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.
11. Ben C.
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