'The Bachelor' Recap: Daddy Date Care
'The Bachelor' Recap: Daddy Date Care
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, everybody! Who wants to celebrate by watching the whitest show on television? (You. You do. That is why you are here.)

Tonight: Brad and his gaggle of remaining women embark on one awkward adventure after another that tests their (and OUR!) fortitude, patience and tolerance for a variety of tortures, the worst of which is Michelle, who should really have gotten billing in the credits as tonight's narrator, since she wouldn't SHUT UP and ABC wouldn't STOP LETTING HER NOT SHUT UP. It's like that famous quote, the one that goes, "All that is required for evil to prevail is for reality TV producers to stand by and let crazy bitches yap on and on all day long." Well, I won't stand idly by. I will make fun of her and all the dumb stuff she says to until the bitter (BITTER) end. Such is my joy and my job and my curse and my duty. Let's go:

Date #1: Seal-Clubbing with Ashley S.
Date Card: "Let's find our love song." ("Look! It's over there! Just beyond that cliff!")
What it should have said (NEW FEATURE!): "Let's seal the [record] deal."

And speaking of evil, that is what the producer is who decided that for their one-on-one "date," Ashley S. and Brad would go to Capitol Records and "sing" "Kiss from a Rose." This is not a date, it is a nightmare audio-hell brought to life. For them, who know they can't sing, and for us, who have to pour vodka down our throats and ears at the same time to block it out, and for the Capitol producer who drew the short straw and still has a permanent palm-mark on his face from watching these two butcher Seal's seminal Batman classic like the work of Seal were an actual seal and their voices were big, spiky clubs with a hunger for soft, supple seal flesh.

brad-ashleys-seal1.jpg
Cool "date!" It's like karaoke! Except replace the disco ball with a judgmental recording producer and the fun with a crippling sense of horror.

After all that "grief and misery" (Brad's words, so allow me to say once again, Brad, COOL DATE!) Brad surprises Ashley by taking her into another studio, where--guess WHAT!--Seal is there doing his Seal thing, which is to say, stealing kisses from roses on the grays, and skipping all the way to the bank while holding hands with his wife, Heidi Klum. (Heidi wasn't there.)

seal-paycheck1.jpg"You remind me of a kiss from Rose, my accountant, because ABC paid me so much to do this."

After listening respectfully to "Kiss from a Rose" and then rudely talking over some other Seal song that no one knows, Brad and Ashley say goodbye to Seal and head up to the roof of the Capitol Records building, where Ashley gets the theme of the night/season a-rollin': DADS, AND THE ISSUES THEY CAUSE.

Ashley explains to Brad that this date means a lot to her because "Kiss from a Rose" was her favorite song growing up, and her dad sang it all the time with her before he died tragically of a brain aneurysm. Brad gives Ashley the rose. And then they kiss. No grays are present.

brad-ashleys-kiss.jpgKISSES FROM ROSES! GET IT?

Real talk: Ashley is a sweetheart, but she and Brad have very little romantic chemistry, as far as I can tell. What a dumb date. But at least Ashley enjoyed it, though her choice of words in describing that enjoyment isssss ... questionable: "I can't imagine a more perfect date with Brad. It makes me think that even though I lost my dad, I'm going to get a great husband." Somebody forgot she's still just one of seventeen women left. And that she doesn't really even know Brad yet. And that the track record of this TV show doesn't usually lead to "husband." And also maybe just not talk about trading your dad for a husband. Even if you mean it to sound sweet, when you say it out loud on TV after making out with a guy who will probably not pick you, it sounds weird and sad. ("The more you know!")

Anyway! Guess what was happening while Brad and Ashley were connecting on the roof? Yep, Michelle was being all Michelle-y, whining about how she's spending "all her dates" (all her ONE DATE) with other women instead of just with Brad ("But I thought the premise of the show was that it was just me and The Bachelor on every date!") and crying her evil croctopus tears to the camera.

michelle-ugh1.jpgI had to rename this picture "Michelle-Ugh1.jpeg" because I already uploaded a "Michelle-Ugh.jpeg" to BuddyTV last week. If that gives you an idea of how much "Ugh"-ing about Michelle I've been doing.

With no "IT'S MY BIRTHDAY" to fall back on, Michelle consults her "Reasons To Get Pissed Off" Bachelor Field Manual and goes with an old standby: Good old fashioned crazy-bitch jealousy. She is very possessive of her "man" Brad, and she'll do ANYTHING to keep the rest of the women away from him.

Date #2: Like 13 women, including Michelle, Shawntel, Chantal, Ashley H. and a bunch of those other ones who never get to speak
Date card: "Love hurts."
What it should have said: "Lights, cameras, active wear."

They're "filming" (except there's definitely no film in those cameras--WASTE OF MONEY) an "action adventure movie" (in which the "action" is limited to killing Asian men and the "adventure" is limited to hanging out in one warehouse) on this "date." So many sarcastic quotations marks, yes, but they're necessary. It used to be that all that was fake on this show was the emotion, but THESE aren't even real dates anymore! This is an excuse for the women to wear only sports bras and grunt and get jealous of each other kissing Brad because the script tells them to. Literally ALL of that can and does happen on this show without the help of a fake movie set. The non-reality of this show is cartoonishly mocking us and turning in on itself, like Jim Carrey eating his own fist on SNL last week.

To introduce the "date," Brad swings a shovel (LOL WHAT?) in front of a bunch of dudes' faces, and they all fall down, actingly.

brad-shovel1.jpgSHOVEL WIND!

brad-shovel2.jpgOH NO I'M DEAD FROM SHOVEL WIND!

Nothing about this makes any sense, but nobody cares because EXPLOSIONS! And ACTING! (It's just like how Brad and Angie fell in love!) (No it's not.) Seriously, we are given no rhyme or reason for ANY of it, but there's so much acting going on here, you guys:

brad-acting1.jpgACTING FACE!

chantal-acting.jpgACTING FISTS!

asianman-getstherose.jpgActing Asian Man is sad he didn't get a rose :(

Unfortunately the person who is acting the most RIDICULOUS is the one person who seems to not be acting at all: Michelle. When Michelle is around, this is no longer The Bachelor. She overpowers everything and makes it The Michelle Show. On The Michelle Show we talk about "slippery kisses" (ugh!) and hiring ninjas to kidnap the rest of the women and put them into bags and leave them for dead in the desert (yikes!), and we cover up our faces with our hair to prove how much more womanly and mature we are than everyone else (woof!).

michelle-show1.jpg"I can't look! ... at myself with any sort of self-awareness."

Don't get me wrong: Without deluded jerks like Michelle, this show would not be worth watching. But there is such a thing as "too much of a "so awful it's good" thing," and that's what's happening here. Someone needs to shut this woman up, or at least scale back our dosage of her. There are 16 other varieties of female nutjob left on the show--give them their time to shine, too!

At the post-filming "wrap party" (HA), Brad jumps in the pool with all his clothes on because he's so SPONTANEOUS! Then the other women finally get a chance to occupy his time with their problems, including Chantal, who cries as she tells him about discovering that her biological father died (ding dong, daddy issues are back!). This is Brad's "I'm here for you" face:

brads-face-chantal.jpgNot to be confused with his "I'm angry," face, "I'm confused" face, "I like your boobs" face or "I'm just a face being a face" face.

Then comes Alli, who is just about to tell Brad for the fifth time how important sexual chemistry is, when Michelle sneaks up and freezes right next to them, waiting to pounce.

michelle-stalks.jpgBRAD AND ALLI, DON'T MOVE! IF YOU DON'T MOVE SHE CAN'T SEE YOU, AND WILL THINK SHE'S IN AN EMPTY ROOM WITHOUT PREY!
 
Brad: "Uh. Um. OK. Uh. Um. Yeah. Excuse me?"
Alli: "Michelle just seems like an evil bitch."
Michelle: "Brad is MINE."
Me: *MAKES FART NOISE WITH MOUTH*

Shawntel gets the group date rose for her dedication to the craft:

shawntel-brad-acting1.jpgACTING MOUTH!

Then everyone watches their "movie," "Love Hurts," and as far as I can tell there is no semblance of a plot because no one actually bothered to write a script. But there is kissing and walking away from explosions and Asian men getting kicked in the nads by jiggly-chested hot women, so it's basically just Transformers 2 (HEYO!), so everyone high-fives for a job poorly but commercially successfully done.

Date #3: Wine Country with Emily
Date card: "Love is intoxicating."
What it should have said: "Marry me?"

Emily, the angelic Barbie-faced, Mother-Theresa-souled heroine in this house of crazies, gets the last date of the week, and she's debating whether to tell Brad about the death of her fiance and their young daughter. Before the date, she tells the story to the other women in the house, and it's is so sad and moving that it actually causes the vampire's soul to grow back, Angel-Buffy style.

madison-feelings.jpgI vant to give you a huuuuuuug!

Madison continues to weep for the rest of the week, saying that Emily's story made her realize that she "wanted" to come here, but other women "needed" to come here, and she's not sure she should stay and take time away from these women. Whatever that means. I think it means she came on TV to be the weird vampire girl, not "fall in love," and now she feels bad about wasting Brad's and the other women's time. But now she's taking the show TOO seriously! Can't you just NOT be a vampire and ALSO NOT think this love story is going to work out for anybody?

Anyway, back to the date: Emily, whom we all love (seriously, I would marry her), is forced to get on a tiny propeller plane with Brad and go to Santa Maria wine country. Brad doesn't know that she's afraid of flying ever since her fiance DIED IN A PLANE CRASH, but whoever planned this date DOES KNOW THAT, which makes them terrible torture-mongers. Emily deserves better! I love you, Emily! Like Madison, I am discovering feelings I didn't know I even had!

Once they're at the winery, Brad tries to pry some personal information out of Emily's beautiful vice-like face, but all she gives him is, "I'm just like everybody. When I'm tired, I get grumpy. Same as everybody else." It's very "awwww" and "oh no" and "shut up and get the hint, Brad, she doesn't want to talk about it." But Brad doesn't get the hint, and asks about her past relationships, and she shuts down.

emilydate2.jpg"C'mon woman I've only known for a week, OPEN UP ABOUT YOUR EMOTIONAL SCARS ALREADY!"

Later, at their dinner in the barn (so romantic!) Emily finally gets it all off her chest, and lights up when she tells Brad about her 5-year-old "mini-me" daughter. Brad, ever the wordsmith, stammers out "I like you a lot. A lot. I mean, a LOT." He gives her the rose. They kiss. And I'm ... jealous of him? I'd tell Brad to just shut down the whole show and pick Emily NOW, but she's too good for him! Emily for Bachelorette! Emily for President (of my heart)! Emily for LYFE!

WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM FOR AN IMPORTANT THERAPY SESSION
Before the all important third cocktail party, Brad meets with his therapist to talk feelings, which means, officially, that Chris Harrison has NO PURPOSE ON THIS SHOW.

bradstherapist.jpg"BINGO!"

Mr. Therapist tells Brad that the best way to make a connection with a woman is to make her feel comfortable. Mr. Therapist does not tell Brad that the worst way to make a connection with a woman is to do it super-fast on TV while dating 16 other women at the same time. And that doing that makes everyone very uncomfortable. Mr. Therapist may not be the best therapist, but Brad feels replenished. "I'm ready to open my heart to THE WOMEN!" he proclaims. "The women." Let's see how many he can fit inside there!

Cocktail Party
Everyone wants a rose! Everyone is desperate! Everyone is about to say things they ought to regret! What a fun party!

Alli tells Brad, "I wrapped myself up like a present so I could open up to you." (Insert gross "box" joke here.) Then she tells him about her daddy issues (hers was unfaithful).

Michelle steals Brad away from Chantal, because she's Michelle. She tells him, "You and I are kind of in a fight" over how he's dating other girls while subtle carnival music plays in the background. "Explain yourself." ("UH, IT'S THE BACHELOR?!") He claims he didn't kiss many girls on The Bachelor last time, but this time he's opening up to a lot more people. With his mouth. (To those who watched his last season: Is that true? I bet it's not true.)

michelle-cacrazy1.jpg"This is my impression of anyone who's ever been forced to listen to me!"

Madison is in a dark place. (A COFFIN!) Just kidding--she's just very emotional, and tells Brad that she might want to leave. But she's not sure. But she is sort of sure. She's not saying words that make sense, but she takes out her fangs to say them, so you know she's SERIOUS.

madison-fangsout.jpg"Real talk. With my real teeth."

Ashley H. is feeling insecure, so Brad reassures her with his mouth on her mouth. All better! It's rose ceremony time.

ROSE CEREMONY

Emily, Shawntel and Ashley S. have their roses. Who's NEXT?

Michelle (Brad! BRAD?! C'MON BRAD! WAKE UP!)
Chantal

At this point, Madison grabs her cape and dramatically flies off. Brad runs after her, but she says she wants to leave and he finally lets her go. It's weird how, as soon as I really started to like Madison, POOF! She's gone. Oh well. More roses:

Lisa
Jackie
Ashley H.
Marissa
Britt
Alli
Lindsay
Meghan


Last rose goes to... Stacey

Eliminated: Kimberly and Sarah P. One takes it better than the other:

kimberly-elimep3.jpgF*** BRAD, I AM ATTRRRRRAACTIVE!

sarahp-crying.jpgI guess I'll just go home, buy 10 cats, name them all "Greg," and quietly await death in the company of my Gregs.

Next Week: Finally, we learn what's up with Michelle's black eye. Chantal and Brad have a one-on-one, and Michelle tries to kill her! (Or something.) And Brad takes a group date to Dr. Drew for more terrible, embarrassing, ill-advised "therapy." Can't wait!


(Images courtesy of ABC)

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