Hello, Readers, and welcome back. I appreciate all of your comments last week and I owe everyone an explanation for my absence on the comment board. Apparently, Blogspot is having some trouble with its site. I am literally unable to leave a comment on my own blog when I log on to my computer. I understand the problem is systemic and it’s being worked on as you read this. Keep the comments rolling and thanks for pimping me out.
I hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend. Like passionate kisses, sunset walks on the beach, and Ashley’s bangs, weekends are better when they’re longer. They’re also better when you’re drunk. Personally, I had the pleasure of attending a wedding this weekend. The ceremony was lovely, the flowers were stunning, the bride was enchanting, there was magic in the air, and—most importantly—there was an open bar. Unfortunately, I was on my best behavior, but I did have a wonderful time.
Before I begin, I’d also like to thank the fine folks over at Carl’s Jr. who sent me an unsolicited, complimentary, life size cardboard cut out of Miss Turkey holding their new turkey sandwich. The only thing more priceless than seeing a cardboard woman in a polka dotted bikini holding a sandwich in her hand was the look on my assistant’s face when she opened the package. Needless to say, I had some explaining to do. With that out of the way, let’s get to it.
We begin with the standard lead in and (ho hum) it’s apparent from the stock footage and the less than enthusiastic tone in Harrison’s voice that we’re headed back to Vegas this week. As I watched the recycled footage of fast cars, fast slot machines, and fast women on The Strip and listened to the Rat Pack-esque music, I couldn’t help but feel as if ABC was content to simply phone it in this season. Granted, I’m sure Mandalay, Monte Carlo, and The Bellagio shelled out some easy dollars for the publicity, but this is ABC for crying out loud. Between the stock footage and the stock casting decisions, this show is about as original and spontaneous Lorenzo Lamas’ career.
Incidentally, Lorenzo Lamas’ first movie was Grease, which also starred Jeff Conway as Kenickie. He passed away last week after a very public—and very painful to watch—fight with addiction. I question the wisdom of shows like Celebrity Rehab and feel sorry for his family. For anyone out there who has been involved with an addict of any kind, his death hits a different note. Grease was (and still is) one of my favorite movies growing up. Rest in peace, Jeff, and remember, “a hickey from Kenickie is like a Hallmark card: when you care enough to send the very best.” Back to the show.
After some shots of William in a sweater, Jeff in his mask, and Bentley (the suitor, not the car) talking about Ashely’s ass, we see Harrison in his weekly morning appearance at the MAN-sion. Still wearing last night’s blue oxford with the cuffs unbuttoned, Harrison reminds us of the rules we all know anyway and drops the first date card of the season before heading out to play 18 holes with someone more important then the remaining 18 schlubs vying for a shot in the Fantasy Suite.
“Wanna Make a Splash in Vegas? I do,” the card reads as William learns he’s in the lead off position. Still looking like Jason Schwartzman, Stephen the Hairdresser in addition to Ryan P. the Solar Guy in his trendy, grey, Dri-Fit workout shirt hide their frustration by giving William a hard time. William’s reaction, although subtle, reminded me of the Douchebag from Denton. As we’d see later in the show, William is not exactly a guy’s guy and, based on the previews from last week, he might not be Ashley’s guy either, but we’ll have to wait and see. In the moment, he was envied and excited.
We cut next to Ashley in her cliff side villa contemplating the ups and downs of searching for love feet away from a fat, sweaty guy with a camera and a fatter, sweatier guy with a boom mike. Of course, she’s lounging in teal work out gear. Teal is clearly the canary yellow of this season. Again, Ashley does less for me from the neck up than she does for Bentley (the suitor, not the car), but she looks great from the neck down.
Ashley takes her giant straightening iron to her prodigious bangs in order cover up her prodigious forehead and dons a size zero white mini dress that could have doubled for a doily. Frankly, I didn’t know whether to compliment her on her dress or put a glass of tea on it. If she bent over in that thing you could see what she had for breakfast. She finishes her ensemble with a leather jacket a la Stephanie Zinone in Grease 2 before getting in “her” Maserati and heading over to the MAN-sion to pick up William and his sweater. I wondered why ABC opted for a Maserati instead of a Bentley (the car, not the suitor).
Matt (the suitor, not the thing you wipe your feet on) and his weird eyebrows whine about not getting the date and William emerges in jeans, a royal blue oxford, and a pull over sweater looking more like he is headed to a Student Council meeting then trying to romance a woman. The guy dresses like Joel Goodson from Risky Business. I didn’t notice, but I wouldn’t have been surprised to see some Sperry Topsiders on his feet.
As they drive away we notice that “her” Maserati has no plates and wonder if she boosted it from Charlie Sheen’s apparently easily accessible driveway. William looked about as comfortable as a bastard on Father’s Day as they made small (very small) talk on the way to the private jet hangar. They board the private jet and William continues to look like a pu*sy with his seatbelt neatly across his lap and chest like a five year old in a car seat. All I could do was sip my Lone Star and shake my head in protest.
We cut back to the MAN-sion where Jeff with his mask and knitted cap in the 90 degree Los Angeles sun attempts to explain and justify his woefully underwhelming “stealth approach” strategy to a politely, yet sarcastically receptive Ames (the suitor, not the city in Iowa). Ames (the suitor, not the city in Iowa) drops a classic line on Jeff asking him if he regrets not choosing a white mask in light of the heat. Not surprisingly, the personality-less Jeff has no response. Back to Vegas.
Ashley and William arrive in Vegas and are immediately accosted by fans of the show. Ashley looked comfortable in her new role and William still looked like a toddler waiting for his mommy to finish talking to a grown up before he could be put back in his car seat and taken to the park. I would have loved to see the unedited footage of those interactions. I’m sure Womack was bashed and Emily’s name was invoked. Priceless.
Inexplicably, William laments the fact that Ashley parades him around the Bellagio into various shops and wastes the vendors’ time as they pretend to pick out wedding cakes and engagement rings. Dude, you’re on the show to marry her. It appeared to me that she was making that pretty easy. Embrace it.
Ultimately, they end up in a wedding chapel and, as if this show doesn’t make a big enough mockery of the institution of marriage, they proceed to get fake married and pretend like mouthing the words “I do” will amount to a “legally binding” marriage. Whatever. Hell, from William’s perspective, he should have gone through with it considering the money she’s going to rake in from appearance fees, sponsorships, and whatever other non-dentistry related income she realizes from being on the show.
William does get a kiss at the pretend altar from Ashley and her doily dress and they agree that the date is their “best first date ever.” Suck on that, Womack. So much for that fake carnival date last season. That comment should give Brad some motivation when he’s performing dead lifts or squats during hour three of his daily workout prior to gorging on various protein rich foods such as egg whites and tuna fish and supplements, showering, and dousing himself in Axe Body Spray.
William and Ashley cap off the evening by dressing for dinner. Well, William dressed for dinner. Ashley still had on her green silky bottomless bathrobe, although she did take the time to get smoky eyes and put on some rhinestone hoop earrings and some F Me Pumps. They row to the center of Lake Bellagio or whatever it’s called and have dinner amongst the stagnant water as they fight to hear each other over the hecklers on the nearby bridge.
William rallies from his prior childishness and has an adult conversation with Ashley about his alcoholic father, the magic stopping watch, and all that it entails. Ashley, who is an easier mark than a Styrofoam deer with a target on its side at a shooting range, empathizes as we learn (SURPRISE!) that she has—say it with me—Daddy issues. Apparently, her small town is not small enough to be without a liquor store and Daddy is a frequent patron. Too bad Tim was sent packing last week. He and the Old Man would have gotten along famously.
Deal closed, William establishes himself as a front runner after a solid effort on the first date. I’ll give him credit. As the Esteban music plays in the background, William gets a rose and a few kisses before the phallic symbolism of the spraying fountains begins—and almost never ended. The fountains went on forever, but I was thankful that I didn’t have to listen to Chicago, Seal, Badfinger, Little Feat, or any other wash up. Ashley recognizes it’s still early, but vows to remember the date by “locking it up in her Memory Box.” I was glad to hear that but based upon the length of that green dress she could have easily locked it in any number of her boxes.
Back at the MAN-sion, Jeff and his white watch and magic balancing bracelet sit in silence as the Group Date Card arrives. “In Sin City, boys will be boys,” it reads and the attendees are announced.
Constantine (the suitor, not the emperor), Ryan M., Chris, Ben F., Nick (the suitor, not the shaving injury), West (the suitor, not the direction), Lucas, Stephen the Hairdresser, Blake the real dentist, Matt (the suitor, not the thing you wipe your feet on), Ames (the suitor, not the city in Iowa), and Bentley (the suitor, not the car) all get to jump on board the private plane after documenting an otherwise uneventful trip to the airport with their complimentary Flipcams.
J.P., the other Ryan, Mickey (the suitor, not the mouse), Frenchie Ben C., and Jeff draw the short straws and are forced to stay in the confines of the giant, luxurious mansion with no responsibilities and unlimited alcohol. Oddly, they all seem upset about it. Go figure.
The guys arrive in Vegas as Ashley appears on the steps of the Monte Carlo in her red plaid picnic tablecloth shirt tied in front to expose her midriff, what appeared to be pedal pushers but what might have been those new Pajama Jeans, and another pair of F Me Pumps. She looked like Annette Funicello in Beach Blanket Bingo, except Annette had bigger jugs. “Nobody’s jugs are bigger than Annette’s.” (Another Kenickie quote).
West (the suitor, not the direction) announces that he’s nervous for some reason and Nick (the suitor, not the shaving injury) greets Ashley with a spin hug before they go to some theater and see what is apparently “America’s favorite dance crew,” the Jabberwockeez. Uh, ok. Look, I’m not up on my dance crews, but I suppose if I were to pick a favorite, these guys would be up there. I strongly considered the Spice Girls but soon realized that they’re English, not American. Annnyyyyhooo . . .
Constantine (the suitor, not the Roman emperor) pretends to share Ashley’s love of dance before Ashley sneaks backstage and trades in her Beach Blanket Bingo attire in favor of a sports bra and baggy cargo pants in order to don a white mask (where’s Jeff when you need him?) and dance with the Jabberwockeez. I thought this b*tch was a dentist. At any rate, the Asian king of the Jabberwockeez announces that the men will be split into two dance crews and asked to choreograph a short dance. The winners will stay in Vegas while the losers will head West (the direction, not the suitor) back to L.A.
I’ll cut to the end of the chase on this one for two reasons. First, it was extremely painful to watch and second it was extremely painful to watch. “No Rhythm Nation” beat out a poorly equipped “Best Men.” Ashley had clearly been rehearsing for some time as she and her midriff showed of her dance moves and her midriff by showing off her midriff and shaking her dance moves. I thought this b*tch was a dentist.
The big winners are treated to a pool party back at the hotel as Blake the real dentist continues to prove that he should be fiddling around in a person’s mouth while wearing a surgical mask rather then trying to form words out of his own. As he stated his strong love of “order and precision” I couldn’t help but wonder what in the hell got him past the first cocktail party. I suppose—like I said last week—the shared professional interests will get him a couple of roses, but dude, this guy needs to get a personality. Like plaque on a tooth, he’ll cling around for awhile before being scraped off. Incidentally, there are many examples of people who love “order and precision.” Let’s see, there’s Hitler, Napoleon, and the guy from Sleeping with the Enemy, for instance. Pay attention to that red flag, Ashley. You’ll be matching soup labels and using those free toothbrushes you get for scrubbing the grout between the tiles on your bathroom floor if you marry Blake.
West (the suitor, not the direction) c*ck blocks the dentist and spirits Ashley off to an empty theater before dropping his widower story on her. Again, like a Styrofoam deer, Ashley gets caught up in the emotion of the moment as West (the suitor, not the direction) guarantees himself a rose. Frankly, although she looked genuinely concerned, I didn’t see any body language that would indicate any chemistry between the two. That’s a bummer of a story, but still, if the attraction is there it should have been apparent.
Back at the MAN-sion, William does his version of Summer Nights by recounting to the group the details of his date with Ashley as a less-than-enthusiastic Bentley (the suitor, not the car) gets some alone time back at the hotel with Ashley. He appeared to lose ground when Ashley called him out on being insecure; however, he recovered nicely by bringing up Cozy (the daughter, not the adjective) and then leading into a few compliments. Not only did it work, by the end of it he had Ashley literally begging him to stay. To top it off, he got the Safety Rose. Nice work. She’s an incredible dunce.
Ding dong (the doorbell sound, not the insult). The Final Date Card arrives along with a Mickey (the suitor, not the mouse)/J.P. sided coin. “Love is a Gamble,” it reads and after a toss of the coin, Mickey (the suitor, not the mouse) packs his bags and heads to Vegas. I’m certain he hasn’t been that excited since he won the Dylan McDermott look-alike contest last year. Ashley greets him in a white coat and jeans with a sparkly tank top underneath. She looked nice.
They got to someplace named Areola or Aureola or something. I suppose that’s not exactly a small distinction. At any rate, Mickey (the suitor, not the mouse) proceeds to bore Ashely (and me) into a coma as they force conversation by flipping a coin about everything. Back at the MAN-sion, the guys gang up on Jeff’s mask and he broods by the pool in a white belt.
Mickey (the suitor, not the mouse) cleans up for dinner and Ashley proves exactly how interested she is by showing up in exactly the same outfit as she went to the airport wearing in order to greet him. Despite dropping a dead mother story, the best Mickey can do is a “nice guy” and a coin flip in order to see if he stays or goes. Brutal. Given that choice, I would have told her to stick that coin up her Memory Box before dropping my own credit card at the casino and getting drunker than Tim at first cocktail party.
Mickey (the suitor, not the mouse) “wins” the toss and gets the pleasure of accompanying her to the Mandalay Bay beach. Incidentally, the last time I was in Vegas I sat on that beach from about 9am until 4pm and ran up a $500 bar tab before realizing that I was more cooked than a convenience store hotdog. I had to wear a shirt in the pool for the remainder of the weekend like a fat kid. My friends still give me a hard time for it.
Ashley and Mickey are “treated” to a one song concert by somebody named Colby something or other and, although I never thought it was possible, I secretly longed for Chicago, Jeffrey Osborne, or Badfinger to show up. Hell, I would have settled for the Ojays. The “who in the hell is that?” look on Mickey’s face as he tried to figure out who was singing was priceless.
Back at the MAN-sion each guy prepares for the final cocktail party by selecting either a double or single Windsor knot for his tie. Ames (the suitor, not the city in Iowa) opts for the casino blackjack dealer look with a vest and rolled up oxford sleeves. By the way, he still seems gay to me. I can’t look at him without picturing him flitting around his neatly kept, well-decorated condominium with a glass of pinot grigio in one hand and a feather duster in the other while Adele plays at an acceptable, non-intrusive volume in the background.
J.P. gets some much needed reassurance from Ashley along with a kiss. He seems like a nice enough guy, which is why he didn’t get a date this week. He’ll be safe for a while if he doesn’t get overconfident and make an a-hole out of him self by bragging about his date and doing George W. Bush impressions like William.
Nick (the suitor, not the shaving injury) gives “Ash” (the Bachelorette, not the residue in the fireplace) some line dancing lessons before being mercifully c*ck blocked by William who already has a safety rose. Uncool move, William. If you get to the end zone, act like you’ve been there before. That certainly won’t endear him to the remaining men and my prediction is that once Jeff and his ridiculous mask get sent back to wherever the hell he’s from, William will be this season’s Jake.
Frenchie Ben C. makes the most of his time with Ash (the Bachelorette, not the residue in the fireplace) and does a concise job of selling himself. Jeff reveals a brain hemorrhage and a divorce in the same sentence and the easy to move Ashley appears uneasy and unmoved before Matt (the suitor, not the thing you wipe your feet on) c*ck blocks the mask removal. Bentley (the suitor, not the car) says he’d rather be “swimming in pee” then planning a wedding with Ashley. He’ll have that chance soon enough once the bunch makes it to the pool.
Despite his concerns, Bentley manages some alone kissy-face time and Ash (the Bachelorette, not the residue in the fireplace) toes the ABC line by pretending that Bentley could be “the one” for her. Look, I don’t know if she’s in on it or not, but if she isn’t she’s clearly an idiot.
Harrison mercifully enters and puts the cocktail party out of it’s misery with a ding of the ubiquitous champagne glass and butter knife. The rose ceremony went down as follows:
6. Ryan P.
7. Ben C.
10. Lucas (talk about under the radar)
14. Ben F.
Sent packing like a Himalayan Yak
1. Hairdressing Stephen
2. Mama’s Boy Matt (called his mother)
3. Ryan M. (I was very surprised)
Well, there it is. With the Journey count at 6 and the Amazing count at a staggering 35, we head toward Episode 3 in what appears to be an emotional week for Ash (the Bachelorette, not the residue in the fireplace) and the rest of the boys. Enjoy your week. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be putting things in my Memory Box. DP