Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bachelorette Recap Episode 6: Sheer Insecurity

Hello, Readers. Welcome back to this week’s version of “I’m a Poor Decision Maker.” I had two pleasant, mind-clearing mountain bike rides around and near two of the lakes here in Austin. Refreshed and ready to go, I turned on my television to watch this week’s show. I was quickly unrefreshed and unrelaxed.

For crying out loud, I’m sick of Ashley and her incessant hemming and hawing over Bentley. I don’t know what’s worse: her rampant insecurity (see alcoholic, absentee father) or her incredibly poor judgment when it comes to men (see also alcoholic, absentee father). Regardless, this week’s episode was fertile ground for me to cultivate and I hope you at least enjoy my offering. Thanks sincerely to all of my long time readers, but welcome to the new comers too.

If you’re not aware, next week’s Fourth of July episode is a repeat of this week’s episode, so Some Guy gets a week to recharge his batteries. Ah yes, the Fourth of July. That’s the date we celebrate the God given freedom we’ve memorialized in our laws and Constitution by surreptitiously rolling across the nearest county line and smuggling hundreds of dollars worth of illegal fireworks into the city limits in order to celebrate our laws and Constitution by violating them. God Bless America.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to post on Tuesday the fifth yet, but the most likely scenario is that I won’t. If I do, it will probably be Off Season-esque. First, because I won’t have a show to write about that week; but more importantly, because I need a freaking break from this grenade of a bachelorette as much or more than you do. With that out of the way, let’s get to it.

We begin this episode YET AGAIN with another redundant recap of the “dot, dot, dot” conversation, her preoccupation with Bentley as she poontangs around with the other guys, and some classic shots of Harrison’s thinly veiled frustration with her as she whines and whines and whines and whines. To hell with flying Bentley half way across the world for closure. ABC’s dime would have been better spent getting Dr. Jamie over there . . . stat.

Ashley uses the word “closure” at least 1000 times and I began to realize that I too needed the very closure she was seeking. Hell, if I had to hear about stupid Bentley or listen to her droning on about the dot, dot, dot any longer I was going to have trouble forgetting about him.

To top it off, this episode was on during the same time as Blue Crush. I was foregoing a chance to watch a pre-anorexic, well-nourished Kate Bosworth run around in a bikini with a pre-incarcerated, well-nourished Michelle Rodriguez in a bikini for an hour and a half. Ashely’s right: sometimes life is just not fair. Back to the impending fiasco.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the giant city, Ashley strolls introspectively through the streets of Hong Kong in her billowy translucent blouse and black Rod Stewart pants trying not to break an ankle in her four inch F-me pumps as camera tricks fail to hide her fake eyelashes.

Harrison awaits the guys on the roof of this week’s sponsor hotel, The Conrad, in a blue linen shirt and dark jeans with white sneakers. He was dressed like a cooler version of Jerry Seinfeld. Harrison sends the guys down the elevator they just rode up to the roof back to the check-in desk and heads down to find Ashley for a much needed couch chat in her hotel room.

In the meantime, Ashley continues to long for the B word and uses the word “closure” another 1500 times during the segment. I was so ready for her to “closure” her freaking mouth I actually shouted “Closure you’re freaking mouth” at my television in hopes that her digitally reproduced image would hear me. Alas, it didn’t and I was forced to drown my profanity with a sip of Lone Star.

Harrison gently knocks on Ashley’s door; however, we know he means business. He’s there to solve a problem—and quickly, damnit. After all, that 21 year old single malt back in his Rain Man suite is not going to drink itself, is it? After gaining entry, Harrison resets for our benefit and Ashley’s what an idiot she’s been for pining over Bentley after being warned about him prior to shooting. He refers to Bentley as “a bit of a road block.” Right, and Ryan is “a bit of a douchebag.”

After reminding Ashley that she’s F-ing up the show without specifically saying she’s F-ing up the show, Harrison displays the power that is Harrison by telling Ashley and then re-telling Ashley after being commanded to “SHUT. UP.” that he has summoned Bentley from the great city of Salt Lake and demanded his presence in Hong Kong. Yes, the Dali Lama might be in Tibet, the Pope might be in Rome, but Chris Freaking Harrison is at The Conrad Hotel and he doesn’t have to wear a saffron robe or a funny hat to make sh*t happen.

Ashley fails to hide her excitement---it was clear at that point that she thought Bentley was there to profess his true love rather than just to cash in on the free trip, free drinks on the plane, and the air miles—and Harrison drops the room number in her lap before heading out to put a Hong Kong sized dent in the single malt. I’m fairly certain that Bentley was in room 4315 or perhaps that’s the number of times during this segment that Ashley said “closure.” My notes are a tad fuzzy.

Ashley says that she “doesn’t want to convince someone to love” her. Exactly. It didn’t work with Brad Womack, her dad, or any of her previous boyfriends, so why continue to try? Props to her for almost sort of seeing the pattern. Sadly, until she gets some serious help, it’s probably a pattern that—like her poor diction and questionable wardrobe choices—will continue to repeat itself into perpetuity.

Ashley ruminates over the room number as she eyes a phallically arranged banana, apple, and orange before getting some assistance standing in her Rod Stewart pants and F-me pumps and slowly making her way down the hall to Bentley’s room. Incidentally, I have no idea what it says about me that I noticed the phallic fruit arrangement. That’s for Dr. Freud and Dr. Jamie to figure out, I suppose. I’d bet Ames would know too. You know, because he’s all educated and stuff. Annyyhooo. . . .

Now because I’m Some Guy and my mind works in mysterious ways, I had several scenarios in mind as Ashley waited nervously gathering herself outside of Bentley’s door before tepidly knocking on the door of room 4315 where Bentley had undoubtedly been sequestered like Quasimodo in the bell tower at Notre Dame.

My first thought was that the plot of this season is a bit like Hugo’s novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I won’t bore you but Quasimodo was in love with Esmeralda who—although she thought him kind—never loved him because of his ugliness and deformity. She was in love with the dashing—and superficial—Captain Phoebus, however. In the end, Quasimodo clings unflinchingly to his unrequited love of Esmeralda, which eventually leads to his death and her hanging. He dies clutching her dead body.

The main theme of that book is the cruelty of society and a lack of justice. Switch Quasimodo in for Ashley, Bentley in for Esmeralda, and Emily in for Captain Phoebus and all of a sudden Chris Harrison becomes Victor Hugo. Yes, THAT’S what goes through my mind when this garbage is playing out in front of me.

However, I also thought it would have been absolutely hysterical if after her near nervous breakdown and her long hallway delay getting up the courage to knock on the door if Harrison would have popped open the door dressed as Bentley with a room full of people behind him and screamed, “Gotcha! You actually thought he was here? What an idiot!”


If after she knocked, instead of saying, “who is it?” before opening the door, Bentley would have dropped an “Emily, is that you?”


If Bentley would have said “who is it?” after the knock and the camera would have panned back to Harrison holding two highballs and a bottle of single malt saying something in a contrived female voice like “It’s just me, little ole Ashley” before Bentley opened the door and Harrison barged into the room saying, “Dude, do you think I flew you out here to talk to HER? Bottoms up, Buttercup. And get that chick out of the closet. We have some drinking to do.”

Any of those would have been better than the next ten minutes of the show. Unfortunately, Ashley knocks and after buying some time to turn off his free Flipcam and hide the Asian prostitute in the closet by dropping “who is it?” Bentley opens the door and a desperate Ashley leans in for a barely returned kiss. She’s such an idiot. The next five minutes consisted of extremely uncomfortable conversation regarding the “dot, dot, dot” with Bentley evidently proving that he didn’t have the extra 25 bucks on him at the airport so he could check the bag containing his balls for the big trip to Hong Kong.

Ashley tells him how “haaaarrrrd” it was for her when he “laaaaffft” and he actually has the audacity to say, “I think you know where I’m at.” Uh, not she doesn’t, dipsh*t. Remember that flight around the world for the purpose of explaining? Fate is invoked, Bentley tells her it’s over (sort of), I got my exclamation point, and Ashley finally got her period . . . or so we thought.

I’ll give her a small amount of credit for almost growing a spine; however, I’m certain that some of the “F You, Bentley, I’m done with you” one-on-one camera testimonials were shot after the season as filler to make her seem “over” him. “F You, Bentley, I’m done with you?” Ahh, you have to love a real Lady, don’t you?

Eliza Doolittle-isms aside, based on her demeanor the rest of the episode, she’s still keeping at least one dot on the board. I won’t belabor this any longer except to say that I would have loved it if after she asked Bentley, “so why did you come then,” he would have looked her squarely in the face and said, “for the free trip, you dunce.” Oh, and shame on ABC for not showing her the tape. I’ll give them credit for having the wherewithal to watch the train teeter on the tracks without jumping in, but the whole thing was overplayed. Naively, I thought that meeting would be the end of it. Naïve indeed.

Ashley finds a giant window to reflect behind and the camera crew finds a giant bird to represent her newly discovered “freedom.” As with Ryan’s “Cuba” shirt, I found it ironic that Ashley “found freedom” in China. They should have had her meet him in Tiananmen Square.

On a side note, I remember a time in 1989 when the Tiananmen Square tank protest was the top story on every news channel and newspaper across the world. I remember sitting on my parents’ couch and picking up a ringing phone around the holidays and having a telemarketer try to sell me holiday desserts via mail. She explained that they had fruit cakes, chocolate cakes, assorted pies, and any other number of items that could be delivered to my door before Thanksgiving. I remember stopping her mid-sentence and saying something like, “that sounds great but to you offer Tiananmen Squares?” I believe her response was (incredibly) something like, “Hold on and I’ll check.” Take those people off script and you never know what you’ll get. Back to the show.

Back at the Conrad (as in Hilton, I presume), the date card is dropped and a post head injury Ames reads it as Annoying Ryan espouses his optimism because that’s what Tony Robbins would do. Lucas gets the big date. “Let’s Find Our Good Fortune on the Streets of Hong Kong,” it reads and the country boy from Odessa, Texas pretends to be thrilled at the prospect of mingling through filthy street markets filled with foreigners without a pasture in sight while listening to Ashley whine about Bentley. What a beating that must have been. Props to Lucas for sporting a good attitude.

Sporting another billowy, sheer top that only someone as flat chested as she could pull off along with a pair of white Rod Stewart pants and some F-me pumps Ashley awaits Lucas and we see how freaking bow legged she is for the first time. I assumed the accentuation was created by a combination of her circulation restricting jeans and her 4 inch F-me pumps—either that or she spent a little more time than we thought in Room 4315.

I’ll cut to the chase on this date. If any of you are from a small town or know someone who is you’ll know that people who choose to live in small towns do not get along well in the city. The reverse is also true. I believe that’s not an environmentally determined thing, but literally something that is hard wired in a person. Lucas was clearly uncomfortable in Hong Kong, but he did his best to eat the disgusting food from the market and managed to get a dance, a kiss, and a rose in spite of having to fight through enough bronzer to recondition the Liberty Bell and Ashley’s bangs going rogue. On second thought, maybe it was the Fivehead going rogue in an attempt to be noticed. After all, it IS Ashley’s fivehead. Shouldn’t it follow that it’s just as insecure as she is?

Like the West Texas native that he is, Lucas keeps it simple and earned a rose. Ashley compliments him on his “manlihood” and I couldn’t help but harken back to that phallic fruit arrangement in her suite. It’s “manliness,” Ashley. There’s really no need to throw gasoline on the fire, is there? Geez. And another thing, Ashley: when a guy is on a date with you answering the “what’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you” question that you judgingly throw out every time, put your freaking fork down, make eye contact, and at least feign interest. It might not work that way in Madawaska, but grow some common courtesy, please.

Back at the Conrad, Ames takes some time to stop looking for a tall, dark stranger named Conrad to rejoin the guys as the group date card is dropped. Blake says he hates Ryan without saying he hates Ryan. “Let’s Get Our Hearts Racing,” it reads and we learn that Ben F., Ryan, Mickey, Constantine, Ames, and Blake get the big date as Blake and Ryan lament their lack of one-on-one and J.P. modestly, but confidently grins at the prospect of spending more time being ignored and condescended to without being told that his date is in love with someone else. By the way, J.P. is going to win. He’s clearly interested in her and he’s the only one dumb enough to propose to her. More about that later.

Again, I’m going to gloss over this stupid “date.” Ashley shows her midriff before announcing that the boys will be Dragon Boat racing in the harbor after the show turns into The Amazing Race. Ames, just thankful that he won’t be getting clocked in the jaw this week, was visibly excited. He realized that while most of the guys preferred a man with his dragon on a boat, he prefers a man with his “draggin’” on the ground.

You’re welcome. I’ll be here all week.

Ben and Constantine, Blake and Ryan, and Ames and Mickey get subdivided into teams and the most memorable part was that Ashley actually served as the coxswain (or is it cock-swain?) on one of the Dragon Boats. Of course, she had to fight with Ames for that position, but his reluctant relinquishment of that coveted position resulted in a win for Ames and Mickey. Granted, it was a meaningless win, but a win nonetheless.

After a meeting at the hotel bar (which was written in English, by the way), a sincere yet homosexual attempt at romance by Ames in the elevator, and me wondering why in the hell Ben F. chose to wear a yellow sweater and gray Levis, Ashley gives the rose to the over-cheesed, obnoxiously entrepreneurial Ryan who—again—“closed” Ashley at the most opportune moment. I’ll give the guy credit for obeying the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Douchebags, but man, is he a chach.

By the way, a yellow sweater? Is he a crossing guard or a wine maker? And GRAY Levis? Assuming I would wear those, I would have no idea where to get them. I might as well be shopping for an 8-track or a Betamax VCR. Gray jeans? Perhaps Jon Bon Jovi circa 1985 would respect that choice, but come on, Ben. You’re on TV for God’s sake. Gray jeans?

As Lucas and his salmon shirt make a repeat appearance, he and J.P. anxiously await the Date Card. “Let’s Take a Peek Into Our Future,” it reads as J.P. gears up for a big evening. Even he had no idea how big it would become.

Ashley arrives in her third flowy sheer blouse in as many segments, as does J.P. Don’t get me wrong, I like J.P. He seems like a nice enough guy but there’s such a thing as too nice. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Let’s study the rest of the date. As always, I have some thoughts. Before we do, however, I just want to know how many times this broad is going to make J.P. sit on the freaking floor. He’s had three dates and zero chairs. It’s bad enough he had to put on undersized p.j.’s and get “cozy” and “comfy” in “her” mansion while dealing with the undisclosed Bentley fallout, but now he’s been relegated to meals on the floor? At least get the guy a throw pillow.

Ignoring knee and lower back pain, J.P. continues to suck up to Ashley as she stuffs her face with ruffage and bats her fake eyelashes like some slutty female rabbit. After brilliantly answering the “when was the last time you cried” question with “when my ex and I broke up,” J.P. is forced to listen to questions more transparent than this week’s blouse selection as she asks “how can I get over Bentley-esque” questions. She brings up the dot, dot, dot and the word “closure” again an for some reason feels the need to disclose her unilateral love for Bentley; a guy, by the way, who J.P. hasn’t given a second thought to in over three weeks. She’s such a dunce.

Pretending that she and Bentley “broke up,” Ashley tells J.P. the “all of you guys are mush as far as I’m concerned but now I want to be honest” story she rehearsed in pre-production. Honest, my ass. Had Bentley said he wanted her that would have been the end of the season. For J.P. to brush that under the rug and call it “her decision” and “a mistake she made” is not only naïve, it’s preposterous.

If I left my life for 30 days and lived in a fish bowl fighting (literally and figuratively) for the unknowingly unattainable affection of a marginally attractive, exponentially insecure, fake dentist with a penchant for material omissions, I’d be pissed off. I’d also be in the Conrad Lounge drunker than Tim (remember that guy?) at the opening cocktail party. Instead, J.P. counts his blessings. Again, he’s the only one stupid enough to ask her to marry him. My money—and my prayers—are with him.

J.P. earns his rose and they end the date by taking a train ride through Hong Kong. Unfortunately, there was no Risky Business conduct on the train. By the way, is there anything less romantic than taking mass transit through a giant, smog-filled, urine soaked, over-industrialized city? The last thing I’d feel like doing on a subway is closing the deal. Decorating a city that size with that many people in it with some neon lights is like putting a silk hat on a pig or fake eyelashes on a crazy girl. Eventually, you see it for what it is. Man, this show sucks this season.

Invigorated by J.P.’s egregious denial, Ashley assumes that the rest of the guys will be as understanding as he was when she drops the “I was in love but suddenly I’m not because the ABC Legal Department pointed out some incredibly relevant portions of the three inch thick contract that I signed before agreeing to do this after Emily and Chantal refused” story. Could she be a worse judge of character or have a worse sense of social timing? It’s mind boggling.

Enter Ashley’s Mind: Gee, I’ve been concealing my preoccupation with Bentley, who no one really liked except me, for about a month now yet I’ve been unabashedly getting my ass kissed by a bunch of guys who left their lives behind for the chance to travel the world and fall in love with me because they have no idea that I made up my mind at the first cocktail party. I’ve dragged them to orphanages to perform manual labor in the heat, forced them into concussion inducing fights, insisted on three hour un-air conditioned training sessions, deprived them of alcohol for hours at a time so I could cry about Bentley, and begged Chris Harrison to arrange a secret meeting with Bentley so we could be together forever. Now that Bentley made it sort of clear that I should have my period, I’ll see what’s leftover in hopes of finding a husband (maybe) before I finish dental school (maybe). That shouldn’t go over so badly. Where’s my sparkly cocktail dress and fake eyelashes? Purrr-fact.

It’s not exactly a case study in deductive reasoning, is it? The long and short of it is that she drops the Bentley story and it goes over about as well as William’s routine at the Ashley Roast. Constantine and Lucas immediately pile on while J.P. tries valiantly yet unsuccessfully to try and defend her. Ryan, of course, sees an opportunity to “close” as he opens a couple buttons on his stupid suit and lays it on thicker than massage oil at the local Hong Kong Rub and Tug in hopes of securing a happy ending. Blake and Ben confirm what we all know: Ryan is indeed a first class cheese.

My absolute favorite part was when Lucas dropped the “she’s wasting my f*cking time” before pounding the remainder of his free drink. Exactly. My next thought as I watched Ashley sob alone in the shadows was that at least this little revelation would ferret out the Type A’s with anger issues. There’s always a silver lining, isn’t there?

Unlike morning sickness, in-laws, and restraining orders, Ashley quickly learns that this sort of thing is something a person can’t simply ignore. Blake pulls her aside and does an excellent job of rationally and respectfully explaining why he and the others are upset with her. Unfortunately, that was way too normal for Ashley and it ended up costing him a rose. She’s such a dunce.

In the meantime, Ashley uses words like “closure,” “realization,” and “revelation” to describe her metamorphosis from a pouting child into a pensively secure woman with the relationship maturity of an adolescent. What’s with all the psychobabble catch words, by the way? Say it with me. I thought this b*tch was a dentist?

Mickey gets up to bat and, unlike his legendary slugging namesake, fails to hit a home run with his own explanation before asking, in fact begging, to be sent home. Having none of it Ashley calls his bluff telling him to remove himself and Mickey proves to be the only chest beater to…say it with me…show some sack as he gives Ashley the heave ho and boards a junket in search of a big jug of sake and a reach around at the local gentlemen’s club where he probably rendezvoused with a half in the can Bentley. I’m certain he arrived and dropped Harrison’s name before getting molared and heading to the airport at sunrise. Solid work, Mickey.

Let me say this about Lucas and Constantine, however. Look, if I was in their shoes, I would have probably stuck around too. What could it hurt? A free, once in a lifetime trip around the world giving you nationwide exposure and—whether we like it or not—instant recognition is not a bad thing. I think they both realized they had nothing to lose. Why not coast on ABC’s dime for a few more weeks? With that said, however, Mickey is going to get all kinds of street cred back in his hometown and elsewhere. He’ll have women swooning at the doors of whatever Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill he “chefs” at back home.

Feeling the pressure, Ashley breaks down and offers a tearful (and seemingly sincere) apology. Frankly, that should have been the end of it. I agreed with Blake that there was no more need to make her pay for that mistake. If it bothered the guys that much, they should have taken the route Mickey took. Otherwise, accept it and move on. I mean that with a period and not a dot, dot, dot, by the way.

Ames and his white pants get an opportunity to explain in sensitive, respectful BFF language why everyone is mad. The guy is a sissy, but he’s an articulate one. He also correctly used “Ashley and MY” relationship in a sentence proving that the 500K his benefactor shelled out for his over-education was, in fact, at least partially well spent. I like Ames, but he should be back in New York celebrating the gay marriage law instead of traipsing all over the orient with Ashley’s insecure ass.

Harrison meets with Ashley and says “I told you so” without saying “I told you so.” In a classic Harrison style he leads with a brutal, “tough out there tonight,” before sticking up for the remaining guys. Part of that was deserved; however, ABC had the ability to show her the tape very early on and did take advantage of the situation. Then again, she signed on the dotted line.

Finally, we get to the rose ceremony after another beating of a cocktail party. It went down as follows:


1. Lucas

2. J.P.

3. Ryan (she’s such an idiot)

4. Ben F.

5. Constantine

6. Ames


1. Mickey

2. Blake (this surprised me, actually)

Well, there it is. With the Amazing count at 59 and the Journey count at 14, both of which eclipsed by the Bentley count of FORTY this week, we head into Episode 7 and what looks to be a drag of a season. Remember that the Fourth of July episode is a re-run of this week’s episode and, if I do find the time to post, it will be an Off Season type post. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be trying not to get mascara on my sheer blouses. DP

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bachelorette Recap Episode 5: Muay Thai, Less Bentley

Hello, Readers, and welcome back to what is quickly becoming the most ridiculous season in Bachelorette history. Of course, it’s my job to elaborate on that eventually, but suffice it to say that I’m beginning to share William’s desire to simply end it all. At least that guy is not relegated to tolerating the adolescent whining of a clearly maladjusted Bachelorette for another 4 weeks. Hell, this week even Harrison looked as if he questioned the fat paycheck he cashes every two weeks in exchange for listening to Ashley drone on about that A-hole Bentley for hours at a time. The blog must go on, however.

Before we begin this week’s recap I’ll announce with great pleasure that Derek from South Beach is the big winner of the Roast Ashley Contest I announced two weeks ago. His rant about Cher made me laugh out loud and that’s good enough to earn him the big prize. Now trust me, Derek, I debated for a long time as to what an appropriate prize would be in light of your . . .uh. . .proclivities shall we say. God help me, but if you’ll email me I’ll send you a signed picture of Yours Truly (clothed and taken from the waist up) for you and the boys to enjoy in South Beach. Congratulations on winning. Please don’t defile me in effigy. With that out of the way, let’s get to it.

Incredibly, we begin this episode with another recap of the annoying “dot dot dot” conversation and see Bentley being slimy again. Mix that in with about 10 “Chiang Lang is the perfect place to fall in love” comments, some more crying and indecisiveness from Ashley, and some Flipcam shots of Ryan’s douchey, oversized, entrepreneurial sunglasses and all of a sudden we’re in Thailand. I’ll bet that guy has a closet full of Ed Hardy and Affliction t-shirts he wears to local night clubs in San Diego where he insists the valet backs his sports car into a front space before undertipping and heading into bar for a martini. Discouraged, I sipped Lone Star Number One and settled in like I would for a routine rectal examination realizing that what I was about to experience was necessary but undeniably uncomfortable.

Ames, sporting yet another version of his French blue pilot-themed shirt, explains that Chaing Lang is an old city famous for saffron robe wearing monks and beautiful architecture. How in the world is this guy still only peeking out of the closet? More about Ames later, but man, it’s SO obvious. Then again, I had no idea that Rob Halford from Judas Priest was gay back in the day and that was about as obvious as the holier than thou smirk on Jake Pavelka’s face. I’m certain that Ames would have preferred to visit Bangkok.

The guys land in Thailand and take some 1980’s Mercedes limousines to the Mandarin Dhari Devi Resort where an Earth-toned, linen-clad Chris Harrison greets them in the driveway. Shorts, loafers, and oxfords are the preferred uniform this week and as the guys ooh and ahh around the grounds while simultaneously “man” and “bro-ing” each other between macho handshakes we see Ashley strolling introspectively through the garden in her own Earth-toned oxford, a lei, and some F-me pumps as she actually drops a “happy ending” reference. (Open Lone Star Number Two).

As the boredom I felt was slowly simmering into a vigorous boil reprieve came in the form of a double dose of Harrison. I assumed he got some extra cash for the camera time, and it was nice to see him doubling up on his limited hosting duties this week. 11 dudes, 3 dates, 1 one-on-one, 1 group date, and the dreaded two-on-one all lie in wait this week as Constantine reads the date card and Ryan still looks like an as*hole in his oversized sunglasses.

In the meantime, Ashley arrives for her one-on-one date with Ben F. who frantically found the nearest crapper in order to attempt to fix his bad haircut. Wearing a hot pink, sleeveless silk blouse and a miniskirt that resembled one of those things they put around a dog’s neck after it has surgery so it can’t chew on itself Ashley underwhelms us with an insincere hello that screams “I’m still in love with Bentley.” It was clear that she didn’t want to be chewed. She and Ben walk away holding hands and Ryan still looks like an as*hole in his oversized sunglasses.

Ben drops the first “Ashley and I’s” relationship of the season as he attempts to walk as slowly as possible in his flip flops so Ashley doesn’t break her ankle in her Gene Simmons inspired pumps. In fear of a compound fracture, Ben hails a buggy thing and they enjoy watching their lives be put in danger as the old man recklessly drives them to the local market for a day of false frolicking, forced conversation and a game of Dysentery Roulette as they sample some indigenous cooked rodents from various unpermitted food carts. Gross.

Their trip to the market ends with some parasol painting and hand holding as Ashley and her pink eye shadow bestow a “tha is sooooo ka-yooooot!” on Ben’s artwork. (Roll eyes and open Lone Star Number Three). After some creative upskirt shots and a painfully awkward “mental kiss” in front of the sacred-no-public-display-of-affection temple, Ben limps away in a state of sexual frustration and Ashley performs some Kegels in anticipation of their dinner date.

Incidentally, I almost didn’t make it through that scene. That was awkward from 11,000 miles away. I can’t image the camera crew not getting nauseous, especially after eating those rodents at the market. That whole exchange was ridiculously childish. I literally had an almost identical conversation in the woods next to the junior high football field in my home town prior to stealing my first kiss ever from Samantha Stevens (who was hot for a 6th grader, by the way). I was 10.

Ben ditches his Fruit Stripe Gum shorts and t-shirt in favor of a see through silky number he probably borrowed from Jillian Harris. Ashley has some sort of Capri-length jumpsuit on as she holds back the excitement (and her feelings for Bentley) in an effort to show Ben the candlelight outdoor dinner set up reminiscent of the Police’s Wrapped Around Your Finger video that “she” planned for them. (Kill Lone Star Number Three in anticipation of Number Four).

Ashley throws out some Producer-fed questions to Ben and he succeeds in making his winery and wine making career actually sound boring. He missed a golden opportunity there. How in the world can anyone make that sound boring, I mused as Ashley tells Ben that she wants to help him make wine and harvest grapes like an indentured migrant worker in fear of imminent deportation who hasn’t heard of Cesar Chavez (Uvas No!). Wine making? Harvesting grapes? I thought this b*tch was a dentist?

After waking Ashley up from a deep snooze, Ben recounts his version of the “my father died and I was emotionally unavailable” story and actually does an admirable job of opening up to her in spite of the fact that Ashley was a.) not listening and, b.) thinking about Bentley.

Like most of you, I was sick of her crap this week. Frankly, she deserves the mess she’s got coming next week. Guys like Ben F. and J.P. are sincerely trying to win her over and all they get is that damned fake stare from a pair of over smoked smoky eyes and an insincere smile that betrays her constant pining over some dude that’s half way around the world counting his double top secret bad guy contract money from ABC. As the female versions of the Jabberwockeez emerge along with fire breathing Asians, Ashley gives Ben a well-earned Safety Rose and endures another stiff, passionless kiss.

Back at the MAN-sion William sports an odd hairstyle as he opines about the two-on-one date and the Date Card delivery is signaled by the ding dong of the doorbell. What was up with his hair, by the way? That look put him squarely ahead of Constantine, Ben F., and Nick in the weird hair contest.

“Love is Worth Fighting For” the card reads and we learn that Constantine, Ames, Nick, Blake, Lucas, Ryan, J.P., and Mickey are the lucky winners which, after some strenuous deduction, means that William and Ben C. are the dreaded two-on-one contestants. For the record, I said aloud “they’re both gone” as I sipped Lone Star Number Four. Ben’s been absent for the past two weeks and William has been sliding unabated down the slippery slope he built for himself during the Ashley Roast. Despite speaking French and playing the piano, Ben C.’s lack of focus and—apparently—a few slips of the tongue in English sealed his fate long before that date card made it to Taiwan.

By the way, although I’m conversational in Spanish (Tex-Mex Spanish that is) I have no idea how to speak French. The only words I know in French are “Buffet,” which means “all you can eat” and “Menage a Tois,” which also means “all you can eat.” Annyyyhoooo . . .

As the guys do their version of the Reservoir Dogs alley walk in dress shorts and colorful v-necks Ashley dons a sports bra and some tight ¾ work out pants and some ridiculously large boxing gloves in preparation for introducing the guys—and most of us—to something called Muay Thai, which is apparently a form of martial art practiced passionately in that part of the world. It’s like soccer in England or alcoholism in Ireland.

Ryan, who still looks like an a*shole even without his oversized sunglasses—tries to show off what he learned by Googling “Muay Thai” in the limo on the way over to the arena and Blake worries about chipping one of his teeth in the ring. That guy actually showed some personality this week. It was nice to see him as well as Lucas get some lines.

Ames (poor, poor Ames) begins that date by telling us that despite earning 7 Ivy League degrees and traveling to 70 countries, he’s never been in a fight—not to mention that he’s a male. Whatever. He nervously analyzes the situation at the gym by telling us that Muay Thai is “hands, legs, and fists” and “anything goes.” Frankly, I wasn’t sure if he was talking about Muay Thai or Friday night at his local bathhouse, but that’s neither here nor there.

After a gratuitous display of shirtless cheeseballs “training” and Ashley oooing and ahhing, Ames notices (ironically) that the Muay Thai uniforms are laid out just like the rainbow bumper sticker he displays on the rear end of the convertible Audi TT he zips around in on his weekend jaunts to the Hamptons, before being “forced” into grabbing the pink trunks and gloves.

Ryan, who still looks like an a*shole without his oversized sunglasses, points out a Muay Thai move called a “Reverse Elbow Shiver.” Frankly, I wasn’t sure if he was talking about Muay Thai or Friday night at his local bathhouse, but that’s neither here nor there. It becomes apparent to the guys that they’ll be fighting for all of the love and attention that Ashley is capable of giving while simultaneously thinking about Bentley. Initially, Ames was excited when he heard he’d be taking one in the face, but I doubt that’s what he had in mind.

After a brutal display of Muay Thai by some fighting group who I assume was named the “Jabberboxees” it’s the guys’ turn in the ring. Blake defeats a tired yet determined Lucas, Mickey gets the hell beat out of him by a considerably smaller J.P., and Nick and his pretty muscles lose to the Jake Lamotta-ish Constantine. Unfortunately for Ryan (a*shole), he gets tasked with beating up the resident sissy, Ames. Harrison undoubtedly sat affixed to a comfortable bar stool back at the resort and exercised his preference for Mai Tais rather than Muay Thai.

Let me say this: I thought the entire macho display date a couple of seasons ago when the guys were forced to oil wrestle for Ali was a bad idea. This one was even worse. Poor Ames—despite having one of the best physiques in the bunch—was literally defenseless against Ryan’s entrepreneurial blows. He took an unnecessary pounding—and not the kind of pounding from a man that he undoubtedly seeks at the local bathhouse, but that’s neither here nor there. Ames ultimately got his bell rung and lost one of his degrees in the process. I’m sure he forgot what he was in to in college. Oddly enough, in college I was really in to Typing: types of bars, types of women, types of booze….

I assume since most of you reading this are women you’ve never been in a fight nor have been hit so hard you literally see stars. It hurts. Badly. Having that happen for the first time at 28 years old like Ames did had to be painful. I actually felt sorry for the guy. I suppose that physique comes from a lot of yoga-lates and perhaps Zumba—you know, for maintenance purposes.

Ultimately, Ames was sent to the ER after Ashley had the common sense to suggest to the crew that they needed him as a tour guide. She is a doctor after all—well, she will be--sort of. The other thing that surprised me about the group date was that Ryan didn’t capitalize on the distraction of the fights in the ring to seek some alone time to “close” Ashley on a rose. Sadly, we’d have to wait until later for that moment. By the way, if I were Ryan in that situation, I would have insisted on riding to the hospital with Ames. It was Ryan who put the guy on the stretcher. Because he’s an entrepreneurial d-bag, he didn’t.

As if Ashley needed another reason to completely ruin another date-ending cocktail party, Ames does not return in time for her to whine around in her smoky eyes and horrible dress. The guys pretend to worry about Ames until he shows up overdressed in his white pants and blue blazer proving that you can’t beat the gay out of anyone.

Despite being loopy Ames manages a few funny lines including saying he was told by the doctors that he’s “hopelessly in love.” I’m going to officially bestow a “He’s Money” on Ames. The guy has won me over the past couple of weeks. I actually like him. Granted, he’s more suited to date the “strange” male cousin in Harrison’s family that no one talks about, but he’s been consistently interesting and charming the entire time. Ashley, of course, sees no value in those qualities and continues to look pathetic by worrying about Bentley’s stupid ass.

Back at the MAN-sion Ben F. quizzes William and Ben C. while displaying the Fruit Stripe Gum shorts that he thankfully did not wear with the Fruit Stripe Gum Shirt he wore on his date with Ashley. “Guide Me to Love” the date card reads and William gets some one-on-one camera time to look like Jake Pavelka.

Blake—successfully off a big Muay Thai victory—explains his lack of personality as a patient shyness and restores his beloved “order and precision” to his love hunt. Nice job. The other heretofore mute, Lucas, calls out Ashley on her Bentley obsession as she literally fights back tears before Lucas has the wherewithal to talk about golf before using the oldest “let me teach you my swing” trick in the book. Nice job. I had a “show me your putz” joke lined up here, but I’ll pass in the interest of brevity.

Ashley awards the Safety Rose to Blake and they all toast Ames’ head injury as the date mercifully ends and I sipped Lone Star Number Five in anticipation of seeing William and Ben C. hit the road. By the way, if you’ll remember, I gave Ali a really hard time for her utter lack of self-esteem (and by proxy self-respect) during her season. However, Ashley makes her look like Betty Friedan for crying out loud.

Memo to women: Everyone is cursed from time to time with insecurities. Everyone. However, leading with that insecurity—no matter what the cause of it—is an incredibly unattractive quality to any man. Insecurity is always an outward consequence of a deep inner conflict and if you don’t become a stripper, you’ll spend your life wondering why no man can stand to be around you. Deal with that issue BEFORE you drag someone down with you. Everyone will be a lot healthier and you won’t end up spinning naked on a pole while AC/DC blares around you. I think that most strippers take off their clothes so that no one will look them in the eyes. Just a thought.

The Dreaded Two-on-One date starts and William and Ben C. clearly feign friendship. Even the nuance-blind Ashley attempted to address the awkwardness before forcing them to paddle her forlorn ass down the river—for about 50 yards through elephant urine and cholera infested jungle. A picnic awaits and as Ben C. unknowingly coifs white wine from a snifter, William sells him down that very river by telling Ashley he’s been—GASP!—talking about online dating at the house. Incredibly, she kicks him to the curb without giving him a chance to speak. She did tip her hand in the one-on-one when she told us she was dreading sending Ben C. home---oops—I mean anyone home. The entire thing was pre-planned, but William looked like a peckerhead he is when he sold the guy out. I’m sure ALL of them talk like that around the house. William just happens to be a snitch---Remind you of any other snitches? He might as well have been wearing a pilot uniform. 
After an elephant ride that left me longing for the footage of Emily’s white-shorted elephant ride Ashley dons a red and black off the shoulder tiny cocktail dress and some matching F-me pumps. That dress was . . . uh . . . busy to say the least. After confirming that William is about as emotionally mature as she is, she judges him for his worst qualities, ignores his best qualities, and sends him packing. Is it me or does Ashley make the most emotionally determined decisions in Bachelorette history? She’s so foolish. Look, that guy deserved to go home two weeks ago, but she should have made that decision THEN and not NOW. No wonder she’s alone.

In an unbelievable overreaction, William hates himself, his life, his cell phone sales career, his personality, his future, the Browns, the Indians, and various Galloway, Ohio landmarks before vowing suicide after entering his “dark place.” Perhaps they should have sent him to the ER instead of Ames. Ironically, he probably accessed the local WiFi connection at the airport and updated his Match.com and EHarmony dating profiles. Maybe he and Ben C. rendezvoused at the airport bar and made nice.

As the guys don their best oxfords and ties sans dress coats and head to the week-end cocktail party in hopes that hit hasn’t been ruined by Ashley’s rampant insecurity and whining about Bentley, Ashley throws on a tiny black number and some green eye shadow before being rampantly insecure and whining about Bentley again. Good Lord, she’s such a f*cking downer (Open Lone Star Numbers 6 and 7).

Also oblivious to nuance, Ryan, looking like an a*shole even without his oversized sunglasses, moves in to perform the assumptive close he learned at his last Tony Robbins seminar in an attempt to secure a rose for himself. His stupid speeches are so transparent. Frankly, I’m amazed that Ashley is too dense to see his sales pitch for exactly what it is. Then again, she “fell in love” with Bentley and hasn’t stopped thinking about him despite knowing him for all of 48 hours. I hope she dentists better than she relationships.

Ashley meets with Constantine whose shirt coincidentally matches her eye shadow and he does another good job of being honest with her. In fact, all of the guys who had a one on one with her were honest; however, that’s not enough for a woman like Ashley. She prefers smoke blowing and ass kissing. (See Bentley).

Sick of watching her flounder through the party a determined (and fed up) Harrison breaks out the ubiquitous champagne glass and butter knife and takes Ashley by the bangs back to the Lair of Seclusion to sort some sh*t out. For a moment, I thought Harrison was just going to show her the damn tape. I wish we were that lucky.

Again, seemingly unaware that she’s on a television show where Harrison is a host and a producer with access to all of the video, the “script,” casting decisions, plot twists, and every other aspect of the ratings-grabbing show, Ashley pretends like Harrison is going to surprised that she’s PW’d over Bentley. An unamused Harrison provides one word answers and impatient glances as Ashley hems and haws before finally “admitting” that she’s hung up on Bentley. Sipping Lone Star Number 8 or 9, I yelled, “He already knows, idiot!” at the television before hitting the seven second rewind button on my DVR so I could revisit Harrison’s reaction.

The look on Harrison’s face was priceless. He looked more pissed off than that time when Roz accused him of hitting on some dude’s wife after that fat guy with the black leather hat helped her pack her sh*t and threw her out of the mansion. Being the professional that he is—and perhaps also realizing that it’s the show’s fault the Ashley train derailed—Harrison does a good job toeing the ABC line knowing that they’d have to give Bentley a free vacation to Hong Kong in order to sort out the mess.

Perhaps they could call Jake in order to arrange a free ride over on his cargo plane. I’m certain he frequents Hong Kong in order to pick up plane loads of rubber dog sh*t and fake vomit for transport back to the USA before resting for a few days in his starter home in Denton.

Harrison humors Ashley some more before promising he’ll pull some strings and then attempting her to re-focus on the guys who have foregone alcohol more times than not this season and have had to unknowingly suffer her secret insecurities and love for Bentley. He gets the plane righted enough to get her to the rose ceremony and it went down as follows:


1. Ben F.
2. Blake
3. Constantine
4. Lucas
5. J.P.
6. Ames (he preferred a wrist corsage but settled for the boutonnière)
7. Mickey
8. Ryan


1. Nick (he lost with class and didn’t embarrass himself. He won’t need an online dating profile. He’ll do just fine at whatever gym he works at).

Well, there it is. After an amazingly painful journey the episode is finally over. With the Amazing count at 54 and Journey count at 10, both of which were significantly eclipsed by the Bentley count of 13 this episode, we head into Episode 6 which will take place in Hong Kong. Enjoy your week. In the meantime, if you need me I’ll be filming myself with my Flipcam in oversized sunglasses pining over Bentley. DP

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bachelorette Recap Episode 4: Phuk Bentley

Hello and welcome back. Here we are in week four of the show we can’t stand to hate but look at like a fat woman falling at a grocery store. I have to admit that I’ve been at the end of my proverbial rope this season and after this episode I was tempted to fashion that rope into a proverbial noose and hang myself from one of the live oaks in my neighborhood in order to avoid having to write about it. Nonetheless, here I am. I hope all of you appreciate the pain I endure at your expense every week. Alright, it’s not THAT bad, but you get the picture.

Before we get to the recap, I wanted to send this week’s shout out to every one of you (and there were many) who took the time to send me—some of you in real time—the gut wrenching news of Pippa Middleton’s break up. I’d like to implore my English fans (you know who you are) to hit the many bars where the newly single Pippa might be found drowning her sorrows in a pint of tear-flavored Guinness and get my blog address into her hands. After all, besides unlimited funds, houses scattered all over the world, a couple of yachts, and a fancy white cricket uniform, what does the Duke of Cumberbund or whatever his name is have on me? Exactly. Make it happen. With that said, let’s get to it.

We begin this episode with what will become the painful theme of apparently the next two episodes: Ashley getting dumped by Bentley and being left with the uncertainty of the dot, dot, dot as opposed to the preferably definite period. Odd, I always thought single girls preferred a definite period as opposed to some indefinite spotting. Annnnyyyhooo. . .

Harrison emerges and we know it’s morning because the cuffs on the oxford he wore to the Whiskey Bar the night before are opened and the men are sporting gray v-necks and matching pants. I could have sworn that Ames’ warm ups had the word “Juicy” on the rear end but I’m not certain. Oblivious, Harrison reiterates the 3 dates and the roses rules and drops the Thailand destination as the house erupts into a jumping and hugging frenzy, the likes of which have not been seen since Streisand announced her comeback tour.

Harrison shuts down the uncomfortable display of affection by dropping a firm “have a seat” as he explains that the destination of choice is none other than Phuket, Thailand. We get shots of elephants, yaks, monkeys, and what isn’t exactly a non sequitur, Ashley brooding in a white bikini in a dirty Thai fishing boat. She pronounces the destination “foo-KET;” however, I think we all know how it’s really pronounced. The only thing that could have made this destination richer for me was if they had done the Fantasy Suite dates here. Oh, the material.

Sporting red shorts and some F-me open-toed sandal pumps Ashley contemplates the loss of her dear Bentley as we all took a pensive sip of our beverages and prayed aloud that Harrison would break protocol and just show her the damn tape so we could all move past Bentley’s antics. In the meantime, Ashley’s brooding takes her into the Renaissance Resort where she visits the local “Navigator” to spontaneously plan her dates in broken English. If anyone of you bought that exchange as sincere, call me. I have some land in the Panhandle I’d love to sell you at a price.

Being the first to appear in this week’s color of the week, Ames and his French blue, pilot inspired shirt voices his excitement as we see a shot of the fake not-to-scale airplane taking off from L.A. and heading West (the direction, not the suitor) toward Thailand. I wondered if Ben C. was jealous that Ames got to wear French blue. To be fair, it is a valid assumption considering the content of this show that the average viewer would have a lack of geographical knowledge as well as wondering what a plane looks like.

Ames sticks to the “fresh start” theme of this week’s show by saying, “there’s probably no better place to start over than Thailand.” What? That makes about as much sense as—oh, I don’t know—say, going on a heterosexual dating show and being as gay as the day is long, for instance. Nonsense aside (for now), the guys arrive at the resort and we get a shot of Blake’s red sneakers as the guys line up in their v-necks atop the resort balcony in what will also be a theme of this week’s show: the rain.

Some six year old indentured servant drops the date card at the resort and as J.P. reads it Constantine is excited to learn that he’s going to get to “sea Phuket” with Ashley. I suppose he would have preferred to “Phuket and see” but that’s neither here nor there. Upon hearing Constantine’s big news Nick is bummed and Constantine is visibly excited. Their respective V-necks remain stoic, yet colorful.

Proving he’s had some indication as to what his big day entails, Constantine retires to the community bedroom to select a delightful pair of orange board shorts he undoubtedly purchased from the Prison Road Crew collection at Old Navy and a gray t-shirt he got from the Rocky Balboa collection in preparation to sweat his ass off and drink warm beer while listening to Ashley whine all day. But first, we need to pretend like a trip to a private island was booked.

As Ashley waits “alone” holding her French blue umbrella sporting a woefully poor imitation of Emily’s white shorts and an Obi-Wan-Kenobi sweater it is clear that she’s dialing this one in. I actually felt sorry for Constantine—who looks like Ben F.’s brother with a pituitary issue by the way.

Constantine arrives after being recognized from a mile away in his orange shorts and Ashley pretends that she’s planned a romantic trip to a private island before the Asian guy from the Jabberwockeez appears and points out in Taiwanese that the weather sucks. After listening to that exchange I felt like I was watching The Deer Hunter and not The Bachelorette.

I won’t even take the time to describe this excuse for a date in detail. Like J.P. before him, Constantine got robbed. Between “awesomes” and “soooo cutes” Ashley and Constantine manage to coif a few warm beers, try on some scarves, and talk to the father of that Asian guy from the Jabberwockeez about being married for 36 years via an ABC intern from U.C.L.A. on a break from her trigonometry homework and piano lessons.

I will say that, while unimaginably dull, Constantine seemed like a really nice, considerate, level-headed, decent guy. He had a good attitude on the crappy date, articulated his feelings well, and seemed genuinely interested in Ashley. As is the case with most foolish women, Ashley looks past all that stuff and continues to pine after Bentley. She sucks.

Back at the temporary MAN-sion J.P. skirts around the temporary insanity that often creeps into the minds of certain contestants to make it this far in the running and opines that Constantine should not get a date rose. Mickey sports his Frank Sinatra hat and Constantine’s twin Ben F. wants another date with Ashely.

Back at the transplanted MAN-sion the Group Date Card gets dropped as Lucas and his bold choice of a salmon colored t-shirt read it. Apparently, Lucas found his personality this week. Perhaps it has been tucked away in obscurity in a forgotten compartment in his carry on bag until now. Regardless, the guy actually spoke this week. Hooray for the Texan. We’ll see how he does now that he’s willing to step out of the shadows.

“Let’s Make the World a Better Place” the card reads as we learn that Ben F., J.P., Blake, Mickey, West, Ben C., Nick, Lucas, William (who looks more and more like Jake every show), and Ryan are about to get screwed into performing free labor instead of zip lining or line dancing or whatever. After some mentally strenuous deduction, the guys figure out that Ames, by default, will be the lucky recipient of the next one-on-one date. He rushes to the local jewelry vendor to purchase a pink watch for the occasion.

Before I move on let me say a few words about Ames. Between leading with his pilot shirt and the one-on-one date (insert Adele music here), I have so much material that it’s almost impossible to continue with the rest of the blog. Seeing Ames on his date is like stumbling upon a huge freshwater lake in the middle of a desert. It was tantamount to a fat kid finding a giant bag of candy or Brad Womack being given a lifetime supply of Axe Body Spray. Wasting an opportunity like that would be criminal. I plan to make the most of it. But first, back to the chronology.

We cut to Constantine and Ashley’s half-assed dinner date where Ashley pretends to listen as a dull but surprisingly articulate Constantine lays out his position for the world to see. I’ll give the guy credit. He genuinely seemed interested and did an excellent job of communicating to Ashley. It’s too bad she had Bentley on the bangs and didn’t hear a word he said. I found that disrespectful, especially when Constantine quoted Ashley back to herself and it went unnoticed.

Note to all women: If a man takes the time to look you in the eye and patiently and honestly explain his feelings in addition to quoting back to you word for word something you previously said was important to you, he’s not only interested he’s worth a next date. Oblivious, Ashley nods knowingly for the cameras and then cites “evrythiiing tha happennned…” before giving false credit to Constantine while all the while being preoccupied with a guy that’s thousands of miles away—literally and figuratively--and can’t stand the sound of her name. She’s SO Phuk-ing stupid. Dude, Hester Prynne had better judgment.

Back at the house Ben F., Blake, and J.P. sit around in their complimentary V-necks. Ashley gives Constantine the “you’re not West and you tried today” rose—which he earned by the way--and he piggy backs her into the waves. Their attraction was as obvious as oil and water.

It was at this point that I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that Ashley has, for all intents and purposes, gone rogue on the Producers. Their plan to plant Bentley’s stupid ass into the mix worked so well it actually undermined the entire show. I pictured Bentley’s cell phone ringing at noon Thailand time and at 2 a.m. Salt Lake City time as he lifted some cocktail waitresses limp leg off of his groggy torso and fumbled for the phone before answering with an inquisitive “hello” as he shuffled out of the bedroom and made sure that Cozy was still—well, cozy—before shutting her bedroom door so she wouldn’t become uncozy.


“Yeah, who the hell is this?”

“You know who it is, Mother Phuk-er. It’s Chris Phuk-ing Harrison and I have a bone to pick with you.”

“Look, I’m a little busy right now and my double top secret contract obligations are fulfilled. What gives?”

“We’re sending the Bachelor-jette to pick you up in 24 hours. You’re going to undo the Phuk-ing mess you created. I’ve got places to be in L.A. for crying out loud. Do you think I want to sit here in Thailand and listen to Ashley whine in the rain about you? Be on that plane or I’ll be on you.” CLICK.

The Group Date kicks off and we see Ashley awaiting the arrival of the men in their brightly colored V-necks and board shorts sporting a red button down shirt knotted above the midriff and a pair of short denim shorts in a blue raincoat and rain boots holding an umbrella. She looked like a cross between Daisy Duke and the Gorton’s Fisherman. She manages to mention Bentley for the 100th time in this episode and I—like the rest of you—wished she would shut the Phuk up about it.

Ashley proceeds to break the news to the guys that the “date” is actually going to involve manual labor without any alcohol and the guys pretend to a.) be interested and, b.) like the whole damn thing was Ashley’s idea. Whatever. All of a sudden she’s Florence “Phuk-ing” Nightengale? I thought this b*tch was a dentist?

Realizing they have no choice, the guys work and Ryan entrepreneurs everyone into hating him. Incidentally, did anyone else appreciate the irony of Mr. I’m Going to Entrepreneur My Way into Saving the World sporting a Cuba t-shirt? How many Cuban entrepreneurs do you think exist in Cuba? What an idiot.

Ryan also attempts to boss Lucas around. Dear Ryan, let me give you some advice. I don’t care how pretty he is, it’s never a wise decision to tell anyone who makes a living in a West Texas oilfield how to do his job. I found myself wanting Lucas to smash his entrepreneurial teeth into his entrepreneurial face. I had no such luck.

In the meantime, Ben F. escapes Ryan’s obnoxiousness by capitalizing on the Producer’s idea to paint a mural with Ashley after adopting it for his own. Ashley’s five head gets repositioned behind her bang shield and she lauds Ben F. for “his” wonderful idea. At the end of the day, the ABC cameras are carefully positioned as the Thai kids from the ABC prop department arrive to see the miraculously renovated orphanage which, by the way, still had no air conditioning. Dude, F the purple paint and the murals. Throw in some A/C and those kids would have been happier than Ames at a Lady GaGa concert.

Oh, and another thing. That renovation was incredibly well crafted for just a few guys in girly t-shirts to carry out in a morning’s time. That was comparable to the incredible solo reformation of the dilapidated beach house by Noah Calhoun in the Notebook. It was just as fake too. I’m sure the union guys who actually did the work were holed up in some local hookah bar watching Harrison smoke some banana peels after licking some of those exotic frogs and doing body shots off underage Thai strippers. Now that’s what I call a happy ending.

At the after party Ashley sports a purple bikini poorly concealed behind a mesh fruit sack. Ben F. gives her the “I love kids” speech and earns an incredibly awkward series of kisses as Blake in what might have been an actual dentist shirt has the “you’re an obnoxious, overbearing, entrepreneurial peckerhead” talk with Ryan who reacts indignantly after consulting his Zig Ziglar and Dale Carnegie sales materials and not finding an entry in the Table of Context under “Overbearing Douchebag.” William weighs in but it’s clear that he’s abundantly happy to be off the hook this week. Suck it, Ryan.

Ryan lays it on thick and invents the word “physicalness” as Ashley seems to buy his entrepreneurial crap. She’s such a Phuk-ing dunce. Meanwhile, the guys do some math and calculate their odds as they drift ever closer to sounding like a group of women complaining about each other. What the hell is in the water in Thailand?

J.P. and Ashley get some alone time in the rain as she hems and haws by projecting her own insecurities onto J.P. as I rolled my eyes and sipped my latest Lone Star. Ashley remembers she “owes J.P. a really good one” because she hemmed and hawed by projecting her own insecurities onto him last episode as I rolled my eyes and sipped my latest Lone Star. Amen, Ashley.

J.P. woos Ashley and actually drops an “are you getting wet” before moving in for the big kiss. Are you kidding me? Take away the umbrella and the rain storm and that becomes an incredibly different inquiry, doesn’t it? Ryan sees the unrestricted display of affection and cries about it as the other guys search for a copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” to shove down his entrepreneurial throat.

Back at the mansion, Constantine and Ames patiently await the arrival of Ames’ date card as Ames impatiently checks his hot pink watch. “It’s More Romantic in the Rain” the card reads and Ames is thrilled to learn that he’ll have a place to wear his white shorts. Mercifully, Ashley awards the date rose to Ben F. for his murals, love of children, and poor kisses as Ryan gets another speech from Blake in an attempt to restore “order and precision.”

And finally, we’re at the Ames Date.

Ashley awaits Ames in the wind in her patterned sarong with her matching umbrella and tank top as Ames skips forward in his royal blue pilot shirt and white shorts. How Phuk-ing gay did he look running toward her from the dock? For crying out loud, he might as well have been dressed like Cher. Oblivious, Ashley offers a cursory hug and sits down with Ames over a glass of apple juice as he regales her with stories about his prior visits to Phuket.

Ames tells Ashley that he’s been to Thailand alone two times before. He apparently went the first time to “find the mountains.” If by “mountains” he means 10 year old Asian boys, I believe him. He returned the second time for cooking classes. My guess is that he learned to prepare his favorite Thai dish, Sum Yung Dong. In fact, he liked it so much, he often enjoys it in America where it’s known simply as Smoked Pole.

An overly impressed Ashley ignores the obvious femininity in favor of pursuing a sea kayak ride after dropping the cliché Bachelorette line that Thailand is “the perfect place to fall in love.” Whatever. Ames refers to Ashley (or perhaps all women) as “uncharted territory” before mounting the banana-shaped sea kayak and gladly paddling it into a deep, dark cave. As Lincee Ray from www.ihategreenbeans.com would say, “that’s symbolism, people.” I’m certain Ames chose the rear entry as opposed to the front door.

We see Ashley’s wrist tattoo as she continues to be an unbearable pushover and mentions Bentley yet again. So pathetic. Ames continues to score date points as he appears shirtless on the shore and eats what looked like pieces of granite counter tops and respectfully listens to Ashley answer the “what are you looking for” question differently yet again.

Dinner time. Ames trades in his white shorts in favor of some white pants and Ashley does her best to match him—and the tablecloth—as they settle in for some more chit chat. Ashley seeks commonalities while asking thinly veiled questions in an attempt to justify Bentley’s behavior. Smart enough to realize what she’s doing and not dense enough to ruin the date, Ames does an excellent job of listening as Ashley again projects her own insecurities upon him in addition to peeing on her small town roots saying she’d like to raise her children in a bigger city. Has it occurred to anyone else at this point that Ashley has absolutely no idea what she wants out of a life, a mate, a career, or even a close homosexual friend like Ames?

In perhaps the most prophetic lines of the season to date, Ashley drops a “you’re different from the other guys” on Ames in addition to a “you’re funny too.” It was unclear if she meant “funny” ha ha or “funny” queer; however, that’s probably a distinction without a difference when it comes to Ames.

Ames puts the final nail in the rainbow covered coffin housing the last vestiges of his heterosexuality as he admits that there “is no list” of things he looks for in a woman. Granted, the list of what he looks for in a man is quite extensive, but that’s neither her nor there. Ames flatters his way to a rose and—as we’d soon learn—did enough to save himself this week.

All kidding aside, I’ve given Ames a difficult time this season. Frankly, I think he’s an overeducated, effeminate, silver spooner but he seems interesting and decent. He’s been an easy target for me, but I’ll give him credit for a solid date and a solid performance so far. He’s been consistent, which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for the rest of the guys. Besides, I’m confident Ames has had enough fun poked at him from behind his back. Hell, if those white shorts would have been as short as Emily’s I might be calling the guy. Like Constantine, he earned a rose. Granted, Ashley is an easier push over than a hobo on the steps of a liquor store, but that’s not his choice. If someone throws you a softball, you hit it out of the park. Nice job, Ames.

Cocktail party time. I was thankful to hear that Bentley didn’t Phuk up this week’s cocktail party and I’m certain the remaining guys were too. Ashley appears in a gold sparkly short dress. Frankly, she looked good, but I’m certain that’s because for the first time this episode she was dry and adequately make-uped.

Ashley meets with West and we realize that he’s on the chopping block as she projects her own insecurities toward him and his beige suit. Despite the presence of his white What Would Chris Harrison Do bracelet, we realize that things are headed South for West. Despite the fact that his odds of sticking around were North of 90%, I was confident he’d soon be headed East back to the U.S.

Ashley also projects her rampant insecurities onto Lucas before referring to him as “a Southern Gentlemen” despite the fact that Texas is not technically in The South. Odessa, Texas is closer to Los Angeles, California than it is to Atlanta, Georgia. Notwithstanding that distinction, I officially wanted to smack the bangs from Ashley’s insecure head. Incidentally, she’s a textbook female child of an alcoholic father. Funny how that works, isn’t it? Where is Dr. Jamie when you actually need him? Perhaps Brad should have chosen her after all.

Ryan proceeds to out-William William by entreprenuring himself into a firm position as the President of Asshole, Inc. Blake attempts to restore precision and order by having a manly talk with Ryan by letting him know he’s an idiot. Predictably, Ryan goes into denial and attempts to smile his way out of a situation he’s likely been involved in more than once in his life before. I’ll give Blake credit for being the guy to pull him aside. Regardless of what his motivation may have been having that conversation was tantamount to pulling teeth. Perhaps that’s why he was selected.

As if sent from above, Harrison arrives to deal with the shell that used to be Ashley and attempts to mop up the mess unintentionally created by the powers that be at ABC. In a horribly painful interview of edited sound bites we get a glimpse of how far off the reservation that Ashley has actually wandered. Frankly, I don’t know how Harrison didn’t laugh in her face . . . or cry in it for that matter. Even his charms couldn’t turn her and was clear to all of us that drastic measures were appropriate.

Ashley whines some more about Bentley and proves to Harrison that she’s retreated further into insecurity and indecisiveness by requesting an extra rose at the ceremony in order to keep an extra guy around for a bit. Harrison instructs an intern to head to the cooler housed just beyond the Lair of Seclusion and grab another rose. If they added any more Ames was likely to lunge forward and craft them into an arrangement. Incidentally, I once found myself attracted to a woman who was a florist. I asked her out but she said she’d already made other arrangements.

The Rose Ceremony finally goes down as follows:

1. Ben F.
2. Constantine
3. Ames
4. Lucas
5. Ryan
6. J.P.
7. Nick
8. Mickey
9. Blake
10. William
11. Ben C.


1. West

The after show footage featured Nick at the pool finally getting a chance to show off his physique. Look Nick, showing fat girls and brides-to-be how to do sit ups on that giant rubber ball or kettle bell curls while standing on that giant half a rubber ball is bitchin’, but personal training doesn’t pay off dental school loans. Enjoy your camera time but don’t expect to be there in the end.

Well, there it is. With the Amazing count at a reinvigorated 50, the Journey count at a stagnant 9, and with Thailand in the Phu-king background we head into Episode 5. Have a great week and keep the comments and coming. I’m working on a prize for last week’s contest and I’ll announce the winner in my next post along with the prize. Until next week, if you need me I’ll be . . . oh, nevermind. Phuket. DP

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bachelorette Recap Episode 3: The Blind Leading the Bland

Hello, Readers, and welcome back to week three of our favorite way to torture ourselves. I swear if this show gets anymore painful to watch, I’ll have to take Novocain shots between Lone Star beers in order to get through it. With 15 guys left we head into Episode three of what proved to be a big downer for everyone except the Vegas odds makers who had Bentley gone inside of three shows. Despite the dismal start, I hung in there for the sake of the blog. I hope I don’t disappoint.

Before I get started, I’d like to send two shouts out this week. The first goes to my loyal reader and a 100% Meet and Greet attendee, Liana, in Houston, Texas. Not only does she send me a lovely weekly email filled with glowing comments about the blog, this week she had the courtesy to send me an article complete with pictures of Pippa Middleton running a triathlon. Bless you, Liana.

The second shout out goes to a long time loyal reader, Laura in New York. Laura was one of the first fans to ever send me an email when I enabled the feature on the blog a long time ago. She’s also communicated the fact that she has a genuine fear of stuffed animal heads mounted on walls. As odd as that is, she’s hung in there with me through thick and thin—including personal tragedy—and she always makes me smile when she sends a message. I know it’s overdue, Laura, but thank you. With that done, let’s get to it.

This week’s lead-in wasted no time. Mask removals, lewd jokes about Ashley, and the none-too-soon departure of this season’s evildoer, Bentley, were all in store for us as we settled in after the Esteban music faded out and the sound of Harrison summoning the remaining 15 possible Mr. Ashley Herbert’s echoed joyfully through out our respective living rooms.

Sporting pastel colored t-shirts and warm up pants like a bunch of sorority girls getting ready for a pillow fight, the “men” assemble in the sunken living room as Harrison in his nautically themed sweater and wind blown hair commences the dropping of the date card.

What was up with Harrison’s outfit and hair? He looked like he’d just taken second place in the Third Annual I’m Cooler Than You Regatta off Catalina Island. I’ve got some coxswain jokes lined up, but in the interest of brevity and continuity, I’ll get to them later if I have time.

“Love Strikes in a Flash,” the date card reads and we find out the Ben C., the lawyer from The Big Easy via France, is the big winner. Realizing he was French I wondered if the not-so-subtle Blitzkrieg allusion in the date card would force him to surrender. Luckily, it didn’t and for the first time in recorded history there existed a French hero. Perhaps if things work out well, he’ll get tapped to head the IMF. Apparently, the other French guy who had that job got into a bit of trouble in New York and won’t be returning to work for another forty years—give or take. I digress.

Alright, I know I’m giving the French a hard time this entry. Relax. I’ll focus on another nationality eventually. It’s so difficult to lay off those jokes, however. The French are such an easy target. If you don’t believe me just as the Germans. Back to the show.

Ashley dons her off-the-shoulder magenta shawl-like top (Emily wore that color so much better last season) and her skin tight white Bee Gees pants and heads off from “her” house in “her” Maserati to pick up Ben C. and his black v-neck sweater. She pretends her date with Mickey (the suitor, not the mouse) was fun last week as if we’re all too stupid to remember that she flipped a coin to determine his fate. I suppose she had to say something on the drive over. Ashley mingles with the men a bit before putting Ben C. in his big boy seat and driving him off to be emasculated in broad daylight.

Incidentally, is Ashley the only one covered under ABC’s season-long insurance policy on the Maserati? For crying out loud, when is one of these guys going to be a man and insist on driving? Look, I’m all for equal treatment and all that, but these are first dates. As my high school basketball coach used to say, “let’s show some sack, men.”

Unfortunately for Ben C., he doesn’t have an opportunity to use his sack much less show it off because Ashley takes him immediately to a dance studio and proceeds to teach him a few eight counts. She let’s us know that she’s been working with something called Flash Mob, which is apparently a bunch of weirdoes who meet in a park in order to spontaneously break out in dance. It’s like West Side Story without the singing and the switchblades. Whatever.

Ashley plans on teaching Ben C. the routine in the studio before forcing him to humiliate himself after his emasculation by performing it with her in the park with 100 ABC extras who couldn’t get work as hospital patrons on Grey’s Anatomy or dead bodies on CSI. Flash mobs? Eight counts? Say it with me---I thought this b*tch was a dentist.

I gotta tell you, I cannot for the life of me recall the last time a girl picked me up at my house in her sports car after asking me out and then spirited me all over town in order to teach me a super fun dance routine and making me perform it in the middle of a public park her so she could decide if I did enough to earn the right to not get kicked out of my room so she could maybe ask me out again.

Ten bucks says Ben was sending “OMG, ur never gonna believe this” texts to his Mansion BFF, Ames, from the bathroom. He was probably sorry he went and bought that Banana Republic v-neck especially for that date. Hopefully, he wasn’t too optimistic and left the tag on it so he could totally take it back the next day so he could use the money to buy that cute pair of shoes he’s had his eye on for some time now. Brutal.

To add insult to injury, the park where she takes Ben is adorned with homoerotic statues not unlike the one in Chantal’s father’s study where her dad shared a hug and a Merlot with Brad Womack last season. They perform their stupid dance to a stupid song about a G6 before the “band” who “sings” the G6 song moves their equipment from their mother’s garage in order to perform another song I’d never heard of in the park.

Dancing in the park? I suppose the alternative is to have him dress in scrubs like a fake dental assistant and follow her around her fake dentistry office while she fake dentists or whatever. Wouldn’t it have been a riot if after the Flashdance thing in the park that she made Ben C. stick around and watch as she gave complimentary teeth whitening treatments to the Far East Movement? Annnyyyyhooo . . .

Was it me or did the Far East Movement guys look a hell of a lot like last week’s Jabberwockeez guys? Who knew they moonlighted? They sucked by the way, and I was thrilled more than Ben C. when that disaster was over.

Ben and Ashley have dinner and the only eventful things about it were the dress she borrowed from Tina Turner, Ben’s purple shirt, tan slacks, and blue blazer that made him look like he’d just competed in a shuffleboard tournament on the Lido Deck before freshening up in his cabin and hitting the Copacabana Club on the third level for a cocktail, and Ben doing is nervous talking Lloyd Dobbler impression (Google it). Ultimately, he earned the hell out of a rose. I’ll give the French guy credit for making flaky croissants out of some pretty lumpy dough. Nice job, Ben C.

Back at the MAN-sion the Group Date Card gets dropped and I have to admit that for the first time in the history of this show, I wished I was on it. More about that in a bit. We learn that Ames—before I get to the others let me say that I can no longer hear that Adele song without picturing Ames prancing around as I described him last week. Ironically, I’m the victim of my own stupid joke. However, remember that you can’t spell “Flames” without “Ames.” Back to the Group Date.

Ames, Constantine’s younger brother Ben F., Boring Blake, Weird Jeff, Silent Lucas, Curly Nick, Solar Ryan, Soon-to-be persona non grata William, Big Bad Bentley, and Dull Chris get selected for this week’s c*ck block tournament, but before we begin, there’s the nagging matter of Jeff’s mask.

ABC resets its tired Phantom of the Opera allusion by putting Jeff in an upper balcony window and playing the organ music as Ashley pulls up in the giant stretch Hummer. It would have been more interesting if Jeff would have played with his organ while wearing the mask.

Ashley enters the sunken living room in her Olivia Newton John pants and proceeds to mingle. For some reason, Ben F. has a gray suit and black tie on and Blake the real dentist is sporting what looks like his younger, smaller brother’s vest and oxford. Before the men can make a move Jeff suggests a one-on-one conversation so he can remove that stupid, overplayed mask. Before they talk Jeff characterizes the wearing of the mask as a “life changing experience.” Life changing? Something tells me that this guy was subject to ridicule and isolation prior to donning that mask, but what do I know?

Ashley looked so over the mask that Jeff’s speech fell on completely deaf ears if you don’t include the hawk and the squirrel that were featured in that segment. Odd, wasn’t it? With the mask removed and Ashley sufficiently underwhelmed we realize that Jeff is well on his way back to the opera house. In fact, they should have given him a minute to check in for his flight before leaving for the group date. Being rushed at the airport is such a hassle. In light of today’s stringent TSA requirements, he’d undoubtedly be required to check the mask prior to boarding.

As the group sips mimosas from champagne flutes (let’s show some sack, men) they soon realize that The Comedy Store is their destination. Unfortunately, they all seem terrified at the prospect of writing their own jokes and performing in front of a captive audience full of ABC employee’s relatives and a few trashy chicks that the ABC interns talked from the Viper Room back to their 1 bedroom apartment in exchange for a chance to be on the show. Well, everyone but William; but as is the case in any reality show, overconfidence is always the beginning of the end.

Before Roast Master Jeff Ross sets up the Ashley Roast, Ames (insert Adele song playing unobtrusively yet recognizably in the background here) tells us that in addition to not being able to dance or sing he’s also incapable of being funny. Boy, what a catch. Aside from going to Ivy League schools and traveling, what is the guy good at? I’d be willing to bet that Derek and the Boys from South Beach could take a guess or two.

With any luck, Ashley will take the next group date to march in the L.A. Gay Pride Parade. Ames would be well suited to march in honor of all the gay men who were there before him and, of course, the many men who will eventually come behind him.

By the way, that last joke had me laughing hysterically at myself. I’m Money. Moving on . . . .

As the men scratch indiscriminately on their notepads I couldn’t help but think of how I would have handled this date. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could be more up my alley than an opportunity like this. Hell, I should have been tapped to host the thing. At any rate, the guys struggle for material as Blake the boring dentist redeems himself by being the only one with a viable strategy. Remember that “precision and order” thing he has going? It paid off here . . . sort of. For the record, I would have started with “Did you hear about the man with five penises? His pants fit like a glove.” You know, as an icebreaker. Back to the show.

The editors set up William as the next jackass and as the roast starts I couldn’t help but do my best Lincee Ray from www.ihategreenbeans.com impression by cringing behind my throw pillow.

I wish I could say something redeeming about any of the material. If I had to pick a winner, I’d say that Blake (surprisingly), Ben F., and Nick had the best of the worst material. What a bunch of stiffs. Small boobs and Brad Womack’s leftovers seemed to be the topics of the day. Man, that was weak and painful. Of course, William dropped the “E” word and the Fivehead reappeared from behind the fragile facade of bangs as Ashley quickly regressed from the confident ABC-trained and prepared Bachelorette into the blithering mess of insecurity that’s defined all of her past relationships.

Come to think of it, let’s have a contest this week. Post your best (and brief) Ashley Roast insult in the comment section. I’ll pick a big winner and announce the prize next week. Let’s keep them fit for prime time TV, but feel free to get creative. Good luck.

Ever the opportunist, Bentley takes advantage of the lack of sack exhibited by the rest of the “men” and comforts Ashley. How did no one else get the hint? How did William not rush over to apologize? I’ll gloss over the rest of this fiasco in the interest of my own sanity.

William cries and feels bad. Ashley melts down. William wanders aimlessly amongst the streets of West Hollywood and probably went dancing with Ames for a bit before returning to the wake. Ashley’s smoky eyes go away, then reappear, then go away, then reappear as she rejoins the poolside wake after listening to Jeff tell a story about a three legged abused dog he adopted. Solar Ryan earns some points by dropping “what can I do,” and the Esteban music eventually returns letting us know that the show will go on while back at the MAN-sion we learn that J.P. anachronistically gets the “There’s No Place Like Home” date that was undoubtedly re-planned after the Ashley meltdown.

Bentley and Ashley have a one-on-one as we learn that Crazy Michelle is the infamous tipster as Bentley quickly makes mince meat out of Ashley’s poor intuition convincing her that he’s there for her. Ashley pushes Womack one step closer to obscurity by admitting her feelings for Bentley are stronger than they were for Brad. FINALLY, Ryan gets the date rose by default proving that sometimes it pays to be an innocuous bore.

After the date that was more painful than the one with Womack where Chantal and Ashley both melted down after drinking a gallon of the green trashcan Bachelorette crazy juice by the pool, Ashley retreats to “her” mansion to brood amongst the stepping stones in her Annette Funicello outfit. She wallows in self-pity while woefully replaying her insecurities over in her mind and posing rhetorical questions to the camera crew.

Simultaneously, Bentley ramps up in order to earn his top secret, Producer endorsed paycheck for the season. He positions himself as a giant misogynist, fixes his hair, calls the guys “tools” and “idiots,” and then hides behind the “I miss my daughter” excuse before heading over to break Ashley’s innocent (albeit stupid) heart.

Speaking of showing some sack, I was incredibly disappointed that Bentley had the stones to talk a big game in the isolation booth but not the courage to come clean with the guys or with Ashley. We call that a coward where I’m from.

The entire thing reminded me of a Chris Knight song entitled “Hard Edges.” The lyric goes, “Hard edges hide a tender heart/ Silent as a midnight prayer/ Hard edges hide the sweetest part/ ‘til you’d never know it’s there.” On second thought, that doesn’t apply. He’s simply an a-hole. Regardless, download that song if you get the chance. Chris Knight is to song writing what Bentley is to being a douche and Ashley is to being insecure.

I won’t belabor the point, but here’s my take on this guy. He’s truly a jackass, but he’s not an unassisted jackass. Anyone who has been around the production of a television show or a commercial or anything that will make it on to television knows that everything that makes it on to the screen is meticulously and deliberately planned. The footage we see is two hours of literally days worth of film that is boiled down to tell a story. Lines are fed, repeated, and carefully placed in order to set everything up. Bentley was a cog in a much bigger wheel and I believe it almost blew up in the Producers’ face this week. There’s no question Bentley is a jerk, but he was placed on the show by even bigger jerks.

Bentley arrives to interrupt Ashley’s brooding session and lets her down with the “I miss my daughter” story before dropping an “it’s annoying to hold a girl who’s crying.” It’s amazing this guy is divorced, isn’t it? Man, this isn’t good for men, I thought as Ashley gives Bentley a leg wrap hug in spite of his departure. I then thought, man, this isn’t good for women either. The entire thing was pathetic.

Ashley ignored the truth and she paid for it. I hate to say it, ladies, but she’s just as responsible as he is. As Bentley leaves, Ashley retreats to the comfort of her purple comforter and cries hysterically while posing rhetorical questions to the camera crew as Bentley makes his way to the minivan and it rains on cue . . . aaaannnd scene.

They leave things with a “dot, dot, dot instead of a period” and as I washed down the puke in my throat with a pull from a cold Lone Star I actually wondered if Ashley would continue to film. It was at this point I knew that he red briefcase phone handcuffed to Harrison’s assistant rang in some topless bar on the outskirts of L.A. as Harrison was summoned to clean up the results of the perfectly executed but entirely too effective Producer’s bad guy plan of the season.

Proving that she’s resourceful when she’s sad, Ashley dons her Olivia Newton John pants and lights thousands of carefully placed candles around the house before making a giant fire and brooding into it as the rains depart and the full moon emerges as if it was a trusted friend seeking to comfort Ashley in the arms of its light. Either that or it was just some stock footage that was thrown into the mix to make the show more dramatic. Either way, Ashley continued to brood.

J.P. (remember him?) unwittingly arrives for his date after instructing the minivan driver to swing by Von's Grocery Store for some flowers. Poor guy. He’s been waiting for some alone time for three weeks now and all he gets is a cab ride over to a rented house to hang out with a puffy-eyed, distracted, jaded, confused, emotional, fun-sponging, dejected, insecure mess amidst her 1000 candles and giant fire. I’m surprised there was enough oxygen to breath in that room. Booooooring.

J.P. seems normal, sincere, and did I mention normal? He’s a bit flaky and he looks like Lance Armstrong immediately following his cancer treatment, but he’s definitely one of the more decent guys in the mix. He’s not annoying and entrepreneury like the solar guy, has a better haircut than Constantine and his twin Ben F., and has more personality than Lucas, Blake, and Chris put together. He’s as safe as first base and she recognizes that.

After whining over some wine (or is it wine-ing over some whine?), Ashley says that she feels like putting on her PJ’s and getting Cozy and Comfy. I was surprised J.P. didn’t wonder aloud what any of this had to do with Bentley’s daughter. And who is “Comfy,” Bentley’s niece?

After 100 apologies from Ashley for sucking all of the fun out of the room, J.P. earns a quick Safety Rose and out kisses Bentley. Nice job making something from a big fat bunch of nothing, J.P. Ashley owes you big for taking that one on the chin with a smile. We’re talking Fantasy Suite big, if you know what I mean.

Ashley shows up begrudgingly to the cocktail party dressed like a baked potato and sporting a giant bedazzled necklace. Her smoky eyes make another appearance as she retires to the Lair of Seclusion where the incredibly sympathetic Producers have chosen to leave Bentley’s picture in full view.

As she broods and reflects, Harrison arrives back at the mansion after fielding the “Get her back on the grid, Harrison” phone call and proceeds to scare the hell out of her by sneaking up behind her.

Let me pause here for a moment to recognize the wonder that is Chris Harrison. We all know at this point that he could not care less about the majority of his duties on this show. He’s been phoning in the morning mansion visits for two seasons now, but we know he lives for the one-on-ones. What followed was perhaps the most classic since he handed Roz her ass on the ATFR show when she tried to call him out for hitting on some dude’s wife after that fat guy with the leather hat helped her pack her s*it and leave the mansion.

Harrison starts by listening but quickly turns the screws realizing he’s getting nowhere with Ashley’s wishy washy insecure babble. Frankly, he should have led with “I told you so” but, as is his custom, he went a softer route. After some more subtle tries to get her to re-engage, Harrison decides to simply throw her back up in the air like Maverick in Top Gun after he got caught in Iceman’s jet wash and Goose died.

Clearly toeing the “I work for the people who set you up” and “I’m a decent guy who doesn’t like to see you deliberately hurt” line, Harrison reminds Ashley that they discussed this in the pre-production meetings and she was on board with having Bentley show up. That doesn’t work.

Harrison then goes with the “he’s not even a real man because a real man would have moved Heaven and Earth to stay here” speech. That doesn’t work.

Finally, Harrison reminds her that 14 guys (and millions of dollars worth of equipment and union paid employees) have been waiting for her to make up her damn mind for hours without the comfort of alcohol and Esteban music. “Suck it up, Ashley,” should have been his mantra. Again, Harrison takes a less direct, yet just as effective route.

Finally, the rose ceremony sans cocktail party begins. It went down as follows:

Roses were given to:

1. Ben C.
2. J.P.
3. Solar Ryan
4. Constantine (Ben’s twin, not the emperor)
5. West (the suitor, not the direction)
6. Mickey (the suitor, not the mouse)
7. Ben F.
8. Blake (the real dentist)
9. Nick (the suitor, not the shaving injury)
10. Gay-mes
11. Lucas (the Texan, not a statue in the corner)
12. William (dude sweated it out but dodged a bullet. She’s an idiot)

Sent packing

1. Jeff and his mask which he quickly burned
2. Chris

There you have it. With the Journey count at a comparatively meager 7 and the Amazing count at a stagnant 38 we head to Phuket, Thailand next week for more love and romance. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be sitting fireside crying in my pajamas working on my Phuket jokes. DP