him, it’s incredibly difficult to be with a woman as stunning as Emily and Brad showed it. He’s clearly enamored by her. They kiss and pray that the helicopter that picks them up has a cooler of ice water and aloe vera in it. I was bored, but it seemed like they had a decent time on Some Guy’s Junk Archipelago.

Back at the suite the women further set up the Emily’s daughter talk and just as Michelle is about to remember that she too has a daughter, the date card arrives sending everyone into a frothy, Pavlovian frenzy. Chantal reads, “Let’s find love on the streets of Anguilla” and Shawntel wipes the foam from her mouth overjoyed and surprised at getting a date.

Clearly, she and Britt are on the bubble this week and if she passes the test we all know that Michelle is packing up Cybill and the rest of her personalities and heading back to Mormon country. Shawntel drops the first “Brad and I’s” relationship of the season. I sighed, but I like her so I let it go. She’s around dead people all day for crying out loud. It’s not like someone is there to correct her.

Back on the beach with Brad (WOMACK!), Emily in her freaking stunning cocktail dress continues to mesmerize Brad. Brad pushes a bit when Emily balks at the possibility of introducing him to her daughter but Emily holds her ground. Brad looked visibly distressed when she did. It’s a drag when reality gets in the way of a reality show, isn’t it?

Desperate, Brad “breaks the rules” telling her that she’s getting a rose in an effort to convince her to exploit her daughter for the sake of the show. Brad unwittingly summarizes his own angst when he refers to Emily’s daughter as “the most important thing in Emily’s life.” Exactly, Brad. Don’t be surprised when you have the “the Hendrick family that takes generous care of me will never let me leave Charlotte with the only daughter of their deceased son” conversation. The bottom line is that Emily is going to end up doing what she thinks is best for her daughter and Brad is not going to crack that nut no matter how hard he tries.

If he wants someone who doesn’t care, he should just pop over to Michelle’s bunk and toss her a ring. She’d throw her kid in a duffle bag and curbside check it on the way to Austin before her ex could say Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Unless Brad is packing for Charlotte after the show, Emily is going to take second place. As far as I know, they sell supplements and Axe Body Spray in Charlotte. Brad could be happy there. Perhaps Emily will be the next Bachelorette. Perhaps she won’t. Say what you want about Emily, she seems like a nice person who considers herself a mother first and a contestant second. That’s the way I see it anyway.

Brad is clearly smitten and I believe Emily got caught up in the moment. They kiss on the beach and we know that all other dates will pale in comparison this week. Putting Emily on the first of these three dates is like having Springsteen open up for the local Battle of the Bands contest at Anytown High School, U.S.A.


Oblivious to the fact that Brad has detached his testicles and given them to Emily for safe keeping, a hopeful and positive Shawntel dons her cleanest white tank top and compliments it with a island friendly wrap before jumping aboard a black SUV and going to meet a linen clad Brad in the town of Ebenezer for some bike riding, steel drums, and fruity drinks before being grifted out of all of their Anguillan currency by the rum-soaked, cannabis-smoking locals. Incidentally, what is the currency in Anguilla? It’s a British territory, but I’d be willing to bet that Harrison’s face is on all the coins.

Brad chooses a romantic spot for a picnic right in the middle of a herd of filthy goats. They actually drop a blanket in somebody’s yard and picnic amongst the goats. Nice date, Brad. Shawntel mimics Emily’s braided bangs look but makes sure to braid the opposite side of her bangs so as not to make it so obvious. Shawntel is cool, positive, and easy to deal with. However, after the Emily date, Brad is just not that focused on Shawntel. Fair? No. True? Yes. Brad tells us as much.

After getting vaccinated for hoof-and-mouth disease Brad and Shawntel head for the Dune Preserve for some more meaningless conversation about a potential relationship that will never happen. On a positive note, his lavender linen complimented her purple off-the-shoulder cover up nicely.

Brad seemingly opens up to Shawntel about his father. He seems confused at his ability to open up to Shawntel and actually mistakes that comfort for affection—a CLASSIC problem for a person with Brad’s intimacy problems. People like Brad who have a genuine, deep rooted fear of intimacy or commitment often find it easy to talk to relative strangers or casual acquaintances about things they would never dream of discussing with a person who is supposedly close to them. Why?

The fear of intimacy is rooted in the inability to make oneself vulnerable and thereby putting real feelings and emotions at risk of being rejected. When a person with an intimacy problem finds himself growing close to another person emotionally, he often draws back and will even go to great lengths to sabotage a relationship rather then open himself up to that rejection he felt as a child or in a life-altering relationship.

When there is no risk of getting hurt, i.e., being emotionally vulnerable, a person with these issues has no problem volunteering even the most seemingly intimate details of his life. It’s no surprise you can open up to Shawntel, Brad. You don’t love her. Despite the red flag, Shawntel is encouraged.

Brad sleep walks (WOMACK!) through the rest of the date and pretends to know some guy named Bankie Banks who is “arguably the most famous person in Anguilla.” That’s like saying that right now I’m arguably the most famous person in my home office.

Shawntel drinks a beer (I knew I liked her) while Brad pretends to sip on one all the while counting the carbs that come with it. They eventually find their way into the water where we see the largest tramp stamp in the history of tramp stamps. Poor location aside, I dig chicks with tattoos. Nice job, Shawntel. You’re done next week, but you’re likeable and nice.

Back at the suite the next date card makes its way into Fivehead’s hands and she reads, “Let’s set sail on the sea of love.” Britt is excited to learn that she’s finally been granted a one-on-one date. Bless her big ears and skinny little heart. That’s clearly a death sentence despite the illusion of safety created by Harrison’s “there will be no roses on the one-on-one dates” speech. Meanwhile, Michelle opines that the Sea of Love is an actual body of water. She’s not the sharpest pitchfork in the barn. I’m sure she had trouble with all subjects ending in “ography” and “ology” when she was in school.


Brit gets ready to go by fixing her patented updo and Brad arrives downstairs in his gray t-shirt and board shorts dropping that annoying “hullo, ladies” before taking Britt down the beach and making her swim through shark infested waters to their awaiting yacht as the remaining women ooze with jealousy.

Britt shows off her weird, outdated, madras bikini and all 24 of her ribs. Hell, she showed off all 206 bones in her body. She has a nice shape, but man she needs a sandwich. Having her burn hundreds of calories by swimming to the boat was not a good idea. However, after that one beer with Shawntel, Brad insisted on it.

They should invent egg white and tuna fish beer for guys like Brad. I’m sure it would sell just as well as the Muscle Milk or Ultra Chest Pump or Mr. Biceps or whatever non-FDA approved, tachycardia-inducing protein powder he currently spends 1/3 of his disposable income on so he can mix in a water bottle and walk around the gym with while he lifts weights.

Brad and Britt hit some place called Little Bay Anguilla and Brad gives himself a high colonic water enema as he cliff jumps rectum first into the water below. Britt overcomes her fear of snapping in half and follows suit. Again, an enema for someone in obvious need of retaining calories is not a wise idea.

Colons clear, Brad and Britt bore each other (and us) to death before he tells her he likes her but he needs to “give her a but.” I was thrilled because, as I said, Britt clearly needs a butt. Brad sends her and her coral nightie back to the suite in a zodiac to collect her junk and hit the road. Frankly, on that date, after all was said and done, more was said than done. The girls hug Britt and pretend to care but have a hard time hiding the fact that they saw that coming like Brad duck walking (WOMACK!) down the beach from a mile away.

Brad broods on the yacht before Harrison and Bankie Banks arrive back at the yacht with a dime bag of sticky Anguillan weed, a few bottles of fresh rum, and a some Chaka Khan looking island girls Harrison’s intern corralled at the concert. Britt seeks refuge in the remaining girls which is a lot like Hitler seeking comfort from the Russian soldiers who made it into Berlin in April of 1945. She cries a little but knows that Brad wasn’t for her. Gain a few pounds along with gaining some confidence, Britt. You’re nice and you’re attractive.


Fresh off some whip its and rum shots with Harrison and Bankie Banks, a wired Brad heads over to the ladies’ suite at 2:07 a.m. to wake up Michelle, Chantal, and Fivehead for the surprise group date. At first, I thought he was going to wake them up like an alarm clock . . . with a big dong. I’ll be here all week, folks. However, Brad chose the more subtle method of shining the 100,000 candle power Q-beam into the eyes of the sleeping women. To be fair, Michelle had been woken up like that in the past when CPS entered her house to execute a search warrant and check on her daughter.

Confused, the women believe they are going to toilet paper Harrison’s balcony but soon realize that Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue is calling their names. Chantal immediately begins to complain that she feels like “a fat lard” this week because she’s been eating and drinking for the past couple of weeks. She’s also been whining and complaining like a spoiled five year old who hasn’t had a nap all day. I have to admit, I was a big fan in the beginning but she’s slowly whittled away any affection I had for her by bitching and moaning for weeks now. I still think she’ll win, but man is she immature.

After meeting their photographer, Raphael Mazzuco, who looked like a creepier version of Gene Simmons—if that’s even possible—the women head to the beach for the big shoot. Ashley goes first and looks great in her bikini despite expressing a lack of confidence over the size of her chest. To be fair, both Michelle and Chantal (who knew?) have giant sets of cans and I could understand her reticence. Not all men, including this one, like giant boobs, by the way. Ashley definitely had the smallest knockers of the bunch but she looked great in her suit. Oh, and she didn’t complain the entire time either.

Brad, Michelle, and Chantal watch Ashley rock the photo shoot as she loses her top and shows off her Lesser Antilles. Despite being more blessed in the mammary department, Chantal stresses out and we quickly see why. She’s by no means fat, but let’s be honest. She looked bloated and squatty compared to the other two. Like Ali, she puts on weight in a weird way. She’s one of those people who shows even a small gain. Look at her at the beginning of the season and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Not to be outdone, Chantal also looked good in her poses and eventually evened the playing field by losing her top and pulling out her Greater Antilles for the shoot. I’m certain her pictures will turn out well. At the right angle, she looked great.

Michelle pretends to have an issue with taking her top off and posing for racy but perfectly tasteful and non-pornographic pictures for the camera and chooses to act like a whore instead. I sure she contemplated losing her bottoms in order to show us her Leeward Islands, but she kept it classy by straddling Brad and licking his face as Chantal and Ashley stewed in jealousy and doubt as they were forced to watch.

Knowing he’s in for a cry fest, Brad and his white board shorts reluctantly escorts the girls to the local rooftop pool in order to prepare for the emotional downpour he knows he’s in no way equipped to handle. Hell, even the most emotionally adept man can hardly handle one upset woman, much less three. Asking Brad to effectively manage this situation would be like asking Batman to fight the Joker, the Riddler, and the Penguin at the same time. I actually almost felt sorry for him.

Incidentally, Brad was shirtless for the entire middle segment of the show. I’ll be the first to compliment him on his wonderful physique. I’m certain that doesn’t come without considerable sacrifice, but come on. Even Matthew McConaughey would think this guy should put a shirt on. ABC really took Lincee’s letters seriously. Maybe she’s sleeping with Harrison. Perhaps that’s where he’s been all season.

I’ll mercifully shorten this date because it was so incredibly painful to watch. It was like watching the Zapruder film over and over again in slow motion. Brad again shows his disdain for multi-syllabic first names by talking to “Ash” about her insecurities. Then he talks to Chantal. Then he talks to Michelle and tells her she’s “volatile,” “stubborn,” and “defensive” showing us that he’s been given the Producer’s green light to can her.

Then he gives Ashley the rose and she does the patented Jillian run and leg wrap around the waist greeting. Then Chantal cries and throws a tantrum and he talks to her again. Then he talks to Michelle. Then, when all of the talking should have been done, he talks to Chantal again.

It’s a damn good thing that Michelle is crazier than Chantal is spoiled because she’s come darn close to whining herself out of a rose on several occasions this season. Frankly, if I was Brad, I would have shut her down last week. I feel that the Bachelors should have one of those Easy Buttons from the Staples commercials. However, instead of “Easy” it should read “Harrison.” Brad needed that desperately on this date. To be fair, I thought Brad handled that estrogen filled fiasco about as good as any man could do in his situation. He was respectful, clear, and fair to all three women. He made his own bed, but man, that was hard to watch.


The women all arrive in their evening dresses except Ashley S. who went with the pant suit. F it, she has a rose already. Much to my delight, Brad finally loses Dr. Jamie’s phone number. We can only assume that Dr. Jamie inked his coveted deal with the OWN network and is now contractually prevented from dispensing any advice beyond the confines of Oprah’s kingdom. Brad gets smart and calls Harrison for some alone time in the heretofore absent Lair of Seclusion complete with the framed five by seven head shots of the remaining women. Now we’re in business.

Harrison arrives in a muted grey suit and a tie looking uncharacteristically overdressed for the island. He stirs the pot as only Harrison can do but eventually learns that Brad wants no cocktail party. Brad eventually realizes that advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.

He lets Harrison know that he’s made up his mind who is packing and he’s ready to drop the hammer. Actually, he was probably tired as hell after getting up at 2 a.m. and being shirtless in the sun all day while simultaneously listening to Chantal, Ashley, and Michelle cry and complain in his ear, but whatever. Harrison leaves Brad and the two shells that covered Ashley’s Lesser Antilles during the photo shoot in the Lair in order to assemble the ladies.

The roses go as follows:

1. Ashley (Fivehead. Was the least needy this week. She looked great and earned it.)
2. Emily (She’s now more famous than Bankie Banks in Anguilla)
3. Shawntel N. (Gone next week but made a good showing. She’s cool.)
4. Chantal (She lost me last week. She’ll still win but needs to grow up in a hurry)

Brad finally pulls the trigger on Michelle. Unfortunately, craziness is different from adolescence and snow. Unlike Crazy, those things disappear if you ignore them long enough.

After Michelle said her goodbyes to the women, I literally sat up and set down my Lone Star, breathless with anticipation at the meltdown I was certain would occur the second the limo door shut. Instead, she ignored Brad, refused to talk, and assumed the fetal position in the limo.

At first, I was disappointed, but upon further thought, I actually think this is the best way to go. Talking about it after the decision is made or asking why accomplishes nothing. In fact, it only adds fuel to the emotional rejection fire that gets ignited upon the realization that no rose is in hand. Good for her for keeping her mouth shut. It’s not as if the crew doesn’t have enough footage of her being crazy in order fill her segment at the After the Final Rose Special.

If she gets the right PR firm in her corner AND she listens to them, she’ll be much better off if she takes the high road from here until the ATFR show. After watching Michelle’s elimination, I could not help but be reminded of Eliot’s The Hollow Man. And so, this is how Michelle’s time ends . . . “not with a bang, but with a whimper.”

Speaking of ending with a bang, we’re quickly approaching the Fantasy Suite dates, but first we head back to the U.S.A. for the hometown visits this week. I can’t wait. And there we have it. With the Amazing count 93 and the Journey count at a stagnant 20 this week, we head into Episode 8 with the final four ready to drag unwilling family members into the fray. Have a fantastic week. In the meantime, if you need me I'll be listening to Bankie Banks while dreaming of Emily’s Perfect Antilles. DP

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bachelor Recap Episode 6: Soaking Wet in Central America

Welcome back, Readers. On James Dean’s 80th birthday here we are already at Episode 6 of our favorite show and the herd is thinning about as quickly as Chris Harrison’s screen time. Despite the fact that temperatures have been in the high 60’s and low 70’s and it’s been gorgeous here for the past couple of days, it did snow a couple of inches in Austin last week. I realize that a couple inches of snow would be a welcome respite from the inundation that a large part of the audience has endured this winter, but here it’s a big deal. Snow that sticks around in Austin is a rarity. We usually schedule winter for a Thursday in late January and then move ahead to Spring.

Other than the snow and a new tattoo (that’s number 7 if you’re scoring at home), I have nothing else to report. In case you’re wondering, the answer is “yes”. The shutting down of the city due to unusually cold weather was the main contributing factor to me running out and getting inked again. The answer to the other question bouncing around in your heads is “no”. I did not get a gothic cross the size of Delaware between my shoulder blades. Perhaps I’ll post the new art on my Facebook Fan Page later today. For you new readers, search “Guy in Austin” and you’ll find me. Also, my “real” job might be offering the opportunity for some travel in the near future and I’ll be posting some potential cities for my 2011 Meet and Greets. Stay tuned. With that said, let’s get to it.

We begin, of course, with the sweeping vistas of Costa Rica, the latest destination on our trek halfway around the world in search an American girl who’s ready to stop traveling in order to settle down. Go figure. Horses, monkeys, zip lines, and cave exploration lie in our future and Brad lets us know that after 6 weeks of this nonsense he’s still confused. Frankly, so am I, but I’d be willing to bet that Brad and I are confused for completely different reasons.

As he mopes around flexing, brooding, and self-reflecting while exploring wayward waterfalls, breathtaking beaches, and various vistas, we learn that Costa Rica is the perfect place to fall in love. As we’ll later learn, it’s also the perfect place for Chantal O. and Michelle to continue bitching at each other like a couple of magpies.

Brad copters his way around the vastness of it all telling us that Costa Rica is a “magical” place. Oddly enough, he proved himself right. When he entered the helicopter for his secluded ride of self-actualization his shirt was orange. When he emerged from the helicopter it was blue. At first I thought it was more irresponsible editing; however, the optimist in me prefers to credit the transformation to the magical nature of the island. Insert eye roll, popping Lone Star bottle cap, and deep sigh.

With Flipcams, scrunchies, seasonally appropriate attire, and a couple pairs of period panties packed for good measure the girls kiss Vegas goodbye. We cut next to the girls headed—or in Ashley’s case “fore-headed”—from Vegas to Costa Rica. Fivehead is ready to get “down and dirty” in the jungle with Brad. Jackie is fascinated the “luscious greenery all around” her and Emily invokes images of the rainforest as she sports some sort of Bo Derek braided bangs that looked fabulous on her hot, Southern, little head. I prayed for some shots of her running in slow motion down a lonely beach in search of love or whatever.

Everyone arrives at The Springs Resort and Spa in vibrant and colorful tank tops accented carefully with the ubiquitous thirty foot scarves that are apparently made unconditionally available to them. Alli shows us her giant beaver teeth and points out the giant volcano looming ominously over the resort like a Costa Rican Vesuvius over Pompeii.

I immediately pictured futuristic archaeologists discovering the soot-covered Springs Resort hundreds of years from now to find a pristinely preserved ashen caste of Emily which they would undoubtedly photograph, preserve, and examine in order to reach the undeniable conclusion that Costa Rica was an isolated country filled with incredibly hot women like that island that Wonder Woman came from. This conclusion, of course, would remain unchallenged for generations until they discovered Alli’s caste a mere 100 meters away.

It would be like when they discovered that the brontosaurus’ skull was not really it’s own skull but one found close by or when they finally reached the conclusion that certain hominoids were hunchbacked before someone finally figured out that the fossilized skeleton they’d been studying was actually disease ridden and therefore not indicative of the entire population. Annnnyyyyhoooo . . . .

Brad utters his unbelievably annoying “Hey Ladies, come join me . . .” catch phrase and the women swoon like gnats on a discarded sandwich as he escorts them to their room. Michelle says she can see how people could fall in love in Costa Rica. As we’ll find out later, she apparently can also see how a girl could stab another girl in the face with nail file in order to protect her territory. Like everyone else in yoga pants and a tank top, Michelle wonders about the imminent presentation of the first one-on-one date card.

Surprise. Brad “thank yous” everyone and drops the date card before running back to his room to slurp down a gallon shake of peanut butter, creatine, and skim milk while simultaneously P90-Xing before showering, shaving his chest, and covering himself in Axe Body Spray.

“Close Your Eyes and Hold on Tight” Emily and her braided bangs read. “Love is in the Air Tonight” for Chantal O. Poor grammar aside, everyone screams and giggles and Michelle, of course, is pissed, as was Alli along with both of her front teeth.

Michelle manages to keep it together long enough to tell us that she’s going to be herself and simply hope that Chantal gets attacked by monkeys or apes. Frankly, I was surprised she understood the distinction between a monkey and an ape but that didn’t stop me from being sick of her. In the meantime, Chantal acts like a monkey and freaks out in her yoga pants and tank top while packing her giant red suitcase. Perhaps she forgot her period panties.


Womack interrupts the morning sectional couch chat in his coral knit shirt and blue just-above-the-knee shorts to take Chantal O. on an unoriginal date. Put one of those white hats with the yellow life preserver and the patent leather bills on him and he looked like a freaking boat captain. In the meantime, Emily patiently and politely (and hotly) listens to Michelle refer to Chantal O. as “egotistical” and we all knew that we were in for a strong dose of Michelle for the rest of the show. Insert another popping Lone Star cap.

Frankly, I was praying the she’d melt down enough to get her Susan Mayer look alike ass and her red suitcase sent back to Wisteria Lane on the first flight out of the country like Private Santiago was supposed to take from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in A Few Good Men. We all know how that turned out.

Her daughter must be starving by now, for crying out loud. I swear, the only other toddler with less parental supervision is Dora the Explorer who, ironically, spends most of her time running around the jungle with a Spanish speaking squirrel and a monkey named Boots.

Chantal O. introduces the “I’m scared emotionally and physically” theme of the episode as Brad tells her that they’re going zip lining “Six (insert two second pause) Hundred (insert two second pause) Feet off the ground. Undaunted, Chantal O. embraces the opportunity to do something adventurous and discounts—along with the entire resort staff and the Bachelor crew—the strong possibility of being struck by lightening while riding a metal wire above the tree line in a thunderstorm. Good for her.

In the second dirtiest line of the evening tells Brad, “I’ll see you on the other side . . . nice and wet.” Still reeling from that zinger, I almost missed when Chantal O. followed that up with a “it’s definitely a different position for me to have my legs wrapped tightly around Brad.” Of course, not the same can be said for the bartender she met in her hometown at TGI Fridays shortly after her divorce while drowning the pain of life’s failures in a giant strawberry margarita glass. He was nice enough to take her back to her car the morning after the one night stand, but showed his true colors by never calling her again. Divorce is a b*tch.

I think we all now know what the “O” in Chantal O. stands for, don’t we? No doubt about it. Truly, we do. I mean that. Really. Please, feel free to say the word “orgasm.” Thank you. I mean that. I really do. Sexual innuendos aside, they seemed to have a good time. Chantal was fun, low maintenance, and happy to be there. By the way, I always thought an “innuendo” was an Italian suppository. Ba bum bum. I’ll be here all week.

Back at the suite the sun rises over Mt. Estrogen and the second date card arrives. “Love Springs Eternal” it reads as Michelle, Emily, Fivehead, Britt, Jackie, and Shawntel learn that they’re headed on a group date. Alli and her teeth bristle with excitement as Britt sits there silently looking like she could not care less.

Back on the big date, Chantal and Mr. Thank You head down to the river for dinner as they “oh my God” each other to death. Chantal looked really pretty in her strappy, tie dye, location-appropriate dress. Unfortunately for her, it begins to rain on her strappy, tie dye, location-appropriate dress and she and Brad run away where they break into a local hotel room conveniently stocked with booze and Brad’s spare white oxford shirts. Of course, Michelle gloats at the possibility that the rain ruined their date, proving that she has no imagination.

Chantal nudes it up and dons “Brad’s” white oxford shirt a la Rebecca DeMornay in Risky Business as Brad drops his fifth “good God” before temporarily leaving the room in order to tend to his erection.

Refreshed, Brad returns to share his feelings before asking her to share her feelings and warning her not to get all crazy like she did back in Vegas. Chantal takes the hint and moves in for a kiss. Brad drops a “this could happen every night.” Really? What is the probability of Chantal ending up in a strange hotel room after her dinner al fresco is ruined by a Costa Rican thunderstorm naked from the waist down covered only by the oversized, white, starched, oxford shirt of some man she hardly knows?

In the pursuit of truth—well, actually out of sheer curiosity--I Googled “Costa Rican rainfall” and learned that a place called Hacienda Cedral in Costa Rica holds the record for most number of days with rainfall in a year at 359. F*ck me. It turns out the chances of Chantal ending up in a strange hotel room after her dinner al fresco is ruined by a Costa Rican thunderstorm naked from the waist down covered only by the oversized, white, starched, oxford shirt of some man she hardly knows are better than I thought. Touche, Farmer’s Almanac. Props to Womack for using his reference materials.

Brad lets us know that he respects Chantal’s rough patch. I wonder if he prefers that she waxes it before the Fantasy Suite date. Alright, that was a tad uncalled for but relax. Chantal and her rough patch got a rose.


After some shots colorful birds and some colorful complaining by Michelle about group dates, the women arrive at Pure Track Canyoning and begin to gear up in order to “repel” down a waterfall. I hoped they all adequately applied mosquito “rappellent.” Jackie lets us know that she’s SO afraid of heights that she won’t even go on a Ferris wheel. What? I was going to Google “Jackie and Ferris wheel” but I was afraid I’d find out that she had an opportunity to ride one 359 days a year. I let it go.

Brad comforts everyone—poorly—and Michelle gets bitchy again because Brad promised to never rappel or repel with anyone but her for the rest of his life. I found her entire tantrum “rappulsive.” Let’s be fair to Brad. It was a pretty reasonable assumption that he’d do very little rappelling in the future when that promise was made. Credit the Producers for organizing this little outing in order to F it up for him.

Shawntel makes a bid for the date rose and volunteers to go first followed quickly by the heretofore mute Britt. Brad says he likes a girl who’s “adventurous.” Translation: low maintenance. Trust me. That’s what he meant. Eventually, all the women go and even Jackie manages to overcome her fears and Michelle’s evil looks and bitchy comments in order to and descend below. We can only hope that Michelle is confronted on the After the Final Rose show with the juxtaposition of her skyscraper tantrum and her nasty comments about Jackie being afraid in Costa Rica.

Brad—who apparently left his balls back at the resort—caves in to Michelle’s incessant, manipulative complaining and descends the wall with her as the other women look up their rear ends and overanalyze the situation. Well, everyone but Emily who patiently fixed her snow white braid and stood their making the waterfall look ugly.

Everyone leaves the waterfall and heads to a hot spring for some gratuitous bikini shots and a semi-pornographic shot of Brad de-shirting. Based on that shot it appears that someone at ABC has been receiving and paying attention to www.ihategreenbeans.com Lincee Ray’s letters. Michelle classes is up by commenting that seeing Brad take off his shirt makes her want to go back to the hotel and f*ck. Nice. You have to love a Lady, don’t you?

I immediately pictured her daughter asking, “Mommy, how was I conceived” before Michelle explained that she happened to eye the pool guy taking his shirt off one day and just had to hook up with him. God bless that little girl. I can only hope Michelle stops thinking about herself long enough to stop by the local gift shop and pick her up a “My Mommy Abandoned Me to Slut it Up Across the Globe and All I Got was Malnutrition and this Stupid T-Shirt” shirt.

Britt eventually speaks and acts like she cares about the stray rose lying around. Brad—way too conscious of the “I need to feel special” psychosis infecting the entire herd—pulls Jackie aside to congratulate her on making it down the waterfall. Jackie fumbles the ball by mentioning the tandem rappel with Michelle and Brad’s face deflated like a tack- filled tire.

Back at the suite, Chantal and Alli pound bottles of wine as they wait for the big date card to arrive. “Meet Me at the Altar” it reads and the women speculate about its deeper meaning.

Back at the hot springs the air is rife with steam and speculation and Michelle proves that she puts the “manic” in “romantic” by complaining some more about not getting what she wants. I was so bored with her at that point, I wished she would pull a Roz and hook up with some dude from the production crew.

Brad pulls Emily aside and they tell each other how scared they are before Emily cops to pulling away from potentially good relationships and sabotaging them for fear of getting too close. Bless her hot, Southern, emotionally scarred, little braid. Brad pushes the Emily story line forward and pretends that he doesn’t melt like a pat of butter on a bowl of hot, North Carolina, grits every time he looks at her. Did I mention that Emily is hot? Of course I did.

In the meantime, a drunken Alli and Chantal “discover” a beetle placed carefully on the table by the Producer’s intern in order to establish Alli’s over-the-top irrational fear of bugs. She lets out a blood-curdling scream as Brad sits in the hot springs with Michelle and listens to her bitch about Chantal and “how hard it is to” whatever. He looked extremely fed up with her but handled the situation diplomatically. Frankly, I would have dunked her head under water and held it there right before she passed out.

An exhausted Brad loses his cool a little bit and chastises the “ladies” for their childish behavior before removing the possibility of a Safety Rose and sending them all to their rooms without their dinner in order to think about what they’ve done and make a list of their priorities.

True story: When I was in high school I hammered my friend for two weeks until I eventually talked him into streaking the annual Powder Puff Football Game between the cheerleaders and the drill team in front of the entire community. He did and got caught the next day when the rumor mill made its way back to the front offices.

He had the stones to keep his co-conspirators unidentified despite getting the standard “we already know who they are” speech from our Principal. His punishment from his parents was to make a list of his priorities and then sit in his room and think about them every day for two weeks. I remember joking with him saying that his first priority on the list should be “Don’t Get Caught Streaking Again.” Annnnyyyyhooo . . .


As Alli brushes her fence teeth and applies spackle to her face to get ready for her much anticipated one-on-one with Brad, we are reminded that she truly puts the “man” in “romantic.” Seriously, Tom Sawyer could have tricked half the neighborhood into white washing those teeth. She makes Marie Osmond look like Leon Spinks.

Brad eventually—and inexplicably—shows up in his green linen shirt riding a horse with another horse and two ponies in tow and drops a “hullo, ladies.” He was about as comfortable on that horse as a bastard at a father and son baseball game. Seriously, he looked like Douche Quixote.

Alli shows up, compares teeth with her horse, and eventually saddles up in order to head toward a dark, watery cave teeming with her biggest fear. If there was ever any doubt if the “what are you most afraid of” question appeared on this season’s application, I think it was settled here. They arrive and explore the cave as Brad showers Alli in insincere praise before she sees a spider and throws a screaming fit. I think we all knew that Alli was headed for the limo, but this certainly confirmed it.

Brad and Alli sit down for a chemistry-less dinner by the hot spring and he “Thank Yous” her for whatever she truly needed to be thanked for doing. She takes it in stride before having some marked difficulty cutting her chicken. Perhaps he should have gone with a bag of oats for the main course and some sugar cubes for dessert.

Alli seals her fate when after discussing my beloved Austin, Texas she tells Brad that she can’t see herself in a large city. Notwithstanding the fact that Austin feels like a small town and is the single most wonderful place on the earth to live, Brad abandons his attempt to sell her the relocation package that will undoubtedly come with his proposal and uses her “I’m comfortable around you” and “could hang out with you all day” statements against her in order to break the news that she’s headed to the glue factory.

By the way, I used to work at a glue factory. I had to quit, though. I couldn’t seem to separate myself from my co-workers. It was terrible. I often got stuck at work. I found myself in one sticky situation after another. Terrible, I tell you. I never really bonded with Management. Thank you. You’re fantastic.

Brad realizes that the table they are sitting at is beginning to sink into the hot spring. I half expected Alli to jump in the water and swim for the opposite shore in order to gnaw down a few trees and dam up the river. No such luck. It was a good thing too because the “we’re sinking” metaphor wouldn’t have been as effective.

Brad drops the F word (Friendship) and Alli begins to deal with the fact that she will not win, place, or show. No rose, means a free trip back to the airport and the house erupts with oohs, ahhs, and OMG’s as some tiny Costa Rican guy takes Alli’s saddle and bridle and loads them in the limo for her ride to the airport.

Look, I’ve been especially mean to Alli this season. The truth is she does seem like a decent person and she is attractive despite my best efforts to make it different. I thought she seemed fun and fairly easy going aside from the “person with the worst story gets the most attention” blast she launched across Emily’s hot bow last week. She had a good time and left with her dignity in tact. Good show, Alli.

An exhausted Brad retires to his sweet suite in order to get some rest and process the beating he’s taken from the emotionally needy women for the past two days. Just as he’s settling on to his balcony railing for a good self-reflective brood a knock at the door draws his attention. I prayed it was Harrison with a couple bottles of rum, some blow, and a few Costa Rican runaways he picked up at the local cantina. I’m sure Brad did too.

Brad realizes that his emotional beating is destined to continue as Michelle shows up uninvited (by Brad anyway) and proceeds to try and control and manipulate Brad with her boorish personality. Brad plays along but looked unimpressed right up until the moment she threw herself at him and he relented in an effort to shut her up and get her out of the room. That entire thing smacked of a set up. I was just glad that Michelle wasn’t an aspiring, albeit unsuccessful “country artist” with a cheesy song to repeatedly sing to anyone who would listen. They say that love don’t come easy. Apparently, desperation does.


Chantal, dressed in an odd silky leopard patterned cocktail dress, seemed to forget she possessed the only Safety Rose of the week by leading off the second guessing discussion that has become a staple during this season’s cocktail parties. Brad shows up looking tired and contractually obligated. He’s prepared himself in order to hear more “I’m scared” talk from all of the women before telling them that he's scared too. Whatever.

Brad and Emily sit in a hammock and she thoughtfully explains her earlier sabotage comments. Brad listens, reminds himself how hot she is, and moves on after admitting he thinks about her a lot. I do too, Brad. In fact, I thought about her this morning when I woke up. I actually pulled a muscle getting out of bed . . . about 200 times. I’ll be here all week, folks. Please, tip your waitstaff.

Chantal and her leopard costume fail to sit on her Safety Rose as she stirs the pot about who upset Brad’s apple cart. Gee, I wonder. Of course, this entire “investigation” occurs when Michelle is being told by Brad that she’s “scaring him . . . badly.” Look, we can knock on Brad’s wooden personality all day, but there is no chance in hell that I believe that he’s too dense to see that Michelle is certifiably whacko.

Rather than owning even the slightest bit of her behavior, Michelle gets defensive and attacks Brad. Again, he’s heard enough and simply lets her exhaust herself. It was like an emotional rope-a-dope. We all know she’s a ticking time bomb. Hell, the IRA could kidnap her and tape her to the bottom of an English tank. She’ll explode for real very soon. My guess is she sticks around to the final 4, but we’ll see. Brad looked pretty fed up with her bulls*it tonight and Britt is the only dress filler left.

Michelle reinforces her denial by telling us that she wants to be married and wants more children. At that moment Child Protective Services workers from Austin to Salt Lake City took comfort in knowing that they would have a hearty case load in years to come and the poor bastard who knocked her up in the first place grinned from ear to ear that she was no longer his problem before pausing and wondering where his daughter has been for 6 weeks.

Shawntel and Brad play the silent game as she perceptively realizes that some more ball busting is not going to earn her any points. She gets a good kiss out of it. I found it terribly ironic that the only girl to truly relate to Brad this week was the one girl who is accustomed to dealing with male stiffs for a living. (Remember, she’s the funeral director). Coincidence?

Michelle eventually admits to her Justin Rated “R”-esque sneak visit but owns it and won’t apologize. I’ll give her credit. It certainly didn’t win her points with the ladies, but she wasn’t humiliated on national television as she tried to escape the camera crew while walking through all of the landscaping in the resort amid voiceovers of damning voice mails she left a boyfriend back in Salt Lake City. I respect her commitment to her cause. Then again, Stalin was pretty adamant about his cause too. Details.

Chantal wisely uses the lack of an angle that the Safety Rose brings with it in order to get Brad alone and drop a few “I love yous” before Brad “thank yous” her. If she can keep the remaining lug nut on her tire in place long enough to make it to the Fantasy Suite, she should win. She’s been manic over the past couple of weeks, though, but I wonder how much of that is Producer instruction and how much is her own doing. I suppose we shall see.

Harrison FINALLY shows up with the ubiquitous champagne flute and butter knife to announce the rose ceremony in a black suit and tie. However, when he entered to announce the final rose he was in a gray suit with a purple tie. I wondered if getting too close to Brad on the way out of the room caused his suit to be soiled by an excess of Axe Body Spray. Then I remembered how magical Costa Rica is. Odd.

What’s up with Harrison this season? He’s more absent than Brad’s father. At any rate, Brad “thank yous” his way through another speech before handing out the five remaining roses.

1. Chantal (earned the Safety Rose)
2. Ashley H. (fivehead, she’s been consistent lately)
3. Emily (She could braid her freaking face and still be hot)
4. Britt (Dress filler. My bet is she and Michelle vie for the final spot next week)
5. Shawntel (cool, normal, fun but Brad’s not into her enough)
6. Michelle (ratings, ratings, ratings. She’ll make the final four if she’s not booted next week)

Brad boots Jackie and her underbite and we all knew it was the right decision. She’s an attractive, fun girl but he made the right choice. She’ll be fine when she goes back to wherever she’s from. Despite her teary doubts, there’s nothing wrong with her.

Well, there you have it. With the Amazing count at an exponentially increasing 79 and the Journey count at a relatively tame 20 we head to the island of Anguilla to finish Brad’s search for a woman who won’t nag him. Have a wonderful week. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be in the Costa Rican rain forest ironing my white oxford shirt. DP

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bachelor Recap Episode 5: Cirque du So-Gay

Hello Readers and welcome to Episode 5 of our favorite show. I’ve got nothing personal to report this week other than the fact that I’m still feeling the effects of cedar season here in Austin. I have a doctor appointment today and I pray that the cure for whatever I have doesn’t involve a rectal examination. I’m going to see Dr. Jellyfinger at 1:30 in case any of you are interested. I hope he can explain why all of the Lone Star I’ve been drinking over the past week hasn’t solved the problem. After all, doesn’t alcohol kill germs?

At any rate, I’m here now and pumped to get this post underway. Before I do, however, this week’s shout out goes to a reader I know only as “Post It Girl.” She sent me a very thoughtful email about the blog even though she’s had a difficult week. Keep things in perspective, Post It Girl, and thank your lucky stars that you’re not on a reality show. Knowing that people like you read this blog every week and take the time to comment has brought me through darker places than you can imagine. I’m thankful for you, even if other people aren’t sometimes. Chin up, buttercup. This too shall pass. With that out of the way, let’s get to it.

We begin predictably with a rundown of things to come. Broadway shows, taking advantage of an aviation tragedy--again, shopping sprees, and—of course—more crying lie ahead as Harrison shows up early and unenthused in his striped gray/blue fancy boy shirt complete with weird button spacing and rolled up sleeves. Frankly, the most enthusiastic thing about him this week was the delicate floral pattern on the inside of his cuffs.

In Agatha Christie fashion Harrison gives us the “and then there were eleven” speech as the relaxed morning make-up requirement instituted this season reared its ratty hair and splotchy skin. Tanning beds are a bitch, aren’t they? Incidentally, did anyone realize that Agatha Christie is the greatest selling author of books of all time? Only the Bible and Shakespeare have outsold her. If you take the King James out of every hotel in the country, she’s probably got a slim lead.

Annnyyyyyhooo . . . .

Harrison tells us that there will be a one-on-one date, a group date, and--GASP!—the dreaded Beyond Thunderdome Two Broads Enter One Broad Leaves Two On One Date. “Things are about to change,” he lets us know. You have an hour to pack your sh*t because we’re going to Vegas, he announces as frowny faces and slouched shoulders turn to squealing smiles and falsified festivity.

We all took a sip of our respective beverages as every man watching thought an hour was more than enough time to shower, shave, see a man about a horse, pack, and grab a game of pool in the game room while waiting for the limo. Of course, every woman watching felt sorry that the remaining women were only given an hour to pack with no idea what was planned for the week and, like Noah’s Ark, would have to pack two of everything, including some bulky, seasonally appropriate attire. After all, certain outfits look so cute on it’s almost a crime not to bring them. You know, just in case.

They cram into the limo in their strappy tanks and thirty foot scarves and head for Sin City as we get the standard shots of the Strip, the hotel sponsor’s property, and hear Frank and Dino belt out a few notes. Upon arrival, the women “oh my God” the Aria Hotel (It was pretty Money) as Brad awaits anxiously in anticipation of dropping a “thank you so much.” We know he really means it. He does. Truly. It’s important that the ladies know that. Really. It is. (Insert sip of Lone Star and feeling of dread that Some Guy was only 10 minutes in and was already sick of Womack’s diction.) Perhaps this guy should hire a public speaking coach instead of throwing away ABC’s money on Dr. Jamie.

Brad escorts the women through the giant lobby of the hotel as they Ooooo and Ahhhh as if Brad was the freaking architect. He’s ready to weed out the freaking mutes and down some champagne flutes and he’s rocking the ABC line of credit to do it. I have to admit, that would have been cool.

Like St. Patrick leading the snakes out of Ireland, Brad leads his gaggle of girls to the biggest hotel suite they’ve ever seen. “We’re in Las (insert 2 second pause) Vegas,” he tells us in his monotone . . .uh . . .tone, I guess?

Champagne flutes magically appear as everyone toasts the suite Harrison gave up in favor staying in L.A. and renegotiating his contract. Brad drops the first date card and splits like a piece of dry oak under a well-swung axe. Incidentally, I don’t think there are or have ever been snakes in Ireland. Someone check on that for me. Ironically, the simile I chose to describe this scenario is also a myth. I’m so amazing sometimes. Truly, I am. I wanted St. Patrick to tell Brad that. Really. Please, go ahead. Thank you. I mean that. I really do.

Marissa, who has heretofore been trying to win Brad’s heart with her Helen Keller strategy, proves she can speak as she gets some face time with the camera. Too bad, Marissa. Bachelor heavy weights know that camera time in Episode 5 after a long silence means you’re headed straight for the curb. Enjoy the trip to Vegas and I hope you didn’t forget your phone charger back at the mansion.

Michelle grabs the date card and reads it and the girls wonder why she’s wearing a serving plate for a ring. Deflated at the sight of another woman’s name, Michelle announces that Shawntel gets the big one-on-one date. “Let’s End Tonight with a Bang,” it reads. Now we’re talking, I thought as I wondered why the Producers didn’t save that one for the Fantasy Suite dates.


Shawntel appears in her best red off-the-shoulder sweater and white short shorts. “Hold the phone!,” I screamed aloud. White shorts AFTER Labor Day? How tacky. Clearly, any modicum of fashion sense that resides in California has not made it as far North as Chico.

However, perhaps the “white after Labor Day rule” is now passé. What if a tightly fitted pair of white shorts is the new shawl and stylish winter boots—especially in a warm climate like Vegas? Alright, I admit it. I have no idea what I’m talking about. All I do know is that she looked cuter than I’ve ever seen her look. I prayed for a pair of strappy, comfortable, but not too casual sandals to accent the shorts. It was, after all, a first date.

Of course, all of this was running through my twisted mind until I saw what Brad was wearing. He showed up after wandering the hotel grounds in black pants, a black gingham oxford and a vest. Perhaps he got that at The Wild Wild Vest or The Vest is Yet to Come, or Better Than the Vest or Good, Better, Vest or Vest Buy or . . . ok, I’m out.

A vest? In Vegas of all places? He looked like he was taking a smoke break from dealing Baccarat in the Low Rollers’ Lounge. Regardless of their seasonally mismatched date attire, Brad and Shawntel take a hand-holding tour of the grounds. They see crystals, icebergs which are actually ice columns, and all sorts of fancy shops that a modest undertaker from Chico, California would never recognize.

As Shawntel looked for a Wal-Mart and an In and Out Burger, Brad tells us that he’s about to drop a fat Pretty Woman-esque shopping spree on Shawntel. I found that ironic because Brad has always reminded me of a younger, blonder Richard Gere. Think about it.

Shawntel sees some giant tubes filled with bubbling water and takes comfort because they look like the bongs she used to hit when she lived in the dorms over at Chico State University. She and Brad begin what he describes as “every woman’s dream” and I would consider “Some Guy’s worst nightmare”: a day long shopping spree in every upscale shop in the mall.

Brad rubs her shoulders and paws the small of her back as he drops such supportive boyfriend classics as “I’ll bet that color would look good on you” and “you’re so stylish.” Clearly, he’s pegged Shawntel’s love language as either Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, or Receiving Gifts. He’s also well aware that his Acts of Service and Non-Sexual Physical Touch could well be perceived by Shawntel as his way of giving love. Sure, Brad probably never read Chapman’s Five Languages of Love: Bachelor Edition, but it’s a damn good thing that Dr. Jamie and that gay therapist from Austin have a copy floating around their respective offices. Nice job, Brad.

Incidentally, I found myself laughing hysterically at the anticipation of Shawntel coming back to the hotel with literally 75-100 grand worth of free, expensive, top end, designer sh*t in her hands. Win or lose, she got the best Boobie Prize and the other women might as well have entered a Kermit the Frog look alike contest they were so green with envy when she came back to the suite. Brad could have walked into the suite naked and ravished Shawntel on the coffee table and gotten less of a reaction. Hell, he could have invited Harrison and that fat guy with the black hat who helped Roz move her sh*t too.

As Shawntel humbly retells the story of her shopping spree, the women gawk in awe as they drool over purses and dresses and whatever else she picked out. Michelle hated it with a capital “HATED.” She could barely contain herself. Even Emily looked . . . no, I was mistaken about that. She just looked hot.

To be fair to the rest of the ladies, I do recognize that Shawntel’s shopping spree would be the equivalent of some really hot girl taking me to the Lone Star Brewery and letting me know that I could have as much beer and Lone Star swag as I could handle. That was a pretty cool date and I was glad to see that Shawntel was humble and appreciative. Can you imagine what Michelle would have done on that date? ABC would have to sell Chris Harrison T-shirts and tickets to the Tell All and the Finale in order to break even.

Incidentally, in case any of you are wondering, my love language is Acts of Drinking followed immediately by Non-Verbal, Post-Coital Sleeping, but that’s neither here nor there.

After the fashion show, Brad shows up in a suit with a purple tie. Purple is, after all, this season’s new flannel. Shawntel gingerly walks down the stairs in her hot new after five dress and prohibitively expensive heels. Brad almost makes “incredible” the new “amazing” as they leave to the jealous stares of the remaining women. What a freaking drag. What happened to season’s past when the stragglers and rejects would at least make the most of the opportunity to have a good time? What a bunch of Boring Bettys.

Shawntel and Brad forgo the lobby in favor of the Cargo Elevator and eventually arrive on the rooftop (shocking) for dinner and a lesson in Embalming 101. Shawntel describes the embalming process while simultaneously belting chardonnay and stuffing sushi down her freaking face. Brad actually loosened up and I detected a genuine laugh or two from him.

I won’t belabor the date. She got a rose and the big “bang” was a fireworks display. Shawntel impressed me on the date. She was grateful, modest, confident, funny, and open. Granted, her choice of career is unusual but she owned it and was proud of it. She didn’t hide behind some vague, bulls*it career description like “Account Executive” or “Nanny” and she didn’t quit her job the second a reality show came calling. Of all the remaining girls (including that super hot saint with wings, Emily) she deserved the date the most. She won’t win, though, and she’ll ultimately be forced to return to Chico where she’ll talk to dead bodies and pray that the meth lab in the garage next door to hers does not explode in the middle of the night. She did her mama proud and that’s often the most that can come of a stint on this show. I like her. Nice job, Shawntel.


The dread in the room on Day Two could be cut with a chainsaw. Unfortunately, the same could not be said about the decency of the Producers of this show. We cut to the Suite as all of the women clench extra tightly while performing their morning Kegels in an effort to relieve the stress of the imminent announcement of the unlucky two women to draw the unbearable two-on-one date.

“Let’s Go Speed Dating” the card reads as we learn that Emily, Jackie, Britt, Lisa, Marissa, Alli, Chantal, and Michelle get selected. As the process of elimination slowly—and I mean slowly—sinks in everyone realizes that the Ashley’s—Fivehead and Ashley S.—have not been mentioned. A collective “oh my God” echoes through every corner of the suite and everyone begins to f*cking cry. Well, everyone except Emily who’s had a lot worse happen to her than not being selected to go on a group date on a reality show. Watch the replay. If she wasn’t so damn sweet, she would have had every right to roll her eyes. Regardless, the pity party starts.

We learn for the first time that the Ashley’s are “best friends in the house” and that this somehow makes going on a date considerably worse than any other date. In complete denial that they have been vying for the same man for the past 4 weeks, Fivehead says that she doesn’t want to “compete against” her friend. They both cry. Everyone else cries and Michelle makes a nasty comment about not caring about who leaves because she’s going to win Brad.

There’s nothing quite like a mean-spirited person, is there? It’s one thing to dislike one person. It’s one thing to be competitive or passionate. It’s a completely different thing to view yourself as so far above other people that you have no sympathy for them. Michelle is a mean person. Mean people are eventually exposed and usually get what they deserve. Ask Jake Pavelka.

The women arrive at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway where a Nascar-suited Brad emerges from a stock car after screaming down the track at a whopping 60 miles per hour in full gear and—of course—greets everyone with his standard “hullo, ladies.” If it wasn’t for the pain of it all, I think Emily would have laughed in his face. Let’s face it, driving a race car at 200 m.p.h. hour for a living is pretty cool. You know what else is cool? Earning a jillion dollars doing it. Without even considering that, Brad looked ridiculous. To be fair, he had no idea he too had been set up.

Brad “educates” the ladies on all of the Nascar greats who have driven on the track. Let’s see, there’s Dale Earnhart, Michael Waltrip, Jimmy Johnson, and—oh yea—Emily’s dead fiancé who happened to crash on this track putting an end to a promising career. That was hard to watch.

Indifferent, Michelle lets us know she’s excited to drive. “I’m fun and hot,” she tells us. She left out callous and crazy, but then again, she really has no need to advertise those two things. To be fair to Michelle, she’s probably a hell of a date. I suppose we could confirm that via married NBA star Carlos Boozer or any number of other guys who picked her up from 5-8 at the local Cougar bar in Salt Lake City. But then again, why go through the trouble? We could just look at the Child Protective Services Incident Reports on file in Utah.

The women take turns speeding around the track with Chantal distinguishing herself as the clear winner. The Producers eventually tell Brad that Emily might have an issue and he pulls her aside where she trumps his racing knowledge and makes him feel like a total jackass. He showed it too. I’d be willing to bet he felt like tearing Mike Fliess’s head from his body and rolling around that race track. The entire date was uncool.

I know I constantly dote on Emily, but let’s be honest here. She handled herself extremely well considering the entirety of the circumstances and even willed herself to get into the race car and take a few laps. I want all of us to remember that moment the next time one of these other girls has a melt down because the zip line or the ocean is really scary.

That moment was just as touching as when Chris L. saw the rainbow after Ali did him a giant favor by picking Roberto. Yes, sometimes in life a seemingly big loss actually turns out to be a win. Emily proved herself to be classy, resilient, and even brave and she looked super hot doing it. Brad was putty in her hands and really seemed intimidated by her calm manner and charm under the circumstances. My guess is that the emotional baggage surfaces in the next week or so and both of them agree that it’s too much to handle. I just hope there’s a direct flight from Austin to Charlotte leaving five minutes after that happens.

As Brad caters to Emily, Alli cracks like a Roman vase in the shadow of Vesuvius. “We all have problems,” she has the balls to say as Brad takes Emily away yet again. Fair enough, Alli. I suppose if the second date would have been to a transgender doctor or to a dentist’s office, Brad would have comforted Alli. It wasn’t Emily’s fault the Producers decided to make the worst tragedy of her young life a major story line this season, yet there was some truth in Alli’s statement—no matter how insensitive it came across.

I think the lovely Emily summed it up later when she told one of the girls who I can’t identify because she was eclipsed by the glow from Emily’s halo something to the effect of “I hate to keep bringing up my past, but if we go to a Nascar track and drive, it’s going to come up.” Amen. That whole date was unfair to Emily and all of the other women and it turned out that way. Shame on whoever really planned it.

Again, I won’t belabor the rest of this predictable date. Suffice it to say that despite being in Vegas, the women did a horrible job of showing their p-p-p-poker faces. By the way, do you know how you wake up Lady Gaga from a nap? You P-p-p-poker face. I’ll be here all week.

Alli cries because it’s hard to feel special, Chantal slips a “love” into her conversation with Brad then brings it back before losing it again and crying. Michelle—of all people—tires of the tears and the “look at me, look at me” whines being shouted from the rooftop pool and drags Brad away for some alone time with her and her boobs. She tries to manipulate him. He dodges the attempt and she eventually settles for a kiss. He loves to kiss Michelle. He really does. He wants us to know that. Truly, he does. Sigh. I was glad I’d opted for the 12 pack of Lone Star this week instead of the normal six pack.

Just when I was about to be lulled to sleep, Brad picked up the Safety Rose and despite the overwhelming feeling of pathetic desperation emanating from the bunch like a cloud of ash from the aforementioned Mt. Vesuvius, Brad does the unthinkable and gives the rose to Emily. She, of course, handled it with dignity and the Southern charm that we’ve grown to love. And—say it with me—she looked hot doing it.

That was an epic date for Emily. It was a thing of beauty to watch. Honestly, it was like watching Jordan play the Celtics in the late 80’s, watching Barbara Walters interview an Oscar nominee, or hitting a half off sale at Sak’s Off Fifth and being the first one in the door. Props to Brad for going with what he felt rather than caving in and making a popular decision. Maybe Dr. Jamie knows what the hell he’s talking about.


Speaking of not feeling special, we cut to a forlorn and nervous Brad in his black tailored suit and open collared white oxford headed to meet the Ashleys for the dreaded two-on-one date. The Ashleys leave the room as friends. Ashley S. sports a revealing teal cocktail dress while the Fivehead went with an identical dress that was black with a risky horizontal cream stripe across the hips. Try letting Alli wear that, I thought. Both looked lovely, but pouty.

As I relived each girl’s “journey” I realized that these two were front runners for Brad who spent the last 3 weeks slowly but steadily unwinding any progress they made with Brad. That’s the equivalent of hitting a lead off home run and then striking out for the rest of the season. The Tortiose and the Hare comes to mind.

They arrive in the Cirque du Soleil theater and Brad lets us know that he’s a huge fan of—not Elvis as we all expected him to say—the cirque. What? If you believed that, you believe that Michelle is actually 30. Remember that when the story breaks.

The feminine Artistic Director joins them on stage and they practice their pseudo-ballet moves to Elvis’ “Are You Lonesome Tonight” as the impending dumping begins to seep into the theater. Fivehead says that she “hopes the odds are in her favor” when it comes to Brad’s selection. Actually, the odds are 50/50, but nobody feels the need to point that out. I don’t know why she couldn’t get that through her giant forehead.

They rehearse some more and we learn that Brad is tasked with the choice of picking the woman with whom he will perform his aerobatic dance high above the gazing eyes of 1800 Elvis fans who have been bilked out of 150 bucks a pop to watch dozens of French and Chinese kids whose childhoods were stolen from them when they were taken to the local Cirque du Soleil training facilities and signed away by their parents in exchange for cheese and rice. Luckily, we have a 13th Amendment here in the U.S.A. that prevents that sort of thing, but hey, it’s a damn good show.

Ashely S. begins to seal her already rocky future by melting down at the possibility of being sent home and spared the indignity of being dumped on national television in a rose garden in South Africa after sweating through her make up and drenching her evening gown in sweat for three hours.

Brad stresses because the “finality of the decision is overwhelming.” Finality? What, they don’t have land lines or cell towers where the losers live? Finality? Run that line by Jason and Molly and see what response you get. I never understand why these contestants become so myopic as to actually believe in the false constraints imposed upon them by the show’s rules. Dude, if you made a mistake by dumping her, call her up after the show’s over. It’s really that simple.

After rehearsal, they retire to another rooftop for an awkward dinner and Brad drops a “please (insert 2 second pause here) eat” before commencing the dumping. He “no doubt about its” and “thank yous” his way though an uncomfortable dinner before telling Ashley S. that she has a pretty, vulnerable heart right before he drives the sharp end of the rose through it.

Fivehead puts the “F” in “Friendship” by barely containing an “of course” after Brad offers her the rose. Man, that’s going to be an uncomfortable first trip to the wine bar when they decide to patch things up after he dumps the Fivehead in Costa Rica.

Back at the hotel, some gangsta takes Ashley S.’s bag and the women know the truth. I wasn’t sure if that guy worked for the show or if he was just there on a gang-related panty raid. Ashley S. displays the same nail color as Michelle as she buries her hands in her face and cries as if the world was ending.

In a brutal montage, we see Ashley S. cry herself to McCarron Airport in the limo as “Are You Lonesome Tonight” plays in the background. Brad, who looked like a member of the Cirque du So-gay, performs his aerial dance with the Ashley H. as the spotlight controller fights to keep the light from reflecting off her forehead and blinding audience members. How gay did Womack look in all of his makeup and his supertight pseudo military uniform? The Weatherman was probably at home on his couch clenching a fluffy accent pillow figuring out how to get to Austin. He looked more gay than the current cover of People Magazine.

Ashley S. has the standard “there’s something wrong with me” breakdown. Man, the vampire is looking more stable every week. Odd. Hey Ashley S., you’re hot, sweet, fun, and young. Learn to relax a bit and you’ll land a nice Southern guy without the aid of a cable harness and Elvis songs. You’re only problem is a lack of confidence.


After the tough week, Brad checks in with Dr. Jamie who is conveniently lounging in his garden with his land line right in front of him and a camera crew to his left in anticipation of Brad’s call. Aside from his obvious hope that the new OWN network has a time slot available, Dr. Jamie doesn’t say much we haven’t heard.

However, in what is undoubtedly the dirtiest line uttered this season, Dr. Jamie tells Brad that “you’re going to get to the deepest place you’ve ever gone with a few of these women.” Amen, Dr. Jamie. Like me, Dr. Jamie is looking ahead to the Fantasy Suite dates. Solid. Brad commits to be strong and vulnerable and we all rolled our eyes.


Brad arrives at the cock tail party dressed like a limo driver and proceeds to thank everyone. He really does. Truly. He wants everyone to know that. Honestly. Putz. Brad calls Chantal out on her insecure whimpering and Chantal proves the maxim that some people are too nice to be honest while some people are too honest to be nice. Keep it zipped Chantal and you’ll go to the final. She recovers but Brad clearly looks annoyed and tells her to “stop giving me crap.” I love it.

“Emotional is one thing. Drama is another.” Well said, Brad. Every woman in the audience should take a pen and write this on a piece of paper before crocheting it on a pillow case and sleeping on that pillow every night of the week. Maybe Dr. Jamie does deserve a show.

Brad eventually caves in to the “it was Emily’s date” nonsense and scrambles to address the respective Love Languages of the ladies. Alli gets dessert, Marissa gets a talking to, and Britt gives him a chance to admire her up do. Is it me or does she look like she escaped from one of those weird religious compounds in Utah where they where blue dresses and get married to some 50 year old at the age of 13? I’m just sayin’.

We see some recycled crazy footage of Michelle in the giant turquoise necklace and she pulls Brad aside for a weird one-on-one where she bosses him around, won’t let him talk, and then orders him to clean house. That zebra dress should have been buzzard feathers. She’s manipulative, mean, and crazy. We wonder if her daughter has successfully loosened the dining room chair from outside her bedroom door and found a way to feed herself. Brad’s looking to spend every day of his life with someone. Michelle is looking to spend his money.

Mercifully, Harrison arrives with the ubiquitous champagne glass and butter knife to announce the Rose Ceremony. It’s been a rough week “because of your feelings for Brad” he tells the ladies. Well, that and the carefully crafted regimen of alcohol, sleep deprivation, and psychological stress implemented by the shows puppeteers.

Emily, Shawntel, and Ashley H. covet their Safety Roses and the remaining five are doled out by the dolt in black.

4. Michelle (still too early to cut her loose. She’s too interesting)
5. Alli (her beaver teeth show that she’s grateful)
6. Britt (one more show to fill a dress, honey)
7. Jackie (This season’s final dress filler. She’s nice)
8. Chantal (her rosy cheeks and puffy eyes prove she’s cracking. She’ll hang on)

The mute Lisa gets booted and proceeds to haul ass out of the room. She was sweet but not aggressive enough to garner the attention she needed to get in order to be noticed. She left with her dignity in tact.

Marissa also gets the shoe to the rear end and cries about having so much to give. She’s attractive too and seemed normal and nice. She cries enough, but not too much. Nice run, Marissa. Again, she just wasn’t aggressive enough—or crazy enough—to win a rose.

Well, there you have it. With the Amazing count at a track-burning 65 and the Journey count at a steady 16, we head into Episode 6 where the respective herd gets thinned in Costa Rica and South Africa. Have a wonderful week. If you need me, I’ll be practicing being strong yet vulnerable as I contemplate each of my readers’ Love Languages. DP